Category Archives: Melan
Melanie, that one friend who has a few screws loose.
Roxana, the poor soul in charge of picking up the pieces.
Here are their tales.
Genre: slice of life, friendship
What did one do with a roomful of durians?
That was the challenge Roxana found herself faced with when she stepped into her living room and saw the boxes and boxes of the thorny fruits.
She focused her attention on the grinning girl among the boxes and said one word.
Melanie shrugged. “They were on sale. Buy 1 free 1. And I got a free box for every five boxes I buy. How can you say no to such a bargain?”
“I can when my living room is filled with them. Did you even ask my parents before you brought them in?” Surely her parents would have stopped this madness.
“No one was home, so I let myself in,” Melanie said.
“Take them out. We’ll take one box at most, but the rest is your problem.”
“But where would I put them?”
“Your living room.”
“… How many boxes did you buy?”
“One hundred! So I got twenty extra boxes for free,” Melanie declared proudly.
Roxana stared at Melanie. “What were you planning to do with 120 boxes of durians?”
“Dunno. That’s where you come in. Ideas?”
Roxana’s first thought was that she wanted to kick Melanie out of the house. Her second thought was that kicking Melanie out still left her with a roomful of durians. Her third thought was to let Melanie deal with her own mess.
Without a word, Roxana stepped back out the door and closed it.
Genre: slice of life
They were about to enter the movie theatre when they discovered the complication. Somehow, they had six child tickets instead of six adult tickets.
They were already running late, so Roxana and Max hurried to the customer service desk to sort the tickets out.
Changing the child tickets to adult tickets was a small matter. It didn’t take the customer service assistant long to fix their tickets. With their now valid tickets, they turned their attention to the rest of the group.
Melanie laughed from where she perched on the top of the promotional prop for the movie they were about to watch. Unconcerned by the attention she drew, she egged the others on as they struggled their way up to her.
Roxana and Max turned back to the customer service assistant.
“Those four are with us. Can they use child tickets instead?”
To read more about Melanie and her friends, check out these stories.
My response to the prompt calm.
~The Calm Before~
The water reflected the sky like a perfect mirror, not a single ripple in sight. The wind had gone on a rare day off, same as the birds and other animals, giving the area an unusual peace.
That just amplified their voices.
“Put me down!”
Roxana had just enough time to threw her book on her chair before Melanie tossed her into the air. Roxana latched on to Melanie in an attempt to stay out of the water, but that only pulled both of them in.
They crashed into the pool with a large splash that sent ripples racing across the surface. Startled animals called out and shifted among the shrubbery, creating a ripple effect that well and truly shattered the previous peace.
“That’s my name.”
Roxana turned back towards the poolside seats. Melanie grabbed her arm.
“Hey. We’re here to swim. You can read your books next time.”
“Let me put my glasses down first.”
Roxana set her glasses somewhere safe and sank into the water. She pushed off the side of the pool and shot over to Melanie. Without warning, she grabbed the shorter girl and pulled her under.
Time to play.
I wanted to start the piece was a calm description, but I didn’t want to stop there. So I brought in Melanie, because she’s the kind of person who makes things happen.
My response to the prompt enthusiasm.
The stand mixer sputtered to a stop just minutes into the baking session. That wouldn’t have been a problem… if they didn’t have bucketloads of whipped cream to whisk.
As one, they turned to the shortest girl in the group.
Melanie grabbed a whisk and attacked the cream with gusto. The rest of them moved away to avoid the inevitable cream shower, but to their surprise, the cream fluffed up without any mess. As they shaped the first batch of scones, Melanie proudly presented the bowl of whipped cream.
“Look at that!”
“Great job. Here’s more.”
Melanie’s face fell at the new bowl of cream. Just like the stand mixer, it didn’t last long. After a short pause, she was back at it again, whipping the cream like no tomorrow.
Must be nice to have so much energy.
My response to the prompt millions.
They were standing in front of the lucky draw booth…
To make a bet.
“If we manage to pull the third prize in one try, you’ll give us the ninth prize too,” Melanie said.
“And if you can’t pull it in ten tries, you’ll buy another twenty tickets,” said the staff manning the booth.
Melanie paid for the ticket and turned to Roxana. “You do it.”
Roxana narrowed her eyes. “It’s your bet.”
“I’m one in ten million. If I pull, I’ll get too lucky and get the grand prize. You’re only one in a million. Third prize should be just right.”
Roxana sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. When Melanie resorted to such troll logic, it was better to just go along.
“Don’t blame me if I don’t get what you want,” Roxana said and reached into the box. Her fingers curled around a piece of folded paper and she pulled it out. Without a word, she unfolded it to reveal the number “3”.
She raised her gaze from the paper to the staff, whose face had lost all its colour.
“Nice one.” Melanie slapped Roxana on the back. “Now, my turn.”
She bought another ticket and reached into the box. The paper she pulled out bore the number “1”.
For a moment, Roxana thought the staff was about to faint, but he pulled himself together and brought them their prizes. A game console for pulling the grand prize, two movie tickets for the third prize, and a mascot keychain listed as the 9th prize.
“Awesome.” Melanie grinned and immediately opened the box containing the game console. She pulled out one of the two controllers, then passed the box back to the staff.
“Take it. I already have one at home. I just want an extra controller.”
The staff tried to refuse the prize because of conflict of interest. He lasted an admirable fifteen minutes before the console ended up in his hands anyway. Without giving the staff a chance to return the box, Melanie hooked her arm in Roxana’s and skipped on to the next destination.
This started from ‘one in a million’, which made me think of lotteries, and it mutated from there.
My response to the prompt ‘perplexed‘.
~ Ping Pong Ball Halves~
She stared at the ping pong ball halves on the floor. (There were 26 of them. She knew because she counted them as she squashed down the urge to throw her son and his friends out of the house.)
Her son wasn’t mischievous, but he wouldn’t say no to excitement. Same with Luca. Melanie was the worst person to ask for explanations. Her answers almost always made less sense than the questions.
She turned to Max, the most level headed of the bunch, and was about to ask him for an explanation when their fourth guest walked into the room.
The girl froze at the sudden attention but recovered quickly with a “Hello Auntie”.
“What are you doing with the ping pong balls?
“I don’t know yet, but it was either that or five ice cream tubs of pork lard. I thought the ping pong balls would at least be easier to clean.”
That didn’t clear any of her perplexity, but Roxana was there. She could trust her to keep everyone else in line.
“OK. Be careful.”
As she reached the top of the stairs, she heard Melanie say, “She said ‘OK’.”
“That’s not an invitation to burn down the house.”
She almost dashed back downstairs to kick everyone and their ping pong balls out.
You can read more about Melanie and Roxana in Zing and Bling Bling.
My response to the prompt ‘zing!‘.
~Zing and Bling Bling~
They looked around the room, checked the sparkling streamers that hung from every elevated spot, examined the balloons of all shapes and sizes, noted the giant cushions throw around the room. Roxana thought the room was already overcrowded, and that was before the guests even arrived. Melanie, on the other hand, wasn’t satisfied.
“It needs more… zing. More bling bling,” she said.
If this was her party, Roxana would have saved Melanie from her own enthusiasm long ago. But it wasn’t her party. It was Melanie’s little cousin’s.
“What do you think?” Roxana asked the five-year-old.
“More zing and bling bling!” the child cheered.
“Right? Let’s go.” The two terrors linked hands and skipped out the door to the convenience store nearby.
Roxana followed, feeling like a mother three times her age, especially when she had to confiscate the fireworks from their shopping basket. Fireworks and Melanie with a room full of people and flammable items. No. Just. No.
Read more about Melanie and her friends in Ping Pong Ball Halves.