I bet you all thought I’d forgotten about that time when I asked you to challenge me to write fiction based on the prompts that you gave me. Well… I kind of had. I didn’t completely forget. I just allowed my summer to get busy and I didn’t make the time to follow through on these things. But I’m following through now. I’ll write these stories in the order in which the prompts were received. The first is from JMitch. Her suggestions were…
- Character Name: Taylor
- Setting: Bluefield College
- Object: Victor E. Ram Costume
- Emotion: Defeated
“Fine,” said Jordan, “but if I win, you have to wear the mascot costume for a week straight.”
“Well, that won’t work,” complained Taylor. Suddenly, he was having second thoughts about making this bet with Jordan. It was funny when it was simply the possibility of making Jordan shave off the beard he’d been growing for two years. Wearing the Victor E. Ram costume for a week? That was pushing it.
“Why not?” asked Jordan.
“You expect me to just go a week without showering? I don’t think so.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You’d be able to take it off just long enough to shower. All other times you keep it on. You wear it to class. You wear it to convocation. You wear it to bed. You wear it to the cafeteria. One week,” said Jordan, feeling good about his wager. He was confident that he was 100% right about his prediction. Winning this bet was going to be the best thing to happen all semester.
Taylor sighed, “The cafeteria? How do you expect me to eat with that giant ram head on?”
“Ugh… Use your brain, dude,” Jordan said, becoming irritated with his roommate. “You just lift the head up so you can eat. I’m not asking you to starve yourself for seven days!”
Taylor just stared at Jordan.
“Tick-tock!” Jordan shouted. “If you don’t decide soon, it’ll all be over. I expect Greg will be back any minute now and we’ll know if he and Rosa are still in a relationship or not.”
“All right,” Taylor said, his voice sounding dejected. He stuck out his hand and they shook on it. The deal had been struck. The wager had been placed. Now they would wait to see who was right.
Greg and Rosa had been hot and cold, off and on, all throughout their first two years at Bluefield College. They began their junior year as a couple, but Jordan was convinced that it was only a matter of time before they split once more. History had a way of repeating itself. Taylor was a little more optimistic. He thought that this time, for sure, those crazy kids would be able to make it work.
Taylor was convinced that he would be right and that tonight’s date between Greg and Rosa would go off without a hitch. Greg had left the dorm in a great mood. He hadn’t said anything stupid to Rosa all week. What possible reason could there be for them to break up?
Jordan knew there was always a reason. There always had been. There always would be. And that reason was Rosa’s high school sweetheart. That guy, whose name Jordan could never remember, always had a way of turning up at the most inopportune moments. He had overheard Rosa talking to her roommate about getting a text message from what’s-his-name.
He hadn’t kept this moment of eavesdropping from Taylor when placing his bet. Jordan wasn’t the kind of guy to use inside information to his advantage. But Taylor was foolish enough to take the bet anyway. And now they waited to see who was right.
Ten minutes passed after that fateful handshake. Greg slowly and silently walked by Taylor and Jordan’s open door without stopping or even looking inside. “Greg!” Taylor yelled, “You feeling all right? You look sick.”
Greg just stopped walking. He didn’t turn to look back at Taylor, who had stepped into the hallway to catch up to him. Jordan was right behind him. “I know that look,” he said.
Greg hung his head and laughed sadly. “Yeah,” he said in a low tone, almost a whisper, “A lot of people know this look. It’s a running joke, isn’t it?”
“I’m sorry, man,” Jordan said before silently celebrating and mouthing the words IN YOUR FACE to Taylor. As Greg turned, Jordan returned to his previously somber mood.
Taylor shook his head as he turned to walk down the hallway toward the dorm’s exit. “Where are you going?” Greg asked.
“The Dome,” he said, careful to be non-specific. “I’ve gotta get something out of the locker room.”
Jordan had a difficult time hiding his smile when he thought about Taylor angrily stomping down the hill to the gym, then dragging the mascot costume back up to the room. Tomorrow morning would be the beginning of a very long week for his roommate.
Once Taylor was out of the building, Jordan looked back at Greg. “You wanna hear something that is guaranteed to cheer you up?”
“Not sure that’s possible but okay.”
“Taylor’s gotta wear the Ram suit non-stop for a week!” said Jordan as he burst into laughter.
Greg smiled a little at this, but it wasn’t really enough to do the job of cheering him up.
“Okay, maybe that didn’t cheer you up,” Jordan said. “Go upstairs, get some sleep. Tomorrow morning you can come with us to breakfast. I promise you’ll feel better when you see Taylor in the costume. For a week!”