09 April, 2019

Hank #AtoZChallenge

Alice flounced into the room, spinning in her sundress, trailing a pale cardigan over her shoulder. “You look nice,” said Carissa from her spot on the couch, one foot propped on the battered coffee table as she painted her toenails. 

“Thank you.” Alice turned to test a lipstick in the mirror by the front door. “I have a date with Glen tonight.” 

Mara was coming through from the kitchen with a bowl of ramen. “Ugh. Spare me more stories of your ‘charming Irishman’."

“Give her a break,” said Carissa, her attention on her toes. “She’s in Lo-o-ove!” The last word came out in a sing-song lilt. She was almost teasing but softened it with a wink toward Alice. Alice considered the concept, then gave a non-committal shrug. “Maybe.” 

“You always think you’re in love, if the guy has an accent.” Mara talked through her mouthful of noodles, leaning against the kitchen doorway. “But accents can be faked, ye wee lass.” She couldn’t do Irish, but Mara gave a decent imitation of a Scottish accent. “Give me a guy who speaks my language. And anyway why haven’t we met Glen yet? What’s he hiding? If he’s as ‘charming’ as you say, shouldn’t he walk you to the door?” 

Carissa blew on her toenails and commented, “Mm. Point.” 

“It’s not just his accent. But for your information, I don’t invite him in.” Alice had her hands on her hips. “You two are awful about him. Why would I bring him up just to be ridiculed?” 

Lifting her other foot to the table, Carissa said, “Point, Alice.” 

“Carissa, are you in this, or just keeping score?” Mara asked. 

“I am Switzerland. Carry on though. I love it.” There was a pause while she situated the bottle of polish between her feet and adjust her angle to the second foot. With a mischievous smirk she added, “I notice you haven’t brought ‘Heartland Hank’ up to the apartment, either. Just sayin’.” 

Alice pounced on that. “That’s true! ‘Hello, Pot? Hey, it’s Kettle!’” 

Mara just shook her head. “That’s ‘cause we’re usually sharing an Uber. Or I’m staying overnight at his place.” 

Alice looked at the clock and picked up her purse. “If you guys are so hot-to-trot, why aren’t you getting ready for a date?” 

Mara turned into the kitchen to throw out the noodle bowl, calling over her shoulder, “We’re going out tomorrow.” As she returned, Carissa was nodding at her toes. “Fair enough. You each have a date this weekend. No point given.” 

As Alice opened the door to leave, Mara called after her, “Beware of men bearing fake accents!” 

The next day was Saturday, and Mara was preparing for a fun afternoon. She and Hank were going to meet and walk through the big park, seeing a new outdoor art exhibit before going out for dinner. Alice came racing in with grocery bags, pushing past her into the bathroom. “Let me through! I saw Glen in that juice bar down the street. He turned this direction out the café door, with TWO to-go cups. I have to fix my hair before he sees me. Maybe you guys’ll get to meet him!” 

Mara gave up the bathroom so Alice could meet Glen without crazy hair. “I’m so sorry I can’t stick around for your fake Irishman. I’m off to meet Hank, my heartland-bred American.” She grabbed a jacket to go over her jeans and sleeveless top and left. At the corner of the block, she met Hank, who offered her one of the two clear plastic to-go cups he was holding. 

“Hey, babe! Lookin’ good! Want a fresh cherry limeade?” The plastic cup bore the name and logo of the juice bar down the street. 

Thank you for visiting my #AtoZChallenge! My theme is "Audience Participation" (read about it, here) and now it is your turn. Each day will be a new story based on suggestions from your comments. Suggest anything: a word, scenario, character, location... I will be keeping a list of suggestions, so if yours isn't used tomorrow, it may show up later. 

Today's post was inspired by the prompt "charming Irishman", suggested by Debs Carey (of Debs Despatches), given in comments on my G post (here).


  1. Oh my, what a fun challenge you've chosen. I look forward to reading them all as time allows. I'm a bit behind but will eventually catch up. LOL!

    DB McNicol, author
    Microfiction: Automobile

  2. Uh oh... I can't wait to see those two find out... Hey, that's my suggestion for today. Alice and Mara both meet him at the same time ;)

  3. Ooooh! I didn't see that coming at all.

  4. Donna - No worries. I didn't visit any blogs until this Sunday. I'm doing the same, trying to balance visiting my regular blogs (like yours) with hitting up new ones. I get it.

    Liz - Interesting! In my head, Mara throws the juice in his face and goes back to tell Alice, but maybe there's a bigger story... I'll try to fit that one in!

    Brett - Good! I was concerned that it might not be clear that he was the same guy playing two girls.

  5. Ah, I see you went the route of charming being a dodgy quality rather than a positive one. How well that ties in with Isa-Lee's G post! Fabulous twist at the end of your tale - love it :)

  6. Debs - I honestly didn't think of that. I just thought he's putting on an act for Alice and seems charming to her. But yeah, maybe he's just the dodgy kind of charmer. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thank you for visiting my blog site for AtoZ so I didn't miss yours in all the April hectic action.
    Looking back on this story, the hints are there: Alice has the date tonight, Mara tomorrow night; and no one has met the other's date - to date. Now to find out the extent of the fireworks in I is for . . .

    (AtoZ Theme: very short stories/various genres)

  8. Gail - I hadn't intend to offer a continuation, but this month I am being guided by the audience. So... on to L. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Yes, what ever happened to Hank/Glen?

    1. I followed it up under letter "L". But I might carry on that story anyway.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.