I’m having one of those Saturday mornings in which I was sure I’d had a million things I wanted to accomplish before my husband and stepson get out of bed, but now I can’t remember a single one. So instead, I wrote a story. As I was writing, I had that TV show Lottery Changed My Life on in the background. It featured a man who won the lottery and held on to all of his winnings so he could buy suits and spoil all of his cats rotten. At first, I wondered how you could win millions and not at least treat yourself to a mansion or a few nice cars…and that curiosity was immediately followed by my imagining what I would buy for my cats if I were to win the lottery.
Don’t tell my husband I said that. Please.
Here’s a new story for you. The challenge, as usual, follows the story at the bottom. Happy Saturday!
Chip took the shuttle from the hotel to the airport, wearing a rumpled suit and a cracked pair of sunglasses. His luggage still sat on his hotel bed. In his hand was a half-eaten breakfast burrito he’d swiped from the continental breakfast room. The bus driver laughed and said to Chip, “Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?” Chip thought she sounded like a cartoon villain. He liked that.
The trip had been more of a splurge than Chip could afford. He’d find it all funnier if it hadn’t ended exactly as he had feared. The predictability of it all caused Chip to shudder. Things would have been so simple if Dixon-Waite had just agreed to publish his memoir. Chip had flown across the country, sucking his bank account dry, and those fuckers called security to escort him out of the building. It was borderline abusive, Chip thought. They’d tugged on his shirt collar—he could have choked! Okay, maybe he’d been a little grouchy with the receptionist. And yes, he’d pushed his way through the double doors that led to Mr. Waite’s office, interrupting an important meeting. He only wanted to ask why. Why not give the man at the bottom a chance.
Chip had seen something like this once in a movie. He’d studied every hand movement and every intonation of the protagonist. He had it in the bag, Chip did. The trouble was, this was not a movie and Mr. Waite was not entertained by Chip’s character. Security dragged Chip out of the building, reminding Chip of his younger days of getting tossed from a club by a burly bouncer. It was all in his memoir, if Mr. Waite would bother to read it.
A smart man would have taken a hint. But Chip was an amateur. He threw a weak punch at the security guard, a blunder that landed Chip in a headlock with his arm twisted like a licorice rope. The encounter grew from a meek scuffle to a full-on brawl that ended with the security guard calling the police.
Chip took off running for the hotel. The security guard was hot on his feet. Once in the hotel lobby, Chip was sure he’d lost him, until he saw the guard approach the front desk. My name, Chip thought, Mr. Waite knows my name. He took a detour through the breakfast room and slipped out a side door of the hotel, hopping on the shuttle that was just pulling away. His flight was hours away. Maybe he could make a round trip and sneak up for his luggage. He patted his wallet, secured in his chest pocket, to be sure he had it on him. Just in case.
On the bright side, Chip had a great new story to add to his memoir.
The challenge was: The story contains at least 25 seven-letter words that contain the letter U.