So I wrote on a prompt as an excerise for my critique group in Shreveport. Here it is. Hope you enjoy:
Prompt: A 20-something man sits in a taxi in front of his parents’ house, trying to find the strength to tell them that he (fill in the blank).
“Can you drive one more time around the block?”
Adam’s voice was hoarse and he could feel the soreness scratch the inside of his throat. And if it wasn’t for the massive hangover that felt like a drill on his brain, he’d care. He’d care oh so much more.
“Alright kid. It’s your funeral.”
The bald driver slid the car into drive and took off.
“Okay, okay. What do I tell my parents?”
“I say tell them the truth. You only live once right?”
Adam shot the cabbie a dirty look. “Please, I’m trying to concentrate. I have to be delicate. My mom alone would kill me if she knew what I’d done.”
The cab driver turned the second corner and Adam’s anxiety crept into the first stages of panic.
“How about if I start like this? Mom. Dad. Great news! I’m still alive,” Adam said
“I wouldn’t start off that way.”
“Oh yeah? And how would you start it.”
“Not like that.”
“Some help you are.”
“Hey, I just drive the cab.”
The sunshine yellow Crown Vic rounded the third corner and Adam knew he had to think fast – lightening fast.
May be he can tell them he was abducted by aliens and when he woke up he was in the middle of the desert, dangerously close to Vegas.
Better yet, he thought about approaching his explanation from the saintly angle. There I was mom, minding my own business, driving the car back home from the library…
Or even better, he would tell his father, the former CIA operative, that a nasty gang of Russian spies came to the house and demanded he give up his scholarship money. It really was, after all, a matter of national security that he remained penniless.
But Adam knew none of those would work. There really wasn’t any explanation on land, air, or sea that would justify his current state or how the events of the weekend transpired.
The bald yet unhelpful cabbie parked the car in front of Adam’s house again. After a couple of seconds, he turned around and glared at Adam.
“Listen kid, just tell them the truth. You drove to Vegas, got into a high stakes Poker game, lost everything and your shirt, and you had to take a cab back home. At least you didn’t come back married.”
“You’re right. When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound that bad.”
Just as he was opening the car door, the driver stopped him.
“Don’t forget to tell your parents that it’s $1,000 plus tip.”