You can see the Earth and Moon during the Martian night – beautiful yet painful. For ours is a one way mission.
The first thing we did when the power went out was light candles. Their flickering flames revealed horrible things creeping from corners and from under furniture; so the last thing we did was scream.
My latest visit to You Should Write suggested that I write: an angry lingerie model chases a jumping llama on an idle Wednesday (aiming for 1,973 characters).
I wasn’t sure what to make of that suggestion at first, lingerie models and llamas not being subjects that I’m very familiar with. My first instinct was to hit my browser’s refresh button to generate a new suggestion. But after a moments pause I decided to go with the flow and see what came along. This is what surfaced:
“This isn’t what I signed up for at all. No damn way!”
An idle Wednesday afternoon, with nothing but a laze by the pool scheduled, had become a complete nightmare. She was a lingerie model, he a llama, and the chase was on.
The agency called just after lunch and begged her to fill in for Maria, who couldn’t make the shoot. Again! How that lazy sod expected to succeed in the modelling trade was a mystery. Yeah, she’d the looks and the build, but her attitude sucked. So Ginny was standing in again, wearing lingerie and trying to catch a bloody llama!
Whoever included a llama in the set design for this shoot would get a serious bollocking later. The damned animal had so far disabled one photographer and a PA. Now its handler was flat on his face in the dust. Leaving Ginny to tackle the brute alone.
“Jesus Christ,” the handler bellowed, “don’t let him get away!”
So Ginny ran.
And the llama ran.
It jumped to the left just as she reached out to grab its halter. She skidded to a stop amid billowing dust and scattering stones. Due to her late arrival on set she was still wearing her trainers when the llama reprised Steve McQueen’s role in The Great Escape. Saying a silent thank you to the god of fashion models she sprang after the woollen deserter.
“Christ,” Ginny hissed, “maybe Maria’s smarter than she looks.”
The llama stopped ten feet away. Ears laid back, it gave an agitated groan and sprang away as Ginny snatched at its halter again.
“You four-legged bastard!” she screamed at its retreating rear-end.
It ignored her, turned and ran back towards the expensive assemblage of photographic equipment.
By now photographer and PA were back on their feet. They looked round at Ginny’s shout and the photographer moaned, “Aw, not the bloody camera!”
The llama paid no heed, scattering camera, tripod and a nearby lighting stand.
Ginny hurdled the fallen equipment, screamed her outrage and surged into a furious sprint.
Now the llama’s handler rejoined the fray. He took several slow steps towards the unhappy beast making soothing noises and calming gestures. Something in his manner had an effect because the llama stopped several yards away.
“Yes! Got you. I’ve bloody well got you!” A triumphant Ginny grabbed the llama’s halter and held on tight.
She stalked toward the handler hauling the llama along behind her.
“Here,” she spat. “To hell with this crap. I’m going home!”
And the actual character count was 1,975. Which is pretty close to the bull’s eye. Even if I say so myself.
Despite the gusting wind and drumming rain I felt secure and warm tucked up in my attic bedroom. Then a face appeared at the storm-lashed skylight.
For years he complained about his wife’s cooking, especially her pies, claiming he would make better. He was right: the guests at his wake ate every last one.