Rural Route 12: Bev's Shoes Attend a Party

Submitted into Contest #182 in response to: Write a story where someone’s paranoia is justified.... view prompt

115 comments

Contemporary Thriller Funny

Allergen Warning: Profanity


A pink palace in a sea of perfectly-manicured green lawn, the large "shoe-shed" at the back of Beverly Meeks’ property was a beauty to behold and a testament to depraved matrimony.


Originally a mid-sized industrial chicken coop, the customized shed now held the footwear trophies of her successful behavior modification experiments on her husband, Dan, throughout the 17 years of their marriage (he remained oblivious).


Yards of unending styles and colors “popped” – metaphorically – as the door opened, along with automated display lights and the hiss of humidity-controlled air, which was closely monitored from her control panel at the house. Each high-end pair additionally had its own special humidity-free box which housed it on the shelf. 


Equating shoes with superiority, Bev was very into her hobby.


Dan, disinterested in all things “girly,” had never even been in the shed since he completed renovation on the Pepto Bismol eyesore. As far as he knew, it was a simple (if garish) “she shed.” He would never have suspected that it now contained over 300 pairs of shoes. Bev handled the bills, or he would have at least called into question the $25,000 shoe rider on their homeowner’s policy at some point.


\/ \/


Bev had just garnered her latest round of catalogs from the mailbox when she was accosted by her neighbor, Sandy The Whore (as Bev thought of her). Though she didn’t know Sandy well, Bev suspected all women of wishing they could try on Dan for size. As it happened, Sandy had been trying him on for the past three years.


“Hello, neighbor!” Sandy chirped. “I realize we’ve said Hi a couple of times before, but we’ve never actually met. I’m Sandy, from next door.” She extended a hand and beamed a megawatt smile. 


Bev obviously knew who she was and where she lived (since she had been training her cat, Felynx, to pee in Sandy’s yard for months now), and she wanted no part of it. However, her aggression tended towards the clandestine, so she gave the proffered hand a shake. “Bev,” she responded while slyly checking out Sandy’s shoes. Not even close, she thought smugly. She threw in a little kick of her own bejeweled espadrilles as a flaunt-taunt. She didn’t care that she was the only one participating in this bit of peacockery: she was winning.


“Well, this is going to seem a little out of the blue, but Chuck and I are putting together a 4th of July barbecue this weekend, and we’re hoping we can count on you and your husband to join us?”


“Certainly! We’d be delighted!” She spouted, with well-disguised contempt. “What can I bring?”


Sandy visibly loosened. “Well just anything you’d like, actually: we’re providing grilled salmon and roasted corn, so whatever you want to bring would be appreciated, and no pressure of course – if you'd rather just bring yourselves, that's fine, too!”


No chance in hell she’s one-upping me, thought Bev. “Nope, be happy to bring some potato salad; it did win first place at the county fair one year.”


“Great!” exclaimed Sandy The Whore, and they bid adieu.


\/ \/


The Saturday of the party arrived a few days later and found Bev tearing up the shed, just trying to find the perfect pair. She wouldn't have said that would be a problem, but she was beginning to worr… Ah ha! Just the ticket, she interrupted her own doubts, triumphantly pulling a polished acetate box from the shelf. It was the neon pink and purple leopard print pair she ordered last fall at the successful conclusion of her “Thesis:Snack Attack” experiment.


Back in the house, she pulled on a form-fitting black sundress with pink straps, then coiled her silky blonde mane into a messy bun, securing it with a hot pink ribbon to complete the look. She deemed herself “immensely doable” as she admired her look in the mirror. Suck it, Sandy.


Bev had to drag Dan out of his leather recliner in order to get them to the party, and they were already running a few minutes late. It wouldn’t matter: she would get to make a grand entrance, so it all worked out.


Unfortunately, most everyone was already on the deck when they arrived, so no grand entrance: only Sandy was there to greet their arrival. At least it gave Bev time to check out her shoes, which were some boring T-strap sandals that looked like an afterthought from a HaulMart grocery run.


It’s like she isn’t even trying, thought Bev unkindly – but triumphantly, nonetheless.


“Delighted you could both make it!” Sandy chirped, pulling Dan into a hug first. Bev’s eyes narrowed, though she returned the hug that Sandy initiated a moment later. “Please feel free to go on out while I finish up here: Chuck’s already got the fire going, so we’re just about to start grilling.”


Outside, Bev plopped down next to Jill, happy to get off of the 3” heels that made her so clearly superior to the others. Jill was okay though, thought Bev, as Jill handed her a cold one. Jill had lived on the other side of Bev and Dan’s house for the past five years. She seemed a little nutty, but completely harmless, so Bev let her live.


Dan came out shortly thereafter – Bev noticed the delay with ire – and fist-bumped Chuck, shook hands with Frank, and sat down with his own beer. 


Frank was a neighbor whose farmland bordered the back fence lines of all of their homes, and he raised turkeys. Apparently, The Turkey Life chose him, because he wouldn’t shut up about it:


“Naw, the females don’t gobble, that’s just the males – them’s the ones with the snood, that long-looking thing on their face,” he was pointing out to the assembled group. “Y'know, at least with the wild ones, people are mistaken that they can’t fly. Anyways, mine are mostly female; you can tell by their poop,” he was saying.


Just at that moment, Sandy brought out the corn; she wrinkled her nose but avoided commenting. Setting the cobs next to Chuck at the grill, she grabbed a seat.


“Female poop's more curly, and males are more J-shaped,” continued Frank. Sandy desperately eyed Chuck. “Now, during breedin’ season…”


“Welp,” said Chuck, cutting him off, “You haven’t convinced me to take up turkey farming, but you’ve certainly worn me out about it!” Polite laughter ran through the group.


Chit-chat resumed until Chuck spoke up again several minutes later: “So, I guess you’re all wondering why we’ve put together this shindig, to which I ask: what do you think about a neighborhood watch group?”


“Watchin’ for what?” asked Frank guilelessly.


“Well, anything! If you see something unusual, you’d let the rest of us know so we could be on guard.” 


“We need a group for that?”


Chuck could tell this was going to be an uphill battle. “Look, they have them in all the neighborhoods these days. Anytime there’s specific danger, some of us could pair up to check it out. Strength in numbers! Anyway, think about it.” General nodding ensued as the subject was dropped.


\/ \/


The salmon and corn now grilled to perfection, the party retreated inside the house to dine. Murmurs of conversation encircled the table as dishes were passed and plates scraped clean. 


Bev couldn’t help but notice that Sandy had changed out of shoes altogether. I KNEW IT! She thought. Can’t handle the heat, huh, sister?! She internally crowed as she helped herself to her fourth beer of the night. She briefly considered slowing down on the beers, but she was very concerned about what footwear Sandy might trot out next, and it kept her on edge. 


She couldn’t help but notice that Sandy was matching her beer-for-beer. What was her angle?!


Bev was broken from her biting reverie by the men exiting the table to set up a fireworks display outside, leaving only the three women. She must have missed something, because Jill was already shuffling a bunch of "Biblical Tarot" cards and talking about needing some dried sage flakes to cleanse the deck. It was all very confusing, but fortunately Jill decided to do Sandy’s reading first. From what Bev could tell, each card had two separate interpretations; she vaguely recalled Jill asking her previously if she’d sit for a reading. Looked like she was going to, after all. Jill was getting started:


Jill drew a card. “Your PAST card is “The Lovers.” This card represents Choice.” Bev sucked in a huff as she chugged the last of her beer. Jill was unrelatedly giggling as she proceeded: “The picture on this card is two hippies just about to "get their groove on," if you know what I mean. I think this might literally be Sonny and Cher in their heyday, except Sonny is inexplicably drawn like he's on steroids. It's sorta creepy.


"Anyway, the user manual says the positive Tarot meanings for this card are both "Happy Marriage" and just "Marriage". Having been there several times, that about sums it up! Negative meanings are "Failure of a Test" (sometimes leading to the one that's "just Marriage") and "Infidelity," which generally leads to no marriage at all. This card pulls no punches.”


Bev was not liking where this was going. Not at all.


Continuing on, Jill said, “The Biblical verse for this is Genesis 2:4-25, but I feel it necessary to point out that The Good Book is rife with so many multiple simultaneous marriages that it's hard to choose just one example of what we in the modern western world like to call bigamy. So I don't think this card is gonna tell us what to do: you're not the boss of us!” she proclaimed snarkily, tossing the card back into the pile.


Sandy tilted back her chair and laughed at Jill’s humor, to which Bev took great offense, because it was Sandy. Coincidentally, however, Sandy happened to notice Bev’s heels while she was tipped back. 


“Wow, Bev! I love your shoes!” she said. Bev pulled up short. Was she being serious, or was this code for Fight Me? She said nothing. 


At that moment, Frank came in from where the guys were wiring the fireworks display and asked to use the restroom. Sandy pointed him to the half bath just inside the front entrance, then called back behind her, “One sec, Bev, you're gonna love these!” As she left the room, Bev's adrenaline was spiking. Surely she wouldn’t


Alas, an unsuspecting Sandy did just that. From out of the depths of her closet, she brought forth a pair of Louboutin's famous black heels, 4” high with the trademark do-me red soles. That bitch! As if that wasn’t enough, she brought out four other pairs of the same shoe, in Passion Purple, Glamorous Gold, Raunchy Red, and Sexy Silver.


While Sandy couldn’t possibly have known, a damaged tendon in Bev’s foot made particularly high heels inaccessible for her, and thus sadly not a part of her extensive collection. She maxed out at the 3” size she was already wearing, and how dare Sandy drag out shoes she could never wear?! They were the Holy Grail Franklin Mint Set, and Sandy owned them all.


Immediately, Bev’s lid flipped; she was well past nuclear. Shucking off both her shoes, she threw them at Sandy and dead-nailed her forehead with both shots. Jill shrieked and scrambled towards the patio door, wine and deck in-hand. Sandy threw down, returning fire. Her arsenal was bigger, and soon Bev had been pummeled by the color options of The Master more times than she could count.


Bev lunged out of her chair and leapt on Sandy, clutching two fistfuls of hair. Sandy reeled and sat back down with Bev’s added weight on her, but – unfortunately – she was seated right in front of the potato salad bowl. 


With Jill still screaming and cowering in the corner, Sandy uttered a guttural battle cry just at the moment Bev slammed her face into the potato salad and began mashing it around. Fumbling for a shoe within arm’s reach, Sandy found one and began pummeling Bev’s vitriolic maw with it, trying to free herself with her other hand. 


In the midst of the action, dishes were knocked off the table and food flung around the room, causing Bev to slip on Frank’s weird macaroni concoction which had come to rest by her feet. Taking the opportunity, Sandy punched down on Bev’s head while they rapid-fired foodstuffs like they were in the Majors.


Bev eventually righted herself, and back Sandy’s head went into the potato salad. At that moment, the men arrived in a flurry from the back yard and managed to wrench the women apart, after verifying that the mess on the floor was from dinner rather than someone’s actual entrails.


Sandy wiped off her face, scowling at Bev. Chuck held Sandy in place and directed Dan to the ice chest so that he could get some ice on Bev’s swollen jaw. It was tricky without letting go of her, but he managed. 


The room fell silent except for the panting; the walls and floor looked like the fallout from a frat house food fight. 


Suddenly: “YEAOW!” The sickening screech came from just outside, and the five of them forgot their differences and immediately charged out, only to find Felynx in a smoking heap of blacked fur next to a soaked electronic fireworks controller.


“HOLY SHIT!” yelled Chuck. He barely got the words out in time before 27 massive and possibly illegal rockets lit up: a pee-induced electrical short caused the whole system to go off, and because all of the firepower was still laying on its side where the men had been assembling the display, the entire mass headed straight for Dan and Bev’s next door… lo, directly toward Bev’s shoe shed, itself…


“OH MY GOD, NO!” shrieked Bev primally as she watched an explosion of streaks and splintering timber suddenly go up with a concussive “whump”! Patent leather makes an especially good kindling.


***


By the time the fire department had come and gone hours later, very little remained of Bev's backyard shrine to shoes. “All that work!” she was repeatedly sobbing. Jill patted and rubbed her back as Sandy, standing in her own yard and with potato salad still clinging to her scalp, smirked triumphantly at what she considered karmic justice. Chuck was busy meeting with the sheriff’s deputy and trying to explain his way out of a felony charge, and Dan had simply retreated indoors to his chilly wine cellar, leaving everyone else to sort things out.


Bev gazed over the smoking ruins of her collection. Even the shoes that survived the explosion and subsequent fire were too smoke- and water-damaged to ever wear again. “W...wait…” Bev’s voice hitched through tears, “where are my new boots?”


Jill looked at her quizzically. “What?”


“My new red suede cowgirl boots. My prized possession! They were right on the front shelf. They didn’t burn up or there’d be something left. They’re completely gone.”


“That is weird,” said Jill. “And hey, what ever happened to Frank?”


\/ \/


Having left the party early on a covert personal mission, Frank was humming to himself as he pulled his latest pilfered prize from his weather-beaten knapsack. He had the perfect dress to match the dazzling red suede boots, and he’d knock ‘em dead at his next performance at C. Quinn's Lounge.

January 22, 2023 00:57

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115 comments

Nathaniel Miller
01:31 Jan 30, 2023

Wendy, this is a work of comedic perfection. Bev is so beautifully developed and is a perfect snotty wannabe ritzy midwestern "karen" (to participate in the lingo of today) mc. The fight is gorgeously satisfying, and the image of the ladies chucking Louboutin heels at each other was almost too much to handle for me. Iconic. I love the imagery, the snark, the humor, the twists. The cat. The aftermath. Absolute perfection.

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Wendy Kaminski
01:32 Jan 30, 2023

Wow, thank you so much, Nathaniel! That is incredibly flattering, and I appreciate so much that you took the time to read and leave such a heart-warming stamp! :)

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Zack Powell
20:55 Jan 29, 2023

You know how sometimes you're scrolling through the stories of the week and you see a certain phrase in the preview text that makes you click on a story to read it? That phrase for me was "mid-sized industrial chicken coop." There was no way I was going to pass this story up. And I'm happy with the decision I made. Super funny stuff, Wendy. From the shoe-shed at the beginning to the ending the story in the most explosive (no pun intended) way possible. It was a little bit of karmic justice, wasn't it? But it was a satisfying conclusion beca...

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Wendy Kaminski
20:59 Jan 29, 2023

Oh my gosh, thank you so much, Zack! Your reviews always leave me with a glow and a smile that really sticks around! I am delighted that you enjoyed it, and I really appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment!

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Liv Chocolate
06:41 Jan 29, 2023

WARNING: THIS COMMENT CONTAINS A SPOILER Absolutely hilarious! It's no surprise this story is blowing up - not to mention on the rec list! ⭐️ "immensely doable" - love how you pack so much humor into one two-word description From Sandy the Whore to that twist at the end, this is true comedy. I never saw that ending coming, yet I immediately accepted it as truth without questioning the dual Turkey/Drag life. Absolutely well done, Wendy

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Wendy Kaminski
06:44 Jan 29, 2023

hehehe :) Thank you so much, Liv! I am so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for the warm words and for reading in the first place!

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Stevie Burges
06:00 Jan 29, 2023

I'm a big fan of Beverly's and am totally distressed at the loss of her shoes! I was happily helping to push Sandy's face into the potato salad. Great romp. Loved the twist about Frank - hadn't seen that one coming. Good, funny, enjoyable story.

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Wendy Kaminski
06:10 Jan 29, 2023

lol Stevie! :) For some reason, most people hate Bev. She's horrible, it's true, but Sandy's the one doing her husband. Gotta cut her antics a little slack, surely...! :) Glad to see her get an upvote!

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Lily Finch
21:15 Jan 28, 2023

So, I just noticed these while I reread your story for the laughs. green lawn, - lawns ? Thesis:Snack Attack” experiment. - just add a space. LOL.

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Wendy Kaminski
21:22 Jan 28, 2023

Thanks, Lily!!

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Lily Finch
21:49 Jan 28, 2023

I still love it. Laugh so much. LF6

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19:18 Jan 28, 2023

Suck it, Bev. I hate you and your she-shed. Biblical Tarot cards, of course. Perfectly acceptable these days where everything is made up and the points don't matter. Could we please get the screenplay on this? It has to be filmed. (Casting choices...Elizabeth Banks? Maya Rudolph?) P.S. This is so beautifully, oddly specific that I'm betting it's 100% true: "Female poop's more curly, and males are more J-shaped"

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Wendy Kaminski
19:20 Jan 28, 2023

hah! Thank you, Deidra! :) And, yes: I did filthy, filthy research for this story. That part was true, and there's dreadfully so much more! (I will have to continue the series just so all this research doesn't go to waste... :)

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Rebecca Miles
17:45 Jan 28, 2023

If it's going to be a thriller than what better one than a "funny"! I knew I was in for a treat when I hit this phrase in the first paragraph: "depraved matrimony." Ha! and then it got better as I realised you've returned to Bev and her marital modification project. Great idea. Keep writing the stories and you're jigsawing that book together ,-) What just rocked in this was that neighbour girly bitching: Bev thinks she's queen of her street in her neon pink and purple leopard heels (ouch)and then you crank it up brilliantly with the tarot (...

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Wendy Kaminski
17:47 Jan 28, 2023

Rebecca, you just made my day! Thank you so much for the very encouraging review! I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such wonderful comments. :)

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Susan Catucci
17:36 Jan 28, 2023

OMG, what a romp! And not just anybody could pull a story like this one together and make it zing! I'm not sure I can describe the sort of facial expressions I caught myself having during this read. Thank goodness I was the only one in the room - though my birds in the next room more than once whistled a "everything all right out there, human?" that also made me laugh. What an exquisitely preposterous joy! This should be mandatory reading for anyone suffering from depression or anxiety - could be worse, people, could be worse. (And ...

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Wendy Kaminski
17:41 Jan 28, 2023

LOL! You are so sweet, thank you - and that last line made me choke on my Coke with laughter. :) PS I love birds and wish I had some! Whatcha got? I saw a raven up-close at our local Audubon some years back, and now I am heartbroken you can't have them. I need a "Haves'more" at my place! (Well, probably not...:)

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Susan Catucci
17:58 Jan 28, 2023

Hahaha - I have a couple of budgies I adopted - they have foster homes for escaped birds here called Bird Lovers Club. These nuts, one was found - a baby, 3 months, wandering in someone's backyard and the other had unknown origins, a little older but both young. I've had them for around five years now and they pretty much own me. Oh, the stories I could write! :D

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Wendy Kaminski
18:01 Jan 28, 2023

Doooo eeeet!! :)

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Susan Catucci
21:35 Jan 28, 2023

With the right prompt, I'm on it!

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Tommy Goround
17:00 Jan 28, 2023

Yeah. This is working

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Wendy Kaminski
17:02 Jan 28, 2023

YOU! :) I delved deep into my inner trash affluenza for this.

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Tommy Goround
17:03 Jan 28, 2023

Yes. (Like Shea doing the woman selling a car. ) So how did you connect to the concept? I told you I failed on a guy. What made you "see it"?

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Wendy Kaminski
18:00 Jan 28, 2023

I think starting with Bev instead of Frank was a big help. Frank's not the focus... as you said, focus on the shed. I wouldn't have said that was a major plot point, but it turned out to be good. I'm not often good about back-and-forth. Intro'ing the shed, and the cat, early then having them be significant in a different way later on was an amount of layering my stories don't usually do. I think telling me to focus on the shed and the shoes (and mentioning insurance) were absolutely spot-on for what eventually came out of it. Thank you again...

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Tommy Goround
19:53 Jan 28, 2023

Execution is the key. You turned it. (thank you for the explanation. I appreciate it).

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Wendy Kaminski
19:55 Jan 28, 2023

My pleasure, happy to return the favor! Excuse the first response, I had clicked on the wrong thing for a different response!

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R W Mack
16:45 Jan 28, 2023

This is the perfect analogy for "white suburban secret-trashy." Having lived in that ecosystem for a while, it's great to see when the secret,crazy boils over into the healthy street-hood levels of debauchery. In fact, my favorite aspect is probably the slow build from innocent manipulation by someone who's too mentally ill with egomania to appreciate affluence, Sandy included, into full blown mania and cop lights. It hits so close to home I can taste the Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. I suppose if I'm going to judge and approve the story, ...

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Wendy Kaminski
16:52 Jan 28, 2023

It's an anthology. :) I've already done 4 others under the "Rural Route 12" header. "The Beverly Meeks Clinical Research Facility" is probably the one that would mirror this one best. (Not in literary value, though - thank you so much for the kind words, and also the excellent tip! I'm writing a detective story now where I use "Client" and descriptors like "Lurch" instead of names, so I appreciate the nudge!) Bonus just for you: Chuck's gonna probably die in an unfortunately sarcastic incident in the future, ramping up the Sandy v Bev fisac...

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R W Mack
17:01 Jan 28, 2023

Some words are either terrifying or sickeningly arounsing to different people, and i believe an individual'sreaction to "Industrial Fleshlight" speaks volumes about them as people. And I always feel like I need to point out at least one thing, even super minor not picks, if I'm judging something. There's always something thay could be tweaked, even if it's just offering a lateral change for others to read in comments and go, "Yeah, that's not a bad idea." Otherwise, there's a use of the word into somewhere in the middle that could been a t...

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Wendy Kaminski
17:04 Jan 28, 2023

I will take it all! (The compliments, you know, not the...) I know the spot you mean: I actually changed that 3 times, trying to figure out the correct usage. Now I know - thank you! Not nitpicky: I'm here to learn, and I appreciate it. :)

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R W Mack
17:22 Jan 28, 2023

I think we have a mutual acquaintance and I'll say, I see his work sometimes, resd his opening hooks (some of the best on Reedsy) and think, "Why do you do this to me? Can I even pass this?" Then I'm halfway through realizing I have to lol

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Wendy Kaminski
19:01 Jan 28, 2023

haha! :)

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R W Mack
16:06 Jan 28, 2023

I'm going to forever refer to content warnings as allergen warnings because mental allergies seems a better definition for what content warnings are used for: harmless things that make you feel bad and cause people to overreact for no known good reason aside from making themselves feel worse. I'm not just angsty about my seasonal allergies keeping me from enjoying flowers and fresh cut grass.

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Wendy Kaminski
16:22 Jan 28, 2023

Here, here! :)

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Mike Panasitti
13:58 Jan 28, 2023

Wendy, this story was so visual, the shoes, the fight, the turkeys, the scorched cat and fireworks. I think serializing Bev Meeks is a great idea. The narration could go in so many directions, but I love the cliffhanger - a cowgirl boot nabbing crossdresser setting off into the night ready to do a cover of Patsy Cline at a drag karaoke bar. Maybe Betty's Pharmacy or Pharmakon is a better name for the posh-dive lounge than C. Quinn's. : ) Just a suggestion.

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Wendy Kaminski
15:19 Jan 28, 2023

Thank you for the suggestion, Mike! I did like the play off of "sequins," but I don't overall like it as a lounge name, you are right. It's too generic even with the pun. Maybe C. Quinn should be another performer there, instead. I had so many punny names queued up that it was hard to choose ("The Gown Derby," "Golden Bulls Nightclub," "Cobra Cabana," etc.), but I agree that one could (and will need to be) improved. :)

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Kevin V
22:39 Mar 24, 2023

Oh man is this hilarious Wendy! You did a superb job of making Bev catty, with Sandy right on her heels! Loved the description of the shoe-shack. Is Felynx sort of a mix of Felix and Lynx? Cool name. Bummer he had to pee his final farewell! And Frank the pilfering cross dresser. So clever. I'm sure he'll look fantastic. Haven't seen anything from you in a bit, so stopped by to read one I haven't yet. Glad I did.

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Wendy Kaminski
04:48 Mar 25, 2023

Hi, Kevin! :) I'm taking a break at the moment, but I appreciate your kind comments! Yes, you guessed correctly about the cat's name! :D Good to hear from you, thanks! :)

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Dan Coglianese
17:58 Feb 23, 2023

Wow, this was so fun! I love Bev's attitude! With her shoe obsession, she kind of reminded me of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (the business cards). Another great story, Wendy! Love the little surprise at the end too.

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Wendy Kaminski
23:13 Feb 23, 2023

haha Thank you, Dan! I appreciate your taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment, which I always appreciate about you when I see your name on my feed! :)

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Douglas W. Carr
21:30 Feb 03, 2023

I feel like this would make a great play. You should consider converting it to a screenplay.

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Wendy Kaminski
21:31 Feb 03, 2023

Thank you so much, Douglas! I will have to look that up; I'm pretty new to writing, so I'm not entirely certain what that entails, but I appreciate the tip and the kind review. :)

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Douglas W. Carr
21:45 Feb 03, 2023

It's different for sure - requiring more dialogue and change in format - but it could be done. Given the comments of others, they loved reading it. Imagine if they could experience it live on stage. I don't envy the actor getting their face slammed into the potato salad. At any rate, something to consider.

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Wendy Kaminski
21:57 Feb 03, 2023

Thank you so much, I love the idea, truly! :) I really appreciate you taking the time :)

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Keith Maynard Jr
00:39 Feb 03, 2023

I loved it, especially the fight scene. It gives food for thought but I didn't feel/find the paranoia. Honestly, I read waiting for it and never found it. Maybe it was over my head, I get Bev had some apprehension about Sally and had some justification but it wasn't paranoia to me.

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Wendy Kaminski
00:44 Feb 03, 2023

It was a little bit of a stretch, I'll admit - this is the story I wanted to post, so I worked in the prompt instead of vice-versa. :) Bev suspected Sandy was sleeping with her husband, and a lot of Bev's actions were pretty territorial to that end - of course, it's revealed early on that she was right, Sandy was sleeping with him. It's just that Bev never got confirmation. (The paranoia wasn't the main focus of the story, just a part of it. :) Thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked it, all the same!

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Keith Maynard Jr
02:34 Feb 03, 2023

I thought you would have shown the husband becoming paranoid toward his wife. That's what crossed my mind with how the story introduced Bev. Still a great story nonetheless.

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Wendy Kaminski
02:45 Feb 03, 2023

Thanks! :)

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Jane Andrews
23:08 Feb 02, 2023

Hi Wendy, I was asked to read this for the critique circle and it was a pleasure to read something you've obviously had so much fun writing. (I peeked at your back catalogue too to see how many other 'Rural Route 12' stories there were - I need to see what other antics have been going on with this crazy group of characters.) There are some lovely touches here - your opening sentence is the perfect hook to reel readers in and your almost breathless yet matter of fact narrative style keeps us dangling for the rest of the tale. We're being invi...

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Wendy Kaminski
23:26 Feb 02, 2023

Thank you so much, Jane! I am so flattered; you are my first Critique Circle person (that I've known about) since I started. I really appreciate the time you took, both to read and so thoroughly and supportively review!

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Dylan Patrick
22:49 Feb 02, 2023

I loved the tone of this, as well as how your humorous/unique way of describing things which made the story read smoothly. Great job!

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Wendy Kaminski
23:24 Feb 02, 2023

Thanks, Dylan! Appreciate that. :)

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Helen A Smith
15:32 Feb 01, 2023

Sheer entertainment value. 10. The shoes were probably having their own party before the fire broke out! Wouldn’t fancy living next door to these people any time soon.

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Wendy Kaminski
15:38 Feb 01, 2023

No arguments here lol :) Thanks, Helen!

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E. B. Bullet
17:29 Jan 31, 2023

The humor in this is SO funny, I absolutely love Bev. There's such a delightful punch to the casual narration of Sandy the Whore. Love it!! Maybe I got lost in the details halfway through, but the ending was a tad flat for me though. Possibly I wasn't paying enough attention to Frank's character, but it was a fun read nonetheless! Your writing is very technically sound and well put together. The tone of it is a nice cherry on top ~!

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Wendy Kaminski
17:33 Jan 31, 2023

Thank you very much for reading and commenting, E.B.! It's a continuation, so I can see that, about the ending - it's not really over. We're gonna have a Frank's Fancy Footwork chapter based on that ending, so really it's just a beginning... you are right. :) (And hopefully not a bad start, haha :) Thanks again!

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E. B. Bullet
17:38 Jan 31, 2023

Ohhh I had no idea LOL that's exciting, then!!

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Wendy Kaminski
18:05 Jan 31, 2023

Haha Thank you :)

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