Here's a character originally from a tweet tale that I keep thinking about. She worked her way into my NaNoWriMo attempt, and has been sitting in the green room, waiting for her turn to take the stage again, tell a tale or two. Not that this one is the story she wants to tell, but she'll bide her time, wait patiently for her next call-back.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Isadora stroked the shaft on the Bounty Hunter Quicksilver Metal Detector with LCD Display. Just the name sounded exotic, fun, adventurous. She looked at the yellow, crooked-smiley-face with its declaration of a 'roll-back' price and sighed. Rolled back or not, Dora couldn't justify spending over $300 for what would amount to be a hobby item. She turned her attention to the Bounty Hunter Lone Star Hobby Metal Detector with Free Pinpointer. Only $180. It looked cheap, a meager imitation of the more powerful, sleeker Quicksilver.
The clerk in the boxy blue vest stepped beside her. His name tag announced Billy-Bob. "That's a fine model right there. I got me the Lone Star and let me tell ya, not a day goes by that I-ah don't apree-shee-ate its powers of loca-tie-za-tion. Just last month, my wife Bessy—she just as purty now as the day I stole her from her daddy—she lost the ring I gave her for our twentieth. Not that it's the queen's jewels or nothin' but it has centy-mental value. Anyhow, Bessy gits herself in all a-tizzy, sayin' how she can't live with herself if she lost this token of our undyin' commitment and her finger feels empty without it, empty as my heart will be… you know wimin when they work 'emselves up over nothin'. Well I says to my Bessy, 'don't worry, the ol' Lone Star will loca-tie-zate your ring' and I fire it up and sweep the back yard and wouldn't you know it, as I git near her prize-winnin' Jet City tomater plants it starts abuzzin' up a storm and right there, under them there stalks is her ring! Yessirree—pardon me, yessama'am—you'll do right by the Lone Star."
Isadora nodded, a little dizzy. "Thanks for the advice, Billy-Bob. Just a-lookin'." Isadora turned from the metal detector display, stuffed her wrist into her mouth to stifle the giggle that teased her throat. It just slipped, after listening to his patios. She sighed. Ray was home, waiting for "his Dora" to bring him his Preparation H and Cherry Garcia; she didn't have time to chit-chat about lost rings or consider metal detectors, of all the frivolous things in the world. Isadora snorted, thinking about how she'd laughed at those head-phoned geezers at the beach, with their socks and sandals and dangling tote bags, digging in the sand for a meager thirty-five cents and maybe a teenager's lost retainer. Why did the instrument of the most laughable hobby in the world inspire such a sense of adventure? Because she was bored. Sweeping beach sand had to be better than sniffing 'new & improved' seaside-breeze-scented air fresheners.
When had she become the good-wife-"Dora"? Growing up, she had been "Izzy".
"Izzy" did things. "Izzy" climbed to the top of the monkey bars, even though she almost peed her pants. "Izzy" smoked a cigarette in the woods behind elementary school. "Izzy" kissed a boy at the junior high dance on a dare, before any of her friends had even held hands with the opposite sex.
The "Dora" part of her brain reminded her that "Izzy" got pregnant at sixteen, talk about adventure. "Izzy" reminded "Dora" that only dowdy women shopped for hemorrhoid creams and punny foods and spent their days generating false enthusiasm for whiter-whites and gleaming-grout and their nights living vicariously through shallow people confessing to reality show cameras.
Isadora pushed her shopping cart past a display of pepto-bismol colored shorts and thought those look comfortable. She stopped, stared at the yards of terry cloth and something inside snapped.
No more comfortable clothes or medicinal creams or bleach alternatives or plug-in air-fresheners. No more predictable. No more DORA. IZZY was spontaneous. IZZY lived in the moment; let future IZZY deal with consequences.
Isadora raced her shopping cart back to the metal detector display, justifying that she could sell her finds on E-bay, earn back the cost. She picked up the Lone Star (powers of loca-tie-za-tion!) and put it back. No. She didn't want to find lost rings under "tomater stalks." She fumbled through the Lone Star boxes stacked above the display until she revealed a capital Q. "Izzy" placed the Bounty Hunter Quicksilver Metal Detector with LCD Display in the shopping cart and hurried to check-out, before "Dora" reprimanded about melting ice cream.