30 Day Writing Challenge
Coral is a mess. She slowly opens her eyes as she tries to massage the circulation back into her right hand. She feels her watch uncomfortably poking her wrist but she doesn’t takes it off—in fact, she never takes it off because anything she doesn’t have strapped to her she loses. Except her dogs—the dogs she walks that is. Those are her money makers and she desperately needs them. Today is Wednesday so it’s Skipper. Skipper is the sweetest pup you could ever ask for, except for the fact he’s all the way across town…Coral sighs at the thought. She rolls over the clothes scattered on her bed and stumbles to her feet. Looking into the mirror hanging from her closet door, she sighs again. Her wild blonde hair is all over the place, just like her life.
This week is not as bad as last week when she had a mental breakdown and quit nursing school. Who wants to be a nurse anyways? She only did it because she’d failed out of art school and thought she needed to take her life “seriously” again. Still looking in the mirror, she combs through her golden locks as she says aloud to herself, “This is the day. Today will be the day.” The day for what, you ask? The day one of her blogs will go viral. The day she is finally recognized for the brilliant, amazing, witty, talented writer she is. Or maybe just the day she makes enough for rent, either will do.
Apart from dog walking, Lyft driving and delivering Uber eats, Coral is a writer. She’s been “freelance” writing since high school— anything from website content for mom and pop stores, to editing, to ghost writing manuscripts and cookbooks. But one day. One day she will be a New York Times best seller. Not at this moment though, now she’s running out of the door while throwing on the closest pair of jeans and shirt she can find. Skipper’s owners have motion sensors on the doors and she CAN NOT be late.
As she walks Skipper she daydreams of what life would be like if she only had to focus on writing…wow, wouldn’t that be nice. She can see the look on her face when she opens up that first offer email;
Dear Ms. Coral Macintosh,
Thank you for your submission. We are happy to inform you, your novel has been accepted by Plize Publishing.
In full daydream mode, she trips on the curb of the sidewalk and lunges full face into the concrete slab. Before she can fully open her eyes she realizes Skipper has gotten loose. OMG, she thinks! In a panic she gets up and looks frantically in all directions.
Coral is screaming “OMG, OMG, OMG,” over and over again until someone finally stops and asks her what’s the matter? It was a short, unassuming man about her father’s age. Coral can barely get the word’s out but she manages to tell the man what had happened. He’s eyes widened the size of walnuts and he begins to talk very quickly, “Okay you go up third street and I’ll go up Monte and we will meet in the park on Q St, I bet he ran to the park, does he like parks?!” Coral pulled herself together long enough to nod her head. The short man gave her a firm nod and walked briskly towards Monte Street.
Coral was beside herself with grief, she thought of all the worst things that could happen if she did not find Skipper. Could they sue her for losing their dog? Could she get thrown in jail? She was beginning to feel dizzy as she approached the park. She found a bench and sat down to catch her breath. After a second she got up and started screaming at the top of her lungs, “SKIPPER! SKIPPER! COME HERE BOY!” It was all she could do to not fall on her knees and cry hysterically.
After what seems like hours, she bumps into the short man again. By the look on his face, he’d had no luck finding the dog either. Coral turns a bright red and starts sobbing uncontrollably into the short man’s shoulder. “What am I going to do?” she wales. “There, there child, we will find….” He stops and listens. “Shushhhh, child, shushhh, do you hear that?” Coral calms her crying and listens. They hear rumbling coming from the bushes behind the short man. He turns around and sees the bushes shaking. They cautiously walk toward the bushes, for fear of a fox or other wild animal. Once they reach the edge, Coral slowly moves her head towards the rumbling and peers into the bushes.
“OMG, OMG, it’s him! Skipper! Oh thank God!” She’s beside herself with joy, all until she sees the real problem. Skipper is all tangled up in his leash. He can barely move in the impromtu chokehold he’s in. Coral looks back at the short man with an exhausted expression, “Oh for God’s sake, how am I suppose to get him out of that.” The short man smiled, “Not to worry, my child. I have this.” He pulls out a pocket knife to show Coral. She seem unconvinced but nods her head towards the bushes anyway. It’s this or what? She thinks to herself.
In a matter of seconds the man is able to get Skipper lose. “Well, I have 2 dogs myself, I can let you borrow a leash until you go and get another one. Coral looks at Skipper and looks at the short man, What else is there to do? She offers him a weak smile and nods her head. Soon after, Coral, Skipper and the short man start walking down Q St towards his apartment….
To be Continued