yep. i completely blew this one off last weekend. Sunday shorts was a totally stupid commitment on top of NaBloPoMo. and i have never been called an over-achiever, y’all. so not sure at all what i was thinking, except that there was some kind of writer’s high and bizarrely non-religious, but god-must-hate-me kind of guilt going on.
all. that. said. here is my most recent bit of monkeying with the fiction words for fun. gaaahhh. these challenges are kind of amazing in the sense that what comes out on paper for the sake of the challenge always surprises me. i actually started this one a while back in hopes of posting last week, but well, life. it started with a prompt from Seedlings Publishing Group (highlighted in bold). it’s a little more like a treatment for a story than a real story, but you gotta start somewhere, right? enjoy. discuss. high-five me for putting this stuff out here twice . . . whatevs. and have a happy, great week, y’all!
Betty dried her hands on the dish towel. Her kitchen was sparkling clean, just how her husband liked it. Now she was ready for him to come home. The housekeepers had just left and this was the final part of her weekly ritual. This week had been good, she thought, checking the balance on the secret account.
Don had been a consultant ever since she’d known him. He was one of the road warriors who flew out of Hartsfield most every Monday morning and returned home Friday afternoon. During their courtship, his heavy travel schedule made their weekend reunions all the more exciting. That old adage about absence making the heart grow fonder couldn’t have been more true. Then there were the times she would fly out to Dallas or San Diego or Chicago to go meet him. She’d spend her days seeing the sights. At night, they’d order room service and eat naked in bed in between rounds of ravishing each other. There was just something about hotel sex.
When they got married three years ago, not much changed. Don was doing so well, plus they had the wedding gift money, so they’d moved out of their apartment and into a modest home in a good ZIP code. Modest for that area was what normal people would call luxury. But they were just getting by as far as Don was concerned. So he worked harder.
The parties had started completely by accident. Betty was having drinks at the St. Regis one night with a girlfriend. Don was away and the girls thought they would do something fancy. They didn’t know the crowd that night was mostly hookers and lookers. They were even more surprised when they’d been mistaken for the former. But they rolled with it.
“OMG, Betty! What the fuck?” Ashley had asked when they excused themselves to the powder room.
Betty laughed. “I don’t know, but let’s see where this goes.”
Next thing they knew, they were in a home about as nice as Betty’s, drinking champagne, partying like they had in college, staying overnight and getting paid for their company. It had been a huge misunderstanding, but nobody involved much cared to correct it. Betty and Ashley both saw it as an adventure . . . and as an opportunity.
“Betty, do you get it?” Ashley had asked around 5:00 that morning “we can do this.”
And that morning, over breakfast cocktails and too many Parliament Lights in Betty’s kitchen, the Morningside Madame was born.
Each week that Don was away culminated with a Thursday party hosting 4 or 5 “couples.” Those brought in 5 figures. Sometimes there was a guys-only poker game, with beautiful and attentive “friends” hanging around. Those brought in more, actually. Sometimes a B-list celeb filming in town would even be part of the crowd. And that part was just outright fun.
Betty and Ashley spent Friday to Wednesday each week lining up the invitees and the girls, then developing a theme and entertainment for the following week. Thursday was always the party, from 8:00 until as late as anyone needed — and paid for. As far as her neighbors were concerned, Thursday night was Betty’s night with her Stella & Dot team — a few cars in the driveway and some Ubers. It was totally normal. And it was totally famous, within certain other circles.
During that 6 months, Betty and Ashley met some of the most important people doing business in Atlanta. They made a pile of cash. And there were times when Betty was bursting at the seams wanting to tell Don about it. He would actually be so proud of her entrepreneurial spirit, except that . . . well . . . of course. So she never did.
And that Friday afternoon, with the champagne glasses put away, the beds meticulously made and the smell of indecency firmly Febreezed out of every corner of her home, Betty welcomed her husband back, as usual, with a big hug and a kiss.
“Hi, sweetheart. It’s been soooo boring here without you!”