No question. This story was Chocolate Mocha Fudge. Better than good. It was rolling off my fingertips as smoothly as the water over the rocks at Dinsley Falls.
I could already hear the belly laughs from David, James and Beulah as I pounded away on my laptop. Dusty Brown would probably fall right out of his chair from shaking. Pa Simmons would likely gag on his tobacco and turn redder than a beet. Parson Graham would probably get me to read it in service. The Toastmaster circuit would be calling me to break out of my circle of country hopefuls to hit the big cities.
Essy would have been right proud of me had I done the one thing that was nagging on me as I turned into the homestretch and settled in for the last paragraph. The little voice that urged me to save and reflect got drop kicked into the corner of my mind as I giggled to myself like a school girl. This might even be worth a Pulitzer.
I think it was the smell of the burning apple pies that stopped me short. Essy often dawdled at market and today was no different. I’d heard the timer buzzing away for the last who knows how long but this story was too good to let go of. I paused long enough to wipe my sweaty palms onto the britches of my Levis and that’s when the dominoes began to fall.
The smoke alarm sounded. Like a firefighter, I scrambled to the kitchen to silence the buzzer and rescue the perishing pies. As I hurried to empty the oven, the hot charcoal crusts broke under my oven mitts and somersaulted face down onto the linoleum.
Ignoring the disaster, I hauled a stool into the center of the room and crawled up to disable the battery in the smoke alarm. My unsteady footing allowed me to clamp my fingers firmly onto the 9 volt lead and the impulsive reverse kangaroo jump in response to the shock landed me square into the burnt offering below.
The resulting splits would have made any NHL goaltender proud but it only prompted me to want to call 9-1-1.
Somehow, in my pseudo-imitation of Swan Lake, I had dislodged two pictures of my grandsons from off the fridge. Essy’s prized possessions now lay soaking in apple soot. Jarrod’s toothless grin didn’t ease the pain and Timmy’s icing-covered face was no distraction. I rolled over and felt the moisture of blackened Granny Smith’s soaking into the back of my best green plaid.
Our Father… Yeah though I walk through the Valley…Why have you forsaken me?
The belly laughs of our Toastmaster’s menagerie weren’t even a thought when I heard Samson mewing from my office. I knew that cheeky Siamese loved to curl up on the keyboard and soak in the warmth of the laptop and that’s when it hit me. I hadn’t saved my gold medal performance.
The agony of crawling the twenty feet from off the slippery linoleum, along the hardwood flooring of the hallway and onto the carpet in the office, paled in comparison to what my heart experienced as I saw the blank screen and the inquisitive blue eyes staring at me from her favorite perch.
The impulse to scream was only stopped by my own hysterical fit of coughing and by Essy’s anquished screech.
I can tell you, it would have been a winner. Unfortunately, the trauma of the day seems to have wiped every trace of that story from my mind. The crutches only lasted a week before I was able to hobble my way around again. The automatic save which had previously been disabled was now back in working order. Samson is permanently banned from my office and I am banned from looking after Essy’s apple pies.
Good thing too because this week I’m going platinum with a new story. No question. This one is Caramel Cream and Boysenberry. Better than good. It’ll pour off my fingertips as easily as the Cider from the jugs down at Big Al’s.
I can already hear the wails of anquish from David and James and Beulah. Dusty Brown will probably sink right into his chair and soak his favorite jersey like a dish rag. Pa Simmons will likely give up chewin’ for good and Parson Graham will probably get me to read it twice in service. Toastmasters has never seen it so good. No question. This one’s a winner.
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