Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lulu and Lola

a Lulu & Friends story

500 words based on a sentence (in italics) selected by Dive. Click here for more info.

Twin beds sullenly welcomed us at the motel just off the interstate, flat, spent pillows barely raising a bump under the stained quilted bedspreads. The sun had long ago sunk below the horizon, yet the Texas heat was as choking as ever, the relentless, disheartening, will-crushing heat of an August drought. The beige Saturn’s fickle electrical system continued its slow, lingering death that afternoon, taking with it the air conditioner and the controls for the power windows, which were now stuck at useless heights, neither containing the tepid air burping from the vents on the dash, nor letting any outside air circulate.

Traffic had slammed to a halt about 30 minutes north of Houston when a cattle carrier overturned, spilling disoriented livestock onto I-45. Local police stopped traffic in both directions while Texas Rangers on horseback worked with local volunteers to round up the frightened cows. The 250 miles between us and home in North Dallas stretched temptingly northward, but with no way to get there, Lo and I sat in the car most of the day with the sun pounding down on the roof, from the limitless, empty Texas sky. The motel room was little better as I slid between the graying, frayed sheets, trying to find a cool spot on my pillow and wondering why the room had no ceiling fan.

“Lu? Can I have a water?”

Three bottles lay on their sides, half submerged in the cloudy, lukewarm mystery liquid at the bottom of the cooler, floating among the remains of popsicles, candy bars and lipsticks.

“Sure Lo, but we’ll have to get some more tomorrow, and ice this thing up again before we leave. I’ve never seen anyone drink so much water.”

“Gotta stay hydrated. Oprah says how many liters a day? Got any straws?”

“Just drink it from the bottle”

“But…”

“Like you’re worried about make-up now? We’re going to sleep, just drink it from the damned bottle.”

“I’m sorry Lu”.

“S’ok Lo”

“You know what today’s like, Lu? Thelma and Louise. This is our big road trip. We’re just like them.”

“Lo, you know how that movie ended, don’t you?”

“Yeah, but maybe I can still have a thing with Brad Pitt? Might be worth it.”

“Go to sleep Lo”

“Night, Lu…Lu, can we find a waffle house for breakfast tomorrow? And when we get the water, we need straws too. Oprah always says to use a straw. Her guests always have straws, too.”

“Go to sleep Lo.”

And again next day a thinly populated sky, losing its blue to the heat, would melt overhead, and Lo would clamour for a drink, and her cheeks would hollow vigorously over the straw, and the car inside would be a furnace when we got in again, and the road shimmered ahead, with a remote car changing its shape mirage-like in the surface glare, and seeming to hang for a moment, old-fashionedly square and high, in the hot haze.



##

copyright (c) 2009 Lulubelle B

9 comments:

dive said...

When seventeen syllables are not enough … hee hee, Lulu; that's awesome!

What a great story! This has to be my favourite so far.
I love the "Lu and Lo" thing and the Thelma and Louise reference.

Your choice of words and turn of phrase are beautiful and carefully considered, which is not much of a surprise from a haiku writer, but your wry sense of humour sparkles - the mounted rangers rounding up disoriented cattle is wonderful - and the details are perfectly observed (the cloudy, lukewarm mystery at the bottom of the cooler).

All this and Brad Pitt, too! Yay!

Brilliant!

Scout said...

This is just great, Lulu. It really is amazing how many people make their decisions based on what Oprah says. I love your details and ability to create the setting.

neetzy said...

Lulu,

I loved the Lu and Lo and the Oprah. You are an excellent writer. I felt I was right there with you. Was Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise? I can't remember.

Lulubelle B said...

Dive - Gosh, you make a gal blush! This was fun. Looking forward to the next one.

Robyn - Glad you like it. Detail was was an interesting challenge this time.

Neetzy - You're too kind. And yes, Thelma & Louise was Brad Pitt's first film. He was very young and very yummy.

MarkL42 said...

You have such detail and nuance here that I expect these characters have an involved back-story and there are other Lu & Lo chapters in your head.

I especially like how the seed sentence ties it all together at the end vs starting with it or embedding it somewheree in the middle.

R. Jacob said...

Nice attention to detail. Like the story line. I feel like I am writing a blurb inside a book cover!

Lulubelle B said...

Mark and RJ -

Thanks for your kind words. Appreciate the feedback.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

OMG! This was absolutely wonderful! You had me on that highway, but what's better was the dialogue. I really got a sense of these two. Thanks for sharing!

MmeBenaut said...

Hello Lulu. I really enjoyed this too! You've a gift for prose my dear.