Challenge to Myself: An Unedited Scene
During NaNo I noticed a lot of people posting snippets of their writing and thought, “Hey! I should do that!” But then again, I also thought, “Hey! I should probably be working on my NaNo novel instead of talking on Twitter, or watching TV, or doing the dishes, or breathing.”
Needless to say I did not finish NaNo this year, something that irks me to no end. (It’s not so much that I didn’t finish a project, it’s that I couldn’t complete the challenge. There is a difference in my mind.)
However, there is one thing I can do to placate my need to meet challenges I enforce on myself. I can post a completely unedited scene from my work. Eep! After not looking at it for a couple of weeks I cringe at some of the parts but you know what… who cares? I did it and I’m challenging myself to show you guys something that is rough, a bit rambly, and well, not polished; far from it, in fact.
What some of you may not understand is that very few people see an unpolished version of myself. Even if I post weird or crazy pictures of myself or tell embarrassing and funny stories I scrutinize over them. I try and guess how they will be perceived and interpreted. So enjoy this rare look at my work. I’m feeling oddly free and careless today. It doesn’t happen often.
Flower Shop Scene…
Betty’s Flower Shop was located on the corner of Turner and MacIntosh and just a block away from Tony’s office, which meant that Lena frequented the establishment often. Even though the thought of buying flowers for Tony’s mistresses made her squirm, especially since he rarely ordered any for his wife, Lena loved going into the shop.
There was something about the quaint little shop on the corner with its seasonal flower pots hanging in the window that made Lena smile. This was always her favorite time to stop by the shop. Pumpkins, corn, and gourds were arranged on little haystacks on either side of the door. Plotted mums with tiger lilies and crocus outlining the pots grabbed the passerby’s eye and the baskets of cinnamon scented pine cones enticed their senses enough to get them to stop and look.
More so than the eye catching displays and fragrant seasonal smells, her real reason for enjoying the quaint boutique was the person who was currently staring daggers into the back of the shop owner’s head.
Carissa Flynn was an energetic, bubbly redhead that lit up whatever room she walked into. She had this knack for bringing Lena out of a fowl mood and every once and awhile, even got her out of her apartment.
However, from where Lena stood in the door, Carissa was not her bubbly self this morning.
Sarah Michaels, the newly appointed manager and owner of the shop was violently shaking wilted lilies at Carissa.
“Listen, Carissa, I have no idea how the flowers got to be damaged. All I know is that I’m not the one that ordered them. I told you not to order them from that place. You just wasted money, you better find a way to fix it.”
“Me? If you would reopen the greenhouse and run the store like your mother did, we wouldn’t have this problem. AND, the flowers were perfectly fine last night when I left. Did you remember to close the freezer door last night?”
Sarah gasped. “Are you blaming this on me?” Sarah’s usual pale complexion went flaming red and Lena couldn’t help but stare at the vein popping out in the middle of her forehead.
“You better listen and you better listen good, missy. I don’t know what my mother sees in you but she asked me to promise to keep you on. I don’t know what twisted little spell you put on her or why but you better just watch your step.”
Sarah chucked the dead flowers in the garbage can by the counter and strode back into her office with a huff. Lena cringed at the jingle of the door, hating to call attention to the fact that she witnessed the exchange.
Carissa turned at the bell and chuckled.
“Saw that, huh?” At Lena’s silent nod Carissa bent to pick up the shriveled petals that fell from the damaged flowers.
“I have no idea what happened. I ordered these flowers from a reputable place, they supply a lot of different stores. I remember signing for them and arranging them in the freezer. I said goodbye to Sarah and was done for the day.” Carissa stopped to take a deep breath. “Then, I come in this morning to Sarah McBitch steaming over dead flowers.”
Lena made her way from the door to the counter where Carissa stood at the counter playing with the shriveled petals. She never knew what to say in these such instances. She never had many friends but she felt like she should contribute something so she did her best to hold up her end of the conversation.
“That sucks.” Lena wanted to bang her head against the counter. That sucks. That was the best she could come up with?
Carissa sighed. “Whatever. Anyway. Hey! Did I tell you about the open mic night tonight?”
Lena cringed. Carissa was always trying to get her to come out to listen to her band at open mic nights. Its not that Carissa’s band was horrible, it was the thought of going to a bar alone that made her hesitant… and feel pathetic. She always felt out of place and awkward. She’d rather just spend the night at home with a book or a movie.
“I, uh, well, you see… Tony has these new clients and…”
“Lena. Don’t give me that crap. C’mon! You came out a couple months ago, remember? You had fun! And don’t act like you didn’t.” Carissa paused and wiggled her eyebrows. “I saw you checking out that one guy at the bar.”
“What guy at the bar?” Lena bit her lip. She knew exactly what guy Carissa was referring to. He was tall, broad shoulders with dark hair that was always just a little bit tussled like he just ran his fingers through it. She never got close enough to look at his eyes but she had a feeling they’d be dark, mysterious. Lena blushed. Listen to her, pining over a guy she has only seen a handful of times and is always too chicken to get close enough to see his eyes let alone say ‘hello’.
“You know exactly what guy I’m talking about.” Carissa leaned over the counter with mischief in her eyes. “You know, my band plays there regularly and he’s usually there. In the same corner seat at the bar, drinking the same straight Scotch. Just waiting for some sexy young thang to…”
Lena laughed and threw some of the discarded petals at Carissa. “Shut up, Cari! Lord. Fine. I’ll go. But only because I want to support you.”
Carissa smiled what Lena lovingly referred to as her Chesire cat grin. “Mmhmm, whatever you need to tell yourself, honey, you just go right on ahead.”
Lena grumbled, “Whatever. Look, I’m here for Tony…”
Carissa held up a hand. “Let me guess, miss a date with Tina?”
“A new one?”
“About two months. But really, she’s not any different from the rest. It’s like he knows of a warehouse that makes 5’8” blonde bombshells with big boobs and small brains.”
Sarah emerged from her office and made her way into the freezer.
Carissa snorted and nodded towards the freezer. “Bimbos R Us? So, it’s the usual ‘Tony Special?’ Two dozen long stem red roses with baby’s breath mixed in?”
“You better upgrade it to the Fall colors with the lilies and baby’s breath. He’s taking her to Metros tonight,” Lena looked at her watch, “if I remember to call them right when they open. God, does he realize that you just can’t get reservations the day of to a place like that?”
Carissa made her way into the freezer. “Metros? Wow, it must have been some date he missed. Well, if anyone can get reservations there, you can.” She returned with her arms full of roses, baby’s breath and a vase.
“Ok, I can do the Fall roses and baby’s breath but the lilies may be a little sparse since they were the ones that decided to die on us overnight.”
Lena sighed. “Whatever you can do, just work your magic.” Looking at her watch she adjusted her purse on her shoulder. “Ok, I better go. I like to be at the office before Tony or he starts going through my stuff and messing with my schedule. Can you deliver them to her apartment?”
She scribbled down Shelly’s penthouse address on an order sheet and handed it to Carissa who was busy cutting and arranging the flowers into a vase.
“Hey! Don’t forget about tonight. We go on at 9 sharp!”
Lena raised her hand in acknowledgment as she walked through the door and made her way up the street to the office.
Carissa smirked absently at her friend and accidentally knocked her sheers off the counter. She bent to pick them up and noticed the discarded lily petals on the counter. She reached out and touched the velvety soft petals, petals that seemed to be from a just picked flower.
She turned to where the wilted flowers were thrown in the trash and picked up a beautiful, vibrant bouquet of the most fragrant lilies she ever smelled.