Cleo, Bowling, and Lessons to be Learnt

This week’s Trifecta Challenge is to use the word ‘turkey’ in a 33-333 word piece, using the definition ‘three successive strikes in bowling’. Check out the other entries at http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/.

Cleo was a bitch.

A show-off.

A know-all.

She should have been more careful about who she was so eager to make friends with.

I first met Cleo when I moved to London. I’d just gotten my first admin job, and we were to share a desk. No sooner had I got out a pen and located the kettle, than she suggested a trip out to get to know each other. Bowling. To me, bowling was for ten year-olds. The sweaty shoes, the slush puppies, the obligatory turn on the dodgems? Not for me.

But, I was kind of desperate for new friends. I had to leave my last village in a bit of a hurry, you see. Rumours were beginning to get out of hand.

I was useless at bowling. But I have to say I was pretty chuffed with my double strike. And yet in what was to become typical Cleo fashion, she had to go one better. And then proceed to tell me that three strikes in a row are called ‘a turkey’. Who even knows that for Christ’s sake?! I should have known it was a sign of things to come…

I don’t know who she was trying to impress, but it wasn’t working on me.

She was constantly shoving something in my face. A new Chanel bag, a new convertible Mini, a new super-perfect boyfriend. Always going one better than everybody else. Always knowing the answer to everything. Always being right. And basically just being an annoying bitch.

It turns out Cleo should have been careful who she was trying to impress. Those rumours in my last village?

‘Evil.’

‘Witch.’

‘Killer.’

‘Murderer.’

After a few months, I suggested a bowling re-match.

It’s amazing what damage a bowling ball can do.

The Tall Brunette

This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words, including the word ‘brand’, using the definition ‘a mark made by burning with a hot iron to designate ownership’.

There are men all over this city who share a secret. You wouldn’t know it on first looking at them, and they sure as hell would never speak of it.

Some of them are bankers, some waiters, some fathers, and some of the worst ones even have wives.

You’ll find them in cinemas, coffee shops, casinos, courts, chemistry labs. And they’ve all been through something terrible.

I know them all. In fact, I’ve dated them all. Most just once, but some seemed to find the pain ‘fun’, and came back for more.

All the men had a penchant for tall brunettes and a flash of cleavage. They all had very different ideas of what made a good first date. I’ve been to endless cocktail bars, and ‘hip new restaurants’, and seen so many independent films.

Some of them were more imaginative, taking me to an aquarium, or wine tasting, or even rock climbing.

They all have one thing in common though. They all wanted to sleep with me on the first date. I’d let them come up to my flat, and they never speak of what happened next.

But there are dozens of men all over this city and beyond, all with a brand. My brand. A small x-shaped burn scar just below their right ear.

Sometimes these men spot another of my victims, in a queue, or passing in the street. They share a nod as any light left in their eyes dies away at the memory of what happened at the hands of the tall brunette.

Hopefully they’ll have learnt now. And maybe next time they’ll go for a blonde instead.

Blossom

This weekend’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ task is to think about the progression of light and seasons in a photograph of the same trees at different times of year. They want us to ponder nature, and time, and growth, and rebirth, and then write 33 words inspired by this.

Spring sunlight crept through my window. I looked out into the world and saw beautiful blossom, where just weeks ago there were bare branches.

In that moment, I knew everything would be okay.

Cake and Confusion

This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ challenge is to write 33-333 words including the word ‘grasp’, using the definition ‘to lay hold of with the mind – comprehend’.

‘I want some cake.’

‘I would like a piece of cake please.’

‘May I have some cake?’

I’ve been waiting all day for a piece of cake, but the man who says his name is Eddie seems very forgetful. When he eventually brings it, it’s slightly stale, and he claims I haven’t been waiting all day, only five minutes. I look up at the man and frown, it had been longer than that surely. And who was he anyway? What was his name again?

I get like this sometimes now. I can’t always put names to faces. And I fail to grasp time. Days can go by in seconds. Minutes can feel like hours.

That man who says his name is Eddie comes to see me a lot. Sometimes he reads to me. Sometimes he just sits and smiles, and holds my hand. Once I caught him crying. I’m not surprised really, it wasn’t a good day, I had to ask for my cake five times that day, and had to shout before they brought it.

I do remember some things though. I remember being very small in a garden full of lavender. I remember a dog called Buster, and wearing a green school uniform. I remember getting married, wearing an ivory dress. I vaguely remember a man named Edward. I remember the pain of childbirth, and I remember getting my first grey hair. I remember the doctor asking me lots of confusing questions, and a young woman who looked startlingly like the man who says his name is Eddie, squeezing my hand.

I remember wanting cake. Where is my cake? The man is still sat there. He has cake, and all I have is a plate of crumbs. He must have eaten mine too.

‘Can I have a slice of cake please?’

The Rich Man’s Wife

This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ is to include the word ‘weak’ in a 33-333 word piece, using the definition ‘not factually grounded or logically presented, e.g. a weak argument’.

My husband’s rich. Filthy, stinking, flashing the cash in your face, rich. He keeps tens of thousands of pounds under his mattress for God’s sake. 

I’m not going to lie, it was his expensive looking suit and the extravagant bottle of champagne he bought on our first date that made me fall for him. 

The same extravagance and charm made countless other women fall for him too it seemed. I’d noticed the signs. The ‘working late’, the mysterious scratch on his chest, the lack of sex. 

I remember the first time we made love. I was in total awe of his house, it was like a palace to a terraced house girl like me. We made passionate love in his bed, on top of all those hundred pound notes. I was literally ‘rolling in it’.

Our wedding was ridiculous. The guests were practically swimming in champagne, I could barely lift my hand due to the enormous diamond on my finger, and I had the most beautiful dress money could buy. 

We never had kids. ‘Who needs kids when you can have a yacht?’ he used to say. We never had a yacht. All money, and no action.

Well, he had action with these other women. I’ve had enough. Yes, he’s rich, but I’ve decided that’s a weak argument for staying. I’m no longer the poor little girl I was when I met him, he can no longer impress me. I’m no longer in awe of him. He’s a pathetic little cheat.

I’m getting out. And I’m taking what’s under the mattress with me.