Whore


Margaret stands at the window, parting the curtain with one hand. “You missed quite a storm, George,” she says. George doesn't respond, of course, having been dead for eight months. But after fifty-two years, she has become accustomed to speaking with George. And so she prattles on, outlining the silences of her day with meaningless words, filling in the rest with television.

Three people trudge down the sidewalk, heads bent against the persistent wind. One clutches the handle of a Radio Flyer wagon. “You won't get around that tree,” Margaret murmurs. They glance at the window. Margaret pulls away. Ever since George died, she's been afraid. Now she is terrified: The power has been out for nine days. The dog has been eating her frozen dinners. The water is gone.

The trio heads up her front walk. Somebody rings the bell.


The dog barks and skitters over.

“What do you think, George?” she asks the silence. “Should I answer?”

George remains reticent, although were he alive, he would insist upon opening the door: George was a gentleman.

She goes to the door and opens it a crack. A man smiles at her. “We're checking on the residents in your area, ma'am.”

She widens the door. She's happy to see good old-fashioned virtue returning to America.

“Do you need anything?”

Batteries. Water. A flashlight. “I think I'm fine.”

“You sure?” He gestures to the wagon. “We've got everything from toilet paper to dog food.”

She smiles. “Well, a tin or two of dog food might be nice.” She pats the dog's head. He thumps his tail.

“Coming right up.” The man sloshes to the wagon and grabs three cans before returning. “Thirty dollars.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You don't want that pup to starve.”

She shuts the door; throws the deadbolt.

“Sorry, George,” she says. “That was unkind. But that man was a whore.”

George may have been a gentleman. Margaret never said she was a lady.

I'm writing this as part of the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was whore.

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Whore

Monday, October 29, 2012

Whore


Margaret stands at the window, parting the curtain with one hand. “You missed quite a storm, George,” she says. George doesn't respond, of course, having been dead for eight months. But after fifty-two years, she has become accustomed to speaking with George. And so she prattles on, outlining the silences of her day with meaningless words, filling in the rest with television.

Three people trudge down the sidewalk, heads bent against the persistent wind. One clutches the handle of a Radio Flyer wagon. “You won't get around that tree,” Margaret murmurs. They glance at the window. Margaret pulls away. Ever since George died, she's been afraid. Now she is terrified: The power has been out for nine days. The dog has been eating her frozen dinners. The water is gone.

The trio heads up her front walk. Somebody rings the bell.


The dog barks and skitters over.

“What do you think, George?” she asks the silence. “Should I answer?”

George remains reticent, although were he alive, he would insist upon opening the door: George was a gentleman.

She goes to the door and opens it a crack. A man smiles at her. “We're checking on the residents in your area, ma'am.”

She widens the door. She's happy to see good old-fashioned virtue returning to America.

“Do you need anything?”

Batteries. Water. A flashlight. “I think I'm fine.”

“You sure?” He gestures to the wagon. “We've got everything from toilet paper to dog food.”

She smiles. “Well, a tin or two of dog food might be nice.” She pats the dog's head. He thumps his tail.

“Coming right up.” The man sloshes to the wagon and grabs three cans before returning. “Thirty dollars.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You don't want that pup to starve.”

She shuts the door; throws the deadbolt.

“Sorry, George,” she says. “That was unkind. But that man was a whore.”

George may have been a gentleman. Margaret never said she was a lady.

I'm writing this as part of the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was whore.

Labels:

12 Comments:

At October 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM , Anonymous jaum said...

Lovedn the whole thing, but your last line...Capped it off nicely

 
At October 29, 2012 at 5:58 PM , Blogger Draug said...

I'm bracing for the storm here in PA. I do not want to drive home from work in an hour and a half but...
Please be safe and keep writing wonderful little stories like this! (:

 
At October 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM , Blogger BetaRules said...

Surprise ending. Altruism turns nasty makes me sad.

 
At October 30, 2012 at 12:22 AM , Anonymous barbara said...

I like Margaret. And, while distasteful, I like this story. Well done.

 
At October 30, 2012 at 6:06 AM , Anonymous dk said...

Super story and tragically, almost true.

 
At October 30, 2012 at 10:44 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

Very timely. We've evacuated several times due to hurricanes, and I know first hand how unscrupulous people can be when there is great need. Price gouging, unfortunately, is another result of disaster.

 
At October 30, 2012 at 6:45 PM , Anonymous Stephanie B. said...

Margaret reminds me of my mother-in-law. I heard her voice while reading this. And she is so right, that man was a whore. Current, and perfect. Great writing.

 
At October 30, 2012 at 8:29 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

I was afraid she was going to be harmed or robbed. I was relieved when that didn't happen! It's ridiculous that people would take advantage of those in need. I adore that last line!

 
At October 31, 2012 at 3:38 AM , Anonymous Victoria KP said...

Well done indeed! I didn't see that coming.

 
At October 31, 2012 at 12:49 PM , Anonymous deanaburson said...

Terrific writing. Your story really drew me in.

 
At November 1, 2012 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous E said...

wow that was terrific. superb story, but quite sad that it's so real.

 
At November 2, 2012 at 6:28 AM , Anonymous Brian said...

This was really good - I loved Margaret's character. It's particularly scary to think about the inevitable starvation when it will apparently be a product of agoraphobia/fear/her stubborn ways. Nice job!

 

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