Manhole

Choose one of the winning sentences from Bulwer-Lytton’s Lyttony and do whatever you want with it. Finish the short story. Write a poem with it. Just make the barest reference to it. Pick apart how ridiculous it is. Pick the one that makes you laugh the hardest, and just go!

Ahem, dudes, this one was tough.  But I powered through.  The sentence from the prompt page I used is bolded in the story below (also?  FYI…it’s a story, I promise!).

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She stumbled out of McNally’s, squinting her eyes as they reacquainted with the sunlight, muttering, “Fuck.” Her sunglasses were on the table.

It didn’t matter.  She’d get them back one way or another.  Or buy a new pair.  Slinking back inside meant sacrificing her perfectly executed dramatic exit.

“What an asshole…”  Every fiber of her being strained not to peer back over her shoulder.

Was he there?

Walking proved a difficult maneuver while lighting a smoke, but the previously consumed beers convinced her the attempt was a success and that’s all that mattered.

She smiled at the homeless guy ogling her ass, smugly thinking this skirt had been the perfect choice.

What a shame it’d be if he wasn’t taking up the chase, leaving this view to a man with a coin-less coffee cup and so few teeth.

A sigh escaped as she crossed the road diagonally, immediately after the crosswalk.  Nothing spelt drama like breaking pedestrian rules.

Looking this way and that she wondered if her game had lost its lure.

“Goddammit, where is he?”

Should she walk home?  Slow her pace?  Going too far would make it difficult for him to find her.

She bent over, stubbing her cigarette out with the awesome heels she’d purchased only the day before, paying close attention to the view she offered those around.

The last shot of Jamo started kicking in.  All balance was lost.

Faltering to stand back up she heard the telltale squeal of his wheels and fell back to the ground, defeated.

Determined footsteps pierced her ears and she looked up, only his dark silhouette visible with the sun glaring behind.  Instantly she felt the firm grip of his hands under her arms and ascended from the asphalt.

He led her to the not so oft used passenger seat of his taxi, graciously retrieving her shoe from the manhole that had tripped her up, then warily heaving himself back into the driver’s seat with a grunt.

“You are such a drama queen.”

“I know,” her head lolled to the side, taking in the giddy group of women on the sidewalk carrying shopping bags, giggling to one another.

They’d seen everything.

Jersey Bitches.  Fuck ‘em.

She shifted sideways, the tear in the seat’s upholstery that had bugged her so much in the past not even noticeable, and said,  pleadingly, “I love you?”

He rolled his eyes, stealing a daring left as the yellow light morphed into red, “I love you, too.”

“Here are your sunglasses.”

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city, their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist breath through manhole covers stamped “Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N. J.”

She threw her sunglasses on though the sun was beginning to fade.

They’d cover her red eyes.