Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Ever since he was a year old, Thumper has loved dogs. He makes a beeline for every dog he sees, yelling, "Can I pet that dog?" at the owners. At the playground on Sunday, he convinced the owners of an ancient, wheezy pug named Maya to let him hold the leash. She agreeably limped around the playground with him. He had a conversation with a mom on the other side in which he gave her the impression it was his dog, telling her what the dog's name was, how old she was, and that she pants like that because she's old. I have known for a long time the inevitability of the question, "Can I have a dog?"

This morning, we had the following conversation:

"What kind of bug is that?"

"Some people call them roly-polies. Some people call them doodle bugs. I think some people call them potato bugs, too, but I could be wrong about that one. When I was a kid, we called them roly-polies. They're called that because they roll up into a ball when you touch them."

"What's a poly?"

"Nothing. I think it's just because it rhymes with roly."

"Yeah, it does rhyme. I hope it's not slimy."

"It's not."

"I don't want to have a snail for a pet."

"Yeah, I think a snail would be a boring pet."

"I would like to have a dog for a pet. I like my two cats a lot, but I like dogs, too."

"I know you do. Dogs are lot of work, though."


"Because they don't use a litter box inside like cats do. They go to the bathroom outside, but you still have to clean it up."

"I am definitely not cleaning it up."

"They poop on the ground, and you don't want someone to step in it, so you have to pick it up."

"Well, maybe I'll just have two cats, then."

I am amazed that the question was resolved so easily. I bet it comes back up again some day, though.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Favor

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge is "clean:"

As she sat down, he was suddenly aware that he hadn’t showered in days. She was immaculate, and just as stunning as he remembered. She didn’t say a word. It was a trick he used himself: say nothing, and the mark fills in all the blanks. Yes, he was the mark. He’d known it almost from the beginning, but knowing hadn’t made him stop. Even now, the only rational part of him that remained was begging him to just get up, but his hand was moving to his breast pocket.

He laid the tiny box gently on the table and pushed it across. He saw his fingers were trembling and snatched them back before she could touch him, but she hadn’t moved. He wiped his palm on his pant leg. He hoped she hadn’t noticed, but her eyes were locked on the box. It didn’t look like much, just a gray pressboard cube a few inches high. They were in a corner booth in the back, near the kitchen. No one was looking. There was nothing to see. Still it felt like a spotlight was heating the skin of his face and neck. He fought the urge to drag the back of his hand across his forehead, a nervous gesture, a sure sign of weakness. He’d already given too much away.

“That’s it. I’m done.” His voice was steadier than his hands. She lifted her eyes to his and smoothly made the innocuous little package disappear. She carried no purse. Her tight white blouse and knee-length charcoal skirt held no hiding places to secret it. It was gone, though, and for that he was grateful. He slid awkwardly from the booth and stood, steadying himself for a moment before leaning close. The familiar smell of her made him dizzy. “And remember: if things fall apart, I had nothing to do with this. As far as anyone knows, I’m clean.”

She smiled. He turned quickly, willing his legs to step, and step, and step.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lost and Found


I blushed, stuttered, and blushed again, but she was confidence personified, smirking. I couldn’t think of a thing to say, huffing and sweating, hoping she didn’t notice. Still, she knew I’d be hers.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nothing Good Will Come of It

This weekend's Trifextra, the bonus challenge from Trifecta, was to finish in 33 words this beginning: "The phone rang at 4am." So here's my effort:

Her mind hid the sound in her restless sleep, making it part of the dream. Her heart knew what words awaited her, though, and the tears spilled from her eyes as they opened.
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