Innocence [Repost]

 

Prompt: Famous

adam and eve

Kelly Bak was joining Pat for a private lunch at the White House. They’d become quite close during Rich’s run for governor of California— both wives to powerful, and in Kelly’s case, very wealthy men. They could talk freely about their travels, their servants, their possessions, the famous people they knew, without sounding pompous or pretentious. All these things were incidentals, elements of their daily lives.

They both knew that the Mellon family didn’t eat shellfish, that coats made from the fur of female mink were lighter in weight but just as warm, and the first name of the owner of the hidden hotel near the Spanish Steps. They could share concerns about temperamental cooks and valets, discuss which make-up artists were the most competent, or when to wear the real jewelry and when to wear the paste.

On this day they met in the small family dining room, where Pat’s “help”, Constance, had laid out sandwich triangles of egg and ham, fruit salad, and slices of chocolate chiffon cake, along with pots of tea and coffee, on a smooth white linen cloth.

They chatted briefly about their daughters, Julie being only a few years older than Kimmy, when Pat noticed a shadow cross Kelly’s face. “What is it?” she asked.

“I think,” said Kelly, “that Kimberly made a mistake.”

“A mistake?”

Kelly hesitated. She lit a cigarette, a Virginia Slim, and inhaled deeply. Feathers of fawn-colored smoke swirled in the air around her.

“There was something going on with her riding instructor,” Kelly said at last, setting her cigarette on the rim of a cut glass ashtray that Pat had thoughtfully moved closer.

Pat didn’t smoke or drink in public, but she looked at the cigarette cradled in the Vallon ashtray with longing, and fought an impulse to smoke, herself, as she always did when conversations or feelings became too intense.

“Oh dear,” said Pat.

“He’s gone, but…”

Pat said nothing. She clasped her hands in her lap. An image of Julie and Kimmy as small children, splashing about in a turquoise blue wading pool, popped into her head. She remembered the bathing suit that Julie wore, her favourite, a pale pink and yellow plaid with a skirt frill.

“She made an appointment with a doctor,” Kelly said slowly. “A different doctor.”

“Perhaps it’s nothing— a teenage thing,” Pat said.

“No,” said Kelly. “I don’t think so.”

Pat wanted to say, Why don’t you ask her? But she knew what happened when you asked questions. They both knew.

“Would you like more coffee?” Pat asked.

Kelly set the china cup on the table and Pat poured from a silver carafe. “How is Richard?” Kelly asked.

“Richard is just fine!” Pat said. “As always.” And she smiled, and poured a second cup for herself.


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Ants on a Log [Repost]

Prompt: Parallel

200553073-001

Virginia awoke suddenly with that familiar lurching in her stomach. She tumbled out of bed and just made it to the bathroom in time to see Cash crouched over the toilet, retching.

“Move!” she screamed but he couldn’t, so she vomited in one of the double sinks. His sink.

“For god’s sake, Cash,” said Virginia. “I’m the pregnant one.”

“I can’t help it, Virge,” Cash said glumly. He’d been in a mood ever since her pregnancy was confirmed. He was fatigued, sensitive, he constantly craved “ants on a log”, which was a stick of celery filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins. He felt bloated and gassy, and yes, often awoke at six am and made a rush to the toilet bowl in a bout of morning sickness.

Virginia, meanwhile, was still modelling and had taken up go-karting. She and Cash’s sister made almost weekly trips to Hey Kart and raced around a tarmac track lined with sacks of sand. She expected the vomiting to cease after three months, so while it was awful, she wasn’t unduly upset by it. She carried on.

Cash couldn’t really concentrate on business. He was supposed to be locating and vetting a source in China that would build a prototype of the chair that Leep had invented. But he was always so tired, and farting, and snapping at people for no reason. He avoided his friends. He gloomily fussed with the decorating of the nursery when he wasn’t crying over something on the news. Only Virginia could possibly understand, and she hated it.

One morning as he dressed he looked in the mirror and was sure his abdomen was distended. He didn’t dare show Virginia.

Now he was a college-educated man, though granted, most of his college days were spent drinking and partying at the frat house. But what the fuck was this big baby belly? It wasn’t beer bloat. He hadn’t had any beer since the pregnancy. The thought of it made him nauseous. He hadn’t had much to drink at all, and his favourite fried foods were intolerable in smell. His system was too damn delicate. Sometimes he thought he was in a parallel universe.

There was only one thing to do.

He went to the kitchen and made ants on a log, many ants on many logs. He used almost a whole head of celery and half a jar of peanut butter, and when the raisins ran out he used chocolate chips. God, they were delicious.


Ants on a Log

Prompt: Moody

200553073-001

Virginia awoke suddenly with that familiar lurching in her stomach. She tumbled out of bed and just made it to the bathroom in time to see Cash crouched over the toilet, retching.

“Move!” she screamed but he couldn’t, so she vomited in one of the double sinks. His sink.

“For god’s sake, Cash,” said Virginia. “I’m the pregnant one.”

“I can’t help it, Virge,” Cash said glumly. He’d been in a mood ever since her pregnancy was confirmed. He was fatigued, sensitive, he constantly craved “ants on a log”, which was a stick of celery filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins. He felt bloated and gassy, and yes, often awoke at six am and made a rush to the toilet bowl in a bout of morning sickness.

Virginia, meanwhile, was still modelling and had taken up go-karting. She and Cash’s sister made almost weekly trips to Hey Kart and raced around a tarmac track lined with sacks of sand. She expected the vomiting to cease after three months, so while it was awful, she wasn’t unduly upset by it. She carried on.

Cash couldn’t really concentrate on business. He was supposed to be locating and vetting a source in China that would build a prototype of the chair that Leep had invented. But he was always so tired, and farting, and snapping at people for no reason. He avoided his friends. He gloomily fussed with the decorating of the nursery when he wasn’t crying over something on the news. Only Virginia could possibly understand, and she hated it.

One morning as he dressed he looked in the mirror and was sure his abdomen was distended. He didn’t dare show Virginia.

Now he was a college-educated man, though granted, most of his college days were spent drinking and partying at the frat house. But what the fuck was this big baby belly? It wasn’t beer bloat. He hadn’t had any beer since the pregnancy. The thought of it made him nauseous. He hadn’t had much to drink at all, and his favourite fried foods were intolerable in smell. His system was too damn delicate. Sometimes he thought he was in a parallel universe.

There was only one thing to do.

He went to the kitchen and made ants on a log, many ants on many logs. He used almost a whole head of celery and half a jar of peanut butter, and when the raisins ran out he used chocolate chips. God, they were delicious.