Washington D.C.

On Our Way Home

Well, it’s over. Our Washington D.C. vacation is over and I totally failed to keep you all up-to-date on our activities. My intentions were good – I sat down, I stared at the screen, my fingers curled in anticipation of typing, but … I simply didn’t have the energy to write down my thoughts. I’m a big walker, but I have to say, if I don’t do any more walking for the next several weeks, it will be too soon.

We covered A LOT of Washington D.C. ground. We rode the Metro so many times that I now feel like a DC native. We got caught in rush hour foot, and Metro, traffic and I have to admit, I’m glad we don’t have the same hectic pace at home – people were running to catch the subway, which didn’t make any sense to me considering the trains ran on a five minute schedule. People were tense, snappy, and on a mission and I wish I could have spent a few hours watching them. The car traffic was INSANE and there wasn’t a fifteen minute interval that someone didn’t honk their horn in anger. Washington D.C. has diagonal streets, circles and squares and you MUST BE ALERT to keep up. Sirens wailed every half hour (the EMT guys must be EXHAUSTED), there were policemen EVERYWHERE and essential roadways were blocked due to construction. I had to sleep with ear plugs in to block out the noise and activity; Washington D.C. is a convoluted snarl of humanity … and I loved every minute of it. I could easily live here.

We’re now biding our time until it’s time to go to the airport. We could make a run down to the memorials and take a few more photographs of the magnificent structures honoring our brave military men and women, but we’re toured out and it’s nice to just sit here and catch our breath (and I’m sick of sweating – it would be nice to arrive at the airport looking halfway decent as opposed to halfway melted). We’ll be leaving for the airport soon – we’re scheduled to leave at 2:55 and will be trapped inside the madness we call air travel for most of the afternoon and early evening. I hope our flights are on-time and problem-free.

I’ll post details about our trip soon – we did a lot and there’s a lot to talk about. In the meantime, have a great day and I’ll see you back in Missouri!

Prompt Fiction

Fiction: I Had a Problem

Thursday Thread
Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.

This was originally published March 23, 2007

These prompt fiction pieces were all written in a hurry and haven’t been edited (much). I’m using these prompts to free / speed write – just some warm-up exercises.

You can find a ton of writing prompts at Write Anything. Click over today and write YOUR version!

Writing Prompt:

You’re behind a car in traffic when you notice part of a trash bag sticking out from the closed trunk. What’s in the bag?


I couldn’t help it. I had a problem. I knew it, my husband knew it, my friends knew it, hell even my neighbors knew it.

I worried the inside of my cheek and continued to check the traffic in my rearview mirror. I kept driving. I had no idea where I was going, but I couldn’t stop. Not now. I had pushed the envelope too far this time. I had lied so many times in the past I had forgotten the truth even existed.

I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. It was painful and yet strangely comforting. I was alive! Finally, thank God, I was alive.

I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew there would be repercussions. But I simply couldn’t stop. I had an impulse, a need to do this. It was strong. It pushed me. It was like being stuck in the middle of a parade. The people kept pushing against me; I tried to fight my way through the masses, but somehow, they always won and I ended up being twirled around and pushed ahead of them.

I finally stopped fighting them. What was the use? This was who I was. This was the only thing that kept me breathing, kept me functioning from day to day, kept me from tearing my hair out night after night and kept the demons from clawing my insides to bloody ribbons.

I pulled off the highway and onto the exit ramp. This section of town was dark, mysterious and dangerous. It was the perfect place to dump the contents of the trash bag in the trunk of my car.

I continued to check my rearview mirror. I didn’t think I was being followed, but I couldn’t take the chance. I drove around several blocks, taking side streets and weaving in and out of back alleys.

I released a small sigh of relief when I was finally convinced no one was tailing me. I lifted a shaky hand and removed a fine sheen of perspiration from my brow. The hard part was over. Now it was time to dump the contents.

I couldn’t help but smile at myself in the mirror. This was my favorite part.

I pulled up to the small security building outside the Greenback Storage Facility.

“Hey Ms. Winter. How’s you doin’ tonight?” The large, burly black man smiled at me from within his cubicle. His teeth glowed brightly in the dim light.

“Hi Max,” I replied in what I hope was a normal voice. I sounded breathless, guilty. I cleared my throat and smiled. “Slow night?” I could feel my heartbeat decrease with each heavy thud. It had a tendency to do that whenever I found myself in dire straits.

Max chuckled and pressed the button that opened the security gate. “The only people out are the punks who’s got something to hide,” he said.

I blinked instinctively as if he had taken a swing at me. I swallowed hard and recovered quickly. “Really. Well, then I better not look too guilty, eh?”

The breath caught in my throat as I waited for his reaction. I nonchalantly placed my hand over my purse just in case he asked any more nosey questions.

“Yeah, right Ms. Winter.” He grinned and waved me on through the gate.

I relaxed my death grip on the steering wheel and drove into the facility. I forced myself to drive slowly though what I really wanted to do was tear around the storage buildings on two wheels.

I finally parked in front of door number 414. I slipped out of the car and made a show of stretching my legs. It hadn’t really been that long of a drive, only 45 minutes, but I knew Max was probably watching me on the security monitor. I fished the storage keys out of my purse and walked to the trunk. I jabbed the key into the lock with perhaps more force than was necessary.

I broke a nail and swore softly under my breath.

I popped the trunk and grabbed the heavy black trash bag. A very distinctive and not altogether unpleasant smell wafted up my nose. I took deep breaths and using every ounce of strength I had, I hauled the bag out of the trunk. Using my elbow, I snapped it shut.

I stumbled a few times but was careful to keep my walk regular and steady. I wanted to run as fast as I could to the shed, but I didn’t want to arouse Max’s suspicions. When I reached the door, I unceremoniously dropped the bag at my feet and unlocked the door. I switched on the light and keeping the door open with my rear end, I dragged the bag into the building. It was only after I shut the door and caught my breath did I relax.

I stuffed the fake ID and credit card into the mail pouch next to the door. I wouldn’t need those again for a few weeks.

I turned and feasted my eyes on the mound in the corner. I could feel myself salivating with anticipation. I glanced at my watch. It was 4:15. I had just under an hour to “play.”

A giggle gurgled up inside my throat and I allowed it to surface. The sound reverberated off the walls and sounded scratchy and … evil.

I frowned and dragged the bag over to the mound. I was determined not to let anything spoil the moment, for these indeed were the happiest moments of my life, the trips to my storage container.

I grabbed a corner of the bag and tugged. The contents began to spill out and mix with the mound. The colors were spectacular: blue, red, pink, yellow, green, black, and white.

I rubbed my hands together and kicked off my boots. I began to try on the various pairs of shoes I had just emptied from the bag. I admired myself in the full-length mirror tacked to the far wall.

I sighed happily at my reflection.

“Now THIS is what life is all about,” I said to my flushed, animated face.