Sunday, March 28, 2010
The Wild Card
Today's muse: Seven Days Seven Answers
I received a "Wild Card" award from Cate over at Seven Days Seven Answers. I've been a little less than inspired lately, but I think this may have broken through the block. Go check out her blog (but read my story first).
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The Wild Card
“And the winner of this year’s break-through novel is...”
Wild applause fills my ears as I make my way down the aisle. I lift my designer gown so I can walk, suppressing a maniacal giggle as I envision tripping on the too-long hem and falling flat on my face, ass in the air.
Oh yeah, I think, that would appear on You Tube in no time at all. The icing on the cake would be to pop up as though nothing happened and face the hundreds of people who wait for my acceptance speech and my left boob is hanging out.
I climb the stairs—manage to reach the top without stumbling—and take my award from the presenter. We air kiss.
“Loved the book, dahling,” she breathes in my ear. “Read it twice.”
The thrill of that simple sentence shoots up my spine and I smile my thanks. I don’t know who she is, but she read my book. Twice.
I place the golden award on the podium and face the crowd. Their applause is deafening, as though a jet engine has just fired up right next to me. I begin my speech, one that I have dreamed of giving for years, but no sound seems to come from my mouth. The audience is pounding their feet on the floor and shouting my name. If only they would be quiet, I think, they could hear me.
I lean closer to the microphone and my new best friend—The Two-Time Reader—stands beside me.
“I’ll help you,” she purrs, and leans across the podium. I think she’s going to move the microphone closer to me, but instead, she starts to lick my hand. At first I’m repulsed, then I realize that the moisture from her sandpaper tongue must be a conduit for the electricity. Of course, why didn’t I think of that?
As she continues to lick my hand, I shout into the microphone.
“Thank you! Thank you all so much!”
As though someone has flicked a light switch, the applause stops and there is nothing but silence. That’s much better, I think, now they can hear me.
The Two-Time Reader stops licking my hand. She stands up, grabs my shoulders and shakes me. My head snaps back and I close my eyes against the nausea that churns in my stomach.
“Are you ok?”
I open my eyes and stare in Jason’s worried face. He hovers over me, his hands firmly gripping my shoulders.
Where’s The Two-Time Reader? We were going to discuss my book.
Jason shakes his head, his expression filled with pity.
“You were shouting ‘thank you’ over and over again.”
I nod. “Right. It was nothing. A bad dream.” And I roll over onto my side, my back toward Jason.
Ginger, my orange tabby, paws her way across the top of the bed and lays on the pillow next to my head. Her purring is like a jet engine in my ear.
Off in the distance, I recognize a popping sound. That, my friends, is the sound of my bubble bursting.