Today is release day for my new short story, “I Wouldn’t Be Surprised!”
Did you ever wish you could take back something you said, even if it was just a joke? One of those moments happened while sitting around the Easter celebration table in our dream house, only the two of us. The world was spinning out of control. The news was glum, and we missed our family, so in true Janice-fashion, I tried to add some lightness to the meal.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Bigfoot came to our door with a plate of food.”
Dale paused a second from devouring his favorite turkey meal and burst into laughter.
Encouraged that I was in a brilliant comedic mode, although I’m sure the wine had more to do with it, I added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if a UFO landed in our front yard.”
Now I was laughing too. I sucked back a giggle. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a herd of serial killers stampeded down our driveway.”
I continued throwing out my zingers until I ran out of ideas. Our good spirits lasted through dessert. Soon reality’s somber mood crept back into the day.
A week later, I found out my comments might have been taken seriously when someone or something visited us.
“This looks good, thanks,” Dale peeked in from the garage late Sunday morning.
I frowned. “What does?”
“This plate of bread.” He held up a foil-covered paper plate.
“Not mine. Where did you get it?”
Dale’s graying brows pulled together over his puzzled brown eyes. “It was sitting on the back of my truck. Must have been out there all morning. I just noticed it.”
His look of longing at the plate of bread worried me. Dale’s celiac disease meant no gluten or wheat flour. “Set it down, and I’ll see who brought it to us.”
He nodded and left the present as I scanned the security camera on my cell phone, thinking a neighbor dropped it by earlier in the morning. Nothing. I checked each motion recording until I found what I was looking for. My mind clicked into the opening narration of an old crime show, Dragnet. “This is the town, Greenville, California. It is a sleepy mountain community where people still leave their doors unlocked. It was a Saturday, April 18, at 11:30 p.m., when an uninvited guest walked down the dark, football-field-length driveway. The unidentified person carried a circular item. They proceeded to place what appeared to be a foil-covered plate on the back corner of a truck and retreated into the night…”
(At the correct price of .99)
Comments off for vacation! Hugs to all:)
Embrace your inner child, D. L. Finn