Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Last Hoorah

Thought for the day:  There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.   [Josh Billings]

Here we are at the last... special edition Thursday... posting for False Start Fridays. Thanks, Suze for coming up with this super idea. It's been fun.

Well, I didn't hitch too many words together for this piece, because the editor only wanted 800 of them. like the story I posted last month, this sad little rejected and dejected short story was submitted to Woman's World along with another short story that DID get published.

Its title? Raining Cats and Dogs.

****


   The crowded waiting room reeked of wet dogs, Lysol, flea spray, and fear. Jason checked his watch again. Doc Woods was usually an in-and-out kind of vet. So, what was the big hold-up?
     “Sorry for the long wait, girl,” he told his English mastiff. Dixie stared at him with big sad eyes, gave a slobbery snort, and then rested her massive head on his knee.
    Jason looked around him at all the agitated dogs. So this was what his first free Wednesday in twenty years looked like, huh? Where was the cascading confetti, the marching mariachi band? He chuckled and stroked Dixie’s head. So far, the only thing raining down around here was rain, and none of these mutts looked like they felt like doing the mamba.
     Oh well, no biggie. Now that he’d hired another dentist to help with his practice, he was going to be free every Wednesday, so there’d be plenty of time for confetti and fun later. Get the annual vet visit over with today, and then, starting next week, there’d be nothing but fun, fun, fun.
    When they finally made it into the treatment room, a petite brunette, clad in snug-fitting jeans and a pale blue tee shirt that claimed Animals Are People, Too, was waiting for them. She had amazing copper-colored eyes, a light dusting of freckles across her nose, and a 100-watt smile.
     She was definitely worth the wait.
    “Oh!” Jason said, fervently wishing he’d shaved and worn clothes that weren’t old enough to vote. “You’re not Doc Woods.” Brilliant, Sherlock, he thought. Just brilliant.
     She smiled. “Not the Doc Woods you were expecting, anyway,” she said. “I’m his granddaughter. What a beautiful dog!”
     “Thanks. And you’re a vet?” he asked. No, she’s an architect, you moron.
     “Yes, my grandfather wants to retire and turn his practice over to me. So I’m trying it on for size.” She checked Dixie over, administered her shots, and then petted her. “Good girl.”
     “Must be your lucky day,” he said. “It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”  He winced. Man, that was lame.
      She laughed politely. “Cute,” she said.
      She certainly was, he thought. But now he had to wait a whole year to see her again? Probably. Dixie didn’t just look like a horse; she was as healthy as one, too.
     Unless …
     The following Wednesday, Jason returned to the clinic, toting his elderly neighbor’s tomcat, an overweight beast with anger issues and razor-sharp claws. Jason’s arms were shredded and streaked with blood, but at least he was clean-shaven and well-dressed this time. Doc Meredith looked even more beautiful than he remembered. And she remembered him! “Hello, again,” she said, then frowned. “You need to see a doctor. Those scratches look pretty bad.”  Not exactly the reaction he was hoping for.
     The week after that, he carried in a litter of boxer puppies for his sister. One of them piddled all over the front of his shirt, putting a certain je ne sais pas crimp in his style, but Meredith still graced him with a smile. Definitely making progress.
     Before he brought a stray kitten in the following week, he sprayed himself with some cologne guaranteed to make any man irresistible. It made Meredith sneeze. She did smile at him again, though, and between sneezes, asked about Dixie.
     It was almost time to ask her out.
     When he took his buddy’s poodle into the treatment room the following Wednesday, she laughed and said, “I appreciate all the business, Jason, but enough of this junior high stuff. Ask me out already!”
     So they finally had their first date. After dinner, they went back to his place, but before he could pull into the driveway, Jason had to toot his horn to shoo a cat. Several more were lounging in the yard, and three dogs came running from next door to woof a friendly hello. Dixie greeted them when they went inside, and close behind her were two cats and a border collie. 
    Meredith laughed. “I see Dixie isn't an only child anymore. Know what I think?” she asked.
    “I’m nuts?”
    “Maybe a little, but also very very sweet,” she said, kissing his cheek. “I was going to say that it’s obviously been raining cats and dogs again.”
     “Cute. Very... very cute,” he said, leaning in closer to claim a proper kiss.
      
****

                           Yeah, I know, pretty groan-worthy, huh? No wonder it got the boot.

 Again, thanks to Suze of Subliminal Coffee (the thinking person's cafe) for initiating this whole false start thing. It's been a blast. And now... alas, it is done.
                                   Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.   
                                Always proof read carefully to see if you any words out.
    
                              Oops, almost forgot! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!



If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend Jennifer Shirk's newest book. It's as sweet as a box of chocolates, but completely calorie-free. Believe me, once you read it, you'll never think of Cupid quite the same again. And hurry up! In honor of Valentine's day, you can get the e-version from both Amazon and Nook for the paltry sum of ninety-nine cents. So, go... buy! Enjoy.
    
    
    
    
    
    

66 comments:

  1. No way that delightful vignette would get "the boot" from me. On the contrary, I got quite a kick out of IT. I sure like how you write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dude. (You wouldn't be considering starting a publishing company, now, would ya?)

      Delete
  2. My history of consorting with editors has never enabled me to understand their process of thinking. They often published the crappy stuff that I wrote and rejected the good things. Your story is definitely a good thing. It was the editor's loss.

    By the way, I remember "Woman's World".

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Whattaya mean, you "remember" it? That magazine is still around, and going strong. They paid me quite nicely for another story just last year.

      And something tells me you never wrote anything "crappy".

      Delete
  3. That's a cute little story. It probably would have made it into New Idea as one of their short story holiday reads.

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  4. Yeah nothing wrong there
    Editors just like to blare
    Like the title too
    But that you prob knew
    Fun to boot
    The editor is just a newt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arrrgh! I'm so behind...
      Hope you don't mind;
      Your words are so kind,
      But I've no time to rhyme!

      Thanks so much.

      Delete
  5. Aw, I love that! The groan only added more fun to the read for me. :)

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  6. Duh, it got the boot because it was TOO good. I read Woman's World all the time (have even submitted to them). I have never read a story with this much humor and detail in such few words. I really do love your sense of humor, Susan. :)

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    Replies
    1. Aw, that's so sweet of you to say. Thank you soooooo much. This smile should last all weekend...

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  7. I echo Jon's sentiments - it was most definitely the editor's loss :)

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  8. I really like it. That is EXACTLY what a vet's office smells like, first of all. And you did something unusual and smart: you are a woman who wrote from a man's POV. That's an exercise every writer should try, as it's hard to pull off but fun to attempt. (I'd say you pull it off beautifully, although maybe we'd need to ask a guy?)

    Thanks for the book recommendation, too!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie. It's fun to step outside our comfort zone every once in a while, and try to get into the head of someone different.

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  9. Sus, I so love the picture at the end because I wasn't expecting it. It's funny, because I like to take things slow but by the time Jason brought in the cat that was making ribbons of his arms I was thinking, okay, mister mister -- make yer move! :D

    Happy Valentine's Day, my sweet Sus! This whole False Start thing was truly all the richer for the part you consistently plated. I felt flanked by an angel the entire time.

    xx

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    Replies
    1. Aaand that would be 'played.'

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    2. I hope you had a super Valentine's Day. (We did!) Flanked by an angel, huh? That's a sweet way to put it, and I'd be happy to be your wing lady any day, but my wings are pretty old and frayed. (And I turned in the halo for a yellow rain hat.)

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    3. 'I'd be happy to be your wing lady any day'

      Honored.

      Delete
  10. I don't think that story is groan worthy at all. It's sweet, and I loved it. And Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. YOU'RE sweet. I hope you and Elvis had a special kinda Valentine's Day.

      Delete
  11. Valentine's Day is all about the groan worthy. :D

    That was adorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, my groaning usually stems from eating too much candy.

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  12. I thought it was a sweet story.

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  13. Ha ha, actually I quite liked it and wished it was longer so that there was more time to develop the relation. But as a short story, it made me giggle. :)

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    Replies
    1. Woo-HOO, it passed the giggle test! That's good enough for me!

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  14. Drew a giggle out of me!! Cute as a kitten :-) Happy Valentine!

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear it! I hope you had a super Valentine's Day, too.

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  15. I loved the story - and it's perfect for Valentine's Day!

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  16. No, it's not groan-worthy. It's a cute story. :) Happy belated Valentine's Day.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Medeia. And a happy belated Valentine's Day to you, too.

      Delete
  17. Who couldn't enjoy a story about puppy dogs, kitty cats, and love? Maybe, you sent it to the wrong magazine.

    How nice that this story got another chance on blogger.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Not many commercial magazines solicit fiction anymore, but "Women's World" does, and pays extremely well, so it was the right magazine. Just the wrong story at the time.

      Delete
  18. 'Oh my, where is that Gary?'

    Hi Susan, I'm here, for real. Have to agree about it not being groan-worthy. As for me, I let out a worthy groan on Valentine's Day and no, not that sort of groan! "Thanks doc, that was fun. Knew you would get there in the end."

    "Raining Cats and Dogs." Watch out for the 'poodles'...

    Happy belated Valentine's Day, Susan.

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! I love your sense of humor. I'm glad you got that unpleasant test...er... behind you.

      Thank you. Happy belated Valentine's Day to you, too.

      Delete
  19. I LOVED it!! It brought a big sappy grin to my face! So sweet!

    And speaking of sweet, your review and shout-out is so kind!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! <3

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm really glad the queen of sweet romance enjoyed it.

      You're welcome. My pleasure. (Really!)

      Delete
  20. Replies
    1. Made you groan AND laugh? Some places, you'd have to pay big money for that, ya know.

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  21. Well, they don't know good writing then....u rock girl!

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  22. Well, they don't know good writing then....u rock girl!

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  23. Not groany at all. I snorted a bit at the puppies piddling on his shirt!

    Driving up to the menagerie at the end was quite a visual, too! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Obviously, you've never had a puppy piddle on your shirt at an inopportune time. (ahem) Not that I have, either.

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  24. "Groan worthy"? Only in the sense I would be stupid enough to try Jason's dating tactic.

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    Replies
    1. That really made me smile. Not stupid at all... just sweet.

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  25. I love the short story. Very funny. Great blog post as usual Susan.

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  26. I loved it. So sweet! Thanks Susan!

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  27. Sorry I'm so late getting around to the the false start. I love the way you have with language. (loved the line about his clothes being old enough to vote) it's very evocative but not overdone.

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    1. Hey, Sara. You're not late! No deadlines around here.

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

      Delete
  28. What a sweet and casual voice you have. Sounds like you have a romantic comedy simmering.

    www.GirlwithaNewLife2.com

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    1. Thanks, Tina. I hadn't really considered writing a romantic comedy, but who knows? Maybe some day. As Judy Tenuto used to say, "It could happen!"

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