Writers Meetup: Short Story Tuesday
Back from a couple of weeks of haitus, I've rejoined the Hong Kong Writers group
Hong Kong has dodged yet another typhoon, but I'm still weathering the hurricane of job applications and getting back into the gym and fitness. Yet, I'm making progress, and we're all just really doing our best.
Yet, the writing group is one of the things that really keeps me grounded and focused, and going helps me get new ideas about writing. I am really trying to adjust my voice, and do different things with my writing instead of defaulting to my typical character deep dives, but it's a work in progress.
I wrote a short story that got me back in the swing of writing short stories, and that I had a lot of fun with.
Oh yeah, channeling my cool
The prompt I got was: "They really fucking named it 'Mulan'?" which I decided due to our own inclimate weather, decided to have some fun with. It's not exactly a departure from my typical writing, but it did help me get back into the short story habit.
“The national weather service issued an 'vacuation notice from the Keys to Kissimmee and you dimwits are gettin' surfboards and Steel Reserve.” Angela, the comically short front desk attendant for the Sunbeam Extended Stay motel, drawls as she fans herself with a copy of Teen Vogue.
I remember reading teen vogue as an awkward 6th grader, and the realization that I didn't want to get with Britney Spears, but felt like that’s who I’m meant to look like, sparked the long, tedious journey that I'm on now.
I never thought that realization would have me tens of thousands of dollars in debt, c-cups, and a name my family won't ever call me by, but here I am.
“Hey, we got sot some class Angie, these here are cans o' Hurricane malt liquor, ya know, Hurricane for the hurricane.” Jesse says smiling, his gold tooth sparking bright in the lantern light.
Most of Miami Dade and Broward county had already lost power, and Hialeah was no different.
In fact, I'm pretty sure it was the first to go.
“Diana, talk some sense into this boy of yours and hunker down right here with me. I got Jagermiester and this.” Anglea, bless her heart, holds up a gigantic bag of Halloween candy.
It can fill three pinatas.
Jesse's surfboard hits the magazine stand and the whole thing goes ass-over-heels and sprawls dog-geared magazines across the peeling linoleum floor.
“It's gonna take more than some Kit-Kats to make us miss a chance like this Miss A.” I reply as I put my own board down to help Jesse pick up the magazines before Angela charges us for the damage.
“You two are gonna get yourselves killed. I know you ain't from around 'ere, but this is a cat five. She's gonna make hamburger helper out of you both.”Angela stops fanning herself and gets out from behind the desk. She's wearing a ratty St Louis Cardinals T-shirt and the worst jean shorts imaginable.
She’s not a local either.
“She?” I ask.
“The hurricane's a girl. They called it Mulan. Gender reveal!” Jesse responds, doing jazz hands.
“They really fucking named it 'Mulan'? Wouldn’t that be ironic if Mulan just wrecked Disneyworld? What’s that song? With all the strength of a great typhoon…” I hum the rest trying to remember that song.
I shouldn't have smoked so much this morning before struggling into my surfing rash guard that I swore fit two months ago.
I guess I should lay off the Wendy's, or maybe my Estradiol needs fixing.
“uh…be a man…with all the strength of a raging fire…” Jesse continues the song, adjusting his own green rashguard and scratching his facial hair that barely qualifies as a beard. A nervous tic.
“Who cares what it's called! All o' Florida is gonna flood. Moses is comin'!” Angela throws her hands up, cackling.
We both know that Miss A is about as Christian as Marylin Manson using an ouija board, but sometimes there's a flicker of truth there. Like Miss A believes the world is gonna come all crashing down in her lifetime, and she wants to be the lady on the local news cracking jokes about everyone's impending doom.
“Well, Florida’s got the Arc’s gator covered.” Jesse chuckles a bit, retying his dark dreadlocks into a tangled man-bun.
The last time he kept re-tying his hair he had to pass a drug test. Maybe he's not as down for surfing as I thought. Did I push him into this? He seemed amped up before, 'a once in a lifetime opportunity for two Nebraska Cornhuskers' he had put it.
But Jesse won't pull out of this unless he has a good reason. Maybe it's because he thinks I'll go with or without him.
Just then, a loud slam and crash shakes the ground and all three of us jolt and jump.
A billboard flew across the street and cartwheeled into the white work pickup next to Jesse’s jeep, flattening the cab. The pickup’s alarm blared for a few seconds before withering to a stop.
“Damn!” Angela says. “Good thing that’s not my car.”
“On second thought, hand me some of those Kit-Kats, Miss A.” I put my surfboard down, leaning it against the interior wall.
Jesse breathes a sigh of relief and puts down his own board.
Thank you for reading, and please comment about what you think!
As always, I'm embracing the paper hurricane!