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“That girl’s got to find herself a man.” Doreen, DoDo to all but a few of the newest nurses, stabbed her finger at Jennifer Anniston.

“I think she’s got somebody, hasn’t she?” asked Wilma. The women maintained an easy friendship based on their shared love of celebrity gossip. They watched the all the shows about movie stars’ lives, and they collected magazines so they could compare nose jobs, boob jobs, and lovers.

DoDo said, “She needs one that’ll stick.”

The afternoon nurse, Audrey, swept into the room.“That rag’s a week old,” said Audrey after she administered the appropriate pills. “I can pick you up this week’s after work tonight.”

“No,” said DoDo. “Molly brings them to me on Saturdays.”

Audrey moved on, and the women waited while her cart retreated down the hall. Wilma said, “Molly indeed. Can you imagine Molly bringing you one of these?”

“No, she’s good enough on the large print books, though.”

Then Wilma pushed herself up out of her seat and got DoDo’s wheelchair from its spot in the corner. “Ready, dear?” she asked her older roommate.

“Of course I am,” said DoDo. She swung down out of bed and gingerly settled into the chair. “Audrey’s right about one thing. Our scandal sheet is a week old. It’s high time for a new one.”

Wilma pushed DoDo into the nursing home’s garden, two old women out for an innocent stroll. She said, “I’m glad we don’t live on the lockdown side.”

“No, we couldn’t run away like this,” DoDo agreed.  They set their eyes on the garden’s gate. When they were sure Audrey hadn’t come down from the nurse’s station to monitor them through the door as she sometimes did, they pushed out into the loading area, then maneuvered to the busy sidewalk beyond.

DoDo leaned back in the chair. “Maybe this week, Jennifer can get somebody to replace Brad,” she said.

Wilma said, “Maybe she doesn’t need a man at all.”

DoDo clucked. “Scandalous!”


This is my entry for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge, where we have been tasked with the third definition of ‘scandal’. Note that ‘scandalous’ is NOT the usage; ‘scandal sheet’ is. I’m not trying to slip one by and change the word form, which is not allowed. The last word is just soooo obviously right.

The story is based on a bizarre dream I had last week about my best friend’s daughters. It was supposed to morph into my entry for Lance’s 100 word song last week, but these old birds flatly refused to be confined to 100 words. Flatly. Refused. Which is in character I suppose, but maddening for their author.

They were supposed to run away from the nursing home and leave it at that, since that’s what happened in my dream. But it wasn’t taking place that way, because my brain kept inserting reality checks. So then, I was left with wondering what they COULD do, and they had all KINDS of ideas. They wanted to go to the movies, ride public transit until the bus driver caught on and took them back to the home, take DoDo’s wheelchair joyriding through the Furniture gallery, and go try to get a test drive at the BMW dealership. Again. (Damned salesmen require a driver’s license and insurance papers, and Wilma hasn’t got her great-grandson on board with forging those or teaching her how to do so yet.) This seems fitting considering the girls the old ladies are based on.

Then Trifecta came along and saved me with ‘scandal’.

I will be long dead by the time the real DoDo and Wilma  (whose names are not Doreen and Wilma) are old enough to star in this story (so will Jennifer Anniston and Brangelina). But I do so enjoy imagining the young people I know as old folks. Because to see them that way means they have survived adolescence and adulthood. It’s a window into their lives as I will never know them.

And these kids would already have the cool and moxie to achieve a breakout like this, but you would have to convince DoDo that it was a good idea first.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Gossip — 28 Comments

  1. i like how you used scandal, as if it’s someone’s else’s word, but in truth the scandal is their gossip.

    well played, I’m bowing
    Hop over and visit Lance’s recent post Yellow LedbetterMy Profile

    • Exactly – they live in a world where their other option is to talk about friends dying. How much nicer to discuss Stefani Germanotta’s breasts.

  2. I had such a nice comment typed out, then realized I wasn’t logged into this account. *sigh*
    I enjoyed your actual breakdown of how this story came to be as much as I enjoyed the story itself. What an imagination you have! It’s a clever idea to turn children into old people. It sounds like a blast too.

    I also wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying Divorce. I find myself not being able to wait until I have time to jump back in.
    Hop over and visit SAM’s recent post In Time: RunawayMy Profile

    • I HATE the wordpress commenting system. It’s losing me SO MANY comments. I have literally flooded them with complaints. I can only hope their failure to respond means that others are doing the same. Possibly it means I’ve got too much moaning in with my bitching.

  3. Glad they could get away for an instant but those silver alerts will be blazing the highways and then they’ll be brought back. Enjoyed the story, I love it that its kernel was a dream.
    Hop over and visit columbibueno’s recent post Hell for FailuresMy Profile

    • Possibly. They may have figured out how to jimmy the system. They are a crafty pair. Audrey knows they are up to something, but she’s busy and hasn’t got enough time to figure them out.

  4. I also enjoyed your notes on the origin of the story – it really brought the story to life for me, to think of the old ladies in terms of who they were as young ladies. And this: “to see them that way means they have survived adolescence and adulthood. It’s a window into their lives as I will never know them.” REALLY resonated with me. Wonderful post! But yours always are. 🙂

    • My thanks! These two are a funny pair to be sure. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a first raid for them. But they were very disappointed that I only wanted to write about their shopping trips (ten minutes out, fifteen back to allow for Wilma’s back, and back in bed by head check.

    • Thanks! They give off lovable vibes. I think it’s how they get away with so much. It may be how they have the security code to the gate out of the garden. But the great-grandson may have been able to hack that for them.

  5. Wonderful, JQ, wonderful! I decided to forego both Trifecta and Trifextra this week – my April A to Z challenge has been sucking my time-well dry! Anyway, this was great enough to perhaps entice me back to try again this weekend.

    You’ve gotta love DoDo and Wilma! 😆
    Hop over and visit Paula Tohline Calhoun’s recent post Muse Day TuesdayMy Profile

  6. I hope that I have a co-conspirator when I’m old and alone. Like Thelma and Louise on Little Rascal scooters.
    Hop over and visit Tara R.’s recent post BlacksheepMy Profile

  7. Being a lover of the “scandal sheets” in line at the market, I know how these ladies feel about their famous people ;-).

    I want a Wilma when I get put into a home!!!
    Hop over and visit Gina’s recent post What Would You Do? REALLYMy Profile

  8. I can see my husband’s grandma sitting around with these ladies. She LOVES the gossip mags
    Hop over and visit Carrie’s recent post SecretsMy Profile

  9. WordPress is making it hard for me to see the real value of getting my name out of my site address. (Even If I could afford to.) But I just realized that I know one blogger who did, and she isn’t having these weird problems with comments that I’ve seen on other sites like yours. She and her husband are pretty savvy about computer stuff, so I’ll ask her. If she has any tips, I’ll share.

  10. The comment above didn’t even go where I put it! Whatever.

    Anyway, I wanted to say how much I like this story and your characters. It had a dream quality for me even before I read what you wrote about writing it. I love the angles and spin our dreams can put on our thoughts.
    Hop over and visit Sparks In Shadow’s recent post Barbie’s Broken HeartMy Profile

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