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Substitute

March 31, 2011

APRIL FOOL’S!

This week I am participating in The Great April Fool’s Day #FridayFlash Blogswap (but only because Tony Noland guilted me into it 😉 ). Tony put over thirty writer’s names in a hat and drew partners. Each set of writers was also given a prompt. My partner, J. Timothy King, and I were given the following: three free tickets to a movie.

To read all the dozens of stories swapping around as a part of the GAFDFFBS, check out the GAFDFFBS index over at Tony’s blog Landless.

To read my story, “Substitute”, please hop on over to Tim’s blog and leave a comment. Below is the Tim’s story, “The Friendship Dress.”

Enjoy!

(© 2010 jainaj CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

THE FRIENDSHIP DRESS BY J. TIMOTHY KING

She sashayed from the changing room sporting a empire-waisted, pink-and-white-striped blouse and pre-ripped denim cut-offs. She appraised her reflection for a moment and scowled.

“Wow. They should hire you as a model. You look really good in that outfit.”

I had a feeling she wasn’t going to buy anything. Something about the vibe she gave off. A career in retail has given me a sixth sense about such things. Of course, I’ve been wrong, sixth senses being what they are. But with only a few shoppers on a lazy Tuesday afternoon, it didn’t much matter one way or the other.

“I dunno,” she said.

“The blue one looked better,” I said, and her eyes lit up, and she nodded.

“But,” I added, “you could pull off almost anything, with your body type.”

God’s honest truth. Tiny little figure that bulged out just the right amount in all the right places. Part of that one-percent of the population that actually looks as good as the mannequins. So I wasn’t just buttering her bread. But you probably knew that, if you know me.

She continued to examine herself in the mirror, hands on hips, shifting her body from side to side to view from each angles. “Eh…”

“You know what would look really good on you?” I said, and walked her over to a sleek, multicolor maxi.

“Don’t know where I would wear that,” she said.

“A date?” I would die to fit into that dress.

“The kind of guys I date don’t go to places like that.”

“Time for a better class of guy, huh?” I chuckled at my joke.

But she didn’t laugh. Instead, for a moment, her eyes longed.

“Just try it on.” And I grabbed it from the rack and handed it to her.

She morphed into a different woman in the dress, classy, red-carpet chic. And I let her know with a “Wow!”

“Pretty nice, huh?” Grinning from ear to ear. It suddenly hit me that she had not up to that moment smiled, not even a little.

“God, I am so envious,” I said.

She spun, and the skirt flared out.

“Go dancing,” I said. “A girls’ night out with your friends.”

She stopped smiling. “My friends don’t take me dancing.”

Time for a better class of friends, I thought.

And as if informed by telepathy, she replied, “It’s not their fault. I’m just not a very good dancer. We go to the movies. Except today they didn’t have enough tickets.” And she continued babbling out a story of how Diana had three free ticket vouchers for the matinee she had got from work, two this month and one left over from last month, except the extra one had expired, so one of the three of them ended up not being able to watch the movie.

And I stood and listened and nodded, until she apologized through sad eyes and said she had to change and get back before her ride left without her.

“Hold on.” I stopped her. I don’t know whether my saleswoman’s instincts motivated me or whether it was just pity, or maybe both. “What’s your name?” I asked.

“Leeann,” she said.

“Leeann,”—I rested my hand on her arm—“you have to get this dress. It’s so you.”

She brightened and glanced back into the mirror. “Yeah, it is.”

Then silently, she floated back into the changing room, reemerging as plain-old-Leeann.

Before she left, she stopped to thank me, and with a fleeting sparkle in her eye, she said, “I’ll think about the dress.”

Weeks passed, maybe over a month, before I saw Leeann again, on another lazy Tuesday afternoon, this time with a perk in her step, accompanying another well-dressed young woman.

“This is it,” she chirped, motioning to the dress. “What do you think?”

“I like it.” The other woman grinned.

“But do you think Jimmy’ll like it?”

Instead of answering, she said, “Why don’t you try it on?”

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2011 12:55 PM

    Nicely done, great characterization with very little.

  2. March 31, 2011 1:53 PM

    Good work! 🙂

  3. March 31, 2011 8:27 PM

    All those short paragraphs totally would have given up the ghost that it wasn’t Danni. But I enjoyed it. She doesn’t write about enough wacky shoppers. At least the mannequins didn’t turn out to be alive and eating people like I anticipated.

  4. April 1, 2011 3:53 AM

    I really liked this! It’s sweet…although I would have liked it if the shop assistant had had a happy ending too.

  5. April 1, 2011 2:38 PM

    I thought it was a sweet story, but like Icy, I’d love to have seen a happy ending for the shop girl. Still, it gave me a smile, and what’s better than that?

  6. April 1, 2011 3:32 PM

    Thanks for all your kind comments. And thanks for running this Danni. -TimK

  7. April 1, 2011 4:01 PM

    Nice work! It’s always fun to see good advice taken. 🙂 This was a fun piece, very upbeat.

  8. April 2, 2011 8:41 AM

    I enjoyed this – well done!

  9. April 2, 2011 9:29 AM

    Tim I was blown away by your ability to tune into the female psyche “I would die to fit into that dress” lol! Really great piece. 🙂

  10. antisocialbutterflie permalink
    April 2, 2011 2:36 PM

    I have been that shop girl and making a difference is a happy ending unto itself. Great job.

  11. April 2, 2011 4:08 PM

    Nice story! Looks like it turned out to be a nice thing she missed the show.

  12. April 2, 2011 8:52 PM

    Nicely done! A fairly mundane slice of life that becomes interesting because of how it’s told and what it says about the characters. I really enjoyed this, especially the ending. 🙂

  13. April 3, 2011 8:23 AM

    Solid writing foundation, straight to the meat of the tale and cleverly thought out. Will have to visit Tim again.

  14. April 3, 2011 8:28 AM

    So funny that a chance encounter while trying on clothes can make such an impact. I’m glad it changed her for the better – setting her sights a bit higher 🙂

  15. April 3, 2011 10:11 AM

    Thanks, everyone, for all the feedback and kind words. I’m gratified that all my study and practice is paying off. 🙂 Cheers, -TimK

  16. April 3, 2011 8:32 PM

    I like uplifting endings, and Leeann seems like the type of woman who doesn’t let her good looks go to her head. So she deserved a good end — bravo!

Trackbacks

  1. Character Needs: The Need for Attention | Be the Story

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