Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a story using the following five words: tables, swimming pool, pavement, trees, mailboxes.
Today’s post comes from Phil Yeats. In December, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats.
Michael watched his little sister from the front steps of their suburban bungalow. The Junior Achievement wunderkind at her middle school was selling lemonade at two tables perched beside the pavement.
He noticed her unusual clumsiness, dropping coins and spilling lemonade as she fidgeted while serving her customers from beneath the shade of their cut-leaf maple trees. When she sat down and squeezed her knees together, he twigged. His money-grubbing little sister needed the bathroom, but she was unwilling to risk losing a sale while away from her perch.
Perfect, Michael thought as he rushed down the steps. He could accomplish his goal while helping his annoying little sister. That would totally shock her.
It worked perfectly. Sis was effusive with her thanks as she rushed away before she peed her pants. Michael was sitting there doing his Good Samaritan schtick when Jessica sauntered by on her way to Tuesday afternoon practice at the Y’s swimming pool.
Jessica stopped just as he hoped she would. “Your little sister’s employing you as a barista?”
“She had an embarrassing, um, personal problem, so I’m holding the fort.”
“But you’ll be free at four?”
He laughed. “Hope I’ll be done in ten minutes.”
“Good, you can join us at the pool. We’re getting together for a little relaxation after practice.”
“During the late afternoon open swim?”
“Yup. Pool party, then we have sodas and snacks.”
Michael shook his head. “Pool parties aren’t my thing.”
“Why not? We’re not all championship swimmers.”
He paused, thinking his avoidance of swimming-related activities was common knowledge but didn’t give it the serious consideration it deserved. “I don’t even own trunks.”
She grinned, and he realized he’d fallen straight into her trap. “New policy resurrected from the 1950s. Swim trunks are optional for guys.”
“No way. Those naked swimming at YMCA stories are grossly exaggerated urban myths.”
“Oh, they’re true enough. You’ll find plenty of evidence on the web, and our Y is resurrecting it.”
Again, Michael shook his head. “But those Ys were male only. Ours is a combined YM and YW with a common pool, and you’re talking about co-ed activities, aren’t you?”
“You’ll see. The official send-off for this wonderful idea of CFNM swimming at the Y is this Friday. I’ve sent you a personal invitation. Check your snail mail. It’ll be there.”
Michael played the trump card from his brilliant plan without considering how Jessica’d shanghaied his agenda. “I have a far superior idea. How about we attend Fiddlestix’s Friday night concert?”
She clapped her hands together. “The amphitheatre, so the concert starts at eight?” He nodded, and she continued. “Perfect. You can let it all hang out at the pool in the afternoon and we can attend the concert together in the evening.”
She skipped down the street before Michael could reply. She’d skewered him with her latest scheme and left him no escape route if he wanted her to attend the concert.
He turned, wondering what happened to his sister. He no longer had time to sit here minding her stupid lemonade stand.
After she reappeared wearing a different pair of shorts, Michael rushed to the box office. While waiting for his concert tickets, he texted his friend Jared’s mother. She worked at the Y, so she would have the scoop on Jessica’s crazy event. On the way home, he tackled the community mailboxes at the end of their street. He whipped open their box and extracted a letter with the combined YMYWCA logo on the envelope. The formal invitation confirmed what Jessie told him.
He should have known she wasn’t joking. They’d been close friends through grade twelve and planned to attend the same university. They constantly teased and challenged each other, but his insecurity kept their relationship on a mostly Platonic level despite her frequent attempts to up the intensity.
Friday afternoon’s pool party was bound to destroy their carefully crafted balance, but Michael had a strange premonition Jessica would find it harder than he did.
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Phil Yeats: https: //alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/