A family friend recently mailed me a surprise package out of the blue. I opened it to find a book called “The Write Stuff: 500 Prompts to jumpstart your writing” by The Taconic Writers. As the name suggests, it is a journal type book full of writing prompts. I was delighted to get it and wanted to get started right away, only to discover that the allotted space for each prompt is only about eight lines- and even for a writer with reasonably compact handwriting that doesn’t leave a ton of space to spin out an idea.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d give it a try. Here is the prompt I selected:

You’ve crashed a black tie event. how did you pull this off? Who do you meet, and how do you explain yourself?

Here is what I came up with:

The invitation arrived by mistake, mixed in a bag full of post-Emmys congratulatory packages and bulk actor submissions )unsolicited and destined for the trash). I didn’t recognize the name, but then again, I hardly ever recognized the name: I was new. And mail came in addressed to all sorts of names: actors, aliases, production companies, etc. If it wasn’t addressed directly to a rep whose name I knew then I had to look it up in the computer, and if the database failed to yield answers then we were instructed to perform the casual felony of opening the letter in order to search for further identification.

So it wasn’t until I opened the letter that I realized that it was meant for the suite upstairs: The Penthouse. It was a black tie ball for the police department, addressed to a VIP with a “Von” in his name and a title that sounded like royalty. This was Beverly Hills after all.

Staring at the open letter in my hand, I wondered if I could plead ignorance and deliver the envelope upstairs with an “I-don’t-know-how-that-got-opened-it-just-came-that-way” attitude, but then decided that lying wasn’t likely to help me much, after all, this was the police. And maybe VonRoyalty. If they wanted to investigate the case of the opened mail, then I was screwed. Safer not to say anything at all.

But, having opened it, I couldn’t just do nothing. Right? I certainly couldn’t throw it away. The paper was so thick and buttery it might as well have been printed on money. Fresh money. Minty fresh. Maybe it was. It was certainly engraved; an engraved invitation. I’d never been anywhere that required an engraved invitation before. My curiosity got the better of me. I ran my fingers over the raised text nervously as I approached the entrance, doing my best to look like I belonged there. I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit shabby in my clearance rack, slightly irregular, almost name brand dress; surrounded as I was by bespoke confections by the likes of Versachyves St GucciWangs which glided past like Rose Bowl floats on a red carpet as plush as a suburban lawn.

I proffered the invitation to the bouncer security host by the door. He wasn’t wearing a badge, but I was pretty sure he had one. And if he didn’t then he could certainly call for one in a heartbeat through the coiled earphone creeping up from his collar. I gripped my purse anxiously while he inspected it, expecting to be tackled any moment, but he just grunted and nodded.

“You’re the new girl.” He said, reading the name off the invitation. Not a question. “Did you cry yet?”

“Excuse me?

“Everybody cries on the first day. It’s normal.” With a sympathetic pat on the shoulder he waved me through. “Go get ’em.”

“Thank, I think?” I said, and went inside.

It is currently un-finished due to running out of room on the page (even after adding a page from a yellow legal pad) so I will try to finish it later. That’s all for tonight.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 21, 2016.

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