I'm killing two birds with one stone this week, which is probably a breach in some law of blogging etiquette stored up somewhere in cyberspace, but what can I do? I've decided to participate in the Friday writing prompt sponsored by Westbow Press. After all, they've named my novel a finalist in their writing contest. The least I can do is join their Friday fun, right?
But I've also really enjoyed participating in Hidden Valley Simplicity's word of the week blog hop, and I'm already about to miss the linkup deadline.
So here's the skinny. Westbow Press wants me to write a story about a celebration. Melissa wants me to throw the word adumbrate in my post ... so here it is! My vocabulary-enriched short story about a celebration that just might go terribly wrong.
Word of the Week: adumbrate:
1. to foreshadow vaguely
2. to suggest, disclose, or outline partially
3. overshadow; obscure
It was the first time that Sadie, the poster puppy of canine ADD, didn't come bounding out to greet Garret when he came home from work. Garret was busy laughing into his hands-free headset to actually miss the beagle's enthusiastic drool. Nor did he pause to wonder if Sadie's absence might adumbrate what was waiting for him on the eve of his birthday.
"No, Chelsea's not home." Garret walked with something of a swagger as he spoke, tossing his shoes in the entryway. "I can talk a little longer." Sadie whined from the office.
"Yeah, that's the dog," he continued. "Stupid mutt. Got herself stuck." He chuckled and threw his overcoat over the couch. "I'll go let her out before she wets the carpet or something." Garret smiled and strode down the hallway. He stopped as he went by the laundry room.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you at lunch today." He leaned against the laundry room door frame and loosened his tie. "I told Chelsea I was out of work shirts this morning. We got into this big fight, because she told me she washed everything in the hamper yesterday and I told her if that was the case I'd have something clean to wear to work. So she's scurrying to do a quick load of laundry, and I realize I actually left my shirt in your car last weekend after our little outing." Garret's laugh echoed in the otherwise quiet hallway. From behind the office door, Sadie stopped whimpering.
"Anyway," Garret went on, "I better go soon. I have no idea when Chelsea will be home." His lip curled up halfway as he listened to the remark on the other end of the conversation. "I wish so too," he replied, scratching his cheek. "But tomorrow's my birthday. I won't have any free evenings until the weekend." A charmingly sympathetic pout appeared on Garret's face that no one was around to witness. "We'll still have lunch though, right?"
Sadie yelped from behind the office door. "Ok," Garret announced, cell phone in hand, "I gotta go. This stupid dog is about to - "
The door opened. The talking stopped. The phone dropped to the floor. In Garret's home office stood his wife, his brother and sister-in-law, the next door neighbors, and two of his co-workers. Everyone was standing underneath a banner with the word SURPRISE printed in oversize letters made of confetti.
Garret removed his headset in one swift motion as his beagle ran up to greet him.