Thursday, December 2, 2010

Red Writing Hood: Gone Viral

Sunday afternoon. I'm hiding in the bathroom. I perch on the toilet, holding my head in my shaking hands.

I had meant no harm. Truly.

Glancing at the polished nickel wall sconces, the pewter bowl with the artfully scattered seashells and the white, claw-footed tub, I swallow back another wave of nausea. As I splash cold water on my face, I hear my husband pacing behind the locked door.

"Honey? What happened to our house?" my dearest asks. He has never liked change, and with each word, his voice grows more and more taut, like an over-tuned viola. 

I shudder. What happened? Just a few words, a stupid Twitter update. I wish I lived in a Pottery Barn Catalog. A mindless joke, meant to be mildly amusing, perhaps worthy of a re-tweet at most.

I didn't think it would go viral. I didn't think I would wake up to an artfully staged, yet completely soulless tomb of a home.

I breathe deeply, in an attempt to slow my racing heart. "Did you check the baskets by the Bedford Collection Craft Organizer?"

He sighs. "Yes, Claire. All that's in there are Architectural Digests and stacks of logs. Where are my beer steins? And why is our kitchen table...wicker?" He says the word as if it was pustule or malignancy.

I step out of the bathroom, glance at the oversize spoon and fork dominating our kitchen wall, and force a smile to creep across my face. "It's really a crazy story..." His face is granite. I place my hand on his forearm, and continue. "Don't you like it? I mean look, honey, Found Belgian Train Signs!"

He jerks my hand away. "I liked us. I liked mess." He glances at the hurricane glass full of pistachios, and grimaces." I need a drink."

I laugh, waving my hands, "Well, look!" I shriek, "There's lots of champagne on ice!" I read the hand-printed sign hanging on parchment paper: "Tonight's Cocktail! Champagne with your choice of wild hibiscus, framboise, or assis."  The hysteria explodes from within, spurting like a broken sprinkler. I crumple to the floor, weeping softly.

"I'm sorry. I never meant for this to happen. I'm so, so sorry."

My husband sits down next to me. I can smell the framboise and artisan cheeses on his breath. "We'll talk about this later. But remember, everything can be undone." He kisses me gently on the temple, and walks away.

I rest my head on the Solid Sisal Rug and say a silent "thank-you."

After all, my original Twitter Update? Husband for sale. First come, first serve.

This week's entry for the red writing hood link-up was to write a piece of flash fiction (200-2000 words) using the topic "Trapped." or "I truly enjoyed spending time with them. I just had to decide which of them I would kill."

As always, your comments and feedback are most appreciated!


clearness said...

I totally love all of your Red Writing Hood stories. You bring me in and keep me interested!

Ratz said...

OMG! I am speechless Nancy. You nailed it lady.

Carrie said...

roflmao. This was hilarious. Can you imagine if our twitter updates DID come to life??

Man, I'd be in trouble

Christy said...

I LOVE it! I felt like I was in the catalog with you, and your ending was just perfect! wonderfully written

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

I've been so distracted by Nano I haven't writeen or read any RDW, but I'm glad I popped in. This was great. Made me laugh. I loved the "perched on a toilet" lol said...

I can't tell you the number of times I've wished for a catalog house, but the thought of it really happening?

It really is kind of terrifying, as is the idea of tweets coming true...

Great piece, Nancy!

Cheryl said...

I always thought a sisal rug would be way too scratchy.

"When Good Tweets Go Bad" should be the title. ;)

Erin said...

Ok, so I can confess here that we had a PB sisal rug. And it was quite scratchy. But 'tis gone now. I can also say we do have some Pottery Barn things and that we went through a PB phase for a while.....until we realized we wanted our "own" stuff, not stuff that looked like what everyone else had. Which is NOT to say I don't like PB, b/c I do. I fell in love with a giant pewter menorah there yesterday when I went looking for a frame. HELLO, it was almost $200! No, thanks.

Anywhoo, this rocked. You always rock it.

Love you!

Kim said...

Ahhh Pottery Barn, and Target and Designer Shoe Warehouse. Sorry, it was my first thought. Envy of the stores you guys have over there.

Seriously creative though! Hilarious. If you find out that tweets can come true let me know, I've got some good ones.

Ash said...

I'm totally laughing.

You just made my worst nightmare come to life. No one actually cooks in a Pottery Barn kitchen or plays in a Pottery Barn playroom. You must just sit and embrace the purity of it all.

No thanks.

Great job.

How's your head? XO - asshat

Alex said...

hilarious, adorable and wildly creative!

The mad woman behind the blog said...

So awesome. And I would be the one crying about wanting our mess husband is a PB ADDICT! That and Restoration Hardware. Doesn't he know we have a toddler?

Love this post. And I so love the idea. Just may have to take some tweets to the blog level. What an inspiration!

michelle said...

Brilliant. Reminds me of Ray Bradbury.


noisycolorfullively said...

I feel like maybe it shouldn't be? But I also find this hysterical. It's so accessible.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ha! Loved the story then roared at the ending!
Nice job.

Cook of the House said...

Loved this! Too funny.

Unknown Mami said...

This would make for a great modern episode of Twilight Zone.

tulpen said...

This was hysterical. The best one from this prompt I've read!!

only a movie said...

As usual, you're hysterical. (Hey - that's my sister in the comment above.)

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Be careful what you wish for I suppose! I might buy that husband if I was a single lady. I don't mind at all a guy that likes our mess.

Kristy said...

I'm sorry I'm just now getting around! This was great! Fun to read.

Jenny said...

Wow, great read.

Marla said...


You are not only a great writer, you also just described my sisters homes. You must be a psychic writer.