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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: Passing in the Fog
By Linda Roth
08/16/07


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A fog horn blew. Susan stretched and looked at her watch. The restaurant was luxurious, but she had nothing to do. Outside thick fog curtained off a view of the Great Lake.

What have I gotten myself into? What kind of a honeymoon is this?

Her list of negative questions was interrupted by a call.

“Precious! I’ve got good news!”

“Your meeting’s over?”

“No, honey. Better than that. I’m still upstairs in the Nelson office. It’s important that I stay and get this deal nailed down. It will only be a few more hours. But remember you were disappointed that you didn’t get to take a shower this morning?”

She remembered all right! They had driven all night. She didn’t even get to sleep in a bed on the second night of their honeymoon.

“Listen, Susan. I have a friend who lives in this town. He and his wife are leaving for work, but they said you could spend time in their apartment.”

“You go to their house at 963 N. Chicago. It’s the last house on the street. We passed their road about a mile back. They left the door unlocked for you. Stay there until noon. No. Just before noon. Then come back and meet me at the restaurant again. I thought staying in an apartment would be a nice surprise.”

“Yea, okay.” Susan said. No knowing if she should be proud of a husband who could give her a trip of a life-time across the US for $159.98 after business deductions or if she had made the biggest mistake of her life.

“Did you write down the address?”

“I’ve got it!” Susan didn’t admit she didn’t have paper, but she could remember 963.

Nels had already paid for their meal. Susan got up and walked to the door. Her sandals sinking into the thick, variegated blue carpet.

She found their white Ford Taurus. Pulling out in the fog was difficult, but not impossible.

***

A few blocks away at 369 N. Chicago, Mark McKenzie, a bachelor who prided himself in his ability to live life to the fullest, without fluff, in a timely, orderly manner, was pouring himself a cup of coffee when his cell phone rang.

“Mark? Frederick here. Mr. Zinne’s got an earlier flight. Need you here immediately!”

“I haven’t even had my morning coffee!”

“If we get Mr. Zinne on board, I’ll buy you a new coffee pot. I need you in 15 minutes!”

The phone went dead.

Mark darted out the door. He wasn’t accustomed to being rushed. He prided himself in always being on time. He left behind a neat apartment – except for that steaming cup of coffee. He didn’t allow food or drinks in his auto. As Mark rushed out, he failed to wait for the click of the lock as he normally did.

***

Susan found the house. She had never seen row houses before. It wasn’t at the end as Nels had said. She walked up to 369 and knocked. Then tried the door. It opened.

Inside she found a fresh cup of coffee. Considerate friends! Susan drank the coffee and decided to take that shower. She went to the car for her clothes.

***

Mark returned to his house. Another phone call had told him the meeting would be postponed a couple of hours. Mr. Zinne was delayed on the tarmac. Besides, Mark had walked out without his brief case. He worked late each night, and getting to work early was not normally required.

As Mark walked in, he heard water running. Strange. Must be the paper-thin walls.

Mark walked into the kitchen. His cup was empty.

I must be losing it! He poured another cup and drank it. He didn’t hear the water any more. He washed the cup and put it away, picked up his briefcase and left…totally unaware that a beautiful blond was only a few feet away.

***
Susan finished getting dressed. Back in the kitchen she searched for that cup. She was sure she had left it on the cupboard. She also looked in the living room. Hadn’t there been a briefcase on the couch?

I need more rest!

Quarter to twelve Susan left the apartment. She passed a man on the front sidewalk. Mark was returning home for lunch. They nearly bumped into each other. They gave each other a slight greeting unaware of how their lives had almost touched that morning like two ships passing dangerously close in the fog.


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This article has been read 644 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright08/23/07
I really, really loved this and wanted it to continue with even more hilarious close-encounters. I hope you will take your characters with you and install them into a novel.
Lisa Holloway08/23/07
This was entertaining. I could almost picture it as a movie.
Lynda Schultz 08/23/07
Oh yes, more please! There is a whole novel here, or at least a short story. Intriguing.
Jacquelyn Horne08/24/07
Cute!
Marilyn Schnepp 08/25/07
Wow! What a fantastic interlude from the mundane. Very creative, from the title right on down to the last line. Very interesting, extremely intriguing, and a page turner for sure. Good job of "confusion". Thanks!
Dee Yoder 08/26/07
Ha! I loved this story and the whole premise. It would be very fun to read more about this couple who passed each other like ships in the night, er, fog. Great, creative story!
Dave Wagner08/27/07
A wonderful read. Man, her new husband was kind of a putz, eh? But it sounds like Mark was a bit too anal. Probably just as well that they didn't meet. I enjoyed the piece, nicely done. New word for the day: "variegated."
c clemons08/28/07
Good fun story, leaves the reader with a couple of conclusions, did she ever realize her mistake, did the young man ever know that there had been someone in house and so on. A couple of typos but could happen to anyone.
Katherine Kimbley08/29/07
I envy those who can make such a complete piece using so little words as you've done here. Good length. Nice lite piece.
Dianne Janak08/30/07
This was a delight to read! Kept me interested the entire time. What a creative story. I wanted it to continue and am almost afraid to ask .. did this really HAPPEN? I know it is a possibility!
Janice Cartwright08/30/07
Congratulations Linda! This was one of my favorites~
Beth LaBuff 08/30/07
What a wonderful, entertaining story! Well done and congrats on being highly commended!
Joanne Sher 08/31/07
Congratulations, Linda. In addition to your advanced highly commended, your entry has placed 17th overall. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall are available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.
Bonnie Way10/18/07
That's really funny! I've often thought about the coincidences and chance encounters of life. I love how you weave it into a story here! Though I was waiting for it to happen when she doesn't write down the number... :)