Dough is Better than “D’oh!” (Weekly Writing Challenge)

No really. You should use the Weekly Writing Challenge.  Do it!  Or don’t.

“Nothing can bring peace but yourself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

———-

Work was vexing Alan. Traffic had been terrifying, as usual. Sleep was not nearly abundant enough. And purring kittens were not allowed at work.

However, no one ever said Alan couldn’t make cookie dough at his desk. His hands and soul found a tranquil peace in the kneading and gnashing.

 

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Feeling Emp-T (Daily Post Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

(Yes, I already answered the call of The Daily Post’s challenge this week.  However there was the suggestion that we write a story without using a certain letter.  And I just couldn’t pass that up.)

Feeling Emp-T

A woman is like a hot tea bag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Sue was in dire need.  Her morning had been cruel.  Her work day showed no signs of being any kinder.  One drink would make her capable of being sociable.  One beverage could refill her sleepy soul.  However she had a feeling of doom; for her drink of choice was simply gone from her cupboard.

Sue dressed for work in a grouchy manner.  She picked a blouse and dress slacks, hoping her fashion-sense remained serviceable.  Her choice of dress was reasonably pleasing and so she made her way from her bedroom and approached her car.

Radio was normally relaxing for Sue.  She enjoyed hearing over-bearing people converse while never agreeing on any issue.  On such a morning as Sue was undergoing, she only desired silence.  She imagined a world where everyone disallowed speaking.  A cheery lack of dialog would rule over all.  Considering her highly congenial office pals, Sue knew such an idea was impossible.

Her coworkers were exceedingly chipper when Sue walked in.  Liz explained how well her children had performed in a church play on Sunday.  Brad was obsessed, finding any gap in discussion and seizing on said span of seconds.  He believed everyone would enjoy hearing a prolonged saga regarding his sea-faring vessel.  Caroline, as always, bemoaned a degree of loneliness in her life and asked for her friends’ indulgence.  She was a single woman, always on a grand search for a hunky and compassion-filled single fellow.

Sue lacked any degree of concern for her workplace chums.  She yearned for caffeine.  She had files beckoning her which she knew would be dull.  Sue’s chores which lay ahead of her called loudly and obnoxiously.  Several phone calls needed answering, none of which would be cheerful.  Sue pined for her fluffy pillow and a bed which required zilch from her.

Of course, her dreary morning was due for a sudden surprise.  She walked by her minion’s desk, discovering a memo had been placed haphazardly above his screen.  Sue read in Sharpie scribbling, “I’m gone.  See you never.”  Sue could hardly comprehend Brad resigning.  She always assured of her kindness concerning him.  Only now did she see signs of a vexed employee who had seemingly escaped a promising job eagerly and angrily.  Sue lacked a response, choosing her pile of work as her mind’s focus.

Door closed, her screen glowing in her face, window shades drawn, Sue had a workspace conducive for success.  Work could be accomplished.  Calls would be made.  All her problems would be addressed.  If only she were more awake.  Coffee was overly harsh on her inner workings.  She was considering an errand.  A purveyor of drinks was only four blocks away.  Surely she could finish her chores more readily if she were fully conscious.

Sue pushed herself away from her desk, removed her eyes from her e-mails, and pulled securely on her purse.  She had cash, she had many goals she should accomplish, and she had a plan.  Walking away from her office, her self-assuredness rose.  Sue had no need for a lackey.  She could make do and face her unwieldy missions all by herself.  However she did feel her morning was lacking one crucial piece.  Sue walked across her office’s lobby unyielding in her goal of acquiring some caffeine.

Really, all Sue desired on such a morning was a splash of help from her friend, tea.

A Better View

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

A Better View

As one who has often felt this need, and who has found refreshment in wild places, I attest to the recreational value of wilderness.” -George Aiken

Marie had called it quits for the day.  The constantly ringing office phone, the boss who had a seemingly endless pile of projects for her; and then there was the commute.  She rolled her eyes at the thought of her drive.  It wasn’t just the traffic; it was also the construction that had eliminated half the lanes for what she thought were pretty cosmetic upgrades.  Marie was done.  She needed an escape.  She only had so many vacation days left but her mental health demanded that she take one.

Thus, early on Tuesday morning, Marie climbed into her car and revved up the engine.  Her normal business attire had been shirked for shorts, tank top, and shades.  The cup of coffee that she usually guzzled down by eight a.m. had been replaced with a bottle of water.  She had already sent an e-mail to her boss that something had come up and she wouldn’t be able to make it into the office.  Marie purposefully neglected informing him of the details.  Vacations were meant to be taken, she decided.  She’d worry about the consequences some other time.

Driving down the interstate, she giggled at the rows of cars.  They were all heading towards downtown while she was driving speedily in the other direction.  As the vehicles became less and less frequent, the mountains in the distance grew closer.  Even on the warm sunny morning, she could still see plenty of snow on the majestic peaks.  Marie’s car bounced and bumped along the gravel road.  An hour after she had left her house, she had arrived at the park of her choosing.

A cursory glance at the lot revealed only three cars.  Marie nodded in satisfaction.  That meant that the trails would be almost entirely clear and that the park was, in theory, open for her boot-clad feet.  She signed in, paid for her parking, and took herself and her backpack into the woods.  She left the real world and her cares behind with the car.

The longer she spent on the dirt path, the more life seemed to make sense.  What did it matter that the blind date from last week had been shockingly incapable of chewing with his mouth closed?  Who needed a successful date when there was a perfect waterfall that could sooth and relax her?  Did it matter how many voicemails were on her phone when there were chipmunks to chuckle at and watch as they skittered from tree to tree?

The petty everyday tasks and annoyances were put into their proper place.  Mighty trees that had withstood centuries passing and forest fires showed her that there was more to the world than a week’s “to-do” list.  The world kept turning, the trees kept growing, and the mountain snow would still melt and feed into the cascading rivers below.

As if to further punctuate the point, a doe scurried up the hillside.  It had no need for trails.  It leapt, bounded, and bounced between the trees and over any rocks in its way.  The doe stopped for a moment on the path.  It glanced calmly at Marie, blinking once, and then twice.  Marie wanted to step forward and get a closer at the animal, but she knew it would dart away.  The two female creatures stood there for a minute, each measuring up the other.  The doe’s ears turned up the hillside, obviously aware of something.  Just like that, the doe changed course and took off up the mountain.  Marie gave the doe the thumbs up gesture as it left.

The two hour hike gave way to a breathtaking view.  The sound of waterfalls had died down.  Marie wondered just what this lake was going to look like.  Then it came into view.  “Holy…”, was all Marie could manage to say.  In front of her was a panoramic view of a dozen peaks.  The lake, having thawed just recently, lay cool and calm with small chunks of snow dotting the surface.  The white covering still dominated the terrain.  That didn’t stop the rocks from trying to break through.  As the sun glistened in the clear blue sky, Marie beamed in response.  She spread out on a giant rock and lay down, using her pack as a pillow.

Bring on the sun, bring on the warmth, bring on the freckles, Marie thought to herself.  This is the life for me.  Marie knew the scene was too perfect to last.  She refused to acknowledge that truth quite yet.  Her batteries simply needed a recharge and the best power source in the galaxy was happily obliging.  With sunglasses on her face and heat waves rippling off her skin, all was well with the world.

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