Today’s Story a Day prompt was to use the ugly duckling story structure.
Use the Ugly Duckling Story To Write A Balanced Story With The Life-Changing Moment In The Middle
And it’s also Stream of Consciousness Saturday. That prompt was to use a word with a farm animal sound in it and bonus points if you use three or more.
Maeve stepped out of her house, two full garbage bags in her hands. So much for Anthony cleaning up before he got out. At least he had gotten out. She would take cleaning up her house on her own if it meant not having to deal with that scum sucking cheating bastard.
She dropped the bags on the curb, ready to be picked up when the garbage truck came by. This was finally the last of them. Between her own work, making sure she ate, and actually getting some sleep, it had taken her most of a week to get the last of the trash out of the house.
She looked over at the twitch of a curtain in the neighbor’s house. She lifted a hand and called, “Good morning, Mrs. Tronson.”
She could practically hear the woman’s huff from here. The woman hated her, and she’d never done anything that she could remember to deserve that. She didn’t even dance naked in the moonlight, though the old woman often looked at her like she thought that’s just what she did.
Not that it should be any of the woman’s business if she did.
Maeve went back up to the porch to make sure her door was locked then headed down the sidewalk toward the diner. She could really use some coffee she hadn’t made. And maybe one of those sweet treats Anna liked to display.
When she stepped into the diner, she felt too many gazes on her. She hadn’t ventured out much in the last week, so she had no idea what rumors were going around. She could imagine Anthony had started some of his own. They didn’t bother her. She’d dealt with being the brunt of them most of her life.
She kept telling herself that, nearly every day of her life.
But, at least Anna smiled at her. And it wasn’t the fake one she gave customers she really didn’t like very much. Anna smiled a lot these days. She had been for the last year. Maeve supposed that happened when you got to marry the man of your dreams and got a six-year old daughter out of the deal.
Maeve wasn’t sure she’d ever get that. Not that it was a man she thought of most days when she thought of her future. She knew Anthony wasn’t exactly a keeper, not a permanent fixture in her life. He wasn’t the first man she’d had a relationship with, it wasn’t like she hadn’t been attracted to him and others, but they certainly weren’t the first to draw her gaze.
“What can I get you this morning, Maeve?” Anna asked as Maeve approached the counter.
“Medium triple chocolate coffee and one of those,” she said, tapping the display over a pastry that was drizzled with strawberry sauce and some white icing.
“Good choice,” Anna said. “Erik tried that one out over the weekend for the first time. It’s good.”
Maeve stepped to the side, so the next customer could step up while Anna got her order ready. But, as she took her pastry and coffee to a small table in the corner, she could hear whispers. Yeah, Anthony had probably started some rumors.
She didn’t care. But, the pastry weighed heavy as she finished off the first half of it.
The whispers grew louder, and she choked a bit as the coffee burned her throat when she heard the loudest. “Can’t believe she threw that nice boy over for some girl. What is this town coming to?”
So, that was what Anthony was telling people. And not a bit of it held any truth. Big surprise there. She was starting to doubt the man knew how to tell the truth.
She pushed back from the table, taking her coffee and pastry with her. She might not be able to make them stop talking about her, but that didn’t mean she had to sit here and listen to it.
“You know, Mr. Trent,” she head a nice melodic voice say, “I think this town is coming to something good. And I would have thrown a cheating asshole over for a nice girl, too.”
Maeve turned her head and saw Carolyne standing at one table over from her. Their eyes met for a moment, and Carolyn winked at her. Maeve smiled back then headed for the door. And she nearly ran into someone coming in. Great. She was going to make someone else in this town hate her.
But, Lora just smiled at her. “How are you doing?” Lora asked her.
Great, she’d heard the rumors, too. But, Lora didn’t seem to be judging her. That was a nice change. “Fine. Just finished taking out the trash today.”
Lora grinned at her. “Good for you. He was never good enough.”
Maeve laughed at that, and that heavy feeling in her stomach dissolved. Not everyone was buying Anthony’s bullshit at least. She headed back to her house and as she neared it, she saw one of her neighbors step out and smooth his shirt down. “Got a hot date, Mr. Bosman?”
The man grinned at her. “Just lunch with the wife. Maybe one day you’ll know what that’s like.”
She grinned back at him. “I certainly hope so.”
And it was Carolyne Grier she thought of as she let herself back in to her house.