Friday, October 16, 2009

Fiction Friday - in which Sandra joins the fray.

This week's challenge:

Your character finds a mysterious package on his/her doorstep. What’s inside?

My contribution:

Anita managed to stack all her purchases first on the hood of the Mercedes, then carefully lifted them off and balanced them in her arms as she walked up the flagstone path to the front porch. It wasn't too risky a move. Most of the boxes were full of shoes wrapped in tissue and well-protected, though the wide-brimmed hat sitting precariously in the top box might well lose its girlish looks if it tumbled into the garden. Anita walked carefully. She was humming, smiling, remembering her shopping spree. Nothing made her happier than shopping. It was her joust, her bullfight, her pitched battle, and it never failed to leave her feeling exhausted and triumphant.

She negotiated the flagstones without incident, walking on tiptoes so that her spike heels wouldn't sink into the soft soil around the flags. When she got to the porch, she stepped carefully up onto the first step, then the second. Left foot; right foot. She couldn't see the steps, because of the packages in her arms, but it was her porch, her house, after all, and she could climb these steps blindfolded.

The third step was her undoing. As she eased her left foot up and forward, her pointy Jimmy Choo toe encountered an obstacle. She heard a loud buzzing sound, and she jerked back. Her left foot waved about, trying to find purchase. Her arms flailed. Boxes flew everywhere. Some of them remained stubbornly closed, thanks to the diligence of those blessed Saks sales clerks. Others flew open. Shoes and lingerie littered her front garden. The hat box opened. The wide-brimmed straw hat sailed away on the afternoon breeze, trailing its flower-strewn veil, landing soggily in the next-door neighbour's goldfish pond.

Anita herself landed on her back, narrowly missing the flagstones. The air rushed from her lungs and her eyes filled with tears. Slowly, she moved her arms, then her legs, just to make sure she could. Then she sat up and looked for the first time at the author of her misfortune. It was a box - not a flimsy cardboard box like the ones that were tumbling around in the breeze, but a metal one. It looked like a toolbox. It was a toolbox. What on earth? Who would leave something like that on her front porch? She had no use for a toolbox. Toolboxes were for men. Handy men.

Ah. Handymen. She had asked her housekeeper to hire one today, to fix a few things around the house. Anita looked up at her front door. A man stood there. He was tall and muscular. He looked a little like a young Paul Newman. He was holding an electric drill in his right hand. His left hand steadied the new hinge he was installing.

"You should be more careful," he said. "There are sharp tools in that box. You could have hurt yourself."


willow said...

Reminds me of Johnny Depp in the movie "Chocolat" saying, "I'll come 'round some time and get that squeak out of your door."

Barry said...

Yep,we guys are handy alright. Just a little careless where we leave our tool boxes.

Sandra Leigh said...

LOL, Willow. Somehow I think that everything reminds you of Johnny Depp! (not that that's a bad thing)

Barry, Anita agrees with you - but she's more than a little annoyed with that handyman. Hmmm. Maybe I'd better continue that story. I shouldn't leave the poor woman sitting in the mud.

AngelMay said...

Woo Hoo! I want to meet a young Paul Newman. (Have no idea what I would do with him at this stage of my life, however.) But.... no way am I ever going shopping in spike heels. Your heroine is BRAVE. :) Very sorry that lovely hat ended up in a goldfish pond, though.

Sandra Leigh said...

LOL - I saw a goldfish pond today. There were lovely fish swimming around in it, but all I could see was that wide-brimmed hat wafting over the pond like an autumn leaf, then settling into the water, its veil gathering pond scum as it drifted.

~willow~ said...

I enjoyed your take on this week's prompt ... I could just picture Julia Roberts' Pretty Woman character -- after the "transformation" and shopping spree at Rodeo Drive -- going through something like this.

I see another Willow has commented here - cool :)

Writer, Thaumaturg, Mum said...

Welcome to Friday Fiction - I do hope you make this a regular posting!

I think most of us can identify with the hapless womans position - stuff flying all over the place - and usually the most inappropriate things rolling tot he feet of a (generally) attractive young man... sigh the stuff of dreams right? You have a lovely storytelling style, kept the pace up with action and rounded description allowing the reader to continue their empathy toward the character.

I am a co-writer of an online 16 th century swashbuckling adventure called the Astonishing Adventures of Captain Juan... I kind a cheated this week and wrote a chapter for it for FF.

Nikki Barnabee said...

A trip and a fall would definitely be worth having a Paul Newman look-alike waiting for you. If your character isn't happy with the way things are turning out, it's possible she has a concussion LOL Nicely written, and with a surprise, since I was thinking about what would be IN the box, and in a split second, I lost interest in the box entirely and gained interest in Mr. Blue Eyes ;-}

Sandra Leigh said...

Hello, New Willow. I saw your comment at Fiction Friday and thought you were the other Willow. Who'd have thought we would have two Willows in our little virtual village? As long as you don't bear an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp, though, we should be okay.

Writer, Thaumaturg, Mum - thank you for the welcome. I enjoyed taking part, and I have done a little more work on Anita and the Handyman. Maybe I'll find a use for Part 2 in another FF challenge.

Now,now, Nikki. There were tools in the box. Can't imagine what distracted you from that! ;>)

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