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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Omnishambles (05/01/14)

TITLE: A Mani-Ack Day!
By Laury Hubrich


I rolled over and tried to focus on the clock. Pretty sure it said seven, I grabbed my glasses. “Ack!” I sputtered, and jumped from my comfy bed. I had half an hour before I had to leave for work. Hero, my hard-of-hearing dog, lay sprawled out beside my bed, and hadn’t gotten the message I was up yet; not until I tripped over him anyway. He yelped and nipped. I yelped right back but refrained from nipping. In an unplanned, un-acrobatic move, I skipped/jumped and slid into the bathroom. Good thing the door was open. I swear, Hero looked at me as though saying, “Safe!” Woman’s best friend. Says. No one. Ever.

The knees creaked as I picked myself up. Fifty-year-old widowed grandmothers aren’t allowed to have that much activity, but thankfully, I was no worse for the wear…that is, until I looked in the mirror. “Ack!” I screamed. It appeared as though a horde of roly poly bugs had made a nest in my head. Now down to twenty minutes, I voted against a shower and wet my hair in the sink instead. I was horrified to watch the bugs morph into snakes. “Ack ack!” Hair-5…Me-0. Whipped, I took a shower. Alas, time refused to stand still.

Down to fifteen minutes, I dressed in a flash, and then I stood, just for a menopausal second, to catch my breath…

and then waddled my way to the kitchen to make my coffee and toast.

Ten minutes and counting…Back to the bathroom to dry my hair – good use of my time. Let the coffee and toast do its thing while I did mine.

Roly poly’s gone, I smiled at my reflection. “Looking good for 50!” I complemented myself with thumbs up, and then…dropped the mirror. Bent over to pick up glass shards, I heard…rip! “Ack!”

Hero didn’t anticipate me coming back to change my clothes. I tripped…again…and landed right into bed. Hero yelped and nipped. This time, I yelped and nipped a bit too. A week later, I was still pulling out dog hairs. It was just instinct. Give me a break!

Hero settled himself again and fell fast asleep. He is an old dog.

I’m an old person.

T-minus five and counting. “Ack!”

I hauled myself out of bed, again, and hit the floor running.

I hear some people learn from their mistakes. Not me!

The dog.

The aerial flip to the bathroom.

The hard get-up from the floor.

Total chaos reflected in the mirror.

Then the smoke alarm blared. I ran to the kitchen and retrieved my toast from its fiery fate. Resigned to my own fate, I left the house. I was done. Overly done. And I was late. Officially. Late.

Head pressed to my boss’ door, I ran through my morning muddle before he called me in. He would never understand my excuse for being late. My goodness, I didn’t even believe it!

He buzzed me in.

I stood at attention and began my recitation:

“Well, you see, the lack of sun made me oversleep. A hero tripped me up but I came in safe at home. While there, I found an infestation of roly poly bugs, otherwise known as Armadillidiidae. I tried several ways to get rid of them but only a shower helped. There was ripping, breakage, yelping, nipping, smoke alarms, trippage, and a whole lot of ‘Acking!’, if you know what I mean.”

‘The Boss’, with his jaw wide open, clearly did not know what I meant. “Acking, you say? Roly poly bugs? Trippage? Is that a word? Smoke? Did you have a fire? A hero tripped you but also saved you? I’m afraid I don’t understand. Is this just another lame excuse why you’re late for work again?”

Indignant, I assured him everything I said was true, although a teensy bit embellished.

“Mrs. Lamkin, please, just the truth from now on.”

I brushed at some run-away tears and wiped sweat that poured down my head. My day started way worse than bad; chased me in circles; and had the nerve to follow me to work.

But then something happened. ‘The Man’ giggled. And he all-out guffawed. “Mrs. Lamkin,” he snorted, “I think I believe you now.”

Dumbfounded, I asked why.

Trying to stifle giggles, he handed me a mirror.

The roly polies were back. “Ack!”

“Miss Lamkin, if you will, check out your backside next.”

The bad just got badder. I had no more words, except this one…”Ack!”

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This article has been read 364 times
Member Comments
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C D Swanson 05/10/14
Well, this certainly fit the topic perfectly! What a day. Fun, creative, and flowed very easily.

Great job.

God bless~
Beth LaBuff 05/11/14
oh man! This poor lady! :) You took us through her harrowing, comical late-for-work adventures. And in the end we could all breathe again. :) Her total-chaos was pure-fun for this reader! :)
Judith Gayle Smith05/12/14
I'm still chuckling, imagining a certain backside! This is so delightful, so comically written - and so, sad to say - identifiable. Absolutely love this!
Graham Insley05/13/14
What a morning! You told this story really well and took an excellent bite of the topic as well as the dog.

As a constructive comment, I felt, but it could only be me that feels this way, that the pace would have started quicker had the first two paras been split up a little more. Example: a para break just before 'Hero' (justified by introducing a new character)

Once past paragraph two the pace was absolutely excellent, the humor brilliant and the omnishambles perfectly reflected.

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/14/14
This is a hoot. I was laughing out loud literally. Your pictures were wonderful and I loved the aching. You have a wonderful sense of humor. The only thing that distracted me a bit was the incomplete sentences or the one word ones. I think it's the editor blood in me. It can work sometimes, but for me it was done a tad too much, although I'll admit it really matched the pacing and atmosphere of the story. I know I just contradicted myself, but my mind is often one big contradiction. You nailed the topic. I delighted in the story and could see your MC in a sitcom. You showed a touch of brilliance in the way you developed the MC. Great story.
C D Swanson 05/15/14

God bless~
Nancy Sullivan 05/15/14
Laury, your Mani-Ack Day could be an entry from my diary - like the day I showed up at work with one blue shoe and one black one - and probably late! So funny and such wonderful writing. Congratulations :)
Judith Gayle Smith05/16/14
I went to work one day with my skirt inside out. My gal friend told me at the end of the workday . . .

Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
Yvonne Blake 05/17/14
Funny story, Laury...loved it!