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Perfect Day: RomCom Flash Fiction by cam
I've been working hard at writing in different genres. So far, the most difficult have been ghost stories, horror and the genre of the story you are about to read; Comedy. I wrote it about a week ago and posted it. If you read it then, and 38 of you did so, I'll speak for you here. I don't think you'll mind, and I am confident you'll agree. It was not funny.
So I took that attempt at comedy that fell flat and worked on it. I did some reading on how to write comedy. I experimented and I rewrote that story. Here it is. It won't be a knee slapper, but I do hope you crack a smile and maybe chuckle once or twice. When it comes to genre writing, I'm a work in progress, and I appreciate the fact that you patiently read my stories. I don't take that for granted.
I want to say thank you to my girlfriend, Michelle, for her patient reading and honest critiquing of this and many other stories I've written.
I've been tempted to take the story down again, but after reading the first two comments, I'll leave it up. A good, straightforward critique is hard to come by and if I'm going to be offered some of those, I don't want to miss them. I welcome your critique here. You already know this particular story is an experiment.
Randy stood by his pickup truck holding a notebook and scanning a secluded section of the city park. He had chosen the footbridge, which crossed over a small creek, along with the surrounding lawn and flower beds to be the sight of his marriage proposal to Brenda. In its present condition, though, it wasn’t nearly up to his standards. He vowed with all 37.2 trillion obsessive cells in his body, that the event was going to come off with clockwork precision in the perfect setting.
He looked over the day’s work schedule in his notebook. 4:00 am, begin applying one coat of glossy white, fast drying paint to footbridge. Reality, 3:55 am. Already five minutes ahead of perfection. 9:00 am-11:00 am, mow grass. And lastly, 11:00 am-noon, weed flower beds. Like it or not, the city was getting a free upgrade to their park.
By 6:55 am he was halfway done with the painting and he checked the notebook again. Breakfast-7:00-7:15 am, sweet. Everything was going even better than he had planned. The universe is in step with me.
Randy sat down to prepare his favorite breakfast of smoked gouda cheese on marble rye bread covered with a generous layer of butter, on both pieces of course. It was best when grilled, but in the present situation, cold was just fine. He trimmed the excess cheese around the sandwich, a culinary sculptor working on his masterpiece.
At 7:30 am he was about three-fourths done with painting when his cell phone rang, causing him to clench his teeth. He checked the notebook. Just as he suspected, no phone call was scheduled. It was Brenda. Yes, he was busy. No, he could not talk. Yes, he was still planning on meeting her in the park at 4:00 pm, just like his notebook said, although the last part was left unspoken. He put the phone in it’s nifty belt holster and returned to the bridge.
Notebook, 9:00 am- painting done. Reality, 8:55 am, painting done in spite of the phone call, I’m awesome.
By noon, Randy had to admit that it was a scene worthy of a photograph. He snapped the picture, gathered up the camera and tripod and headed for his house to clean up.
At 3:50 pm, Randy stood by and watched as Brenda looked over the park setting. She always seemed to be just slightly ahead of his schedule. He was casually sketching her in his notepad, making little x’s here and there on the caricature. No wonder he loved her so much, she was 83% perfect. He ripped the page out of his notebook, wadded it up and dropped it in the trashcan. He was obsessive, not masochistic.
“Nice,” said Brenda as she continued perusing the area. “But somebody should really tend to this lawn.’ Randy clenched his teeth again. He thought about how he had mowed the grass, caught all the clippings in a bag, raked, then mowed and raked again. His teeth were beginning to hurt.
He smiled with anticipation as he checked his watch and notebook. Three minutes to Zero Hour. Brenda had walked on ahead and could see the footbridge while he could not.
“It looks like someone painted the bridge recently. Too bad the geese found it.”
Randy ran down the hill screaming amidst the honking, the fluttering of wings and the billowing of downy feathers. He was undeterred. According to the notebook and his watch, there was still time. He took Brenda’s hand and hurried her onto the footbridge.
“Randy, why are we going out here? There’s goose poop everywhere and it stinks?”
“Because….Dear…. this is where I want us to stand.” He was going to have to see his dentist when this was over.
Randy checked his watch. One minute to go and Brenda was standing on the wrong side of the bridge. He took her in his arms and slow danced her to the other side. She danced him back around.
“What are you doing?” she said.
“I thought you might like the view from the other direction.”
“I like the view from this direction just fine.” He thought he felt a tooth crack. And he definitely felt a twitch at the corner of his mouth.
“What’s the matter with your mouth,” Brenda said.
“Nothing is the matter with my mouth. My mouth is just fine, see? He put on far to broad a smile. The corner of his mouth twitched again. He checked his watch. It was now or never. He dropped to one knee, fishing around in his pants pocket.
“Randy? What are you doing?”
“What does it look like I’m doing.....Sweetheart?” He placed the small red box on his open palm. Brenda picked it up, brushed something off and put it back. Randy’s head twitched slightly sideways which threw his balance off causing his foot to slip on the goose droppings. Luckily he caught himself with his hands, but this also meant that the red box was no longer in his possession. He looked at his watch. Seven seconds to Zero Hour.
“Randy, it’s beautiful,’ said Brenda. He looked up. She had caught the box as it flew out of his hand and was putting the ring on her finger. He checked his watch. Three seconds to spare. Perfect.
He explained the events of the day as he rinsed his hands off in the creek and used two applications of hand sanitizer. Brenda insisted on a third. The rest of the afternoon and evening they spent celebrating their engagement by power washing the footbridge, mowing the grass for the third time and planting flowers. The perfect end to a perfect day.