Absolute Write: the Dog Days of Summer (FICTION POST)

Absolute Write does a blog chain each month. Writers from the board participate with their posts on a given prompt.

This month’s prompt:
Dog Days of Summer

In other words, the hottest and most sultry part of summer. Etymology lesson here. As always, can be prose, poetry, play, fiction, nonfiction.

Instructions:
Simply post your blog’s URL in this thread to join. I’ll let you know in this thread when it’s your turn. Once your turn comes up, you have two days to complete a blog post using the prompt. When you are finished, please add a link to your post on the thread.

If you signed up but find yourself unable to participate or need to be moved around in the schedule, please PM me or post in the thread. If you fail to post on your blog and on the thread within two days, I’ll bump you down to the end of the line on the third day; you’ll get a second chance at the end of the month.

Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible. Read and comment on other participants’ posts if you possibly can–they’ll be doing the same for you! Please include a list of all participants’ blogs (not necessarily their actual posts for the month) in your blog post.

 

Most days, Vera escaped the pounding Midwestern heat by basically living at her cashier job in a big box store. She never left until stars dotted the northern sky and the temperature lowered to something bearable. She had all the convenience of summer – but none of its price. Her skin only showed the barest hint of a tan – she started work at 6am; the sun had scarce time to touch her.

As the night breeze swept by on this particular summer night, the loneliness she kept at bay during daylight nibbled at her stomach. A friend to meet for a drink would be wonderful. A raucous night, laughing at nothing, fantastic. A diverting mysterious man would be better than all of that.

She looked around the emptied parking lot, back toward the wooded area on the edge of the lot. No mystery man emerged. She sighed and trudged across the lot towards the sidewalk. She faced a long, lonely walk home – and since no coworkers had shifts they wanted to drop, a sweltering day in her single room to face. At least her last paycheck afforded her decent walking shoes.

The 24 hour grocery store across the way beckoned. She needed something to eat, a few small things to stash in her fridge. She wandered across the boulevard on in. At 11 pm, a few people did push carts, all with the worn look of retail workers she knew well. Vera stepped around the palates of stock that came out at 10 pm on the dot – when you shopped late, you sacrificed convenience.

She rolled her eyes heavenward when she saw a palate parked squarely in front of the peanut butter – and in that look upward, she saw him. A small, mannish creature, crouched on the top shelf by the pickles. He winked at her and held his finger to his lips. As a man about her own age knelt to pull goods from the back of the shelf to the front, the creature grinned maniacally and tipped an opened jar of pickle juice so that it trickled down the back of the stocker’s collar.
Then, leaving the jar open on the top shelf, the red-haired thing hopped away, bounding past the salad dressings. Vera lost him somewhere in the breads.

“Was that you?”
She found herself facing the grocery employee as he wiped pickle juice of his brown curls.

“Er, no,” she said.

“Did you see who it was?” he demanded.

“I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you.”

He wiped his hands on his smock. “Thanks. Then it’s exactly who I think it is.”

Vera just stared at him in silence. This direction was nowhere near where she wanted to drive.

He paused, mid-wipe. “But you did see someone?”

“Yes.”

“Huh,” he said, looking her up and down. “You’re not his usual type. Well, now that you’ve seen my adoptive brother, you’ve got a problem.”

“Why’s that?”

“My brother… he’s not exactly human,” he said. “And when he decides he likes you, he likes you to death.”

Vera rolled her eyes. “So how are you still alive?” She read his nametag. “Roland?” Roland?

Seriously?

He shrugged. “I’m definitely not his type.” He frowned. “Follow me, please.”

The please did it. What the hell, Vera thought. I have nowhere to go and no one to go to.

He walked over to the spice aisle and grabbed a salt container. “Open your hand,” he ordered. He poured the salt over her hand, looking over his shoulder to make sure no coworkers or customers saw. “Now put that in your pocket.”

“What? Why?”

He lowered his voice, leaning down to look her in the eye. “Just do it, okay?”

She shoved her hand in the pocket of her khakis. “Happy?”
“Sure,” he said. He shoved the container of salt on her. “Add that to your bill and make sure you put it around your bed when you get home.”

“What?” this man was bonkers.

“Like I said, when my brother likes you, he likes you to death.” He hustled her towards the cashier. “I hope you found the spices OK, ma’am,” he said, loud enough for the man with the vest and the clipboard to look over from where he hovered over the one working cashier. “I’ll stop by your work tomorrow to check on you.”

“How do you know where I work?” Vera demanded. Then she looked down. She once again forgot to stash her vest in her locker.

“I’ll see you,” he said tensely, before disappearing up the aisle.

She didn’t work tomorrow anyway. She shrugged. That was weird. She made a note to shop at the gas station across the street from her room rental instead.

Read on to other blog chainees!

rion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://www.iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://radomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com (link to post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
rion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://www.iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://radomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com (link to post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/
AshleyEpidemic – http://www.soipondered.wordpress.com/
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/
AshleyEpidemic – http://www.soipondered.wordpress.com/
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com

Comments

  1. DRSlaten

    Oooo, little gremlin/brownie like dudes. Love you to death… there is so much in that phrase. I wanna know more! lol

  2. Pingback: Dog Days of Summer – Absolute Write Blog Chain July 2013 | Tara Quan

  3. Pingback: Writing Exercise: Dog Days of Summer | Elvin Bala

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