Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)
TITLE: Cross Words
By TJ Nickel
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“A six letter word for repent?” she called out to The Pan.
Without skipping a beat from his morning sports talk radio - now in living color on their wall mounted plasma television, he replied, “Repent is a six letter word.”
“Do you really need to watch them do nothing more than talk?”
“Yes, change. Maybe you should change. Maybe you should quit wasting your time and increasing your waist size by watching those fools talk on TV.”
“It wasn’t a question. It’s your answer.”
Esther returned to her crossword puzzle. It fit. It fit in more ways than she expected. She refused to write the word and walked directly in front of his view to the television.
“What are you doing, Esther?”
With her hands on her waist, she said, “I’m leaving you.”
He paused the show, with great hopes of pressing ‘Play’ on his DVR in a matter of seconds, and sat up from his slouched position on the couch.
“I’m leaving you. That’s that. I swore to myself I would when this time came ‘round, and, well, this time’s come ‘round.”
“So, that’s that, eh?”
“Yep. That’s that. … Change,” she said as she dropped her hands and walked into the bedroom to pack her things.
The Pan slouched back into his seat on the couch, but instead of pressing ‘Play’ he pressed ‘Power’ on the remote. The quiet disturbed Esther's anger as she packed. A grin crept onto her face and though she attempted to thwart its power, she couldn’t find the strength. Tears spilled atop her luggage.
Strong hands came over her shoulders. Then, they reached under her arms and gathered her into their possession. The deep breath from the stranger behind her smelled of Bloody Mary’s. She closed her eyes and breathed in deep. He caressed her. He took her.
Minutes later, Peter sat on the couch and pressed ‘Play’ on his remote control. The voices began.
Esther, fully nude, crossed the path between Peter and his television.
He watched as she made her way to the table and picked up her paper. When she sat and looked at him, he shied away and watched the men on the television.
Staring at the crossing word on the puzzle, she asked, “A five letter word for quirk of fate?”
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