Waiting Game 02/28-03/06

The editors of Writer's Digest provide a weekly Writing Prompt to get your writing going.
mikeym
 

RE: Waiting Game 02/28-03/06

Postby mikeym » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:06 am

His delayed flight from San Francisco had landed over an hour ago. He dashed through the stuffy Miami Airport terminal, noticing the unmistakable odor of Clorox in the air. After standing outside in the heat for twenty two minutes, he was able to flag down the shuttle bus to the pickup lot. He now stood in a rental car office somewhere near the airport, going nowhere fast. The temperature inside had to be at least eighty five degrees. His wool slacks hung creaseless, baggy from the humidity. His soaked cotton button-down shirt stuck to his back underneath his black cashmere blazer. His necktie had become a tourniquet.

He was due at his mother’s place in Boca Raton (nearly an hour north) in 40 minutes. The reservations for a birthday dinner at her favorite restaurant had been hard to get. If she hadn’t been so insistent on eating early, he could have relaxed a bit and taken his time getting up there. But she was in the habit of arriving in time for the “early bird” discounted menu and would not consider another option.

He’d reserved a “full size” car with at least a V-6, but would welcome an upgrade to a Cadillac if the price was right. He noticed a number of disgruntled customers ahead of him had left the clerks assisting them and were now all congregating in yet another line, apparently waiting to talk to someone else.

An eternity later, he found himself in front of a glum, wilted agent. He forced a smile.

“Hi. I’ve got a reservation for a full size. What have you got?”

“Toyota Camry.”

“A Camry? Is that a V-6?”

“Don’t think so. No, it’s a four-cylinder automatic.”

“I stipulated a full size with a V-6, like a Buick or Pontiac.”

“The Camry is our full size.”

“With a four? That’s ridiculous! What about a Cadillac?”

“Our walk-in rate is seventy dollars more per day”

“But I have a reservation!”

“Only for a full size. That’s the Camry.”

“A four cylinder Toyota is NOT a full sized car!”

“It is, on our rate sheet.”

“Look this isn’t going to work. I need something full size with a six and I need to get out of here. I’m late already.”

“You’ll have to talk to the supervisor over there,” pointing to the line of unhappy campers on the other side of the office.

“How about calling the supervisor over here. I’ve wasted enough time in one line already.”

“I can’t help you. You’ll have to go over there and wait for him.”

“But…”

“Next!”

youngwords
Private E-2
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:41 am

RE: Waiting Game 02/28-03/06

Postby youngwords » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:08 pm

"Wait here," he says after leading me into a small room.

He walks away and I am left alone. I sigh and think, Well, it could be worse. It could be dark.

The lights go out. Great. I mentally map out the room. Door behind me, wall to my right, wall to my left, wall in front of me. Wow, that was productive. I sit on the floor and wait.

          X                                                     X                                                     X

An hour later, I stand up and pace around the room. Over, and over, and over.

"Seriously?" I finally say, "Does it really take that long to read a freaking piece of paper?"

I pound on the door. "Hey! Whats taking so long out there? Some of us have lives, you know!"

Finally, I give up. If these people are going to be rude and make me wait, I think I should take my business elsewhere. I try the door. Locked. I sigh. Well, there's nothing for it. I blink, and find myself on the bank of the Thames. Hm. Maybe I could try living in England for a while. I hear its very traditional here.


Trissa
Private E-2
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: Waiting Game 02/28-03/06

Postby Trissa » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:20 am

"Charlie Sullivan for Dr. Simmons."

"Sure, Miss Sullivan. Just take a seat and the doctor should be with you in a minute."

I look around the doctor's waiting room. There are a dozen pleather (plastic/leather) chairs in the room, the kind that are attached to each other in units of four. I would like to have one at an end as those are the seats with armrests.

Dr. Simmons' waiting room is small and cramped. The addition of a large play table in the center makes it even smaller. The only seat available happens to be by the front door. Passing the play table, I trip over a little boy. He has big brown eyes, curly brown hair, and green slime smeared across his left cheek. As I regain my balance, the boy wipes his hand against his slimey cheek, then grabs my pant leg. He laughs and a bubble forms in his left nostril. I bang my knee into the play table as I hurry to reach the open seat.

I force a smile at the woman seated to my left. She has big brown eyes and curly brown hair. She tries to stifle a cough as she returns the smile, but her cheeks puff out with the effort. I gradually feel my slight cold turning into a plague.

A nurse opens the reception room door, gazes at the chart she holds. "Mrs. Tolliver?"

I start to rise. She did say Sullivan, right? My ears buzz.

The woman across from me stands, hitching her left arm which is in a cast. "This way Mrs. Tolliver."

The little boy is now at his mother's knees. She wipes his face with a napkin from her pocket. He gives one of those solid wet coughs as he tries to pull away. I almost feel the germs splatter the sleeve of my coat. The front door opens shoving in a gust of frosty winter air. I pull my coat closer about me, my head poking over the collar. I know I look like a turtle.

I look toward the receptionist area. The staff are enclosed behind a sliding plastic window; safe from whatever infection might be floating in the waiting room. I try to will my thoughts beyond that barrier. "Call me next! Please, I beg you!"

"Mrs. Gulliver?" The voice sings out.

Once again I start to rise, but a young woman who looks on the verge of giving birth waddles through the door.

The little boy is now on his mother's lap. I feel something slap against my shoulder. "Jeffy, don't bother the nice lady," mama says. Jeffy stuffs the book that he hit me with into his mouth. I'm thinking about bolting for one of the now vacant chairs across from me when...

"Mrs. Solomon and Jeffy?" I raise my eyes in thanks. I might live after all.

Previous

Return to Writing Prompts and Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests