Writing Prompt

What In The World Did I Agree To?

Originally Posted on Writer’s Digest

Ugh, what did I do last night? My head was pounding and my mouth was so dry. It must have been a crazy night if I can’t remember it. I looked over at the calendar and it said January 1 so I gathered that last night was New Year’s Eve.

Just then, my phone started buzzing. My only thought was to end that agonizing sound of a vibrating phone against a hardwood floor. “Whoever this is, you better say this fast and quiet.”

“James! I figured you’d have a little bit of a hangover, you were definitely slurring your speech on the phone last night.”

It was Mike Blugass! I haven’t talked to him since college. He got arrested for assaulting an officer his senior year and we lost tough when he left school. Why is he calling me? More importantly, why did I call him? “Mike! What’s up dude?”

“Dude, you know what’s up. Legit, I can’t believe we’re actually doing this. It’s a little strange I know, but I do this all time and it gets easy after the first time, it’ll actually seem a little funny.”

Uh oh, what did I agree to last night. I would ask but I don’t want to insult him and say that the only reason I called him was because I was drunk. I think I can probably figure it out though, I just need to keep him talking. “Yeah, I know, well I figured there’s a first time for everything.”

“Well, yeah, but I’m surprised ol’ goodie two shoes James Hawthorne would ever want to do something like this.”

It was true that I was always a good egg in college but I had changed a lot since then. Still, whatever I agreed to contradicts that well-behaved version of me. Oh gosh, is it illegal!? “Well, times change. Just to make sure, this is legal right?”

All I heard was laughter. “Did you really this kind of thing would be legal when you suggested this? Geez, how much booze did you have?”

I take it that it’s not legal. I better try to laugh this off. “Yeah, I was just messing with you. I meant what are the odds of us getting caught?”

“Well, in my experience, it depends on how well connected this guy is. From what you told me, it sounds like we should be out of there without any witnesses.”

Oh crap! We’re gonna murder someone. Okay, let me think, it’s gotta be someone I know who lives alone. Damn! I’ve gotta go out to pay the landlord too. What a heartless jerk! It’s the first of the month but it’s New Year’s… That’s it! My landlord lives alone! “Mike, I know we talked about killing my landlord, but I’ve been thinking lately and really think that’s a bad idea.”

“Kill your landlord?” I hear him laughing again, almost insultingly. “You’ve got it all wrong”

Phew, that was close!

“We’re only going to kidnap him.”


I Regret Sleeping on That Couch

This was also on Writer’s Digest

I awoke several hours after dawn to the sound of banjos playing louder and louder, approaching closer and closer. For a minute, my first thought was ‘paddle faster, I hear banjos,’ but then I realized this was only my band playing on the radio. Yet, I couldn’t shake the ominous feeling that something bad was about to happen down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“Did you enjoy your stay on our couch?” asked 37-year old Forest deWhit. He was dressed in blue denim overalls with no shirt underneath, he was chewing a piece of straw in his mouth, and he had on a worn straw hat.
“Yes.” I replied as I suddenly remembered that my manager forgot to make sleeping arrangements for my show down in Baton Rouge. Fortunately, Forest was a good man and let me stay over after my show. “Listen, I hate to flaunt my fame but could you get me a cup of coffee?”
Good-natured Forest had no problem getting a cup of coffee for a young semi-celebrity. Forest, however, replied, “My wife actually already made us breakfast if you want to join us.”
Again, something told me that I shouldn’t accept the offer, but my stomach putting up an amazing argument telling me to eat something. I graciously accepted the offer and breakfast and made my way to the table. The smell of freshly cooked bacon began to instantly wake me up as I approached the table. Amber deWhit was an amazing cook and had put out a fabulous spread of bacon, eggs, hash browns, French toast, and apple cider. “You better eat up, today is a big day for a man such as yourself.” Amber had a nice, soothing voice. My travel day was a big day for me, I had to make it to Birmingham by nightfall.
Just then, I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. That’s right, I had remembered the deWhits talking about their kid as I was falling asleep.
Amber’s mellow voice once again spoke up, “Come downstairs dear, we’re just sitting down to a lovely meal now.” I figured that there was a good chance the kid was a girl because dear was often not a word to address a boy, especially not in the south. The deWhits probably told me last night but I was so tired that I passed out quickly.
“Forgive our daughter for being late to breakfast, she’s just over the moon that you’re here right now.” Amber felt like she had to apologize but I was beginning to get a little uncomfortable that they seemed like they were walking on eggshells around me.
“Guys, I’m a minor celebrity, please don’t act any differently.”
“Don’t be silly, you’re much more than that to us.”
I had suddenly regretted not checking the basement for any dead bodies before falling asleep.
The daughter had finally come downstairs with a beautiful wedding dress!
“Every Louisiana boy knows that sleeping on a man’s couch is payment for marrying his daughter.”