Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Entry #72

Mr. Fifth Date
by Dottie Camptown


I try to imagine being one of Colin Turnbull's pygmies, except I am the tonal inversion, the negative. Light where dark. Dark where light. Turnbull took his pygmy guide, Kenge, out of the forest and onto the plains. Kenge of course freaked out. The expanse of open sky was too much. I pretend to feel relief at the dark canopy above me, but I'm not a pygmy. I'm from Nebraska.

I feel a panic attack starting. (My court-ordered therapist would say: Create a story in which you are calm and then live in that story.) Reframe: I feel a little out of breath.

This is the most promising first date so far, although we are walking through the woods, and it is dark. He is my fifth first date generated from Craigslist.

SWM seeks SWF for hikes and nonsexual connections. Pic included.

He didn't ask me for mine. I opened his picture squinting, so I could shut out the image in case it included his erect member. It was a nice photo of a clean-cut young man with sweet melancholy eyes. He wore long pants.

If he was disappointed when he first saw me, he didn't show it. I pick up my lumbering pace wanting to get this over with. I don't want to be lost in the forest with no guide to get me out. Light flits through the trees ahead of us. My pulse finally steadies. I'll make it quick, so Mr. Fifth Date won't suffer.

16 comments:

Hoodie said...

LOVE. IT.
I like the end too. Leaves you wondering what "it" is for sure that Mr. Fifth Date might have to suffer through. ;)

angel said...

bucking frilliant!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Ooh, creepy! Really well done, good voice and tension and brilliant twist.

JLB said...

Your character is vibrant - I really enjoy the voice.

Jaye Wells said...

Loved this. Good job!

Ann Ostrander said...

What is Mr. Fifth Date suffering through? I loved this one as well.

Dottie said...

If I hadn't found the contest so late in the game, I may have been able to develop further the concept of contrasts. Like some of the other entrants, it was the light in the picture that struck me. light vs. dark, guide vs. follower, victim vs. aggressor and, yes, pygmy vs. anthropologist.
I wanted it to shift within the story, like light does as you walk through a forest. It will be fun to keep working it. I appreciate all thoughts and suggestions. To answer Ann's question SWF is about to bash Mr. Fifth Date's head in. But maybe she won't. As she said herself, the date was more promising than the others.

Katherine Napier said...

Dottie, those contrasts came through for me. Excellent read.

Anonymous said...

Captivating. I loved it.

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

Send it to McSweeney's!

SzélsőFa said...

I also sense a crime involved - especially with the court-ordered therapist mentioned. Creepy.

Sarah Hina said...

Great combination of a confident voice, humor, and surprising intent. You packed a lot in, and it all worked. Fabulous piece.

briliantdonkey said...

Really like the twist at the end. Cleverly hinted at earlier in the story with the 'court ordered' therapist. I caught the therapist part but not the court ordered until the reveal. Nice work.

BD

Victor J. Banis said...

Dottie,

Sincere congratulations on a much deserved win. Keep up the good work

Ann, #37 said...

Holy toledo! I didn't even realize she was going to kill him. I thought she had a low self esteem and she was ending the date so as not to make him suffer. Haha!

Now that I know, it's terrific!

Congratulations on the win too!

jason evans said...

Extremely well written with vivid characterization. Great use of showing instead of telling.

High marks!

Congratulations on 4th Place!!