Writer's challenge #5: two former schoolmates meet

Two persons in their forties meet by chance abroad in the hotel lobby. They were schoolmates. Now one is a successful business person while the other is a botanist working for a state conservatory.

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  • "Marina."

    "Hi..."

    "How are you? Are you still living in Germany? How is your baby? Nicholas, is it? I saw him on Facebook. Beautiful."

    "Yes, he's wonderful, thank you. And yours must be big now?

    "They are. Thank the Lord. But you must be having fun with your little one. They are adorable at that age."

    "They sure are. It sure keeps me busy though. With my new job, and the man... they sure keep me busy."

    "They sure sound like it."

    "They sure do. Hahaha. As long as we're sure. Haha."

    "Hahah. Indeed. I've missed you. The laughter. Tell me about your job. Are you still in the travel business?"

    "No, I took a botany course. Now I work on plants. The people made me sick. The constant complaining."

    "I know what you mean. Exhausting. When I started avoiding them, I knew I needed a new career. I'm glad you're loving your new job. It sounds exciting and peaceful. All the things you can do with plants.... Did you know that most medicines come from plants? Of course you do...haha.. I just love it. So, what made you choose that field, and where did you find the time?"

    "My mother-in-law watches my son. I had to get out and do something else. I was losing it. Tell me about your job. You mentioned you had a new one? Is it in the same field?"

    "No no, it's very different, and I am so grateful. But never mind. It's kind of boring. I'd as soon skip it."

    "Why? What's the matter? Are you hooking or something hahahah?"

    "No, of course not! You're spending too much time int he kitchen, dear! I'm working for Harpo Industries."

    "Harpo Industries? What is that? It sounds familiar....wait a second...is that?

    "Yes."

    "Oh, are you reviewing, writing....?"

    "No, I'm CEO... just a fluke... a miracle...I have no idea how I got it. Maybe I was too friendly with the interviewer...hahah..who knows. I certainly have no idea how it landed in my lap."

    "Ok, well, it was wonderful seeing you. Take care of yourself." Marina turned quickly and began walking. Her back looked like a beautiful wall, poised and proud.

    "Thank you very much. You too. Maybe we could get together sometime for a coffee... Marina...."

    Marina was already gone. Silva watched her body recede like an ebbing tide to the beat of never.

     

     


  • Em_Press a écrit :

     

    "No no, it's very different, and I am so grateful. But never mind. It's kind of boring. I'd as soon skip it."

    "Why? What's the matter? Are you hooking or something hahahah?"

    "No, of course not! You're spending too much time in the kitchen, dear! I'm working for Harpo Industries."

     

     


    I love this part.

  • Jean-Paul, your turn. Don't leave me standing alone.


  • Em_Press a écrit :

    Jean-Paul, your turn. Don't leave me standing alone.


    I am finishing my contribution.

  • A Versace-clad lady enters the hotel lobby, and stops dead before a man in jeans and checkered lumberman shirt dropping his key at the reception.
    “Why! This will be Nickel!”
    “Nickel?”
    “Yes, Nickel Odeon!”
    “Nicholas Odeon.”
    “Nicholas! Don’t you recognize me?”
    “Who are you?”
    “Perce.”
    “Purse?”
    “Perceneige Mawfrey.”
    “I see. We met at a conference many years ago, didn’t we?”
    “No! We were schoolmates! Miss Jones! Greenhills!”
    “Oh, my God! Now I remember you! You are so different now, Percy, you look so ... sophisticated ... and elegant ... and ...”
    “Oh, thanks, Nickel. Yes, gone are the buckteeth.”
    “And popped up have the boobs, if I may dare?”
    “Oh, you naughty man! What are you doing in Dijon, of all places?”
    “We have a botanists’ conference on vines. You?”
    “We have a real estate brokers’ congress. So you sell wine?”
    “No at all. I am a botanist. We study plants.”
    “Oh, I thought you said –”
    “We are talking about vines, not wines.”
    “Why not talk of wines in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy?”
    “We do, during dinner. The city is supplying us with the best bottles.”
    “Are you that well-paid?”
    “Not at all. I am employed by a conservatory. My salary is about the same as a janitor’s.”
    “Oh, poor Nickel! Forget it all, and join me. I need a new secretary. You helped me do my school work, if you remember. See it as a promotion from the old school days. Of course you’ll have to dress the part. Don’t say anything. I know what is best for you. How lucky you are to have met me. I have plans for you. See you tonight at the bar round 10pm.”

  • I love your sense of humor in this. Perce gives me the creeps at the end, but that makes it all the more a hilarious and well-written read. I may try this challenge, though I know nothing about Botanists. lol
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    "Silva watched her body recede like an ebbing tide to the beat of never."

     

    EM_Press, Bravo!

     

    At first the conversation seemed a bit stilted, and then I realized why: Marina really wasn't that interested in it. Well done.

  • Thanks a lot, Demcleod. I thought of developping it by revealing Perce has already ruined two husbands, but she has decided to be good to the third, and this will be a man who needs protection. Nickel fits the profile.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Johnny surveyed the lobby with a jaundiced eye. He was already a bit put out by the landscaping in the parking lot. They used Iceplant. Seriously, Iceplant? It's like totally an invasive species, stomping all over the delicate coastal ecosystem. Wasn't it illegal to even, like buy that stuff? If not, it should be. He made a note to ask his superiors about it.

     

    He pushed the OceanPacific sunglasses off his nose and let them dangle by the neoprene cord that ran from earpiece to earpiece. Well, the plants in the lobby were all silk, so that was cool, at least. They weren't, like, wasting water on you know, impatiens or something. He started to steer his flip-flops towards the registration desk when his eye caught on someone sitting by the elevators.

     

    Speaking of an invasive species: It was Jimmy Koldwasser, that jerk from his classes at UCSC. He started to turn away, but Jimmy saw him.

     

    "Hey," he said, jumping up from the bench by the elevator. "Johnny, right? Ah, give me a second... Durkin? Dervil?"

     

    "Danville," said Johnny, resigning himself to the meeting. He offered a limp hand for a handshake, and Jimmy shook it vigorously.

     

    "James Koldwasser. Koldwasser enterprises."

     

    "Yeah, Jimmy, I remember. Yeah. You, um, we had some classes."

     

    Jimmy -- now "James" -- threw back his head and laughed. "Oh, didn't we, though. Remember that one life science course? You were very into it, threw the grading curve."

     

    "Yes, and for that you put MiracleGlue on my chair. I ruined a good pair of pants just trying to leave class."

     

    James laughed, "Those were some good times, weren't they? So what are you doing these days?"

     

    "Um, State Botany Service. We've got a conference here tomorrow on the native ceanothus darkstar plants, and how the pine beetles might affect them, long term."

     

    "Sounds mighty boring," laughing James. "Better you than me, Eh?" He glanced at his watch. "Me, I'm waiting on the wife. That woman can be so slow. Good thing she's pretty or I'd never put up with it. Fifth anniversary. Taking her to that Michelin star restaurant in Carmel, Forge in the Forest, and then we're going to a cabin in Big Sur for the weekend."

     

    "Sounds pricy," blurted Johnny.

     

    James shrugged. "It's going on the company card. My accountant says I can make it a business expense under employee satisfaction." He winked. "I work for the company, right?"

     

    It struck Johnny as dishonest, and underscored his determination to escape this conversation. But as he looked up, beyond James, he saw someone else he remembered from college. It was Rebecca LaCroix, a vision of loveliness, a phantom of delight, a dream condensed to fleshly form. Her blazing red hair bounced softly above smoldering green eyes.

     

    He had loved her from afar. He had stopped short of worshipping the ground where she walked, but had found it to be, on the whole, more sacred than the profane dirt around it. But she had rebuffed him, laughed at him, spurned him. He watched in dismay as she sidled up to James.

     

    "Ready, my love?" she asked.

     

    James turned to her. "Well worth the wait, huh? Catch you next time, Jeremy." And with that the couple left their classmate behind.

     

    "Johnny," he said. "Not Jeremy."


  • Skoob_Ym a écrit :

    And with that the couple left their classmate behind.


    The bully and the scoffer. Birds of a feather fly together.

    A well-told bad encounter. I like the echo of "ice plant" in "Kaltwasser". Is there some undercurrent that runs from ice plants ruining the environment to Johnny's pants ruined by glue or is it my imagination?

  • Jean-Paul, you had me laughing from the start. Witty...

     

     

  • Skoob, thank you. Yes, their very simple "Hi" at the start is meant to indicate tension. Coolness. Thank you for noticing.

  • Skoob, brilliant nuances. Well developed characters in such a short space.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    potetjp wrote:

    Skoob_Ym a écrit :

    And with that the couple left their classmate behind.


    The bully and the scoffer. Birds of a feather fly together.

    A well-told bad encounter. I like the echo of "ice plant" in "Kaltwasser". Is there some undercurrent that runs from ice plants ruining the environment to Johnny's pants ruined by glue or is it my imagination?


    If there is, I'm not aware of it. Maybe subconsciously... :^)

     

    The local iceplant is an invasive species. It's likely that Spanish Galleons picked them up in the South Seas and used them as ballast, jettisoning them along the California Coast as they took on cargo. At one time the state Department of Transportation used them to landscape near freeways, but they are very slick and actually made cars slide farther in accidents.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Em_Press wrote:

    Skoob, brilliant nuances. Well developed characters in such a short space.


    Thank you. Some days it comes easily... other days we search for the words...

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

     In the interest of full disclosure: I stole the line "A phantom of delight" from William Wordsworth's poem, "She was a phantom of delight"I


  • Skoob_Ym a écrit :

    potetjp wrote:
    I like the echo of "ice plant" in "Kaltwasser". Is there some undercurrent that runs from ice plants ruining the environment to Johnny's pants ruined by glue or is it my imagination?

    If there is, I'm not aware of it. Maybe subconsciously... :^)

    The local iceplant is an invasive species. It's likely that Spanish Galleons picked them up in the South Seas and used them as ballast, jettisoning them along the California Coast as they took on cargo. At one time the state Department of Transportation used them to landscape near freeways, but they are very slick and actually made cars slide farther in accidents.


    A striking case of an author unaware of the underlying layers of his writings.  All the same, congratulations. Smiley Happy

  • Carl pulled into the parking lot of the hotel finding a space that wasn't too obtrusive.  His eight year old sedan just didn't compare well with the luxury and sports vehicles that took up most of the spaces in the general parking, let alone the valet lot.  Pushing open his door, he moved to the trunk to pull out his well worn and scuffed suitcase.  Lugging it across the parrking lot he stopped as he entered the lobby to look around him.

     

    Marble colums lined each side of the grand stairwy leading to the guest accomodations.  To each side polished oak islands portrayed the check in desks surrounded by tropical foliage. Everything about the place exuded genteel elegence and wealth, an ambience Carl had little experience with.  For this weekend he would experience it to the fullest.  That is what vacations were for right?

     

    "Carl?  Carl Fuller?" A voice called across the room.

     

    Turning, he spied one of the tallest women he had ever seen clacking across the marble tiles towards him, a grin lighting up her rather plain face.

     

    "It is you! It has been what, twenty years since college?" She stated boistrously lifting Carl n a huge bear hug that popped his spine.

     

    "I am sorry ma'am I don't..." Carl tried to reply.

     

    "It's me Mitch!  We were room mates all through college, you have to remember me!" She implored.

     

    Well, she did look like Mitch... maybe?

     

    "Oh, you haven't seen me since the operation! What do you think?" She grinned

     

    "It really is you, When did this happen.  You were kind of a dawg with the women in college I never expected anything like... this" Carl finished lamely 

     

    "I decided to get in touch with my feminine side and voila! Here I am the new improved me!  Okay I will admit it, when I called your folks house to see how you were doing they said you were coming up here.  I was working on a deal with the hotel so I thought I would surprise you." Mitch explained.

     

    "Uh yeah. Definitely a suprise." Carl choked out at a loss for words.

     

    "You know Carl, there is more to this meeting than complete chance.  I couldn't let my whole life go by without telling you the feelings I had for you in college.  I had to tell you at least once how I cared." Mitch admitted.

     

    "Ergh. uh r-really?" Carl stammered completely thrown by the unexpected admision as much as the situation. Somehow it didn't help that Mitch stood four inches taller than he did.

     

    "Naw.  April fool Carl my man!  Gotcha!  I heard you were going to be here so I set this up.  Now I will go change into regular clothes while you go check in and we can grab a beer and enjoy the weekend!" Mitches laughter bellowed through the room.

     

    "That is so not funny Mitch!" Carl groaned.  Mitch hadn't changed a bit.

     

     

    *Note - New author, first time post, probably got the gist wrong

     

     

  • Indeed it fits April Fool's day.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    WW Dowd, excllent. Good way to put a new spin on the scene.

     

    This really shows how one simple concept can go so many directions.

  • Ty very much Skoob! You know how insecure new authors are so your words mean a lot!
  • Hello darling...... Nice to see you it's been a long time..
  • Hey baby
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