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Making of the Shrew

Maybe this will be a series of fiction. Maybe it won’t. But, this story begins with the fictional post, Expecting the Unexpected. Click here to begin at the beginning. And, thank you. Of all the hundreds of thousands of existing options for entertaining blog reading, I am honored you stopped here and chose me.

She always did her shopping on Thursdays. It really was the most accessible day. Dizzying meal selections were stocked to perfection, ingredients for the complicated recipes she always planned for him. He was still too thin, she thought to herself as she removed one kid leather glove and stuffed it with its companion in her snakeskin bag. Six months of her marital cooking had failed to line his middle with puffy satisfaction. If anything, he worked later, longer, harder, something she found perplexing. He didn’t have to work, the cushion of family money what made his emaciated frame and feminine features attractive to her in the first place. 

With a distracted sigh, her matching snakeskin heels clacked on the smooth floor as she pushed her cart through boxes of fresh tomatoes, their skin taut and glowing. Wasn’t there a tomato recipe she meant to try? Her mind struggling to fire through the pathways of recollection, she found herself lingering instead to watch the young stock boys bend and stoop and sort in their crisp white uniforms. Her face grew warm as she imagined what it might feel like for one of them to take her somewhere in the anonymous back of the store, maybe splayed against a pallet of fine-spun sugar or on the box tops of cereal.

Her fantasies were all she had.

Reality drove her clipped step up and down the aisles, her occupied mind oblivious to what fell into her buggy. What did it matter if she picked up a few unnecessaries? Lord knows, he could afford to buy the whole store. She could, too, she reminded herself. That was the point of this unfulfilled existence, this perpetual game of unconsummated desire.

She caught the bag boy in the rearview mirror, watching her, wondering how a mere girl like her could afford such a sweet ride. Leather and wood. A whiff of cedar scenting the exotic foreignness of the boxy car. Singular and expensive, just like her. Her foot tapped the gas and revved the engine, toying with him. The trunk was barely shut when she gunned the motor and shot into the busy two-lanes of Main Street. Wind met hair. Her custom shopping suit gleamed in the sunlight. Being rich made her feel powerful. Tonight, she would show him how intoxicating that could be.

At the back, she let herself into the ground floor apartment, enjoying the sheen of the top-of-the-line range and refrigerator unmarked by the clutter of shopping bags. She closed her eyes and inhaled a cleansing breath, molecules of air that belonged to her alone. On the exhale, she heard something. A gasp, perhaps, or a moan. Whatever it was, it spooked her enough to perform a cursory search before retrieving the shopping from the car. If her apartment housed some spirit, she could pay it any amount of money to exorcise itself.

She pushed on the door that led to the dining room and checked its swing, like a batter fighting to survive a 3 – 2 count with the bases loaded and two men out. Through the slit, that’s what she saw – two men: her husband of six months being taken on the top-of-the-line dining room table by a man who looked familiar to her.

Her hopeful heart shriveled beneath the silk of her blouse. If he could never love her, would the trappings of wealth be enough to fill her empty chest?

51 Comments Post a comment
  1. Obviously, money does not buy happiness.

    December 14, 2011
    • Obviously. But, wait. You don’t know what happens next…….

      December 14, 2011
      • I can’t to wait to hear wants coming. 🙂

        December 14, 2011
      • I can’t decide which scene to write next. The character is begging for one, but I want another. I usually listen to my characters, though. 😉

        December 14, 2011
  2. Whoa….that is…the stuff of novels…or not?

    I really loved the sentence: “With a distracted sigh, her matching snakeskin heels clacked on the smooth floor as she pushed her cart through boxes of fresh tomatoes, their skin taut and glowing.

    December 14, 2011
    • One day, this character will star in a novel, Cheryl. It has been my intention for a long time.

      December 14, 2011
      • I want to read that novel! Where is it? Give it to me now!

        December 14, 2011
      • It isn’t started, Cheryl. I am getting ready to rewrite the existing one with an editor. I totally agree with her assessment of the central problem with the book, and I can’t wait to get back at those crazy characters and polish them.

        December 14, 2011
  3. mtm #

    This is totally the opening scene to what would be a classic period film. I’d certainly pay to see this made in a double feature film showing, side by side: “A Single Man” then “A Married Woman/Shrew.”

    December 14, 2011
    • There was Far From Heaven several years ago with Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid.

      December 14, 2011
      • Excellent movie – one of my sad favorites.

        I read these backwards. I’ll have to wait and see how this wraps up.

        December 15, 2011
      • I need to wrap it up, because I have another series for next week. I am not writing two posts a day. (she tells these characters………)

        December 15, 2011
  4. Absorbing writing as always: a sad empty life. Makes me think of 17th century sugar banquets, too much indulgence in empty cloying sweetness. Hanging on the next episode…

    December 14, 2011
    • My mouth just curdled at the thought of eating that much sugar. Breakfast will now be savory for me. 😉

      December 14, 2011
  5. I’m with Cheryl – I loved that sentence! I did figure out the ending before I read it though. What makes happiness?

    December 14, 2011
    • I wish I knew a simple answer to that question. Beyond choosing to be happy every day, I don’t know.

      December 14, 2011
  6. Oh come on now, we all now the best part is the description of the car! “Leather and wood. A whiff of cedar scenting the exotic foreignness of the boxy car.” Get real people.

    😉

    December 14, 2011
    • Maybe the next scene should be what the car thinks of all this……

      December 14, 2011
  7. The snakeskin boots captivated me, along with her fantasies about the grocery guys. So coming home to the empty-hearted home certainly gives the story that sense of contrast. What’s going on with Mom from the last part of the tale?

    December 14, 2011
    • Mom won’t likely appear again, unless I jump back to present day.

      December 14, 2011
  8. Me thinks the “trappings of wealth” would never be sufficient compensation for the tolls exacted by a loveless union.

    Wondering if this tale will lead to ruination or redemption?

    December 14, 2011
    • Time will tell. I never know where these things will go when I start them. These dang characters get very opinionated.

      December 14, 2011
  9. Waiting… there will be more, yes??

    December 14, 2011
  10. Wow! Talk about walking in on a life-changer! I cannot wait for the next post!
    You don’t know me but I’ve been reading your blog, and I must say I really enjoy it! So much so that I have given you the Versatile Blogger Award (you can read details in my latest post). Feel free to do with it as you want. I am happy to share you with my blog readers and give you a bit of link love. Cheers!

    December 14, 2011
    • Wow, Stacy. Thank you so much, first for reading and commenting so that I can get to know you, next for sharing your blog with me, and last for giving me a Versatile Blogger Award. Kate Shrewsday bestowed a Volatile Blogger Award on me a couple of months ago, and I have enjoyed trying to live up to the challenge. I will message you and let you know when I run the Versatile Blogger story. Thank you for reading and for taking something from my writing.

      December 14, 2011
  11. Not sure which is worse – learning that your man cheated with another woman – or a man. And goodness gracious if you walk in on it what do you do? Confront? Slip out the back door? Hurt somebody? My head aches. Can’t wait for then next installment. 🙂

    December 14, 2011
    • To catch someone we love in the act of betraying that love – however it happens – is devastating.

      December 14, 2011
      • Indeed it is devastating and very sad. I really feel for anyone who has endured it.

        December 14, 2011
  12. Well, i declare…. Lol… Uhmmmm. Ok then… Waiting for the next post.

    December 14, 2011
    • Maybe that’s what she said. 😉

      December 14, 2011
      • Why not, “why I DO declare!” or just “Ahhhhhmmmmm”.

        Silly answers to serious question for a very serious story.

        December 14, 2011
      • Especially when she tried to pretend she didn’t see anything.

        December 14, 2011
      • And why would she not say, “Mind if I join you?” Or even, “mind if I butt in?”

        December 14, 2011
      • Oh my, Miss May. Shame on you. 😉

        December 14, 2011
      • No need to miss me, I am always close by. Closer than some people might like! 😛

        December 14, 2011
      • Hahaha.

        December 14, 2011
  13. I did so enjoy this, Andra!

    December 14, 2011
    • These tough stories make compelling reads, don’t they?

      December 14, 2011
  14. Ooh . . . venturing in fantasy with a “R” rating. 😀

    Write on!

    December 14, 2011
    • 🙂 I forgot a couple of teenagers read my blog, Nancy. Oh well. These characters demand what they demand.

      December 14, 2011
  15. Well, I’m hooked! So what happens next? D

    December 15, 2011
    • The story continues today and will go on tomorrow. Not sure about the weekend. We’ll see how it all develops.

      December 15, 2011
  16. Wow! Flexing some very buff literary muscles, Andra! This is GREAT! I love the “material girl” character and her honest acknowledgement of her own motives. She’s going to talk to you a lot, which is good for us readers!

    December 15, 2011
    • She will ultimately end up in a novel, but it is good to see people taking to her so readily.

      December 15, 2011
  17. earlybird #

    I’m afraid I’ve read these three backwards but I love it.

    December 16, 2011
  18. Wow, my heart shriveled right along with hers. I was totally caught up in it, what a slap in the face for her!

    December 22, 2011

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