Thanks to everyone who came out for Mini Sledgehammer this month!
Character: A person stuck in the eighties
Action: Flipping hair
Setting: Furniture store
Phrase: “You want me to do what?”
Congratulations to Kerrie Farris, who stole the prize!
By Kerrie Farris
Sheela walked into the furniture store with her mother. The overhead lights shone dully off the polyester furniture. Sheela sighed, slouched, and trailed miserable behind.
She wasn’t sure what her mother wanted here. There was nothing beautiful in this showroom, or even interesting, like you might find in a vintage shop or a flea market. Her mother, Annette’s, taste in clothes, music, and everything else was decidedly dated. The skinny jeans and peacock-blue eye shadow she wore may have made a comeback but, in Sheela’s mind, not on the body of a 47-year-old woman.
While her mother chattered gaily to the shapely young woman trying to sell her a Lay-Z-Boy, Sheela wandered off towards the back of the store, and walked the length of a row of dressing tables. Her expression glanced sullenly back at her from each one. When she reached the end of the row, however, an unfamiliar face greeted her.
It was a boy she knew from school. Was his name Shane? Or Sean? Something like that. He was quiet and sort of strange. He rarely spoke up in class or at school, but when he did it was usually in social science classes, with some odd comment or question that baffled Sheela.
He was just standing there, staring at her. Sheela shifted her feet, cocking one hip forward, and flipped her hair.
“I work here.” He said, and held a broom forward, as if to prove it.
“Ok.” Sheela replied.
“Hey, what are you here for? Can I help you?” He was still holding the broom forward.
“I don’t know. Some god-awful leopard-print ottoman, probably. I don’t need any help.” Sheela looked down.
“Hey…” He was still holding the broom out, perhaps for protection.
Sheela looked up, and was about to toss her hair back again when he asked her-
“Would you…will you…I’d like you to…you know…gota th’ dancewithme?”
“Huh? You want me to do what?” Sheela snapped, but didn’t mean to.
“Oh, you’re going with someone else.” It wasn’t a question.
“I didn’t say that.” This time she did flip her hair, forcefully.
“I…” He started.
“Sheela!” Her mother bellowed across the row of couches and dressers. She saw one acid-green manicured hand waving above them.
“I have to go.” She said, turning just enough to see her mother’s frosted blond pixie cut bobbing towards her.
“Ok, um, so…will you go? With me?”
“What’s your name?” Sheela turned back to him, cringing, but ignoring her mother’s voice.
“Seamus. It’s an Irish name.”
“Hmmph. Bye.” Sheela turned back to her mother, and sighed all the way back through the rows of recliners. They must’ve turned on another bank of lights. The furniture didn’t seem quite as ugly.
Sheela’s mother commented, “I can’t believe you’re actually standing up straight!”
Sheela scowled, turned away, and smiled.
© 2011 Kerrie Farris
Kerrie Farris is in the process of writing her first novel. She has always wanted to be a writer, which is only fitting as she was named after a character in a book. She lives in Northwest Portland with her fiance and two cats.
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