Honeymoon Troubles

Inspired by today’s prompt and my fellow blogger friend’s response “Just the Beginning” where Vonita shared glimpses of her own honeymoon problems, I decided to provide a few of my own.

As previously posted on January 30, 2015, in “First Day Married“, the wedding day went well, but my brothers sabotaged the car with blue cheese on the engine block that smelled horrible the longer we drove. That first night may have been an indicator things to come.

We honeymooned at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A family friend owned a vacation cottage there and rented it to us for the week. The elderly gentleman greeted us there to turn over the keys and offered to show us around the area a little bit. We politely agreed and soon regretted it.

He seemed in no hurry as he drove us from one obscure location to another. “There’s the clam shack. You can get a good cup of chowder there.” and “Down that street is the way to the shore, but you can’t swim there, it’s too rocky.” He swerved on the road as he gestured left and right. One hand on the wheel, the other waving and pointing vaguely at things. A recurring phrase emerged, “…and that’s the Weweantic River over there” (gesture, swerve).

After 20 minutes he finally drove us back to the cottage. He handed me the keys and shook my hand. He murmured some advice to me for a long and happy marriage that I barely noticed and don’t recall now. We watched him back down the driveway and swerve his way along the road.

We brought our luggage inside and laughed out loud. One of the suitcases fell over with a heavy thud.

“What is in that one?” I asked my new wife.

“Oh. Those are my textbooks.” she replied.

“You brought textbooks on your honeymoon?” I laughed. “What do you think you are going to study?”

“I have a state licensing test in six days. I need to study for it.” she stated solemnly.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was absolutely serious.

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!

A Frightening Encounter

Darkness surrounded him. It wrapped him in shadows of anonymity as he waited for her. She would be here soon, he knew. She always walked past this particular point each night. He had watched her for several days in a row. Never revealing his presence. Never interacting with her. Just watching. Waiting for an opportunity.

The nearest light source lost the battle with the darkness several feet from his position. Here was deep cover. His dark clothing blended perfectly. He stilled his movements to avoid any notice and waited for her. The slow breaths he took were quiet and deliberate.

Her footsteps approached. He measured her progress by the regular rhythmic impacts of hard soles on pavement.  50 feet, 30 feet, 20…almost time now. Her shadow grew towards him as she passed the light source. It merged with his own cloaking shadow as his muscles tensed.

He reached into his pocket and withdrew the metal object there. It did not betray his presence in the dark by glinting. The light source was simply too weak here. He lowered himself to one knee, crouching as she neared. She did not see him.

He raised his hands to her, holding the metal object before her in a gesture of offering. “Will you marry me?” he blurted.

She unleashed a startled scream and kicked hard at him, once, twice, and again. He crumpled to the ground and she continued kicking him and shouting for help. Finally, she stopped, took a few steps back and peered at him intently. She pulled her cell phone out and activated the flashlight app.

“Gary?” she asked. “What are you doing out here?”

“Making a mistake with a marriage proposal.” he groaned.

What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?

It was MINE!

The neighbor held a red car in his hand. It was mine. I was sure of it. The size, shape, and color was exact. It even had a scratch on the top of it. I don’t know how he got his hands on it, but it would not stay there.

I lunged at his hand and tried to take it. He resisted and pulled his hand close to his body. We struggled for the car, neither one wanting to let go. The fight went on for a few moments with no one gaining the advantage. We pushed against each other and fell to the ground. Now the contest turned to wrestling. With three brothers of my own, I had more practice than the other kid.

The time came to use one of the dirty tricks my older brothers used on me. I bent one of his fingers in a way it should not go and held it there. He twisted his arm to lessen the pain, but I only pulled harder. He cried out a little and opened his hand. The car fell to the ground.

I snatched it up and scrambled off the other boy. He yelled at me to give the car back. I turned and ran towards home. I did not slow down until I was there. I went inside, slammed the door behind me, and went to my room. I pulled my private toy shoebox from under my bed to put the car inside.

I stared in surprise at what I saw. There on top, was my own red car.

Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it.

Lesson Learned

SPLASH! The cold water woke him instantly from his sound sleep. He opened his eyes as his brain raced through a series of questions, causes, and reactions. Had a pipe burst? Was there another splash coming? Would there be another event? Is his wife all right? Were they in danger? What time is it?

The bedside clock red LED numbers showed it was 2 a.m. A small amount of moonlight shone through the curtained window and provided partial illumination of the bedroom. He saw his wife silhouetted next to the bed. She was standing over him holding an empty cooking pot. He could not see her facial expression in the shadows, but there was significant tension in the air.

“How do you like it?” she asked.

“Like what? What happened?” he inquired in a stunned tone.

“I fell in.” she growled.

“Fell in what?” he pressed.

“The toilet! You left the seat up. I went in to use it a few minutes ago and sat without checking first.” she hissed.

“Why didn’t you turn on a light?” he reasoned.

“I didn’t want to disturb your sleep. I know you have a big test tomorrow.” she replied sternly.

“Uh…thanks?” he lamely mumbled.

“NO! Not ‘thanks’ you, you, you, MAN you.” she stammered, “Thanks for leaving the seat up so I could fall into freezing toilet water in the middle of the night. Thanks for not thinking about me at all and not even asking if I’m hurt. Thanks for NOTHING!” she shouted.

He almost paused before answering. It would have been the smart thing to do. But this early in their marriage, they were starting to learn how to live together. His bachelor time had been spent in the military: 90 other men in military barracks at boot camp, 300 other men on a ship, 35 men in a living space within the ship, he’d never had an apartment with anyone. She had married him straight from her home. She had not gone to college or had any roommates other than her own family.  Only one month into their new lives together and he’d been startled from a sound sleep and was soaking wet now.

“I’m sorry you didn’t turn on a light and look first. In my family, males outnumbered females 5 to 2. They took steps to be safe from us in the bathroom. I’ve spent three years with military men. We always check. I figured you would too.” he stated.

“That’s NOT an apology.” she responded and stomped to the kitchen to return the saucepan. She slammed it on the breakfast counter to emphasize her feelings and threw the blankets his way when she returned to bed. He got up and moved to the living room couch.

“Where are you going?” she demanded.

“I’m sleeping out here the rest of the night. The bed is wet.” he answered.

“You still owe me an apology.” she huffed.

Interview someone — a friend, another blogger, your mother, the mailman — and write a post based on their responses.



Escape the Evil Box

Why would Superman choose a telephone booth to change his clothes? It never made sense to me. The booths were narrow glass boxes with a folding door that opened inward. Even with his super speed, the large hero would have had limited room to remove his shoes, socks, pants, shirt, tie and put on stretchy tights and a flowing cape. If he wore his tights under his street clothes, that still does not negate the need to bend down for shoes, socks, and slide off pants. Add to the clothes changing event the requirement to perform the maneuver in mere seconds to launch upon the rescue mission and the skinny glass box makes even less sense.

I tested the theory as a young boy. The family went to a restaurant and there was a glass phone booth outside. I ran ahead of my siblings, jumped in the box, and slammed the folding door shut.

“I’m Superman!” I shouted and pushed on the door to leap out.

Nothing happened.

I pushed again, harder this time. Still nothing. I spun in place looking at the glass walls for another exit. None. The door was the only way out and it wouldn’t budge. It was stuck.

My brother ran up to the door, pointed, and laughed at me. “Superman is stuck in the phone booth!” Other brothers joined him in laughter. None offered to help.

I pushed, banged, and kicked the door. Nothing worked. The glass started to fog from my panicked breathing. My parents walked past all of us on their way into the restaurant, holding my sister’s hands between them. My dad smiled, completely unconcerned, and kept going. Mom said, “Come on boys, let’s go inside.”

My brothers broke away from their taunting and ran behind our parents, jockeying for position, forever competing for attention.

I slumped backwards in the phone booth and pouted. My family couldn’t just leave me out here! I had to get out. I reached for the door to pull myself upright again and it slid inward. A rush of fresh air washed over me as it opened and folded to the left. I was free!

Tell us about a time when you managed to extract yourself from a sticky situation at the very last minute.

Since You’ve Been Gone, I Can Do Whatever I Want

Freedom. One of the most beautiful words in any language. Fought for, bled for, and people died for it. Some consider freedom to be the highest state of human existence. Free to say or do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, with whomever you want. That’s the problem.

I used to think like that. In youth, one bristles against the control imposed by others. Go to school, study, work hard and someday you can get a good job. Once there, you can take orders from your boss who tells you what to work on, when it needs to be done, and warns you of consequences if you fail. If only you could be free.

There sparks the dream of self-employment. No bosses telling you what hours to work. Where to be. What to do. The only one you answer to is…all of your own customers. They can be more demanding than a boss in a salaried position. Customers don’t care about you at all. They simply want your product or service at their convenience. Their convenience may not align with your idea of convenience. Too bad.

What to do? You could write a harsh Internet blog that essentially alienates you from all current or future customers. That would solve their tyrannical hold on you. Then what? With no customers, your time is free. The downside, so is your income. Freed from incoming.

In relationships, you could be free to pursue anyone you desire. There are downsides to that as well. They may not reciprocate. Moving from one short-term pursuit to another converts your relationships into shallow events with little depth of meaning. Eventually, your own spirit begins to starve for the deeper rewards that come with long-term, heavily-invested relationships.

“Since you’ve been gone, I can do whatever I want” goes the song sung by Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2U. It’s a sad ballad describing the pain and loneliness of shallow and broken relationships.

It’s sad because of how true it is. Invest in your relationships. Work to make them deep and strong. Spend the time both exciting and boring. It’s worth it.

Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

Truly Evil

The script writer wrestled with a new way to present evil. How could the subject be portrayed in a fresh way? Hostage situation? Torture? Murder? An affair? Corruption? Abuse of power? Then he decided upon a devious approach. Permanent damage.

The crisis situation would quickly resolve through the intervention of an official agency following proven procedures and the object of value would be returned. The twist? The condition upon return would be only mostly intact. Before returning the beloved item, it would be permanently changed in some way. Perhaps a little damage to one noticeable area. Something to make everyone who looked cringe inwardly. A cut? A burn? A break? Possibly all.

What about an invisible injury? One that would require a lifetime of care by others but would go mostly unnoticed by the general public. Perhaps future story lines could involve misunderstandings by well-meaning people who simply did not understand the nature of the condition. People who might offer unsolicited advice at random moments with no basis for getting involved but lacking verbal filters and good manners.

Imagine your favorite toy lent to a good friend who intentionally damages it before returning. As you stand there to receive your toy, your face falls in disappointment as you realize it will never be restored to fully good condition. It will never function as originally designed.

That is evil.

Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.