A New Life

Throw a bunch of words in a hat, pull one out, and write a story using that word.

This week’s word: TEST

A NEW LIFE

Addie walks into the bathroom, the weight of the world on her shoulders. She had hoped there was another way, that the pharmacist could tell her, or send her to someone who could. Instead, he gave her a test.

She was so bad at things like this. So bad she couldn’t even finish high school. All the tests and assignments and fail, fail, fail, she’d even fail tests you couldn’t fail, like IQ and SATs. She failed her driver’s test twice before she finally gave up on that endeavor. What even is a blind spot anyway?

It doesn’t matter, because today is another one: a pregnancy test. The pharmacist said it could explain why her blood never came, but why couldn’t he just tell her? Why does she have to fail another test?

In the bathroom, Addie drops her pants and panties, sits on the toilet, and sticks the test between her legs. She then covers the small end in urine, some of which splashes onto her leg. “Points off” her driving instructor says.

It doesn’t take long before she is done, her urine gone and her examination complete. Now, the results.

Addie sits on the toilet while she waits, thinking about her test and what would happen if she passed. What kind of a mother she would be? Much better than her own that’s for sure: always calling her stupid and a failure, even in front of her father, who never did anything about it. No, she’d have a smart baby, and she’d never have any reason to call her a failure.

Finally, her results appear: a plus sign.

She stares at the sign. “I passed?” she says, letting it sink in.

Then it hits her. “I passed!” she hollers as she bounds off the toilet, out of the bathroom and into her unkempt den. “I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed,” she cheers as she bounces around the apartment, unable to keep her excitement in.

“Passed? Passed what?” Don asks, Don being the guy on the couch, the guy watching football, empty beer cans and a bottle of Jack around him.

Addie bounds to him and drops her test in his lap. “I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed. The blood di’n’t come so I took a test, and I passed!”

Don holds the test up to see what it is, then sees the plus sign staring back at him. His eyes widen.

*****

“But baby, I doan wanta go,” Addie says, sitting shotgun as he swerves down the road, around cars and through traffic. “I doan wanta kill mah baby.”

“You shut up you stupid bitch,” Don commands as he skids off the curb. “Whatcha want? To ruin our lives?”

“I di’n’t mean to. I di’n’t mean fo’ it to happen.”

“Ain’t possible for a girl to get pregnant less she means it. That’s a fact.”

Addie did not know that, did not know that was a fact. She didn’t think she wanted it, but pregnant she is, so maybe she did? Maybe deep down, in those secret parts of the brain scientists and doctors always talked about, maybe those parts wanted it and she didn’t know?

A red light. Don slams on the brakes, skids to a stop, just in time. They sit at the light, waiting. “I still doan wanta go,” she says.

Don doesn’t respond. The light turns green and off they go.

“I said I doan wanta go. Take me home.”

“No.”

“Take me home!”

“No!”

“Take me HOME!” Addie screams as she grabs the wheel, forcing a turn in the middle of the road. Don pushes back, then smashes his fist into her elbow, breaking her grasp and regaining control of the car.

“What the fuck!” Don yells as he slaps her face. “Don’t you ever do that again.”

A siren blares, a police siren, behind them. “Fuck!” Don screams as he pulls the car to the side of the road. “You just sit there, keep your mouth shut.”

The officer stops behind them, then approaches and taps on their window. Don rolls it down. “License and registration please,” the officer says.

“He’s drunk officer! He’s drunk and he’s takin’ me to the hospital and I doan wanna go!”

“You stupid bitch!” Don winds up for another slap and-

“Hey! That’s enough!” the officer interjects. Don listens, lowers his arm. “Out of the car,” the officer now commands.

Drunk and angry, Don exits the car. “I ever see you try to hit that girl again,” the officer threatens, “I will kill you. You got that?” Don does. “Good. Now, walk this line.”

Don doesn’t want to but what can he do? He lines up and there’s no way he can do it, barely even able to stand. One step and it’s over, he’s on the ground, down and out. Addie can’t help but laugh. “Shouldn’ta drank all that Jack!” she yells as the officer cuffs him and takes him to his squad car.

Addie waits as the officer returns, Don safely locked away.

“Thank you officer,” she says. “That man was outta his mind.”

“Ma’am, I’m gonna need you to step out of the car.”

“What?”

“Out of the car, ma’am.”

What’s going on? She didn’t do anything. She doesn’t understand but she’s a good soldier and so she complies. “I’m gonna need you to walk this line.”

Oh no, a test. She’s no good at tests, fails them all the time. “But officer, I haven’t had nuttin’ to drink.”

“Just walk the line ma’am.”

Okay, she’ll do it, take this test. And you know what? She’s gonna pass, because today’s a new day and she passed her pregnancy test and she’ll pass this one too. Pregnant with the world’s smartest baby, who’ll read the entire dictionary and know all the answers on Wheel of Fortune and solve Sudokus without even looking at the page. Yes, the world’s smartest baby and she can surely pass this one test for him.

So she starts forward, walks a straight line. Then stands on one foot and touches her nose. And even the breathalyzer can’t fail her; she’s invincible, she passes them all.

“Well, you seem okay to me,” the officer says. “Just watch who you spend your time with. I’ll call you a cab.”

“I’m going to the hospital. Gonna have me a baby.”

The officer looks at her stomach. It’s normal sized, some belly fat but no signs of pregnancy. He looks back at her. “You just take care of yourself, okay?”

Addie nods. She will, her and her baby. She’ll take care of herself, her life, her world. Because now she can and now she will, passing her pregnancy test, passing another. Having a baby, being a mother. She will take care of herself, her new life, in this world.

Dumb People On Valentine’s Day

Write a story about getting trapped on Valentine’s Day.

DUMB PEOPLE ON VALENTINE’S DAY

All men’s nightmare, this day is. Valentine’s Day, the world’s worst day, when you have to pretend to be romantic, to buy gifts and do nice things. To care and be thoughtful, to pretend there’s more to you, more than what you really want, you know what I’m talking about. And it’s worse for me, playing around, playing the field. Two girlfriends, and that’s probably wrong but you only live once, got to enjoy life, what’s wrong with having fun?

Of course, keeping it secret is hard, and keeping both happy? Even harder. Especially on Valentine’s Day. Twice the work, twice the expenses. Afternoon with one and the evening with the other, so much to do and money spent both times. But that’s how life is, got to do what you got to do.

As for now, it’s morning. Time to get presents, the mall, See’s Candies and I know it’s not creative but creativity’s not my style, juggling two girls is creative enough, and they both like chocolate. Yes, See’s Candies will be fine.

Shit. That’s her, outside the store. Evening girl, what’s she doing here, I’m supposed to be working, not here in the mall. Must hide, can’t let her see me, I’ll hide in my store.

Shit. Double shit. My afternoon girl, also in the mall, in the lingerie store. The lingerie store my evening girl just entered. What the fuck? What are the odds? Thank God they don’t know each other, all hell would break loose, but for now it’s okay, they are strangers, just as long as they don’t see me… got to hide in my store.

Hide in my store. Hide in my store. Hiding, watching, waiting, and… they’re right next to each other! The lingerie store, they’re practically together, going for the same thing: a blue nightie, two piece, and is it… yes! A stewardess outfit, straight from the 50s. That’s my thing. Oh man, that’s my thing and they’re both getting one, super sexy, just for me, and now I’m excited, now my mind’s racing. Them in those outfits, them together, chatting and laughing I can’t help but imagine: two at a time, two at the same time. It’s wild, I’m going crazy, and now they’re modeling for each other, checking each other out, and yes, they’re approving: they like each other, they have a thing, a connection, beyond me, they could even be friends. Maybe it’s possible? They’re hot and attractive and we can all be together, the two of them and me.

It’s too much, this is too much. They’re shopping together, but are they really connecting, what are they saying? I must know. So with my chocolates in hand, I emerge from my hiding, head into their store.

They’re still shopping, busy and into it so they don’t notice me. But now, they’re looking at other outfits. That doesn’t make sense, what about the stewardesses? They already found the perfect thing.

I need to know more, so I duck behind a clothes rack, eavesdrop on my girls. The evening one finds an angel nightie, models it in the mirror.

“It’s perfect,” she says, holding the angel outfit in one hand, her stewardess outfit in the other. “Angels for the nice one, and a stewardess for Mr. Dumb.”

What’d she say? Mr. Dumb? And who’s the nice one? I ain’t dumb.

“Ha,” the afternoon girl says. “Both of mine are dumb.”

What? I ain’t dumb!

“Dumb guys are the best. So easy to please, and great sex too.”

Damn straight great sex, but wait, what are they saying? I’m smart enough for two girlfriends. I’m not dumb.

“What about this one?” the afternoon girl says, holding her second outfit, and it’s practically nothing: chains, leopard print, super-kinky, like S&M. I’m definitely not into that.

“It’s nice. Looks expensive?”

“Yeah, but he’s worth it. He’s the better one.”

What? What’d she say?

“My other one’s better too. Angels over stewardesses any day of the week. God, he’s so dumb.”

What? I’m not dumb!

“Hey! I like them dumb.”

I’m not dumb! I’m mad, standing here fuming, these fucking girls, insulting and cheating, I should fuck them both! Wait, I already do that, I should dump them both, cheating on me, thinking I’m dumb. I’ll show them.

But… those outfits, stewardess outfits and they’re so freaking hot. So what if they’re bitches; they’re hot and they’re sexy and even if it’s not at the same time it’s still two in a day. Two stewardesses in one day, let them think I’m dumb, I still get what I want: two stewardesses in a day, that’s what I want.

Or is it? It was what I wanted, but now I don’t know, they’re doing it with others and for the afternoon one that’s fine but the evening one? Being with some guy, dressing like an angel, and then I get the sloppy evening seconds? And I know this girl: an angel she is not. Cocks in her face, up her ass, dressing all innocent so some guy can destroy her, then she comes to me? And I don’t even want to think about the other one, with her ball and chains, getting tied up, how many guys does she do per day? Both of these girls, dirty, skanky girls, but they’re so hot and they’re gonna be stewardesses… What do I do? I don’t know. My mind, racing again: sex, orgasms, cheaters, sluts, sex, threesomes, liars, bitches, sex, stewardesses, angels, dicks, sex, anal, oral, ugh they’ll taste like cocks!

“Argh!!!” I scream and I can’t take it any more, too overwhelmed to go on.

The store goes silent, staring my way, staring at me. My girls do too.

“Joel?” the afternoon one says. “What are you doing here?”

“You know Joel?” the evening one responds. “That’s my boyfriend. The dumb one.”

“I ain’t dumb!” I scream as I stand in my place, holding my chocolates, immobile and dumb.

“I like dumb ones! He’s my dumb one!” the afternoon girl responds, to my evening girl, not to me. Their eyes move to each other’s stewardess outfit, each holding the same one.

“The stewardess!” they exclaim together. And where there was friendship and joking, bonding just minutes ago, now it’s anger and hatred and they’re ready to kill, to pounce on each other, right here in the store. These smoking hot girls, ready to pounce and there they go at it, clawing and screaming and knocking down racks, hair and fists and clothes flying everywhere, all for me, fighting over me and all I can think of is: two at a time, two at the same time and now the store’s being destroyed, employees moving in as I stand in my place, imagining these smoking hot stewardesses all over each other and all over me, who cares if they’re cheaters, it’s two at a time and they’re all over me, I can’t take it anymore! I have to go, get out of here, out this store. Run away, go home, get out of this store. Calm down, get away, cool down and go home. The store’s been destroyed and the girls in kill mode: it’s too much, too hot and too sexy and I got to go home. Home where it’s safe, home where I’m alone. For I got too greedy and it’s all over now, my dream, my stewardesses, it’s done, I’m alone.

But… I do have those chocolates, See’s Candies, delicious stuff. Maybe I’ll watch a movie, something nice, something smart. Like a romance, it is Valentine’s Day after all. Yes, I’ll watch a romance, eat my chocolate… It’ll be a good night, on the couch with my movie, and my hand’s with me too: it’s Valentine’s Day; it’ll be a good night.