Today’s #writingprompt was more difficult. I wasn’t sure where to take this one. I thought of all the speculative directions I could take it, but none of them sparked enough interest in me. So, we ended up with this…
He told everyone at the Monday Morning Mimosa Mixer the story of the time he saw an alien when he was eleven. He’d drag it out. The luminescent green of its 10-foot-tall paper-thin body. The way he slammed himself to the floor before it could see him watching. The story was weird enough to paint Lewis as eccentric but not too odd to make him unapproachable.
The room reeked of orange juice and Maureen’s Dolce and Gabbana perfume. Maureen wasn’t a fan of the alien story. She could trace her lineage before her family came over on the Mayflower. And she constantly reminded people that she didn’t need to work by flashing them her eighteen karats gold custom-made Tiffany’s wedding band adorned with thirty garish diamonds. Her family had one saving grace: they believed everyone needed to earn their living.
Maureen’s father set her up with her first job as a secretary when she was seventeen at his plastic surgeon’s office. There she met local TV personality Cheryl Crouch who gave her a job doing social media for her morning show. One of the guests on the morning show was Brandon Skylar, who she eventually married. She repeated her favorite saying every Monday, “people need people.” For a networking opportunity, it was an apt slogan.
“Oh,” a man took in Lewis’s dark wash jeans. He stood out amongst the wealth surrounding him, but that worked to his favor. They craved a taste of him. “So, what exactly do you do?”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Lewis did not stick out his hand. “I’m a writer. I do a lot of copy for businesses, big and small. I’ve also written ghost stories, but those aren’t high in demand these days.”
The man laughed from his stomach and clapped Lewis on the back. They got talking about his son’s dispensary business. Of course, the man pointed out that the son did not imbibe in the product; it was purely entrepreneurial. He had tried to talk his son out of the business decision, telling him drugs are for people who watch that trash on that swimming adult channel. But hell, the man had to admit, you could make damn good money off crazy people.
By the time the two-hour mixer wound down, Lewis had hit on three leads with increasingly drunk clients. When he got home to the other side of town, he sent a follow-up e-mail to each. Then he took off his tweed jacket and toe-squishing shoes in favor of a topless boxers look. At 4:20, Lewis lit his Gandalf pipe packed with Blueberry Kush (coincidentally from the son’s dispensary). Looking over his balcony, he started brainstorming.
Tuesday nights were open mic night at Al’s bar, an unlikely place for the best music and writing the city could offer. The mix of academia and stoner culture is a cocktail that will never go out of style. This was the type of crowd it would be easier to count who didn’t have a nicotine addiction.
The rotten berry aftertaste from his ale clung to the back of Lewis’s tongue. 10:05 PM, his slot was up.
He never told the alien story to this crowd.
“XOXO, Gossip Girl. Our city’s Westside is hauntingly similar. But without the glamour. The romance. Or the anti-heroes.” He begins his five minutes with standing-tall confidence.
Everyone loves a story that’s out of their world.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading these daily prompts. It means the world to me. I’m just happy to finally be getting back into a writing routine, even if it’s just generative.