An unfinished tale #1

A short unfinished story using the numbered words.
It’s a class assignment for grade five.
See what you can do with it.
Continue the story.
Use the words and create a new story.
Use the words and write sentences.

1) Polite
2) Knife
3) Pleasant
4) Tablecloth
5) Unhappily
6) Business
7) Thick
8) Hurried
9) Scrambling
10) Chiefly
11) Kindness
12) Sympathize
13) Handkerchief
14) Streaming
15) Odd
16) Cooking
17) Eating
18) Smiling
19) Stopping
20) Trying
21) Counting
22) Lying
23) Hitting
24) Working
25) Preparing
26) Driving
27) Using
28) Reading
29) Swimming
30) Raining
31) … could cut the tension with a knife
32) … in concert with

Café Collision

Raining outside and stormy inside. Linda and Marcus had been making polite conversation for about twenty minutes, but you could cut the tension with a knife. Linda seemed outwardly pleasant even as she folded the edges of the tablecloth in an attempt to control her anger. Their relationship had ended unhappily, and this lunch had been a hurried attempt to finish any outstanding business between them. Her temper was something he never understood. It was also the thing he seemed to provoke most often.

She was trying to control herself. He could almost hear her counting to ten. They needed to focus on getting everything sorted and divided.

Marcus couldn’t really care what she did with house, but was here chiefly because he was trying to sympathize with a woman he still cared for, but couldn’t bear being in the same room with.

Kindness was proving costly. Linda had arrived with a thick bundle of bills that Marcus was thumbing through. He felt like grabbing his coat and scrambling for the door, but instead was working though this latest batch of paperwork from a marriage that had produced little else.

An invoice for cooking classes they had taken on their honeymoon. A memory of driving up the coast that clear spring day skittered in and sat on it’s haunches, unannounced, unwanted, and unashamedly mocked his attempts to remain detached. As he sat reading tears began rolling down his cheeks.

Seven years. Seven years had been reduced to photocopies, faxes and emails. The tears were streaming down his face in concert with the rain coursing down the misted windows.

Linda reached over and dabbed his cheeks with a handkerchief. He touched her hand without thinking. She smiled and drew her hand away.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Perhaps it’s too late to say I had something in my eye?” he managed a smile.
“You could, but you’d be lying. That would be new for you.” She smiled.
Of all the things he hadn’t done in the marriage, at least this one he could be proud of.

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Author: duplezwrites

I have been in Asia since early 1996, and have taught in local schools, universities and language schools in South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and China. I was a director of studies at language schools in China and a secondary school administrator in Indonesia. Along the way, I've been a teacher-trainer in Korea, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. More importantly, and I hope more efficiently, I've been a husband, father, and grandfather.

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