I don’t suppose

by | Aug 15, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 10 comments

I Don’t Suppose
By Laura McHale Holland

The coleus on the counter caught my eye. It was in my kitchen, but I’d never seen it before, and it looked ghastly with my blue and yellow decor. I called my long-time neighbor Layna and told her a stranger was in my home and she’d better come over quick and save me. She asked, “How do you know there’s a stranger there?” I said, “Because there’s a coleus on my counter, and I know it didn’t walk in by itself.”

She told me she’d seen the plant just yesterday when she’d come over to borrow my Shark mop. I told her she was mistaken and that it was three days ago she borrowed the mop anyway, not yesterday. She told me I was full of you know what. And we went on arguing like that until I said, “You bring back my Shark right now or I’m gonna throw this damn plant at your picture window.”

Now I’m sitting on my front porch steps, plant in my lap. She’s standing on her porch, Shark in hand. I was all set to march across the road and let her have it, but I just noticed there’s this pink, plastic rabbit stuck smack in the middle of my rosebush hedge, and I swear I’ve never seen that critter before. What if this is the beginning of my end, what if I’m slipping terrified into that good night? Layna’s my best friend. I don’t suppose I ought to brain her.

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  1. Jerry Kohut

    sounds like good friends to me, that’s what they do lol

  2. admin

    You’re so right about that, Jerry—certain kinds of friends anyway. My stepmother used to have a friend who’d stop in on her just about every day, and they spent most of their time arguing. It was a hoot. He was elderly, lived in Naperville and had several women friends who were widowed: one in Downers Grove, one in Westmont, one in Clarendon Hills, one in Hinsdale, etc., and he’d bring them things like coffee from McDonald’s or an Arby’s roast beef sandwich, whichever form of junk food each woman preferred. He was married, too. I always wondered what his wife thought about this, although the relationships weren’t romantic. At least the one with my stepmother wasn’t.

  3. Ann Philipp

    I believe this woman ate too much Easter candy and has been on a sugar high for the last twenty-four hours. While enjoying her glucose induced nirvana she bought herself a coleus, but forgot to take it to the bedroom, where the colors will blend to perfection. She gladly gave the mop to her friend, truly believing that she’d finally rid herself of the time-wasting desire to clean. Her feet probably hurt too, because instead of walking she’s been dancing around the house, to the store and out into the garden.

    The moral of the story is to drink copious amounts of caffeine when on a sugar bender, or you’ll forget all the good times.

  4. admin

    I love how you’ve riffed on this story, Ann. I imagine you’d be lots of fun to collaborate with. It makes me think my blog project for next year could entail collaborative writing, although that would take some coordination, which might be stressful. Still, the idea appeals to me. … Also, when is your book coming out?

  5. Ann Philipp

    Ana’s done one edit, so now it’s back with me to make a few changes. Then it needs the grammar check.
    For the last few days I’ve been working on a book trailer in video format. I’m hoping this will help me find a look for my book cover art.
    This week the title is Death Stole a Caddy. The title seems to be an ever moving target.

    I don’t always get a chance to comment on your writing, but I so enjoy your short pieces here.

  6. admin

    I’m so glad your book is progressing toward publication. I can’t wait for the launch. … Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoy my stories; it helps me keep going.

  7. M D Blackburn

    I did not know what a coleus was except that it refers to heaven in the Latin version of The Lords Prayer. I only have one eye at the moment and they send me a test word each time I contact you.
    my wife has to tell me what it says.
    The story is good but not as good as some others. What ahs the rabbit done to be included?

  8. admin

    How nice to hear from you, Dennis. How are you doing? I think if I handed this story off to Ann Philipp, she could add some elements of humor and suspense that would take it to a new level. … The rabbit is just another little something that is either new to her environment (perhaps put there by some mischievous teens) or that has been there a while but she doesn’t remember seeing it before (which could mean she’s either very stressed for some reason or she’s losing her memory). Either way, the rabbit gets her to reconsider stirring things up further with her friend because she realizes she needs that friendship. It could have been anything; a plastic rabbit is just an offbeat thing that occurred to me.

  9. Barbara Toboni

    Interesting little story Laura. Humorous and thought provoking. A bit offbeat, but I think that’s your style. Do you think a longer story will come of this? I wonder what her friend thinks, standing there on her porch.

  10. admin

    Thanks, Barbara, for your comment. I agree that offbeat is my style. … I’m not sure if I’ll work more on this story. The character from the week before, the one who’s been won over by her husband’s wolf dogs, seems to be calling to me, so I might pay some attention to her soon. We’ll see. I haven’t written this week’s story yet; I have no idea where it’ll take me.

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