A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

21 February 2013

The Best Laid Plans Never Go Like You Thought


As she stood at the platform, her eyes fixated on the rotation of the wheels, which beckoned with their resounding repetitive "jump...jump...jump" chant chugging away like the gleeful anticipatory cries of a blood-thirsty crowd gathered below a ledge of a ten story building...she mustered up the stoic dignity of Greta Garbo in Anna Karenina - and took one step forward.


Much to her dismay it was the last train of the night and didn't have the desired effect she thought it would.


As she dusted herself off and composed as much of herself as humanly possible...she found that getting back up on the platform would take a feat of extraordinary power as she was wearing a calf-length pencil skirt which wouldn't shimmy up high enough over her knees for her to get a proper foothold.


She tried again and again...but looking remarkably like a carp flopping about in a dried up riverbed in the midst of its death throws, she garnered only laughter from the passing pedestrians who were much too busy rushing to their cars in order to jockey for positions in line to exit the parking garage than they were to help out a total stranger.


It was at this point she noticed she was missing one shoe and her other shoe was sporting a broken stiletto heel. It wasn't nearly as noticeable now, walking along the gravel (size grade #2) between the train rails as it was going to be when she finally found an access route to the landing...but it was clearly not as she envisioned the whole ordeal.


As she hobbled back to her car, teetering to and fro - she thought how ridiculous she must look - rather like a Weeble in those old television commercials...and if that wasn't bad enough...she now had that ludicrous catchphrase of that ad stuck in her head: "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."


This is when it dawned on her...pretty much the same time as the sun was rising...that parking in the "Tow Away Zone" wasn't the brightest idea considering she'd probably now have to construct a plausible alibi to hide her exceedingly badly botched suicide attempt. Who would ever believe she just happened to fall face-first "by accident" - totally sober? "No one." she mumbled to herself.


As if it wasn't bad enough she'd have to retrieve her car (and pay more to get it out than the car was worth) from the impound lot, and fork over, oh, at least $150 for that "no parking" fiasco, but she'd also need to have her electricity turned back on (it really didn't make sense to pay the bill beforehand...considering).


All those thoughts raced through her head as she limped over to where a phone would be if she were in that 1935 Garbo film...but it wasn't as black and white as all that anymore...and phone booths were a thing of the past (altho technically they would have been a thing of the future in 1935) considering everyone had a cell phone nowadays.


Everyone that is besides her...as not only did she lose a heel off of a brand new $695 pair of Manolo Blahniks (it was illogical to buy the ones on sale...you know...considering she wasn't originally planning to pay that bill either when it came in the mail) - she also broke her cell phone's casing and all she had left was the capability to redial the last number...and that wasn't going to do her any good as the only call she could make made that annoying "blonkety blonk blonk" sound of the AT&T company's alert jingle informing her that in order for her cell phone to get turned back on she'd have to pay $259.73. Again, it wasn't logical prior to all the mishaps of the evening's events to have had the forethought of a "Plan B" just in case everything turned out as abysmally as it had.


She had visions of them finding her there...face up, with a delicate trickle of blood coming out the corner of the left side of her face as she lie there...in pristine condition otherwise, dressed head to toe to the nines. The next morning they'd find the note...eloquently written - a hodge-podge cut and paste compilation of the best suicide notes of Hollywood's Golden Age (stamped with the seal of approval by the studio head himself before they were ever shown to the police) all nicely spliced together. Oh, they'd get the impression she was of much higher class than she was...just a misunderstood tormented being who couldn't take it anymore living beneath her standing but way out of her means. Anyone reading it would be impressed...and this evening was going to be all about impressions.

"Great expectations meets its match...I bungled my own death. I had ONE thing to do - and I couldn't do it properly to save my life." How she chuckled through the tears about that line as she looked around for a worker, any worker. She took off both shoes and headed toward the elevator...someone from the ticket-taker's booth would have a phone. Maybe I can tell them it was a "great party". Yeah...that's it...sounds plausible. I'll tell them I left my purse in the limo before I boarded the train and it had my cell phone in it. And with her alibi looking half-believable, she dropped AT&T's broken excuse for technology right off the fifth floor parking deck.  A feeling of ill-begotten joy swept over her as it shattered into dozens of tiny flecks below.


As she turned around, one of the on-lookers from the long ago dispersed crowd stepped toward her. "You seem to be in need of a bit of assistance." he said with polished English precision diction. She wiped away a wayward tear and looked up to see a very handsome man in a Hugo Boss navy pinstripe suit (waistcoat and all) holding out his impeccably manicured hand, palm-up, waiting for her to play the next move. "Wow!"...she thought to herself as she put her hand in his..."I definitely hit the jackpot here with this guy. This day might actually turn out MUCH better than I ever expected."


And, in a way, it was...never once in her wildest dreams of that night did she ever imagine she'd be "victim # 1" of the "Railway Ripper".



Today's prompt was "the last train" and I didn't want to go with the old Monkees song...so I came up with this instead.  And for a redemption of sorts, in a way -- I also incorporated a more proper "shoe prompt" from yesterday in today's as well.

Please go on over to "We Work for Cheese" to read about all the other bloggers and their take on the train prompt today.




27 comments:

  1. Is the first sentence your new entry to the BL contest?

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    1. I was thinking several sentences today could qualify.

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  2. I think that's what they call a shaggy dog story. You got me. I didn't see it coming. But I chuckled throughout this wonderful story.

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    1. Thank you, Dufus...I wrote it all whacked out on Ambien.

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  3. Awesome...that's all...just awesome!

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    1. Thanks! I had no idea what to write today - but when I finished off that silly "less than 10 minutes before the cut-off time" jobber about the shoes last nite - I had to throw in a nod to the shoes as well today. I thought it fit...um...perfectly. ;)

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  4. Haha, this was brilliant, Mariann! Funny and dark with a lovely twist.

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    1. I had woken up my daughter for school by the time I had gotten to the previous paragraph. I didn't know how to end it - and to tie it back around to the beginning (I like to come full circle in these) - then it hit me...the guy wasn't going to rescue her...he was going to end up killing her. She didn't go thru all that to get dinner out of it. ;)

      I was also going to put something about that suicide note she wrote and how the police were still puzzled about it...but I opted to take it out. I think it's better with it out. But I can still see them wondering what that darned connection to the note was, if she knew him, and if it was some weird pact they had beforehand and all.

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    2. Oh yeah...it's a given she fumbled about until she found her shoe - because she wasn't going to leave the train station without it. But it was implied - so that's why she takes off both shoes later on. Yep...that's it - it was implied all along. :)

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  5. That was fantastic. I never saw that ending coming. Before I read the last sentence, I thought she'd found her dream guy. I guess in a way she got what she was after, after she'd decided maybe life wasn't so bad.

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  6. Yeah - it's sad...poor thing - but that's how things work out sometimes I guess.

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  7. I agree, I didn't see that ending coming... I fully expected he was going to be her Knight in Shining Armor- it was a delicious way to end it!

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    1. I didn't know what my ending was either - and then this came to me. I liked it. :)

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  8. This is exactly what would happen to me if I ever attempted suicide.... just one wrong thing after another until some maniac took care of things for me. Not dignified at all!

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    1. Yep - some of us would probably be so inept. We'd all end up like Lupe Velez with our head (supposedly) in the toilet bowl, drowned instead. Not as pretty as we originally planned. ;)

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  9. Excellent take on today's (and yesterday's!) prompt! I love the comparison to the carp... made me laugh out loud for real :-)

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    1. Thank you, Nicky - as women, we all know how you can't exactly pull down some skirts to use the bathroom instead of sliding them up. I just thought she'd look really stupid trying to get her leg up to climb out with that skirt on. I think it would be nearly impossible. I'd probably end up having to unzip it and take it off.

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  10. Well, that's a twist. At least she gets her original wish, eh?

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    1. Yep. Not sure, tho - I think she was really wishing for that guy in the pinstripe suit to come and save her. I guess we'll never know. ;)

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  11. I hope that's a good thing, Meleah. :)

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  12. Hey Mariann! Blimey, dark stuff indeed, sad but darkly real. But good grief! A tall Englishman with a nice accent and a good suit? Hmmm, I can't think of anyone that fits that description. Please don't mention me to police. Indigo x

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    1. Hey, I never said he had nice teeth! ;)

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  13. I give this 5 stars, 2.5 for mentioning Weebles -- I'd forgotten all about them -- and 2.5 for the ending, which I didn't see coming. Great work, Mariann! :)

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  14. I swear sometimes stuff pops into my mind and it's because it has to either go into the save file of my mind or the delete. Weebles was one of those things that popped into my mind the other day. No reason. Just popped into it. So, I used it.

    Thank you for the nice comment - nice comments are nice from anyone...but from someone without a face...well, that's especially nice. ;)

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  15. I felt so bad for her botched attempt. The problems kept compounding, it got kind of tragically funny. Then that twist ending threw me for a loop. Now I see why you were pushing for me to rework my train post to include a woman with a broken heel. :)

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