Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What project(s) do you have to finish or start and why isn’t started or done.

“Hahahahaha!” she laughed when she saw the daily writing prompt her friend chose for the next day. Daisy had a good sense of humor; she had to because of the name her parent’s bestowed on her. She would be 36 years old in a few months and had taken nearly as many years of abuse because of her name. It certainly shaped how she looked at the world and why she chose to laugh and not cry. Changing it would be a hassle and cause her beloved family a lot of pain. “But this prompt,” she thought, “is over the top!” Daisy sat down at the computer sent a reply to her friend:

It’s a good thing I consider you a friend or I may have to hurt you. I’ll write on the damn subject. You can laugh all you want!”

It was short, concise, and not so sweet. She hit the enter button and sent the line of binary numbers into thin air, knowing it would reach her friend and deliver an intelligible message. She sat down and wrote. “What project(s) do you have to finish or start and why isn’t started or done.” Oh God, where to begin! There was the obvious one, of course. The sole unfinished Halloween costume that had shrunk her capillaries and raised her blood pressure gradually over the last few weeks. It still needed to be finished. It would be entertaining to write, but it was also expected. She wanted something different. There were the daily chores like dishes, laundry, dusting, and all the other tasks required to keep the house clean. She was embarrassed by the appearance of her home and wanted to avoid it further. Writing about it would only have guilted her into staying up too late to take care of it. There were the endless phone calls that never seemed to get made until she had no other options. None of it was all that alluring. What could she write about then?

She paced around downstairs, picking up little odds and ends to take care of, hoping for inspiration. None struck. Daisy considered making up a story, but felt like that would be cheating. Sharing something true about her life was the better option. She put the prompt out of her mind for the time being and headed upstairs to work on her Halloween costume. As she reached the top of the steps, she saw flashes of red and blue in her mirror. It was a little after 10pm. She walked to the large living room window and looked down the street. Being the third house up, she could typically see the cross street and court just beyond it. Now all she could see was a city bus, pinned in the intersection by emergency vehicles. She counted them: two ambulances, two fire engines, and three police cars. Something was definitely going on!

She went to her bedroom window to get a better view. There was a lot of glare and she couldn’t easily see. “Turn off the light!” she said aloud and startled herself. She smiled at the silliness of it and then walked around her bed to flip the light switch off. As she walked back to her bedroom window, she grabbed the remote control and turned the TV on, surfing to a news channel to see if it would tell her what was happening on her block.

She went back to her window, watching the scene playing out. Another police car, lights flashing, pulled up alongside an old Jeep that was idling beside the curb. The police officer got out and approached the old Jeep. A short conversation ensued and the Jeep driver did a U-turn and drove away. The same police officer then approached the small congregation of officers that stood near the bus doors. He held something out and two people took it, walking away from the larger group. Daisy was distracted by the words ‘bus drivers’ on the news. She switched her attention to the flashing colors of the TV only to find the report to be about testing various pilots and drivers for sleep apnea. She surfed the channels until she found another news station. They were going to break before returning with the weather report.

It was only quarter after ten. It was a teaser. She knew they would cover a few other stories and sports before the weather report. It was every stations hook to keep the audience from straying too long: show the weather near the end. She looked back out the window. The scene had changed. There was now yellow police tape being strung across the intersection. One end was already tied around the corner resident’s fence post. The two police officers were now securing the tape to the tree kitty-corner. They left room for an approaching vehicle to make a right hand turn onto the street. The head lights were bright.

Daisy looked back to the bus. All the lights were on. She could see the blue of the bench seats. The LED scroll board announced the next stop to be East Towne Mall. Everything seemed normal, but something was out of place and she couldn’t decide what it could be. The police officers were crossing the street presumably to tie another corner of the tape in the triangle they were efficiently creating around the bus. Out of her peripheral vision, she saw someone turn on a flashlight and enter the bus. She waited for the person to walk into her view. Whoever it was never did. They stayed up front near the driver’s seat. There were too many leaf laden branches swaying in the breeze for her to see much of what was happening.

She shrugged her shoulders and began to leave. It wouldn’t be of any use to stand and watch all night. She wasn’t going to find anything out until after they completed more of the investigation. She turned off the TV. There were no reporters so it wasn’t going to be on the news until the next day, possibly. She took care of the few things she had picked up from the bed and headed back downstairs. In the mirror, she caught the reflection of another police car arriving. She peeked out the window to see the car park in front of her neighbor’s driveway. And then it dawned on her: the bus was on the wrong side of the road! Interesting. She’d check back in a few minutes, after she finished running the items in her hand down to the laundry room.

She reached the bottom of the staircase and glanced at her desk. The blank white Microsoft Office page with blue borders was still up. The cursor appeared to be winking at her. She laughed again. “At least I have something to write about now. And no one is going to believe this is true!” Daisy had a new unfinished project. She had to find out what was happening on her street. It was a mini investigation and she couldn’t complete it right then because she wanted to get her impressions of the scene down on paper. After that, she would walk back upstairs and see what had changed. If things seems to be winding down before she went to bed, she would call the non-emergency number and ask for some information. But first, she walked through the house and made sure the doors and windows were secured tightly. The Halloween costume would have to wait another day.

*** I know, it is a day early! But this really is what was happening shortly after I read the prompt and I could not resist taking advantage of it. Watch the news! Maybe we will find out what was going on.***


  1. This has peaked my interest and had me giggling through the whole thing. I will have to check out the news tonight to see if they cover it. It should be interesting.

  2. Just so you know, when I walked back upstairs most of the emergency vehicles had left. There were only 2 that I could still see. One of them had moved and parked lengthwise across the street in front of our neighbors house, lights still flashing, effectively blocking all traffic from entering or leaving through the intersection. I also called the non-emergency number this morning and they couldn't or wouldn't tell me anything.