Extreme Writing Challenge #3: “A Way to Conquer”

In this story, every sentence contains at least one q.  As an extra challenge, I made myself use a new word containing q in each sentence.


I couldn’t convince her to try the squid.

We’d been quarreling more than usual.  We talked less, and sometimes the house would fall so quiet I’d be spooked by a sudden crumple of paper or a toilet flushing in another room.  The words we did exchange were quick and emotionless:  “We’re out of paper towels,” or “The bathroom sink is clogged, so don’t use it.”

The breaking point came on a night when her parents invited us to dinner at a new restaurant called The Square Moon.  It was a fancy enough place that she wore her black dress with the sequin straps.  I put on a nice shirt and my best slacks, and she still found reason to squawk at me:  “Honey, you look like you’re going to the office!”

I quizzically cocked my head and responded, “I don’t follow you.”  She squeezed her feet into a pair of shoes that were at least a size too small and said, “You need to wear a tie.”

The only tie I owned was green, which clashed with my peach-colored shirt, and it was decorated with golf balls and cute little squirrels.  Quinn, my niece, had picked it out for me when I visited once, back before I’d met Karen.

We squabbled about the tie for several minutes before she finally surrendered.  She squirmed uncomfortably the entire car ride to the restaurant.  When we arrived, her parents greeted me coldly and I knew that Karen had adequately complained to them about our problems.

We ordered drinks—tequila for Karen and her father, wine for her mother and me—and tried to have a conversation like those we had when we’d been dating.  We talked about springtime, gardens, dogs, and antiques.  But none of it equated to real conversation because our minds had been elsewhere.

It came time to order, and I considered the quail but decided on the squid.  When Karen questioned my choice, I offered her a bite.  She refused to try it and we began to bicker, and by the time we finished arguing about it her whole body was quivering as she struggled not to cry in front of her parents.

I took her home and wrapped her in her favorite quilt and made her some tea.  I confessed she was quite beautiful when she was angry and she smiled at me for the first time in weeks.

It was the beginning of the end; love had found a way to conquer.


2 responses to “Extreme Writing Challenge #3: “A Way to Conquer”

  1. This was brilliant- from your previous works, I thought it would conclude in a break up but I’m so glad it ended ‘happily ever after’- sometimes, its just the thing we need.

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