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
“Who’da thunk thatta hooligan like yinz’d ever come back to a place like dis here?” Old Miles O’Corcoran laughed, whistling through his two missing front teeth. The wide dental gap, coupled with his flabby jaundiced cheeks, made him look like a jack-o-lantern, sans the flickering of a flame-touched tea light within.
Barley McGee rolled her mascara-caked eyes and clutched her Louis Vuitton purse close, wary of the round pumpkin man seated on the tractor before her. He meant no harm, but if the rumors about the smut he kept in his bedside table were true, he was still a few leagues from wholesome. “Not me, that’s for sure. I’m about the last city slicker you could ever imagine rusticating back to… To…” She pouted her lips to one side and flung her hands wide, conveying the scale of the grassy fields sprawling behind her. “To this.”
He whistled again. “Aw, shucks, we’s all knew you’d be back, Missus McGee. Dey ALWAYS come back!”
She toed the dust with her black leather boots. “Come back, sure. Everyone comes back for holidays, and funerals, and even the odd Sunday dinner around the fruitwood table. But stay? No, none of them stay.” A lump formed in her throat, clogging up her usually vocal cords. “Ever.”
Miles didn’t laugh or whistle. He sensed the young lady’s quietness, and his gourd-like jowls drooped accordingly. “You’s gonna stay, then? That’sll make your folks darned happy, I reckon.”
But the tight lump wouldn’t quit. In fact, Barley thought she felt it grower stiffer and girthier by the second. It didn’t block the flow of air in her pipes; only her words.