It’s that time of the month for Promptly Penned where myself and several others write a short story based off the same prompt. The prompt is “Three more days of this.”
This months authors are:
She was on the phone talking to her boyfriend and didn’t know what was about to happen. Given, I didn’t know either but all the pieces presented themselves and I’m opportunistic at times of extreme boredom. By this point, I don’t know how long my sister had been on the phone or even how she was paying for the call. The payphone was in a room with a function yet to be determined, full of construction equipment, paint buckets, pieces of lumber, and dry wall. Beth had pushed some boxes next to the phone but her short legs didn’t quite get her butt to the top. She had to climb up to sit on her perch. Legs tangling below her kicking the box side as she talked. Her boyfriend was still at home up north in Michigan with the spring air and mud. We were stuck in Florida with thick wet air and suffocating heat. Not that it was really suffocating to those native to Florida. But for young Michiganders, it was insufferable and sticky.
“Now, isn’t this beautiful?” My Mom asked.
“Yeah, it’s nice.” We lied.
As an adult I would feel differently about Florida beaches. As a preteen kid, it smelled of dead fish and old people sweat.
Beth felt the same. She was excited to be in Florida at first, where I was more in the state of mind where I craved entertainment or home. There was no middle ground of relaxing, sun bathing, or reading a good book. That would come later in life. But Beth was more accepting to a new view away from home. Only a day if I had to put a time on it, just one single day. Then Beth became about as insufferable as the heat and the construction in the condo we were staying at. She would go into bouts of refusing to talk to anyone or whining non-stop. This happened due to her trying to get a tan to show off to her boyfriend at home and then getting sunburned to the point of turning into an angry red tomato.
Mom didn’t care much. She was there to enjoy herself. This meant while she was drinking pool side we were stuck in the condo listening to constant drilling and sawing while trying to watch local TV that seemed foreign and odd. It’s not as if other states don’t have car dealership commercials. It’s just Michigan commercials had better jingles than Florida. So while Beth lathered herself in aloe and watched strange TV, I wondered the building. This is both how I got stuck on the construction floor and found the payphone. The construction workers seemed very unsettled to see a child with extreme proportions of arms and legs with nothing else standing in the middle of a cloud of dust confused to how she got there and where the elevator went. The payphone, which I found on a different floor entirely, didn’t give me any odd looks.
I thought Beth would be excited to hear I found a payphone and I’m was pretty sure we could manage enough change between the two of us for her to call her boyfriend. I was right and she couldn’t wait to talk to him right away. She talked to him first and then let me talk to him for a few minutes too. You would have thought we were stranded on an island and he was our first human contact in years rather than, a days drive straight down I-75 and we’d only been gone for only two days at this point.
Beth called her boyfriend every night. My Mom was gone to hang out with her friends doing who knows what. I had nothing but sweaty armpits and a new smell I wasn’t used to before now. It wasn’t fair to be honest. I get this was suppose to be Mom’s get away. I get that Beth is homesick and boyfriend crazy. But what am I suppose to do?
Annoy my sister, obviously. And it just so happened that while Beth was on an endless phone conversation, she didn’t notice the lizard about the size of her forearm crawling on the ceiling above her. Nor did she notice that I happened to acquire a long piece of wood from the construction material just long enough to reach the ceiling. In fact, Beth was so engrossed in her, “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s” she didn’t see me gently nudge the lizard on the ceiling with the long piece of wood.
The lizard freaking out and falling from the ceiling was completely unplanned. I was just trying to get it to move enough to catch Beth’s attention. The lizard falling and landing on Beth was again an unplanned, but hilarious event. She screamed and screamed and screamed. I don’t know who was more upset the about the situation, the lizard or Beth because both ended up running around the room and bumping into boxes and buckets making a lot of noise. This was about the time in the vacation I thought, “You know, I could handle three more days of this.” Beth might not have agreed but, that’s her problem.