Here is our writing prompt for this week. Our challenge was to create a new response to the following prompt:
First line: Manipulating people is so easy. I almost stopped doing it; almost.
In the text: I can’t help it. I lie all the time.
Last line: Sometimes it’s best not to go home again
Our next submission is from Daisy Rain. Let us know what you think!
Manipulating people is so easy I almost stopped doing it. Almost. In my defense, I’ve always tried to use my powers for good and not evil. Well… almost. There was the time that I flirted with the guy in the repair shop so he’d replace the window in my car for free. That was admittedly self-serving, but I had just started waiting tables, and I really couldn’t afford it. And maybe I did leave him a fake phone number, but he could’ve been a weirdo or something. You can’t be too careful in this crazy world, right?
And there was the other time that I convinced my boss that my grandmother had passed away so I could go to the Foo Fighters concert even though my grandmother is very much alive and will likely outlive us all. She lives in Pasadena, drinks like a largemouth bass, and plays bingo every Tuesday.
I can help it — I lie all the time.
This latest episode, though, may be enough to make me change my ways. I should have known that it was a bad idea to join that dating site. But I let that free trial offer expire, and my credit card got charged, so what else could I do?
Talk about manipulation.
I met a cute guy from Eastvale, of all places, which is probably a half hour from my hometown of Norco, California. Not glamorous, I know, so I tell people I’m from the Hollywood Hills. In hindsight, I should have gone camping with my friends in Yellowstone like they asked me. But this guy was a screenwriter and had just sold his third script to Warner Bros. He told me that the picture on my dating profile looks so much like the main character he pictured in his mind as he was writing his latest movie, and he just has to meet me.
I feel kind of bad that I put up an old picture of Kate Hudson on the beach when she was younger, but here we are. His picture looked like something Michelangelo carved out of marble in case anybody was wondering.
So instead of packing up my camping gear and heading east, I bleached my hair out in my bathroom with that box of Clairol Born Blonde that I just knew would come in handy in such a time as this, threw some clothes in a bag along with my best padded bra, and headed west. If things go south with chiseled-out-marble-man, I could always run back to Norco and stay with my mother, right?
We met at an Italian place he suggested. I parked my Impala around the corner because that bumper really is just about to drop off and the passenger side door looks like the Grand Canyon — although the window that got replaced for free still remains. In any case, I made it there only ten minutes late, which isn’t too bad for me, and started looking around for anyone who looked like he could have made a toothpaste commercial.
And I looked.
And looked some more.
There were only six people in the entire place. Three of them were about a hundred and ninety years old.
One may have been a hooker.
One was the bartender.
And there was one bloke sitting by himself in a booth by the window. Not precisely a stunner. He stood up and walked over to introduce himself.
“Gloria?” he inquired.
I looked back over my shoulder expecting somebody named Gloria. Then I remembered that’s the name I used.
I turned back to him, “Yes! I’m Gloria. You’re Bruce?”
“I’m Bruce!” he exclaimed.
I swear to God, he was twelve. There’s no way this guy even has a driver’s license. His eyes were level with my padded bra. He needed to brush his teeth. He must have left those broad shoulders on his bicycle. This embryo in no way, shape, or form has ever written a screenplay. He looks like he doesn’t even own a pencil. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be the one paying for dinner.
Sometimes it’s best not to go home again.