Howard Snickered

This posting was written in response to a prompt from the red dress club:
"Physical beauty.

It can open doors - and can also shut them.

Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait."
Of course, I probably broke the rules again. 
I also rushed it a bit: Filibuster is home and I'm off to pick her up.
Howard Snickered

Lilly Jean Jacobs plopped herself down right next to Howard Heacock and flipped open her menu.  “I’m not even going to say good morning to you, Dumbass.”
Howard swiveled slightly upon his stool to acknowledge his stepmother, a woman three years his junior, and was accosted by her bosom.  He turned away quickly and added three packets of sugar to his coffee.
“Lilly Jean, must you store your drink there?”  Bitsy nodded towards the plastic sports bottle tucked neatly in Lilly Jean’s ample cleavage.  “You’re nauseating my customers here.”
“I don’t think so, Bitsy Barnes,” Lilly Jean returned, reaching into her oversized purse and withdrawing a hair pick.  “Word is, ever since I came to town, business has picked up for you.”  She fluffed her hair then whipped out a giant bottle of hair spray. 
“You’re not spraying that shit in my diner.”
“What, you gonna’ have me arrested?”  She grinned and depressed the button.   
“You’ll require a tornado to take that hair down tonight,” Bitsy observed, grabbing a couple of menus and directing Ransom O’Neill and his wife to a two-top.
Lilly Jean pulled a bottle of red nail polish from her purse and shook it violently.  “I don’t think Daddy Sheriff brought me to Medford for love, Howie.  I think he brought me here to fix you.”  She started with her pinky, lining up the bristles of the tiny brush with the edge of her cuticle and moving towards the tip.  “Truth is, I don’t think you’re the fixable type.” 
She moved on to the fourth finger.  Howard eyed her wedding ring.  “You know your daddy never told me nuthin’ about you when he proposed to me.  I didn’t know you existed until Daddy Sheriff carried me across the threshold of my new home and there you were, sitting by the window, staring at the stars.  “I never woulda’ married your father, had I known you’d be part of the picture.  I don’t need to be tied down, taking care of some freak show accident.”  She made her hand into a loose fist, turned it over and began blowing upon the nails with pursed lips.
“Fact is, Howard Heacock, had I known what a dump Medford is, I never would have agreed to have come here.  I was on my way.  I was going somewheres.  Did you know, I was…”
“Runner up in Miss Tennessee.   Yes, Lilly Jean, you may have mentioned that once or twice.”  Bitsy returned to the breakfast bar and grabbed a pot of coffee from the warming plate.
 “I was also in a television commercial.”
“For shoes, Lilly Jean.”  Bitsy refilled Howard’s cup, all the way to the rim the way he liked it.
“And I was called back for that television pilot…”
“Cancelled before it got off the ground.”  Bitsy leaned her massive body over the counter.  “You ordering today, Lilly Jean or did you mistake my restaurant for a beauty parlor?”  
Lilly Jean sneered.  “This ain’t no beauty parlor.  Coffee, black.  And toast with a smidge of butter.  Don’t be letting that cook of yours butter it so much I have to wring out the bread.  I got an audition coming up.”  She spread the fingers upon her right hand.  “No one understands, me, Howard.”  She paused to blow on her pinky.  “I been here eight months and not one woman—not one—has made any effort to get to know me and you know why?”  Lilly Jean leaned towards Howard, made to whisper in his ear.  “They’re all jealous of my beauty.”
Howard stole a glance at Lilly Jean, a late-model thirty year old acting as if she were straight off the lot.
For the first time in eighteen years, Howard snickered.
Hearing this, Bitsy screamed and dropped the pot of coffee.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Howard Snickered

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Howard Snickered

This posting was written in response to a prompt from the red dress club:
"Physical beauty.

It can open doors - and can also shut them.

Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait."
Of course, I probably broke the rules again. 
I also rushed it a bit: Filibuster is home and I'm off to pick her up.
Howard Snickered

Lilly Jean Jacobs plopped herself down right next to Howard Heacock and flipped open her menu.  “I’m not even going to say good morning to you, Dumbass.”
Howard swiveled slightly upon his stool to acknowledge his stepmother, a woman three years his junior, and was accosted by her bosom.  He turned away quickly and added three packets of sugar to his coffee.
“Lilly Jean, must you store your drink there?”  Bitsy nodded towards the plastic sports bottle tucked neatly in Lilly Jean’s ample cleavage.  “You’re nauseating my customers here.”
“I don’t think so, Bitsy Barnes,” Lilly Jean returned, reaching into her oversized purse and withdrawing a hair pick.  “Word is, ever since I came to town, business has picked up for you.”  She fluffed her hair then whipped out a giant bottle of hair spray. 
“You’re not spraying that shit in my diner.”
“What, you gonna’ have me arrested?”  She grinned and depressed the button.   
“You’ll require a tornado to take that hair down tonight,” Bitsy observed, grabbing a couple of menus and directing Ransom O’Neill and his wife to a two-top.
Lilly Jean pulled a bottle of red nail polish from her purse and shook it violently.  “I don’t think Daddy Sheriff brought me to Medford for love, Howie.  I think he brought me here to fix you.”  She started with her pinky, lining up the bristles of the tiny brush with the edge of her cuticle and moving towards the tip.  “Truth is, I don’t think you’re the fixable type.” 
She moved on to the fourth finger.  Howard eyed her wedding ring.  “You know your daddy never told me nuthin’ about you when he proposed to me.  I didn’t know you existed until Daddy Sheriff carried me across the threshold of my new home and there you were, sitting by the window, staring at the stars.  “I never woulda’ married your father, had I known you’d be part of the picture.  I don’t need to be tied down, taking care of some freak show accident.”  She made her hand into a loose fist, turned it over and began blowing upon the nails with pursed lips.
“Fact is, Howard Heacock, had I known what a dump Medford is, I never would have agreed to have come here.  I was on my way.  I was going somewheres.  Did you know, I was…”
“Runner up in Miss Tennessee.   Yes, Lilly Jean, you may have mentioned that once or twice.”  Bitsy returned to the breakfast bar and grabbed a pot of coffee from the warming plate.
 “I was also in a television commercial.”
“For shoes, Lilly Jean.”  Bitsy refilled Howard’s cup, all the way to the rim the way he liked it.
“And I was called back for that television pilot…”
“Cancelled before it got off the ground.”  Bitsy leaned her massive body over the counter.  “You ordering today, Lilly Jean or did you mistake my restaurant for a beauty parlor?”  
Lilly Jean sneered.  “This ain’t no beauty parlor.  Coffee, black.  And toast with a smidge of butter.  Don’t be letting that cook of yours butter it so much I have to wring out the bread.  I got an audition coming up.”  She spread the fingers upon her right hand.  “No one understands, me, Howard.”  She paused to blow on her pinky.  “I been here eight months and not one woman—not one—has made any effort to get to know me and you know why?”  Lilly Jean leaned towards Howard, made to whisper in his ear.  “They’re all jealous of my beauty.”
Howard stole a glance at Lilly Jean, a late-model thirty year old acting as if she were straight off the lot.
For the first time in eighteen years, Howard snickered.
Hearing this, Bitsy screamed and dropped the pot of coffee.

Labels: , , ,

9 Comments:

At June 17, 2011 at 7:49 AM , Anonymous Carrie said...

interesting dialogue. I could picture the characters sitting in the diner, chatting. The use of both first and last names is an interesting effect. I picture the characters MORE once I hear both names.

one question: this section:
“Cancelled before it got off the ground.” Lilly Jean leaned her massive body over the counter. “You ordering today, Lilly Jean or did you mistake my restaurant for a beauty parlor?”

Should that be Lilly Jean leaned? Or should it be Bitsy leaned. It would make more sense if it was Bitsy.

I'm not sure I get why Bitsy screamed at the end. Was it a scream of laughter? Or a scream of terror.

visiting from RDC

 
At June 17, 2011 at 7:56 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh, good catch, Carrie. It should be Bitsy, thanks. I'll correct that. I'm not going to explain the scream because it would give too much away.

 
At June 17, 2011 at 7:56 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Emily!

 
At June 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Love it, lady! I could hear their convo, smell the hairspray. You really brought me to a time and place without a whole lot of background!

Also? I'm so curious about these characters and am looking forward to getting to know them better!

 
At June 17, 2011 at 5:00 PM , Anonymous lori mcclure said...

This is really great. The characters are popping off the page, and your names are wonderful. Really enjoyed this :)

 
At June 18, 2011 at 6:42 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Lori!

 
At June 18, 2011 at 6:43 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I'm glad you want to know these characters, Galit. I've been trying to get to know them for 4 years.

 
At June 18, 2011 at 6:43 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks so much, Terry! Still struggling to figure this novel out.

 
At June 21, 2011 at 6:26 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Bernie! This is slooowwwllly coming together.

 

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