Currently working on a new project, which is taking the energy I would normally devote to writing new short stories, so please enjoy this one, which was originally published in January 2015.
“Aunt Jenny, they didn’t have the gluten-free cookies you wanted at the store, so I just bought the regular kind.” Doug braced himself for the tirade that would surely follow (Aunt Jenny wasn’t even allergic to gluten), but it never came.
“In here, Doug!”
Doug put down the bags of groceries on the kitchen counter and followed the sound of his aunt’s voice to a dusty little room in the back of the house. “What are you doing in here?”
“I signed up for an online writing class.”
“Don’t be silly, you heard me.”
“I heard you, but I’m not sure I understood. Did you say you signed up for an online writing class?”
“I most certainly did.”
“You don’t even have internet access here.”
“I do now.”
“Since yesterday. I was having coffee with Diane when I noticed this flyer posted to the bulletin board advertising this course. I told Diane how much I’ve always wanted to be a writer and she said I should go for it. That I have talent. I’m so excited Douglass!”
“She said you have talent? When was the last time you wrote anything?”
“Oh, she just loves my Christmas cards. She say’s they’re so charming and well-written.”
“Christmas cards. You paid for internet and an online course based on well-written Christmas cards?”
“Of course! Just think, all these years my talents have been wasted, viewed by no one other than my closest friends and family. Now, thanks to this course, I can showcase them to the world.”
“That sounds like sleazy ad copy.”
“It is not! It’s right here on the flyer, see?”
She shoved a piece of paper in front of his face. It read:
“Beginner’s Writing Course
Available to Students of All Ages
Do you have a passion for the written word?
Do you dream of showing the world what you’re really capable of, but haven’t had the opportunity?
Here’s your chance!
This six-week writing course will teach you everything you need to know to become a successful writer, including:
• How to Write an Outline
• How to Develop Compelling Characters
• How to Bring Your Reader Into the World You’ve Built
What are you waiting for?
This is your chance to showcase your talents to the world!
Sign up now at www.ithinkimawriter.com
Registration Price: $999”
“Nine hundred ninety-nine dollars! You didn’t actually pay them, did you?”
“Of course I did. How else am I supposed to become a great writer?”
“Where did you get that kind of money? It can’t have been from that lottery ticket you bought last week.”
“Diane lent it to me. She has faith in me, unlike some people I know.”
“Aunt Jenny, you can’t blow a thousand bucks on a stupid online course without a real teacher.”
“Of course there’s a real teacher! Who else is going to tell us how to write or grade our assignments?”
“Nonsense. Can’t you understand this is a sign? I was meant to follow my passions. That’s why this flyer was posted where I could see it. That’s why Diane told me how much she loves my Christmas cards.”
“Good grief, Aunt Jenny, you and your signs are going to bring you to an early grave.”
“Oh, don’t be so melodramatic. Why can’t you understand that sometimes the universe communicates in all sorts of ways, telling you what you need to do?”
“Because the universe is doing no such thing. It’s all in your head!”
“We’ll just see what’s in whose head once I’m a world-renowned writer.”