Tuesday Writing Prompt

Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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15 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:

    No matter how much she hated Cliff, there was still a part of Mary that loved him… that would always love him. “How can you end twenty-two years of marriage with a pen stroke?” she wondered.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

      Why do Harlequin romances always give their characters such WASPy names?Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        FWIW, I don’t think the relationship is necessarily romantic. That is just the direction I went. They could be siblings, business partners, something else. That’s the beauty of this!Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Kazzy – That was the goal this week. Keep it vague and let folks fill in the blank.

        LeeEsq – For some reason I was thinking of Faulkner when I wrote this and so I went with names that would have been more typical in his time period. When I write in the present I will try to use names like Dylan and Willow : )Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        It reads more like a bad romance or mystery.Report

  2. veronica dire says:

    She looked down onto the desk, the paperwork there, which Mr. Dearmont had just slid in front of her. He placed beside it a heavy gold pen. “We need you to sign pages three and seven.”

    Mary shifted in the chair. Then she ran her finger along a run in her stockings.

    Slowly the words came from her mouth. “I don’t think I will.” She couldn’t bear to meet his gaze. All his work. Six years, this case.

    Outside Mr. Dearmont’s office, sitting in a beat-to-hell blue Chevy, sat another man, waiting. Beside him on the seat sat an envelope full of cash. In the glove box was a revolver, loaded.

    Inside the office Mary walked to the window, looked down on the car, where the man looked back up at her. She brushed her fingers along the glass in a certain slow way. Seeing her, the man in the car fumbles with the glove box. Then he emerges from the car.

    “Mary, is everything okay?” Mr. Dearmont asks.

    “It’s fine. I think I need to use the lady’s room?”Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    “She needed more time to plot her take over the lucretive BBQ market in Kansas City. She planed to use her alimony money in order to fund her desires for an empire of slowly-cooked and braised meat but this was not going to happen. It was bad enough that the Texas oilman she married converted to the FCLDS in order to marry his four young buxom secretaries from Utah but worse that he is getting in the way of her entrepreneurial ambititions.”Report

  4. Damon says:

    It wasn’t what she needed, but it might be enough to get a fresh start somewhere else, far away from the Lizard People. Yes, she would take the offer and leave, to start again. Patience was what was needed. She would rebuild, and eventually return. She would have her vengance on the Lizard People!Report

  5. Burt Likko says:

    “Allan, I … I need to process this. How my brother can treat me like this. Especially with… With… You know.”

    “Half-brother, but yes. I understand.”

    “Dad never knew. And now neither will Henry.”

    “That one mistake, it seems like you’ll never leave it behind. But I think this will put it behind you. Let you move on, have some measure of peace. And what a fine young man Henry will–”

    “Please, Allan, I can’t talk about that right now.” Her eyes welled up with tears. “Can’t you at least tell them I’ll sign tomorrow?”

    “No, the offer’s off the table at 5:00 p.m. tonight, and court is 8:30 tomorrow morning. It’s sign today, or not at all, I’m afraid.”

    “I don’t have any choice at all, do I, Allan?”

    Dearmont put his hand over hers. “You have choices. But all of the futures they lead to are worse than this.”

    “No, there’s something worse.” Mary said it flatly, quietly, nearly a whisper.

    He paused. “I made all of the other arrangements you asked for, Mary. The annuity. The holding company.”

    “It funds immediately?”

    “It vests upon your signature. Cliff signed it already, so once you sign it, it’s done and can never be undone.”

    “Yes,” Mary sighed. “I’ll be fine. I have a plan. And dear Allan, thank you.” Dear Allan, the family lawyer for so many years, as honest as the year was long, and as reliable to keep all the secrets entrusted with him to the grave. A grave that, thanks to his advanced years, was not so far away.

    * * *

    They fished Mary’s car out of the river two days later, and then her body.

    The coroner thought that something was not quite right when he examined her face. The body seemed just a bit too decomposed for the amount of time it had been underwater, and something about the bruises didn’t seem right. The photographs of Mary Guilder in life were visibly thinner than the woman on his examination table. Maybe she’d gained some weight between the time the pictures had been taken and when the car went off the bridge. But the cause of death was clear, there was no particular need to do a full autopsy, no organs would be harvestable, and there were other demands on his time.

    So he said nothing, made a note in the file that the decedent must have gained weight shortly before her accidental death, and left the son to his grief. A terrible way to get sent off to college, he thought, but at least the mother had got some money put in place to provide for him. He sent off the appropriate notices to the newspaper, which duly published the obituary, and closed his file.

    Which, discounting the dear, sweet, and trustworthy Allan Dearmont, left only one loose end for Mary to tie up, one that could have been solved if only the dear, sweet, and trustworthy Allan Dearmont could have bought her an extra twenty-four hours.Report