Fred Pinkerton

So I figured out a different way to export from my writing application today that should make reading the rest of these much easier. I also struggled to write anything. I think the problem was a late start. I didn’t really get to write anything until after lunch. I had a lot of trouble getting into a writing place at that point in the day, with whatever else having already happened. I do know that if I’m writing earlier I can get back to a writing spot after lunch without much trouble. Granted, my desire to flip the standard a little and have the life-changing moment appear to be a good thing versus a bad might have hampered me, but in the end that shouldn’t matter too much. The characters should still do something, there should still be ideas of situations to put them in.

 

Write A Hansel & Gretel Structured Story

Today we’re looking at the third of my ‘Life Changing Moment’ writing prompts (find the first one here, the second one here)

The Prompt

tell a story using the Hansel & Gretel story structure

This story structure is very different from the last two. The life-changing moment happens BOOM right up front.

<– Write Below This Line –>

“Yes, I’ll accept that offer. I won’t let you down either.”

“Thank you Mr. Beatle. We look forward to working with you. See you Monday morning at 9.”

“Will do. Thank you again Ms. Oppenhiemer.”

Fred couldn’t believe it. Three months. Three long months he had been searching for his next gig. It had never taken this long. Frank worried he no longer had what it took, but then Ms. Oppenhiemer contacted him. With this gig everything comes back on track.

The gig started Monday. That gave Fred just three days to prepare, two of them on the weekend. Tomorrow morning, practice the commute in. He’d already driven in a couple of times, but never during the morning rush hour.

 

Nice! His alarm hadn’t even gone off yet and he was awake. He’d better turn it off before it woke Janet. Wait. Where was Janet? And why was it so bright?

As Fred looked over at the alarm clock he saw four digits, it was after ten already. He had overslept, and not just a little. “Dammit!”

Thirty minutes later he’s eating breakfast in the quiet of an empty house. It’s going to be strange, eating with Janet in the mornings again. He hardly saw her before the workday was done anymore. They used to have a wonderful routine, eating breakfast together and the good-bye kisses as they headed off in different directions to work. We did seem closer before. I hope that comes back.

Fred found himself paging through job boards on the laptop as he ate. It was an automatic response at this point, one he couldn’t help. Hehehe. I guess I don’t need to do that anymore. He shut the job boards down and tried to figure something else out to do. His contemplation was interrupted by the chime of an incoming message on his phone.

 

JANET: Missed you this morning, how was the “commute”? What time does the start there anyhow?

 

Crap. Why didn’t she wake me up?

 

FRED: I must have forgotten to set the alarm. Help me remember this weekend? Love ya!

 

Fred looked around for something to do. At this point he might as well wait a couple of hours before heading in to do the commute home. I got it! I need clothes ready for the big first day.

With that Fred headed upstairs to do some ironing. He put some random show on in the background and tried to really focus on getting a good ironing job done. After two commercial breaks he hadn’t gotten anywhere. What the hell? Checking the iron he realized it was cold as his ice tea. Plugged in? Yes. Light’s even on. Must be broken.

Trying not to let it get him down he decides he’ll just leave early and stop for one on the way out. Heading back to the living room he stood and looked out over the neighborhood. It was a different place during the day. He was always surprised by how many people were around during work and school days.

It wouldn’t hurt to get the lawn mowed. Last chance for a long time to get it done during the workday after all.

About halfway through the front yard the mower made some kind of strange sound. Fred didn’t think much of it. He also didn’t notice the cloud appearing from the bottom of the mower as he walked forward into it. Just as his mind started to comprehend something was wrong he felt the first sting. The second, third, fourth, and more were so close behind they may as well have been part of the same big sting in different parts of his body.

Fred let go of the mower and started to scream. Everything including his own actions seemed to be happening in slow motion as he looked down and started to swing his arms wildly. He pivoted as the mower sputtered to a stop and started to run, not even knowing where to. As he turned he suddenly got hit by a cold spray of water. He had no idea where it came from, but he started running to it. He felt someone grab his hand and guide him somewhere.

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he heard sirens. All he knew now was pain. His legs were on fire and all he wanted to do was sleep until it was over. His neighbor told him to hang tight, that the ambulance would be there soon.

The paramedics let him stay home. He didn’t have allergies that would create complications, but they did want him to go to urgent care if the pain and swelling didn’t go down by evening. With how much his legs hurt he knew he wouldn’t be driving anywhere in the afternoon.

“I called an exterminator for you. I know you’re out of work now so if you need help with the cost let me know.”

“Thanks Sam. We’ll be fine. When are they gonna get here?”

“They said an hour, so about fifteen more minutes?”

 

“Hey there, the commute must be OK if you’re back already.”

Fred was sleeping on the couch when Janet got home. He wanted to go right back to sleep once he was awake enough for the pain to kick in. “In here. I didn’t go anywhere.”

“Good Lord! What the hell happened to you!?”

Fred looked down. His legs were easily twice the size they should be, and significantly larger than when the paramedics left him. Thank goodness he had shorts on. “Bees in the yard. I need to go to urgent care. The paramedics warned me this could happen.”

“Right. Can you even move like that?”

“I dunno. Maybe?” The next 30 minutes were among the most painful Fred ever remembered experiencing. He did finally end up in the car, and there he promptly passed out.

 

When he came to it seemed darker than it should have been. He looked around and saw nobody. The clock on the wall said one-thirty. That must explain how dark it is. He wondered where Janet was. Maybe they weren’t letting her in the room for some reason?

CRASH! BOOM!

A sudden flash of light was immediately followed by the loud report of thunder. Janet came into the room with a bag of what must be a nighttime snack.

“Thank heavens you’re awake. I was getting worried.”

“Sorry I passed out for a few hours, did you see my legs?”

“A few hours? Honey, do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Sure, that clock over there says one-thirty. You got home around what, five?”

“Oh Fred. It is one-thirty, one-thirty Saturday afternoon. You’ve been out for almost a full day.”

Fred just lay there a few minutes, trying to speak but with nothing coming out of his mouth. “We need a new iron.” He finally managed to whisper.

Janet smiled and sat down next to the bed. “I’m sure we’ll get one soon then. They said if everything looked good and you felt up to it you could come home as early as tomorrow morning.”

“Tomorrow! I’m supposed to start the new gig on Monday. I’m gonna need your help to get ready.”

“Whatever you need hon, we’ll figure it out.”

 

Sunday afternoon. Let’s take stock. My legs hurt like hell. My clothes look like shit. I don’t know how long the drive will take. Yeah. Perfect.

Fred lay in the bed trying not to hurt. This gig was important, he couldn’t screw it up. Janet will be here soon with that new iron. I’m going to turn this around.

Three hours later Fred finished his ironing. Luckily the sweat running down his face from the effort of standing and ironing didn’t land on the clothes he was wearing in the next day. He had two outfits ready and three alarms set – double checked by Janet. This was going to work.

 

“Fred, wake up.” Janet was shaking him.

“Oh crap, did I oversleep the alarms again?”

“Only two of them. You need to get going though. There’s a jackknifed semi on 47. Traffic is going to be killer on your way in.”

“Thanks love. I’m up now. I’ll call you at lunch.”

“Oh, I have a meeting today, I’ll pick you up here at six for dinner though?”

“Sounds like a plan. See you then.”

With Janet gone Fred started the painful process of getting ready.

 

An hour later Fred sat in the car. He had gotten to the bottom of the driveway and when he shifted to drive something happened. The car made a noise no car should ever make. It lurched forward for about 30 seconds before making an even worse noise. It then stopped in front of his house and started to belch smoke as black as the cat down the street. That was 30 minutes ago.

Ring, Ring.

“Hello, this is Fred.”

“Fred. Ms. Oppenhiemer here. I thought you were starting today?”

“Yes. I had that same plan in mind. You would not believe the sequence of events that has prevented me from getting to the office though.”

“Fred, I’m going to stop you there. The traffic is bad but even with that semi you should be here by now. Am I a little pre-mature? Are you pulling into the parking lot?”

“No Ms. Oppenhiemer. Unfortunately I am in front of my house.”

There was a long pause. “I see.” Another uncomfortable silent spell passed. “I do believe we won’t be needing your services after all Fred. I do wish you the best of luck.” With that the line went dead.

 

It was getting warm in the car and Fred was seriously considering rolling down the windows, except they were power windows. About that time there was a tapping sound. Fred looked out the window and saw a man in a suit smiling at him. The man motioned for Fred to roll the window down, which he couldn’t do.

Fred signaled for the man to back away. He tried to anyhow. The man looked very confused as Fred gestured wildly. Finally Fred gave up and opened the door.

“Mr. Pinkerton? Mr. Fred Pinkerton?”

“Yes, that’s me. I’m sure I cannot possibly help you.”

“No, I’m sure you can’t. However the good news is that I am here to help you.”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you remember a,” The man paused, scrolling through something on his phone. “Ah, here it is. A Mr. Belarc? Mr. Steve Belarc?”

“Uncle Steve? Of course I remember him. He was my favorite uncle growing up.”

“I will need you to come with me to the hospital of course.”

“No, they let me out. I’m not worse, I just don’t want to face the world right now. I am physically capable of getting out of the car any time.”

The man smiled again. “I’m sure you are fine. I am just required to do a DNA test. I need to verify you really are Fred before I sign over the Morris family assets.”

“Excuse me, Morris family assets?”

“You were aware that Mr. Belarc’s wife was the last remaining heir to Morris Industries?”

“No. What’s that mean to me?”

“When she died everything was left to him. When he passed away he left everything to Fred Pinkerton.” The man put his phone away. “If you are indeed who you say you are then you are the new heir to Morris Industries. You would have to choose to either sell off the company or start as the CEO immediately.”

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