I clicked the refresh button. “Come on. Why are you so slow?”
“What’s wrong, Babe?” My wife shuffled out from the bedroom.
“The new topic isn’t up yet.” I clicked the refresh button again.
“Thursday mornin’.” She poured a cup of coffee. “It figures.”
The screen blinked.
My heart raced as the page appeared. “Window?”
“Is that the word?” Pam stirred sugar into her steaming morning beverage.
“What kind of topic is that?” I twirled my chair away from the computer. “Let’s see, a child escapes a mean stepfather through the window.” I drummed my fingers on my chin. “Sounds too cliché. How about a sick young girl loves to watch the field of flowers out her window.” I paused, pondering the possibilities. “That’s way too sappy. Unless it gets torn up for a new condo complex.” I grinned.
Pam rolled her eyes.
I spun back to the keyboard.
The rising sun burst through the window, shattering the darkness.
“What is that?” I deleted the sentence. “I need something I can work with.”
Myron peered through the broken window. His eyes riveted…
“Aaugh .” Disgruntled, I pressed the backspace button. “Myron? What am I thinking? May as well be Wilbur, or Schmedly?” I stood up and stretched my arms. “I need a good name, and an inspiration.”
“You can think about it at work.” She kissed me on the cheek. “And don’t forget to pick Timmy up from school today.”
I set the notepad on the seat beside me; a spattering of ideas scribbled about the page. “No, no. That won’t work.” The heavy slashing lines I ripped through the words helped vent my frustration.
A honking horn snapped me back to reality.
“Can’t you see I’m thinking?” I glanced up from my hash mark filled page; the green glow from the traffic signal crept into my consciousness. “Uh-oh.” I rammed the car into gear and proceeded through the intersection.
“Eyes, windows to the soul?” I opened my email. “Nope, way too obvious. Bank teller’s window?” I gave an exasperated grunt. “Wait, I’ve got it,” I blurted, drumming my desktop. “Stained glass.” I grabbed my pen and jotted my thoughts.
“Oh, don’t tell me.” My boss lurked at my office door, a perplexed look plastered on his face. “It’s another one of your challenge things.”
“I’m kind-a stumped.” I set my pen on my desk. “The word’s window.”
“Well I hope today’s staff meeting doesn’t interfere with your writing plans.” He tapped the doorframe. “Oh, and stained glass sounds a little cheesy.” He chortled, returning to his office.
“What’s this?” Timmy picked up my notes as he slid into the front seat.
“Just some thoughts.” I waited for him to buckle his seat belt and pulled out of the parking lot.
“Must be challenge time again.” He laughed. “Let’s see what you got,” he said, reading the notes. “Strained gass? Pretusion ratsy rectum?” His eyes bulged. “And you say my writing’s bad.”
“Maybe I should do a poem.” I paused, my thoughts scrambling. “Something like, I’d build me a castle with dragons and kings, I’d ride off with them as I stood by my window and looked out on those.”
“Isn’t that a Billy Diamond song?” he quipped.
“It’s Neil Diamond,” I huffed. “Well, how about a famous writer who says his stories are windows into different worlds, but he gets stalked by a mysterious person who wants revenge for a stolen idea.”
“And some windows shouldn’t be opened?” He stared at me. “Ummm, Stephen King called it Secret Window.” A smile tugged the corners of his lips. “What’s the topic, writing?”
“Don’t be silly. They’d never use writing as a topic.” I scratched the top of my head. “How about a man stuck at home, and he thinks he sees a violent crime at his neighbor’s house while looking through his window?”
“Didn’t Alfred Hitchcock already do something like that?” His sarcastic words echoed with an undertone of laughter.
I turned on the air-conditioner.
“How ‘bout using through the looking glass as a title?” He chuckled.
“That’s a mirror, besides…” I glanced at him. “I’ve decided to write about a car window.”
“That’s boring,” he protested.
“Not if you do it from a bug’s perspective.” I tweaked his ear.
“So tell me.” He placed the notepad beside him. “Why do you put yourself through this every week?”
“Because, I like it.” I smiled. “It’s fun.”
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