Renee Porod: Original Story from a Published Short Story Start

Renee Porod, Creative Writing Student

Prompt, the start of a published short story: Paul stared at his wife across the table, noticing for the first time that her sweater was on inside out. Every morning he would lay out her clothes on the bed in a specific order, so she’d know which item to put on first. But it didn’t guarantee how Elaine would put on each piece. He’d have to pay more attention before they went out.

                                                               12:00 on the Table

He shifted his attention from the sweater to what was on the breakfast table. “Cantaloupe is right in front of you, and it’s that sweet one from the market you usually go to.” Paul pushed the bowl in front of her. “You know, the one that always has the loud music?”

“Thanks, Paul,” Elaine moved her hand towards the middle of the table. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” She smiled at him while scooping fruit onto her plate. “Would you like a glass of milk with the muffins?” Elaine moved her chair back to get up.

Paul didn’t like questions like this when she desired to pitch in. It made him feel distressed. He always wanted to do the best he could for her, but Elaine was an independent person. “Uh,” he hesitated for a second before answering, “Sure, I would love some.” While Elaine went to the fridge, Paul cut all the muffins in half and buttered them. He had a prickly feeling that someone was watching him, so he turned around in his chair. Paul let out a sigh of relief because the eyes that were glaring at him were coming from the floor. “Come here, you silly pooch,” he whispered and held out a small piece of muffin. “You know I always share.”

“Hey! Stop feeding the dog scraps from the table,” Elaine shouted from the other room.

Paul looked over astounded, “How did you know?”

“I could hear Annie’s toenails on the wood floor, and you better not be giving her any chocolate chip pieces.”

Paul quickly set the chocolate muffin back on his plate. “Uh, no comment.”

“Ok then.” Elaine walked back into the dining room. “Here’s a glass of milk.” She handed it to Paul, “And thank you for getting the muffins ready.”

“No problem, I had to do something besides feed the dog treats.” Paul grinned while Elaine sat down. He remembered about her sweater being on inside-out. “Oh,” he reached over and touched her arm. “Your shirt is on inside out, silly. Do you want me to fix it?” 

“Oh gosh, I didn’t even notice! I can fix it.” Elaine stood up and took her sweater off to flip it the right way. “I couldn’t see it! Sometimes being blind has its inconveniences.”