Dear, dear readers, did you all happen to look at the final list of words submitted over the weekend for my next challenge? Not to mention that there were some submitted on Facebook as well. And they made this story one HELL of a doozy to write. But I did it! 😀
First, I’ll list off the loony collection of words you submitted to me–that way, you know ahead of time how hard I was banging my head against the wall by the time I finished this story! But on a more serious note, thanks to all who submitted your favorite words, and I hope you enjoy what they helped create.
Roger Padwell celebrated his 25th year of teaching biology by purchasing a chocolate cake from the upscale bakery that had opened next to the university. When he arrived home, he retrieved a fork from the kitchen and sat in front of the television with the entire cake in his lap, still in the box.
The first moist bite of cake melted in Roger’s mouth like the slow spread of warmth by a fire on a cold day. Though Roger’s more social, ostentatious colleagues preferred large dinners and expensive wine to celebrate their teaching milestones, Roger preferred an evening alone with a scrumptious dessert. It was here, alone, that he daydreamed about a day when he might storm the university and defenestrate the rest of his department. They were threatened by his broad range of knowledge. That he could talk for hours about anything from the classification of a paramecium to the habitats of succulents was what made him feared, when he should have been admired.
As he ate, Roger began to cogitate about the state of social oblivion his career had left him in. Once a charming, extroverted young man, Roger now palmed the smooth spot on his head delivered by alopecia. He wondered when he had transitioned from being his own puppet master to a puppet himself, controlled by the knowledge that nobody liked him.
“Yikes,” he said aloud, as if such a word would subtract years from his life, replace some of the hair on his head.
Roger set down his fork and peeked through the curtains. In the front window of the house across the street, which was wrapped in icicle Christmas lights, a joyful family danced to carols by the light of candelabra.
It was a concoction for wholeness Roger would never know. He closed up the cake box, turned on his favorite Billie Holiday record, and began to write the next day’s lesson plan.