Friday, November 9, 2012

Brats and cats and butterflies

I wrote on my wip days 1 through 6 of November. Then I didn't write on the 7th. I was determined to get back on track the 8th but it's not going to happen.

I'm at work and I NEED to focus instead on getting requests turned in for paid time off because if I don't take it by 12/31 I lose it, and the calendar of availability is rapidly filling up. And that's important. At least, for me it is.

So I'm going to give you a little chunk of my wip as a blog today.

Here's hoping you enjoy it:
Mimi woke up to a twin on each side of her bed. “Get up, get up, get up.” They were chanting and jumping up and down. Mimi looked at the clock by her bed. Eight o’clock.

“Remind me, what’s my hurry? Why am I getting up?”

“Today’s the day you’re going to see Uncle Donovan, silly,” Addie said.

Mimi groaned. “Oh, yeah.” She threw her covers off and sat up, draping her legs over the side of the bed where the little girl stood.

“Listen sweetie, I don’t want you to get your hopes up. I’m going to go talk to him but I’m not sure he’s the answer to your problems. If it seems like he’s not going to step up and care for you and make sure the bad man can’t hurt you, we’ll figure something else out. I want you to remember that. Everything is going to be okay.”

Avery snorted. “Yeah, right. If Uncle Donovan doesn’t want us, we don’t have anyone else.”

“Avery shut up,” Addie said. “We have Mimi, don’t we Mimi? If Uncle Donovan doesn’t want us we can stay with you, can’t we?”

Mimi reached out and stroked the little girl’s hair. “I’m not sure, sweetie. I don’t think we’d be safe staying here in this apartment. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Addie and Avery exchanged a look. “Bridge?” Addie asked. “What bridge?”

“Never mind the bridge. It was an idiom,” she put a finger over Addie’s mouth, “and I don’t have time to explain what an idiom is. I just meant we’ll figure something out if we have to. Okay?”

They both nodded solemnly.

“Now hop out of here so I can get dressed.”

They turned and started hopping towards the door.

“Oh very funny. Did you two eat breakfast?”

Two heads shook.

“Let’s have cereal, then. Fix mine for me but don’t pour the milk until I get there.”

Addie turned in the doorway and stared. She started twice to say something and stopped herself.

“What?” Mimi asked, raising one eyebrow.

“Should you get dressed before you eat?” Addie asked.

“Oh yeah,” Avery said. “You don’t want to go see Uncle Donovan with milk stains. What are you going to wear anyway?”

Mimi stood looking at them for a minute, mouth agape. She closed her mouth and put her hands on her hips. “Why you little meanies. I can eat a bowl of cereal without spilling it on me. And I know how to dress for a meeting with your annoying uncle.”

They looked at each other, shook their heads and went to kitchen.

Seriously, those two, Mimi thought. Listening to them one would think she was a socially inept klutz. On the other hand, what should she wear? Something conservative, right? She dug through her closet. She pulled out a pair of khaki pants. Further down the rod she found a beige blouse with half sleeves and a little square collar. It was long so she didn’t tuck it into the khaki pants. She did button all the way up to her chin, though. She brushed her blond hair out and pulled it back into a ponytail. When she looked in the mirror she looked sensible and conservative. That seemed like the impression she wanted to make.

She headed for the kitchen. When she walked in the door both twins paused their enthusiastic munching of cereal to see how she looked. They both rolled their eyes.

“Are you trying to bore your way into his office?” Avery asked.

“And then bore him with your boringness until he’s snoring too loud to hear you?” Addie asked.

“While I appreciate that you are very wise for ten year olds…”

“Eleven year olds,” Avery interrupted.

“I stand corrected, eleven year olds; still I think I might know more than you what is needed for this encounter. I want your uncle to believe me and he’s more likely to do that if he thinks I’m mature and responsible.” She turned her back on them to make coffee. She sliced a banana and poured milk on top of her cereal. She could hear them whispering behind her. She took her bowl and went to the table. They jumped up as she sat down.

“Be right back,” Avery said.

Mimi shook her head and started eating. The little brats were right about one thing, though. She would have to eat carefully or she’d be wearing her breakfast and that would not make a good impression.

She slowly spooned each bite up to her mouth. She had managed to get through the whole bowl without spilling a drop. Now for coffee. She stood up and went to pour a cup of coffee. She was spooning in sugar when the twins came back in the room.

They immediately began arguing.

“I want more cereal,” Addie said, picking up the box.

“No, I want more cereal,” Avery said, yanking the box away from her.

That went on for two or three rounds before Mimi lifted the box away from them. “Get your bowls,” she gritted out between her teeth. “There’s plenty of cereal for both of you.” She poured cereal in each bowl.

Avery picked up the milk. Addie snatched it away. “Why do you get the milk first? I want it.”

“I had it already,” Avery said, snatching it back. They started pulling the milk jug back and forth.

“Knock it off you’re going to spi…” somehow the milk escaped both of their hands and tumbled to the floor, milk flowing all down Mimi’s pants on its way. Startled she eased her grip on her coffee cup and hot coffee dribbled down the front of her blouse.

Cold milk and hot coffee suddenly seeping through her clothes and onto her skin made Mimi gasp with shock. She carefully set her coffee cup down and glared at the twins. “Did you do that on purpose?”

“No,” Avery said.

"Yes," Addie said at the same time.

“Avery snorted. “Addie you weren’t supposed to tell her.”

“We just think things will go better with Uncle Donovan if you look pretty,” Addie said.
Her little eyes were pleading with Mimi to understand and not be mad.

Mimi shook her head and groaned.“I’m going to change. I don’t know what else I have that I can wear but…” she broke off when she reached the door of her room. They had laid out clothes and shoes for her.
Mimi was glad that her back was to them as she eyed the outfit. She grinned to herself. Black cardigan and skirt covered in butterflies, white, old-fashioned blouse with a butterfly brooch, hose with butterflies up the sides, black ballerina shoes with butterflies over the toes.

Mimi had worn the outfit at a poetry slam where she read several particularly strident, pro-feminist poems. She’d worn it as an over-the-top, soft feminine contrast to her poems.

She composed her face and turned to face the twins to tell them no. Before she could say anything, Addie said, “Mommy used to wear clothes like that,” her lip quivered a little.

“Dad and Uncle Donovan always told her she looked beautiful,” Avery added.

Mimi felt her heart pinch. “Okay fine. I’ll wear the outfit,” she said.

“Wear your hair down,” Addie said.

“I’m wearing my hair tucked into a black hat,” Mimi said.

“Okay but you have to wear some lipstick,” Addie said.

“What color?” Mimi asked sarcastically.

“Do you have pink?” Addie asked, equally sarcastic.

“Let’s leave her to get dressed, Addie,” Avery said.

As she stepped out of her apartment door the two little manipulators smiled big smiles, happy with the results of their efforts. Mimi locked the door behind her and turned to see Drew and Victoria about to go into their apartment.

Drew whistled. “Don’t you look pretty? Run out of clean hippie clothes?”

Victoria scowled.

There was a sound of two snorts from behind the door of Mimi’s apartment.

“What was that noise?” Victoria screeched.

“My cat,” Mimi said, heading for the front door.

“You don’t have a cat,” Drew said.

“I’m thinking of getting one,” Mimi stepped outside. “Have a nice day,” she said, her voice dripping insincerity.

“That girl is just plain weird,” she heard Victoria squawk as she closed the door.



  1. I got back just in time for new story snippets! Woot!!! (Although the calendar guy was nice to see.)

    About the punkin explosions, good tradition (and thanks for the clip). Dan and the kids always chucked ours off the (upstairs) deck into the back yard when the holiday was over. He and Em just did it last night. :-)

  2. Oh, I like it! It's fun. :)

    Now, keep going with it!

    1. It's fun to write, too. If I could just have a time where I'm in the zone with nothing to interrupt for a while.

  3. Interesting and very entertaining. I can just imagine the kids' uncle's response to seeing this butterfly-sprinkled woman. You can keep it up!

    1. Actually his response is pretty entertaining.
      Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Fun! Now, like Linda said, keep going!