This story originated in my Write the Story journal, purchased surprisingly intact at my local McKay’s. Each day provides a theme and ten key words that must be included in the post. For these writings, I do no major planning aside from jotting teensy notes by the keywords, suggesting uses for them. Despite these stories being rather unpolished, I’ve had so much fun writing them and wanted to share them here with you.
Theme: A Lunch Date Gone Wrong
After I practically set fire to my career, I wanted to hide—emotionally and physically (1,2). That craving sent me scouring the web for far away, and out of the way, places. That’s how I found Edgewood, or how Edgewood found me, as the locals would claim. I can’t quite explain the draw of this place (3). Wedged into the side of a mountain in North Carolina, surrounded by towering pines, Edgewood reeks of sweet, small-town charm (4).
But having been raised by eccentric lovers of all things mysterious, I learned something that has been key to my survival: never assume anything (5). That desire to uncover the mystery drove me to become a journalist—and it cost me the job I loved when I dug a little too deep and started asking the right questions. So, that’s why I’m shaking my head at myself as I sit in a corner booth just two minutes before midnight in the only twenty-four-hour diner anywhere around. Because, well, when I told my date to meet me at twelve noon, he thought I said twelve moon. What can I say? Everything is backward in this backwoods town.
The florescent lights overhead flicker, turning my salad a sickly shade of green (6). Then, the jingle of the bells over the door jerks my eyes to the leather-jacket wearing, chocolate-eyed man who got me into this situation. Matteo. I glance pointedly at the clock and raise my eyebrows when he arrives at my table.
“I’m here, just like I promised.” (7) He shrugs, and for some reason, I let it slide.
The waitress scoots to our table in her pink poodle skirt and roller skates just as an eruption of eerie howls breaks right through Elvis Pressley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” (8,9) Chills dance across my skin and all three of us pause, eyeing each other. Matteo’s legs bounce erratically beneath the table. Then he tilts his head, shrugs again, and says, “It’s a full moon.” (10)
Then he smiles, and I lose my breath because I swear his eyes turned a moonlight gold and two razor-sharp canines grazed his bottom lip. I blink rapidly, as if doing so will clear my eyes of the image and my mind of the absolute absurdity of it. I mean, it is crazy, right? That’s not possible. They don’t exist. He can’t be—
Matteo reaches over and tips my chin to close my gaping mouth. I blink again, staring right into those entrancing eyes as he winks.
Each sentence with a number contains a keyword (or two if there are that many numbers). Can you guess which words I had to use? What would have come to your mind with the theme of a lunch date gone wrong?
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