Fiction Improvisation 3.0

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Fiction Improv 3.0

Okay, Peeps, Here’s what you gave me:

2 Names: Beulah and Harvey

Occupation: Environmentalist

5 Words (I’ll use at least 3): Verbose, superfluous, ambiguous, fun, and onomatopoeia.

Situation (I put out an extra call for this item and two people responded at almost exactly the same time. Since I don’t know which one was first, I’ll accept both.): (1)Getting wisdom teeth out and (2)Waiting in a crowd for a bus

All righty, this one is definitely going to be interesting. Time to let the elements cook a bit. I’ll post a short-short story or a scene by Sunday night. Max word count is 1,000. Minimum 500. 

The story turned out to be 787 words.

 

photo credit: Hipster via photopin (license)

photo credit: Hipster via photopin (license)

The Green Battery?

So this is what it feels like to have your jaws crushed under a steamroller.

Even though the city bus was only going about ten miles per hour, every time it hit a bump or rolled over a pothole, Harvey felt a fresh surge of pain. And it wasn’t just coming from the four empty sockets that once held his wisdom teeth. His whole body ached in sympathy.

What he wanted—needed—was quiet. But that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

First, the bus, for which he had waited nearly an hour, was stuck in rush-hour traffic.

Second, the woman behind him was apparently trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest unbroken stream-of-consciousness cell phone conversation.

Of course, it could hardly qualify as a conversation. The verbose woman never paused long enough for the person on the other end to get a word in. All Harvey knew was that the other person was named Beulah, and the only reason he knew that was that the woman apparently felt a pressing need to insert her friend’s name in every other sentence.

“Well, Beulah, you know I think what she was wearing yesterday was just atrocious, don’t you, I mean, really, how could she possibly wear black to a wedding rehearsal dinner doesn’t she know she has practically cursed the poor couple before they ever start on the road of life together, of course, Beulah, she might as well have cursed them because I don’t give that marriage six months, if they make it seven then, Beulah, you can say I told you so and by the way, did you see what the preacher’s wife was wearing…”

Harvey looked at his watch. It had been going on for two solid hours.

photo credit: Brno via photopin (license)

photo credit: Brno via photopin (license)

At the bus stop, she stood behind him—talking.

He’d have moved but the crowd was pressed so tight, he couldn’t get away.

On the bus, he hoped to place some distance between them.

She sat on the seat behind him—still talking.

And the longer she talked, the more his head throbbed.

He had to do something, but what?

Move? Not possible. No empty seats.

He could turn around and give her a dirty look.

That wouldn’t work. Besides, he’d already done that several times. The woman was clueless.

Grab her phone and stomp on it?

He’d get arrested.

But maybe, just maybe…

It hurt to even move, but Harvey stood up and reached inside his coat. As he stepped into the aisle, he put on his most stern expression, pulled out his I.D. and flashed it at her.

“Ma’am, pleashh hang upff. I neeth thoo thalk thoo shyou.”

She gazed at him, a blank look on her face.

At least she stopped talking.

“What did you say?”

Harvey realized that with a mouth packed full of cotton, he probably made Brando’s Godfather sound eloquent. He had to keep this brief. Every superfluous word he spoke only added to his pain.

He pointed at his I.D. badge and struggled to make each word clear. “I…needth…thoo…thalk…thoo…yoo.”

“Beulah, I’ll call you right back.” The woman broke the connection and then said, “Now what is it? You interrupted a very important conversation.”

Harvey pointed at his I.D.

The woman squinted. “Environmental Protection Agency?”

Harvey nodded.

“What do you want with me?”

Harvey pointed at her phone. “Ish…thath…phone’s…bathry…green?”

“Green? What in the world are you talking about.”

Harvey shook his head and pointed at his I.D. again.

“Ish…thath…phone’s…bathry…shafe…for…thee…environmenth?”

photo credit: DSCN3642.JPG via photopin (license)

photo credit: DSCN3642.JPG via photopin (license)

The woman’s face flushed. “I—I don’t know.”

“I…thoughth…ash…mush.” He held out his hand. “I’ll…haff…thoo…sheck…ith.”

“But, but you can’t do that!”

Harvey pointed at his I.D. and held out his hand.

The woman looked around at the other passengers. “Do you see what he’s trying to do? Somebody tell him he can’t do this.”

Most of the other passengers ignored her. A few shrugged and gave her a “What can we do?” look.

“You can’t do this!”

Harvey held out his hand. “Doo…yoo…wanth…me…thoo…arresth…yoo?”

The woman’s face was so red, she looked like she might explode. “Oh, all right.”  She slapped the phone into his hand.

Harvey popped the back of the phone off and took out the battery. He turned it this way and that, scrutinizing it and shaking his head.

“Shorry. Goth…too…confishgathe…ith. ”

“My phone?”

Harvey shook his head. “No. Jush…the…batthry. E.P.A. regulashion…35491…dansherous…bathries.” He handed her phone back to her. “Go…buy…a…green…one.”

He stepped back to his seat and sat down.

An instant later, the rest of the passengers erupted in applause.

Harvey smiled. That was fun.

Of course, there was no E.P.A. regulation 35491. He’d have to give the lady back her battery.

And he would.

Just as soon as she got off the bus.

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About James Pence
Author, speaker, singer, performance chalk artist -- Drawing the stories of your heart. Follow me @jameshpence and check out my blog: Creative Chaos.

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