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Short story: <i>Keeping Up Appearances</i>

I was wearing one oven mitten in a floral print and holding a dishcloth with a picture of a kitten in the other hand, leaning over the oven and pulling out a tray of biscuits when I felt something at my feet. The heat from the oven was pushing my apron against me and breaking my face out in a sweat around my hairline and causing curls to stick to my forehead. My lipstick felt tacky because I hadn't had time to drink water, and I could feel my makeup running a little into the crevices at the corners of my eyes.

As I lifted the tray out I used the hand with the dishcloth to wipe the sweat from my face but my other hand slipped and the whole tray of cookies tumbled from my grasp, and the tray was flung to the floor, bounced twice, and the up-ended hot tray landed on my bare foot. I stepped back twice and stubbed my heel against the wall, and as I stumbled my head cracked against the bricks. I leaned heavily and allowed myself the luxury of sliding down and sitting against the wall, my head and foot causing me a moment of delirium and release from responsibility.

But I got back up again, went to the bathroom to redo my makeup and change my dress, and then I brushed off the homemade biscuits as I picked them up off the floor and placed them in a jar in the cupboard to tempt the children when they get home from school.

It's so important to keep up appearances.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: mitten, end, delirious, biscuit, and stub.

Image courtesy of Dan Phiffer.

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