Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Huh. I think I like Wednesdays that become Thursdays when you're not looking, but always, ALWAYS, remember... it's still tonight until you go to bed. This weeks offering:


Ben bounced his right knee. He heard Curly mumbling from the seat in front of him, "What in bloody 'ell is a 'kwadree, lattral'? Has a zee in it." Ben stared out the window and thought, the bus window is a quadrilateral. Wait… trapezoid? Ben jiggled his knee harder, jostling her seat. He tapped the window and mumbled, "Trapezoid." Toad-voiced Curly can stick that in her boxes and see if it fits.

She started singing off-key "Ice Ice Bay-bee" and Ben figured he died and went to hell, capital H-E-double L. How did he get stuck here? Oh yeah, I thought I could bluff a raise. My bad!

Mr. Brennan, THE boss, had stood but not come around his desk. He grabbed the stress ball from his desktop and squeezed it while staring at Ben. Ben cleared his throat. Mr. Brennan winked before offering his free hand.

Curly's voice interrupted Ben's memory. "Nine letter word for magnificent. Ends in 's'. Hmm." Did she raise the volume, hoping for his help?

Ben wriggled to get comfortable, kneed the back of her seat again. He sure missed his ergonomic office chair. Mr. Brennan's reply to Vesco Instruments is offering me 5K more a year, but I love it here and would hate to leave was a condescendingly cheerful, "That's great! Shoot, we'll miss your contributions but how can we stifle talent? Ben, when opportunity knocks you answer the door, invite it in. You woo it; hell, you schmooze that opportunity. Open the expensive champagne, splurge for that sumptuous feast and in the end, you'll get your Just Desserts. Yessiree, stroke that opportunity until it surrenders and gives you the ride of your life."

Yep. This is the ride of my life. Wait…that's it! Sumptuous. Nine letter word, ends in s, means magnificent.

Ben was about to lean forward and offer Curly the word, but she was whispering to a buzz-cut Neanderthal across the aisle; a Neanderthal with the same saucer-plate ears as his boss. His ex-boss.

That pompous prick had fondled his bean bag as he avoided eye contact with Ben and said, "Human resources will cut you your last check. And Ben? Return your washroom key."

Ben shook the memory clear, re-crossed his legs and concentrated on the humming wind, the moaning tires… hey! Small miracle! Curly wasn't croaking cover songs.

She had turned to glare at him. Ben raised his eyebrows and smiled a hey-I'm-sorry-I-insulted-your-awful-singing voice smile. The corners of Curly's mouth twitched. Ben took it as a hey-you're-cute-and-you-called-me-beautiful look.

"Sumptuous. Sumptuous means magnificent," he said, adding a wink, hoping she'd smile.

"If yer epileptic knee kicks me seat one more time," she threatened as she poked her thumb towards the Neanderthal, "Me brother Sean here'll kick ye so hard that yew'll fly through this...," she paused to reach over his seat and punch his window, "...TRAPEZOID."


Tim Remp said...

I like your Title choice (smirk). You have a great talent for hiding the three words within the story by drawing the reader deeply. The reader experience the story !

MichaelO said...

I loved the segue into the 9-letter word. Very clever!

Angel said...

I like this one. Clever use of the words and good story.

ThomG said...

Imaginative and great pacing. You've got the give, GF.

ThomG said...

Oh, forgot to mention. You're never late at 3WW. When I started, I never filed on Wednesday. It was always "Thursday's Three Word Wednesday."

quin browne said...

i bow to greatness.

Marisa Birns said...

What a wonderful, amusing, entertaining piece!

I must confess that at one time my friends and I did like Vanilla Ice. :(

Only for a week, though.

John Wiswell said...

I read this on Friday, so it counts for Friday! Sort of. I swear!

You're giving me a run for these math-inspired stories. The competition is on!

windspirit-girl said...

So clever, but, as Tim said above--well-hidden when the reader is caught up in the story. Wonderful dialogue. Enjoyed it!

Weezel said...

Clever story

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

so is Curly annoyingly charming, or charmingly annoying? Clever segue :)

Laurita said...

So much fun. Love the voice. And 'kwadree, lattral'had me hooting with laughter. Loved it.

ganymeder said...

I liked the ending and the crossword references. I was confused in the beginning about whether they were in an office or on a bus. This was a fun piece.

Tomara Armstrong said...



Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Pegjet,

You should know that I spent the first few seconds thinking... I know these characters from somewhere. I've met them before...

And then I realized that I had read them in the previous 3WW--which was a fortnight ago as it has taken me a week to come around visiting.

That is a compliment to your character development skills.

And this piece is clever and fun; I really like Ben. I can tell that you do,too. Thank you for giving birth to him and then plonking him down in the aether for all of us to enjoy.


PS I was blissfully unaware of the prompts, which, in a less word-constrained medium, is what I personally think should be achieved.

Take care.

Sepiru Chris said...

Thanks for your comment, Pegjet!

Maybe I ought to clarify my comments...

As I returned to revisit this post I discovered that if I had read what you posted to the 3WW site I would have already known that you were bringing Ben and Curly back.

I didn't read that (shameful admission) which was why I was so impressed with your writing when I realized where I 'knew' these characters from...

And how best should one respond to my comments? Here, I would hope, with a simple, graceful, thank you.

Because, frankly, you have earned our thanks.

I spend a fair bit of money on books each year. Mostly non-fiction, but some fiction, too. And, then, I get to visit some sites, like yours, and get great snippets of fun... for free!

This just doesn't seem right.

But, I am willing to accept the offerings that some writers, like yourself, seem to provide to the universe at large. Some form of electronic animism gone awry.

Literaryism, perhaps.

Anyway, I will permit myself to indulge in, and enjoy, these literary libations given to who knows who, but made available to the e-universe at large, with alacrity. (Despite the fact that it can take me a while when the work is flying to actually come over and visit and and gulp some words and images and characters down.)

So... kudos to you.

That is both the point and how I hope to be interpreted by you.



estrella05azul said...

Very nice, now I have to read the other 3WW stories :) Great job!

J. M. Strother said...

Poor Ben is having a hell of a day. You captured it well.