The Hell Butterfly

Groupthink – Snippet from ‘Bed of Roses’

Going off today’s Daily Prompt I’ve decided to share a snippet of conversation from one of the more lighthearted parts of my novel-in-progress. This is a conversation between our protagonist, Scott and his two best friends, Casey and Jamie.

Today. Today I would ask her. I would have the entire day to plan my phrasing, gestures, and facial expressions, but I wasn’t a fool: I knew that was both a blessing and a curse. I was grateful for the preparation time, but having all those hours spread ahead of me was like staring into a great abyss. My stomach churned at the prospect. It was nauseating to imagine facing down the canyon of time. Only by thinking of Jess; her flustered expression; the smile that was never quite confident enough to show itself to me; the memory of her face rising from dirt to sun as my finger tried to coax her back to me; only this would get me through the painful hours as they fell away.

“Why so serious?” a familiar voice snarled behind a grin.

“You know why. Quit making fun, man.” Jamie read my stress and backed off a fraction.

“Okay, so you’re gonna ask the girl out. I get it, it’s wigging you out,” I shot him a glance to get to the point and he continued with more force, “but seriously, dude. Chill. She’ll notice. Heck man, you’re making me nervous for you just standing here.” He smiled and I tried to laugh. It stuck in my throat.

“I know, I know. It’s just … well, I guess it’s just been a while since I’ve done this, is all.”

“Exactly, you’re out of practice. That’s why I’m telling you to calm down.” These last words were punctuated by a two-fingered jab in the shoulder per word, and a stern look that said he meant business.

“And you’re saying I should take your advice?”

“Yes. Yes I am. Learn from the master.” At this a genuine smile breached the surface of my face.

“Don’t let Casey hear you say that.” Jamie winked. “Speaking of, where is she?”

“Good question. Don’t know. Her text said not to wait for her but didn’t say why.”

“Well she’d better get a move on, first class is almost starting.”

We had no choice but to move on and wait for her there. We got to our room earlier than anyone else and sat making casual conversation until Casey showed. Jamie was kind enough to avoid the subject of my future endeavours for now. I wanted to run through some things with him later, but the day was too young to try and deal with the stress just yet.

“Oi, Bug Brain.”

A paper bag appeared before me. Stood behind this was Casey. She had a smile on her face that betrayed her.

“Woah there, girl!” said Jamie. “Don’t go spreading the hate this early in the morning.”

“Shut up, you.”

“Okay,” he replied immediately.

“This,” she indicated the bag, “is yours.”  She looked pointedly at me until my confusion gave way to curiosity and I looked in it. At the bottom was a little black box with silver and red swirled patterns on its face. “I know you don’t have this one. Make sure you use it.” It was a Hugo Boss cologne.

“Oh, wow. Thanks, I think.” I didn’t understand the gesture and told her as much.

“The woman at the store said it was new. I tried it and it’s gorgeous.” I still didn’t get it. “For, you know, the ladies.” Two seconds passed and then it registered. My eyes popped and Jamie reached over to shut my now-open mouth. Embarrassment generated an unwelcome heat in my face. I looked again at the box.

Use it well, as Harry Potter might say. Don’t overdo it, mind. Just make sure you use it when you talk to her. And if she doesn’t like it, or if you don’t want it … I’ll keep it for myself.”

Noticing her backtracking and reconsidering her offer, I said “I want it. Thanks.” People were beginning to file into the room. I stashed my loot.

“You never buy me sexy cologne,” Jamie muttered. THWACK.

You can buy your own. You’re not the one trying to impress a woman.”

“Yes, you’re right, of course. I already have my own little firecracker,” he replied affectionately.

“Damn straight.” With that, Casey took her seat. Soon after, the class begun.

Other DP responses:

  1. Snowy Owls on Ocracoke | Exploratorius
  2. The last stance | MC’s Whispers
  3. A Nice Environment (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
  4. S. Thomas Summers: Writing with Some Ink and a Hammer | This Poet has Something to Sell
  5. some motions are | y
  6. The Secret Food Blog | Daily Prompt: Groupthink | likereadingontrains
  7. Mighty AD vs Amazing Big Red. AD 1 Big Red 0 | thoughtsofrkh
  8. Once a coffee morning… | A mom’s blog
  9. we inch our | y
  10. Confessions of an Inveterate Eavesdropper | Be Less Amazing
  11. DP Daily Prompt: Groupthink | Sabethville
  12. Daily Prompt: Group Think | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  13. Paradox | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  14. Daily Prompt: Group | That Montreal Girl
  15. Daily Prompt: Groupthink | Of Glass & Paper
  16. My Men Are Brave | Flowers and Breezes
  17. Who Am I? | My Floating Musings
  18. 260. Choices | Barely Right of Center
  19. Bate-bola | madeira de deriva.
  20. “Groupthink” | Relax
  21. New Name I Pray: The Rescue Bowl | The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel
  22. Daily Prompt: Groupthink | Basically Beyond Basic
  23. Why? | The Photo Faith Challenge
  24. Meeting New Friends | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  25. DP: Group – Cumbayah | As I See It
  26. A moon’s memory | shame
  27. Daily Prompt: Groupthink | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  28. The Group Outing | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  29. Groupthink/daily prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  30. GROUP: No Super Bowl for Me | The Christian Gazette
  31. LET MUSIC FILL THE AIR! | Serendipity

6 responses

  1. Pingback: Conversation On A Bus | The Political and Social Chaos Blog

  2. Pingback: Once a coffee morning… | A mom's blog

  3. Pingback: Eavesdropping | Edward Hotspur

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Group Think | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  5. Pingback: The Shot into the Light from Victoriana | litadoolan

  6. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Groupthink | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

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