I started receiving prompts from this group in 2003. I stuck with it for awhile but eventually stopped doing them. Then in late 2005 or early 2006 I rejoined the group and started writing again. Obviously this is the second time. I don't have any idea where the story came from, especially the lady laying on the bed in lingerie. That's definitely like my writing. I am sure that I fretted over including it. I probably fretted then went with the story as it came to me in my head. Anyway, here it is.
HE HAD AN EXTRAORDINARY NEED FOR FLASHES OF HOPE AND A PAINLESS ESCAPE FOR THE WORLD'S REALITIES
He held the red dress by the waist and stared at the woman in the bed. This was it. This is what he wanted. The life that everyone said was normal, but he knew it wasn’t something he could have. Not with her anyway. They had a working relationship. Heck, he didn’t even know her real name. He called her Paisley and the last three days with her had been perfect.
She’d collapsed on the bed in her half slip and bra after their second Christmas cocktail party in as many days. The cost of doing business. Going to take the new neighbors for thousands of bucks you have to get a look around inside their houses some how.
It wasn’t the best life, he knew it, but most of the time he didn’t care. Most of his conscience had fallen away years ago. But occasionally he’d get these feelings looking at Paisley. He wondered how he’d handle a normal life. A life that started early in the morning and included work and kids and dinner when he got home. He told himself he didn’t need it. Just something to ponder when he felt like feeling down.
When he met her a month ago she’d been charming and could have popped corn she looked so good. Getting to play house with her the last few weeks had been fun, almost normal. It gave him, just for a moment, hope that he could be this thing that he wanted to be. For these last five days he‘d been Joe McAvoy, a computer engineer that moved to the neighborhood because it looked like the perfect place to raise kids. It was, he was told. The schools were good, there was a park just down the street and everyone looked after everyone else. He and JoAnn were excited to be part of it, he told people.
When he had come in this afternoon to get ready for the party the scent of her perfume was still in the air. He paused for a moment to enjoy it. Then saw her in the dress and was shell shocked. At the party he watched her work the room, bouncing as she walked, and realized that as much fun as he was having playing house it was all going to be over soon, because here she was on the bed in her slip and bra and three wallets next to her. She had picked them during the party. Just for fun, to keep from getting rusty.