Archive for September, 2014

Lost! Well, Sort Of

Posted by Doug White under Writing101

This blog entry is in response to this Daily Post prompt:

A church potluck brings up all sorts of fond memories. Conversing with other church members, the delicious smells of all the homemade foods, the laughter of the children as they run around and play. These are all common and welcome parts of any church potluck. Rarely though have I attended one where I spent a portion of the night in total, abject fear.

Several years ago we were going to such a potluck at the church we had been attending for some time. It was typically held downstairs in the basement and this night would be no different. Our youngest daughter wasn’t too old at the time, I believe she was probably six or seven. In her mind she was “all grown up” though. She had come to us that day and asked if she could go off and play with her friends. She wanted to do this without Mommy and Daddy watching over her, however.

She looked up at me with her deep, soulful eyes filled with expectant hope at the idea of playing like the big kids do and of course my heart melted. “Ok, sweetheart, you can go play but you stay downstairs. Don’t go running off upstairs, understand?” She nodded and away she went.

I went back to my meal and for a time I had put her out of my mind. But it wasn’t long before my wife or I thought it was time to check on her. I stood up from my chair and looked around at the various kids playing in the church but I couldn’t find her.

“Do you see her, hon?” I asked my wife. She looked around but couldn’t see her either.

I began to get a little annoyed. I specifically told her not to leave the downstairs area and she was nowhere to be found. I headed upstairs to find my kid, muttering under my breath as I did so.

I walked around the church and couldn’t find her anywhere. She wasn’t in the auditorium or any of the hallways. I stood there for a moment scratching my head. “Where could she be?” I thought to myself.

The pastor’s office and various meeting rooms were on the second floor of the church. This wasn’t a place where she would be used to going into but it was the only place left. I headed up there, sure I was going to find her playing some game with one of the other church kids.

But, much to my increasing frustration, I was unable to find her on this floor either. I went into every room and checked all over but she wasn’t anywhere. My frustration was quickly switching to fear.

I ran back down to the first floor and outside yelling for my daughter. One of the other church members asked what was wrong. “I can’t find Nora!” I told him. He came inside and began to help me look around the church again.

I headed back up to the second floor and looked around once more, my heart beating frantically in my chest. I started thinking of all the horrible things that could have befallen her. She’s hurt somewhere or she stepped outside and somebody lurking around the church decided to steal her away from us. My voice was trembling as I kept yelling her name, “Nora! Where are you?”

I finally went downstairs to the basement and told my wife I couldn’t find her.

“What? Have you looked up near the Pastor’s office? How about outside?” she asked.

“Yes, dear, I looked everywhere.” I said, exasperated.

“Did you check the rooms down here?”

“Yes, Norene of COURSE, I che…” I paused. “Down here?”

“Yeah, like the nursery over there?” she pointed in the direction of the nursery, whose door was currently closed. A bit embarrassed, I turned and headed that way.

I opened up the door to the nursery and sure enough, there was my daughter, playing a game with one of her friends from church. She looked up at me and smiled, “Hi, Daddy!”

Relief washed over me in waves. I went over to her, bent down and kissed her on the head. “Hey, kiddo. Having fun?”

“You bet! And I stayed downstairs like you told me to!” she replied.

“Yes, you did, Pipsqueak. Yes, you did.” I turned, leaving her to finish her game and headed back to my bride, who was waiting for me with a knowing grin.

A New Job

Posted by Doug White under Weekly Writing Challenge

This blog entry is in response to this Daily Post prompt:

Abraham woke up early, eager to begin his day. He had been anticipating this day for the last several weeks! He was sure that today was the day where his life really began to change for the better.

Grinning, he flung the covers off and leaped out of bed, startling his cat Jack from a deep slumber. The cat hissed in annoyance before leaping off the bed and out of the bedroom.

“Sorry, kitty, but I don’t want to be late!” he told the grumpy feline with a laugh before heading into the bathroom to get ready.

Today was his first day at PP4 and he couldn’t wait to start. He had grown up hearing about the organization and how influential they were across the country. He could hardly believe his good fortune in landing this job!

He had met with a recruiter from the company towards the end of his final semester in college. He remembered the meeting because it had been, well, rather strange. His major was in Public Relations but she seemed to be mostly interested in knowledge of the current political events in the country. He actually thought that he had failed at his chance to work for PP4 because he really didn’t know much about what was going on in the political world currently.

However, this seemed to please her as she nodded approvingly whenever he failed to answer a question about current events. “It’s ok, Mr. Jefferson. This is to be expected of someone your age.” she reassured him.

He stepped out of the bathtub, dried off and walked over to the sink to shave. He was careful not to cut himself. It wouldn’t do to have little pieces of toilet paper stuck to his neck to stop the bleeding from a careless shave!

“Especially before starting my job as a …” he said to himself before trailing off. He never did find out what they were planning on having him do at PP4!

“That’s kind of odd? How could I forget to ask that?” he wondered, “Ah well, I guess it doesn’t matter. I’d work in the mail room just to get into this place!”

He finished getting ready and headed into the kitchen. He pulled out a can of cat food and instantly Jack was by his side looking at him expectantly.

“Ha! You are so predictable!” he laughed. He put the food into Jack’s bowl and without so much as a glance of gratitude, Jack turned away from Abraham and started eating. He smiled, shook his head and got his own breakfast to eat.

He was just finishing up the dishes when he heard a knock on the door. Curious, he walked over and slowly opened the door, only to find him facing two somber looking men. Each was wearing a dark suit and tie with equally dark, tinted glasses.

“Yes? Can I help you?” he asked the two.

“Mr Jefferson? Abraham Jefferson?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“PP4 has sent us to pick you up, Mr. President.”

“President? Of what?” Abraham asked.

“The country, sir. Now if you would come with us, we can be on our way.”

This blog entry is in response to this Daily Post prompt:

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein

Mel stopped abruptly by my desk, slightly out of breath and excitedly asked me, “Dude! Did you hear what happened?”

Inwardly, I groaned. I knew what was coming. “No, what’s going on?”

Senator Somhemmer! You haven’t heard? It’s everywhere! Twitter, Facebook, it’s even on LinkedIn!”

Well, don’t keep me in suspense, Mel! What is it?”

Mel’s face flushed with excitement as he prepared to tell me the story. “The Senator was at a college party the other night and was heard talking about planning to overtake the White House! He wants to start a revolution and throw the President out on his ear!”

I paused, momentarily trying to digest those words and make some sort of sense of them. “Mel. Slow down. That’s ridiculous! Let’s set the revolution part of the story aside for a moment. He was at a college party? A U.S. Senator? Does this even make sense to you?”

The chair to my right slowly turned around presenting Liam, one of my co-workers, who piped in, “Doug, it may sound weird, but it’s completely true.”

Really, Liam? How so?”

Liam turned back to his computer for a moment and brought up his Instagram account. “Check this out, my friend. I follow Renate Sadlow from the Daily Progressive on Instagram and she has pictures of the Senator at the college dorm from the same day!”

See, Doug! It’s all true!” Mel’s voice squeaked a bit as he pointed towards Liam’s computer screen.

Guys. Look at that picture. See the window he’s standing by? Does it look like it is dark to you? How many parties have you gone to in the middle of the afternoon? Where are all the other students? He standing on a stage, giving a speech, not planning a revolt at some frat party!”

My two co-workers just smirked at each other and turned back to me. Liam, as if he was talking to a young child, continued, “Doug, you really need to pay more attention to what’s going on in the world. There’s no way Renate Sadlow would have a picture on her Instagram account unless it was legitimate.”

I started to respond when Mel interrupted, “Plus, there’s more!”

Do tell, Mel.”

Mel walked over to Liam’s computer, “Mind if I check something, Liam?” Liam gave an affirmative nod and moved out of Mel’s way. Mel logged on to Twitter and brought up his account.

Check this out, Doug. I follow @Politics101 who follows @I_Hate_Libs who follows @ProgressivesRUs who follows @SSIntern! @SSIntern, Doug! @SSIntern!”

Am I supposed to know who that is?”

Mel rolled his eyes. “S.S.? Don’t you think that means ‘Senator Somhemmer’? As in the intern of Senator Somhemmer?”

Mel, even if that’s who that is, so what?”

Dude! She’s got a link to a recording of the night of the party!”

I sighed, knowing I couldn’t win. “Ok, let’s hear it.”

Mel bent over and clicked the link. A garbled recording began. There were several voices, each one seemingly intent on being louder than the other. Towards the end of record, a voice could be heard screaming, “We must fight! For the right! To pa…” and then the recording stops.

Mel and Liam looked at me expectantly. “Guys, I don’t get it.” I told them simply.

It was Liam’s turn to roll his eyes. “Didn’t that sound like the Senator?”

Dude, I don’t know. It didn’t sound like anybody to me. It sounded like someone singing the lyrics to an old Beastie Boys song.”

I could tell the two were getting annoyed. Mel tried one more time, “Doug, I have one more thing I can show you.”

I can hardly wait.”

He ignored me and opened up his Pinterest page. There on the right side was a t-shirt with the picture of the Senator that Liam had showed me earlier. Underneath was the caption: “We must Fight!”

See Doug? It’s right there, in black and white, on Pinterest!” Liam exclaimed.

Well, if it’s on Pinterest, it must be true, I guess.” With that, I walked away, leaving the two to ponder the wisdom of those words.