9 June, 2010 Somehow I seem to have fallen out of fictional inspiration lately, having difficulties finding the time and inspiration to focusing my mind on it. It is still my hope and intention to some day get back to the Wordzzle game and finish off The Slumber Party Mystery story.
plumber, autograph, Florence Nightengale, a chill wind’s a blowing, watering hole, sleek, triplets, backwards, surface*, tension*, parrot, free estimates, French fries, carpet, Braille, silver-tongued bandit
The Slumber Party Mystery Chapter 34 – Adam's Saturday Adventures
Dr Adam Challenge's Saturday had not started well, and did not seem to be getting better. During Lieutenant Skittles' unexpected visit in the morning he had tried to remain calm on the surface, but their talk had left him with a lot of tension. After Skittles left - advising Adam not to leave town - on top of everything, Adam discovered that his toilet was out of order. He called several plumbers, repeating the same questions feeling like a parrot, but none of them would give free estimates on a Saturday. Finally he got in touch with one sleeksilver-tongued bandit of a plumber who promised to come and have a look at it the same evening, but at four times the normal cost. In spite of the sunny day, Adam felt a chill wind blowing.
Right after that, just as Adam was contemplating going to his favourite watering hole and get himself a drink and some French fries for lunch, he got an emergency phone call from a patient having triplets. Adam found her lying on the living room carpet and there was no time to get her to the hospital. He had to deliver the babies himself. Luckily everything went well, in spite of one of them coming out backwards. The husband, before following the ambulance in his own car, compared Adam to Florence Nightingale and asked for his autograph in triplicate, to give to each of the children later on. He also wanted it in Braille for the children's grandmother but Adam said he would have to get back to him about that.
Watching the happy father drive away, Adam suddenly felt a lot better about himself. After all, the Brigadier General had not died; and today he had helped bring three new lives into the world.
*Note on the words: Picking up the link to #87 today, I find that I made a mistake when picking up the words from last week. I took surface and tension to be meant as separate words. I don't have time to rethink and rewrite today so I'll just make apologies and leave them as they are in my story.
Incensed, sidewinder, bogus, conniption, Haz-mat, conniving, customize, perforated, zeal, rolling off a log,abstemious, chlorophyll, origami, cheerleader, dung beetle
The Slumber Party Mystery Chapter 33 - More Distractions
After having spent about fifteen minutes in front of the Pinnochio painting, Diana also dragged Skittles through the rest of the Modern Art Museum. He did not understand much of what he saw, but it was undoubtedly an experience unlike anything he had been through before in his life.
The next room was incensed with heavy aromas. In the middle of the room stood a sidewinder on a platform. As they got close to it, an alarm went off. Men in customizedHaz-mat suits came running into the room. They seemed to be going into conniption and at the same time showing great zeal in examining the sidewinder. Skittles didn't understand a thing what they were on about. He feared a conniving setup and looked anxiously around for the emergency exit. Diana, however, said that it was all bogus and part of an art performance. She clapped her hands, and the men in the Hazmat then did a sort of cheerleader dance before they left the room. As they left, Skittles noticed that the back of their suits were all perforated.
In another room, there was a painting of an abstemious hermit sitting on a pillar looking out over the desert. At the bottom of the pillar there was an oversized dung beetle of chlorophyll-green colour. Diana stood for quite a while in silent admiration of this painting, which was entitled Rolling off a log.
The last room turned out to be an enormous plain white hall, containing nothing but a very small piece of colourful origami artwork. The sign said it was of Swedish design. After having expressed some appreciation of this, Skittles suggested that perhaps they should go and have some lunch. Diana, apparently, had nothing against that.
I apologize for last week's absence from the Wordzzle. I was too distracted by other things to be able to focus. Now I'm back to tackle my own words... They seemed pretty good to me when I sent them to Raven a couple of weeks ago. Now suddenly they seemed not so easy at all...!
The Slumber Party Mystery Chapter 32 - Distractions
Much to his own surprise, while having coffee with Diana in the hospital cafeteria, Skittles found himself telling her all sorts of things about his own past rather than taking the opportunity to ask her some questions that had been on his mind since the previous day, about "the case". In fact, he was starting to wonder if there was "a case".
"John," said Diana – because he had just told her his first name – "I think I'll skip my bowling appointment, I'm late for it already. Won't you come with me to the art museum instead? They have a painting on show that I'm just dying to see. A friend told me it's so spectacular it makes you want to pray.You don't mind walking a bit, do you? There is so much traffic." She didn't really wait for Skittles' reply, but went on: "I'll just go and put my bowling bag in a locker here, and make a quick phone call to Sandy, that's my bowling friend. See you in a minute!"
Skittles watched her walk off. She was wearing a blue cotton dress today. He had a curious fluffy sensation in his stomach and was not quite sure if that was the heavy piece of cheese cake he had just been eating, or possibly something quite different.
An hour later, they were standing in front of a huge painting entitled "Pinocchio waiting for the train in early morning light and mist among the falling leaves".
"Well, what do you think?" said Diana. "Is that an admirable piece of art or what?!"
Skittles really thought that "or what" would be the more accurate answer – but nodded, and tried to look as if he understood these things. He had never set foot in a modern art museum before in his life.
family, cheese cake, 20 years ago, refrigerator, laugh and the world laughs with you, bath brush, zombies, African violets, butterflies, holding hands,monsters in the closet, roughly, bowling, menu, Pennsylvania
The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 31 - Coffee with Diana
Coming out from the General's room in the hospital, Lieutenant Skittles ran into Diana, carrying some African violets and a big bag that seemed rather heavy. He found himself quickly running his hand through his hair – his mirror image in the morning had showed him a hairstyle resembling a bath brush. Other images also fluttered through his mind: The poster in Diana's room with the text "laugh and the world laughs with you" and her water colours of magenta butterflies in the drawing room at her grandfather's house…
"Oh, it's you!" said Diana. "What are you doing here? Any news? Have you been talking to Granddad? What did he say? Is he okay?"
"Eh… roughly…" said Skittles, not quite sure how to answer all this, since he had not been able to make any sense out of what the General had said.
"Not talking about zombies, was he? Or monsters in the closet?" said Diana. He sometimes gets these nightmares… Morning really isn't his best time of the day. By the way, are you officially working or just here anyway?"
"Eh…" said Skittles again, since he had not checked with his boss yet if he could count his visits this morning as work or not.
"Morning not your best time of day either, is it?" said Diana. "Tell you what, I'll just drop these off with Grandpa, and then you and I go down to the cafeteria and have a cup of coffee. You wait here for me!" She disappeared into the ward, and Skittles found himself waiting for her in the corridor. Why it should seem natural just to obey orders from this girl, he had no idea. He tried to get irritated, but instead, an image of her and himself holding hands fluttered through his mind… So he waited. Ten minutes later she came back out; still carrying the bag, which seemed as heavy as before.
She saw his glance and laughed. "I'm going bowling after this," she said. But come on, we still have plenty of time for that cup of coffee."
She led the way without problem through the maze of corridors and elevators down to the hospital cafeteria, while chatting on about everything and nothing as if they had known each other for years. At the cafeteria counter, after a quick glance at the menu, without asking Skittles what he wanted, she ordered two cups of coffee, and two pieces of cheese cake, cold, from the refrigerator.
Sitting down at the table, she said: "Now, you already know a whole lot about my family. It's only fair I get to know something about you, too. You needn't go back to your birth, but tell me something random from – let's say, 20 years ago. Where were you living then?"
This is a blog where I wrestle with attempts at fiction, and participation in challenges like Wordzzles.
The Slumber Party Mystery
The Slumber Party Mystery is an ongoing story which is based on the Saturday Wordzzle Challenges from the blog Views from Raven's Nest. Each Saturday, Raven provides 10+5=15 words and/or phrases, which you are supposed to weave into a context. You can use either the 10 words, or just the "mini" 5 words, or all 15 together as a mega challenge, as you please.
I have been partaking since April 2009; my first entry based on Raven's Challenge # 57, and originally published at my blog The Island of the Voices.
I did not really have in mind to make it an ongoing story, but somehow it turned into one. From Challenge # 90 onwards, I decided to move the whole story (previous episodes copied) to this blog instead.
If you are new to the story, or feel that you have lost track of it (I don't blame you!), there is a summary.