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
Jim’s lips turned downward into a bored frown. With a single sweeping motion he snatched up his plate and mug as he stood to leave his grandmother’s musty apartment. The knotted rug behind the notched kitchen table, like always, managed to catch the toe of his sneaker and send him stumbling to one knee. The empty mug slipped from his grip and slammed hard on the tile floor.
“LOOK!” proclaimed Gran Stewart, seemingly thrilled at the shattered cup. She had always been eccentric. “I told you! I told you!!!”
He followed the direction of her arthritis-crooked finger to the floor. The pieces of the mug, jagged sharp porcelain shrapnel, had landed in a most curious fashion. Viewed from the right angle, and with a little bit of imagination, he could have sworn it spelled the word…
“R-O-M-E,” said Gran. “It’s where you’ve gotta go, Jimmy.”
“Italy? I’m not going to Italy, Gran, not because a coffee cup fell and the mess it left behind told me so. That’s crazy.”
“It is crazy, you idiot. You need to go to Rome, NEW YORK.”
“Yes, are you deaf? That’s the place your great-great-great grandfather wrote about in The Leatherstocking Tales. He died just south of there. Don’t you see? You were complaining all during lunch that your adventure had stalled, so destiny adjusted your compass for you.” She poked the broken handle with her slipper. “I just wish I could soothsay half as good as my dishware.”
Jim F. Cooper nodded, the frown suddenly gone from his lips. Once he finished cleaning the mess, he’d take his grandmother’s advice and at least check the lead out. She may have been odd, but she never steered him wrong.