Word of the Day: Coterie

Word of the Day: Coterie

In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it.  My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations.  It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!

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By Alex Seise

The coterie met every week at the same time to exchange variations on otherwise unchanged gossip. For the sake of appearing progressive, they did, however, rotate meeting places at Consuela Hernandez’s request. Sometimes it was a dingy old café on Main Street; other times the park by the stinking green duck pond. More often than not, though, they gathered at the decaying mansion on Hickory Hill Road, the one whose grounds were surrounded by rusted black wrought iron spikes and scraggly brown honeysuckle vines that had withered three summers past. The house was owned by Mrs. Violet Heatherspone, a widow without family or flair whose days were consumed by reruns of old game shows on her boxy tube television set. Though she had more than enough money to live comfortably and still afford a good Christian burial, Violet chose the path of frugality for both her final years as well as her home’s. She believed it to be more old fashioned and dignified than going out in opulence, or worse yet, a nursing home. No, Violet resolved, she would live life the way she wanted, simply and without much extravagance, save the flashy game show sets. Her credo meant that she would also meet her flock of hens every week in her musty old parlor where they would chitter over age-softened tangerine—or apple, if on sale—slices and salt-free crackers from a metal tin. Every expense was always spared, and the exercise in thrift made Violet smile. It was a grin she intended to take to the grave.

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