AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is an entry for a mini-challenge. The fictional short story was required to contain the following in 500 words:
1. The color purple;
2. A piece of fruit (but the fruit is not to be the purple item);
3. A letter (hmmm ... but what kind of letter? You decide);
4. A D & M conversation (that's "deep and meaningful," for the un-hip among us) between two people. (But that D & M conversation is not part of the letter); and
5. A twist at the end.
It was Saturday night and I was at Blockbuster looking for a video that I would watch alone. As I debated between Beaches and The Color Purple I spotted a handsome man on the adventure aisle. My first instinct was to hide in the romance section and stare from a distance. Then I remembered a recent conversation with my sister.
“You’ll always be alone if you don’t start taking chances,” she said.
“I’ll meet the right person when the time is right,” I responded.
“There will never be a right time if you don’t quit hiding behind your computer.”
“I’m not hiding. I’m a writer. It’s my job. Remember?”
“Whatever. I have the perfect person for you. A friend of Rick’s. Let me introduce you.”
“You’ve got to take a chance.”
Motivated by her words I made my way over to his aisle for a closer inspection. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. However, my reflection in the glass window reminded me that I had no make-up on and was wearing baggy sweats and a faded t-shirt - - not the attire for a positive first impression. I sadly watched the potential man of my dreams pay for his rental and walk out the door.
When I noticed a Christian symbol on the bumper of his truck, I was no longer willing to let him just drive out of my life. I grabbed a pen from my purse and recorded the letters and numbers from his license plate on my hand.
I returned home and called my brother-in-law, Rick, who was a cop. I begged and offered free babysitting until he agreed to run a trace to identity my mystery man.
Satisfied that I’d taken a chance, I settled down to watch my movie. Watching calories, I snacked on sliced apple instead of my usual buttered popcorn. After all, I might be meeting the man of my dreams soon.
I was surprised when Rick called. “I’ve got some bad news,” he began. “That F-150 truck was reported stolen two weeks ago. It’s been linked to several burglaries. I’m on my way to your house to fill out a report and get a description of the driver.” So much for taking chances.
I was still feeling disappointed when my doorbell rang. I opened the door and was shocked to find the man from Blockbuster standing in front of me. I jumped in fear and tripped and fell as I turned to run.
Before I could get back up an apologetic Rick appeared from behind a tree. “It’s okay,” Rick said quickly. “The tags you gave me belonged to my friend that your sister had wanted you to meet. I couldn’t resist playing a joke on you.”
I grabbed my throbbing ankle and tried to compute what was happening.
“He’s not a criminal,” Rick continued. “He’s a doctor.”
Dr. Blockbuster kneeled down and examined my ankle. I swooned at his touch as he said, “It’s just a twist.”
Read more articles by Kristen Hester or search for articles on the same topic or others.