Monday, March 22, 2010

Story Start: Dorothy's Birthday

I've been looking through my files, and found the beginnings of a story that I did for a class a while ago. Feel free to use whatever you find useful.

On Dorothy’s birthday she woke up before everyone else. Birthdays still made her as excited as they did when she was five. She smiled as she adjusted the blue quilt to cover her husbands exposed feet. She would probably still have to make breakfast for him and Ted and Lily, but she still hoped for breakfast in bed. She wanted chocolate malt-o-meal and wheat toast with honey. Also some orange juice, on the glass tray they still had from Mrs. Lambert. The alarm from the apartment next door shocked her out of her culinary reveries, but Paul snored right through it. Their neighbors alarm woke her up most mornings, but usually she just fell right back asleep. This morning she couldn’t. Dorothy wondered why the man next door always got up so early. She knew he was a business man, so he probably got up to work on some presentation. Maybe he had an early flight to a big conference in Europe. Or maybe that was all a cover up and he was really a CIA agent who had to get out early to do research on a major drug lord in Chicago.

Paul choked mid-snore. She almost had to cover her mouth to keep from laughing. She smiled down at him and brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes. He smelled like Listerine. Maybe he had already bought her a present. She doubted it. Paul was a sweet guy, but he didn’t usually remember things like birthdays. At least he had warned her. On their third date he told her that when he turned 12 he didn’t remember it was his birthday until his mom started singing Happy Birthday to him at breakfast. It made her laugh, but it also bothered her. Dorothy was into the details. She was spontaneous and frequently rearranged the living room furniture and the kitchen spice drawer, but once things were in their place, they stayed there. She also had a huge calendar hung up over the kitchen sink with the whole family’s plans for the month, but maybe Paul just never looked at it.

Even if Paul did remember to get her a present, it was probably the wrong one. She had shown him newspaper ads about the Broadway tours of Les Miserables and Seussical the Musical that were coming to town, and had played the CD’s non-stop, but he probably didn’t get the hint. She expected to end up with the usual gift card to Home Depot. She knew the drawers in the kitchen got stuck, and the garage needed shelves, and Ted’s shower head leaked, but was he really that concerned about it? It just made her feel guilty for not having gotten to it sooner. She just wanted to get out and be with no one but Paul. Even tickets to just one of the shows would be nice.

Sarah Allen

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