Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)
TITLE: A Little Seven
By Troy Manning
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He started to become afraid of the darkroom. He was afraid he might blow Pam into a million images. And right now, even one Pam made more music than his two ears could take.
Rather than succumb to moribund thoughts, Sebastian mused on new beginnings. He pictured himself as a man named Oscar with a wife named Olivia, living in Oslo, sating themselves on life’s sumptuous feast. But it was futile. Although Olivia was a little more shapely and manifested more fondness for him than did Pam, there was still something uncannily Pam-like about her. So he poured himself another drink with less Seven and sat. It wasn’t so much the alcohol’s numbing effects that helped but the reminder the ice blocks gave him of the way Pam could so often be. Still, the bile of bitterness was but a brief salve to a smarting heart.
Oscar and Carol, a docile redhead, rowed a canoe down the Orinoco. The river in these parts had slowed to a lazy meander and the monkeys in the trees along the banks engaged in playful banter. When it came Carol’s turn to row again, Oscar picked up a collection of stories called A Rose Is a Woman Is a Smoke, and, from the smoking section, read to her one called “Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Test-Tube Baby.” As he did so, Oscar started losing focus and had a hard time retaining their Venezuelan adventure in his mind. It was vanquished altogether, as was Oscar the alter-ego, when the door burst open and Pam set foot back in the townhouse.
The cold wind shot through the room and throughout Sebastian’s heart until he noticed that she didn’t seem in the least angry. He realized his remark wasn’t seen as an insult at all, as she removed some spotted garments from her shopping bag. He hurried to the kitchen and dumped out his liquid delusions, then followed her into the darkroom. The monkeys in the trees stopped their chattering as a cheetah appeared on the bank and roared.
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