This is a piece of fiction from a prompt I found while looking for things to write about on my blog. It’s from The One Minute Writer and the prompt reads: “Everyone said he was crazy. He never acted crazy around me until this one day I will never forget.” Here’s my stab at it. I hope you enjoy it.
Everyone said he was crazy. He never acted crazy around me until this one day I will never forget.
Well, it was actually one night, not one day. It was January and the rainy weather of the past nine days had finally stopped so I rushed out to the grocery store to replenish my fridge. I don’t like to go out in the rain and this time, it had come a day ahead of time. I had planned my grocery trip carefully so I would have a full pantry and fridge when the rains came, but it started raining ahead of schedule, without consulting me. So when it started, I was almost out of groceries and now, nine days later, I couldn’t put it off. Mr. Weather Man had said there would be no more rain for the rest of the evening and throughout the night. That’s all I needed to hear. I grabbed my grocery list off of the fridge, shoved my feet into my black loafers, and pulled the zipper up on my all weather coat as I locked the door behind me. Just as I got in the car, I realized that it was much too cold for that coat. I really needed my warm jacket but even though the car thermometer told me it was a biting 31°, I chose not to waste time by going back in. I checked my back up camera and pulled out of my driveway slowly, knowing the pavement was icy.
An hour later, as I drove past his house on the way back home from the grocery store, I noticed a traffic jam and the flashing red lights of emergency vehicles up ahead. Just what I needed! It had begun to sprinkle as I had loaded my groceries into the trunk and by the time I had walked the shopping cart across the darkened parking lot and back to the store, the sprinkles had become bona fide raindrops—big, fat, heavy, and cold raindrops. I knew I had to hurry home before the rain turned to snow because at that temperature, it would definitely stick and one thing I hate more than driving in the rain is driving in the snow. It has been so since the first time I had to drive in the snow when I had been stuck in the stuff with no help, no cell signal, no other traffic, and nothing to keep me warm except the thermal hoodie I was wearing. Yes, I had been totally unprepared for the snow and as a result of that near tragic day, I now hated snow!
Just as the snowflakes began to gently fall, the traffic ahead of me came to a complete stand still and I realized that I could possibly be here for an hour, which meant the snow would begin to accumulate and the drive home would be impossible. In all honesty, the drive home was only about another mile from where she was stuck in the accident induced traffic jam but that last mile would be a white knuckle drive for her and she dreaded it more than she dreaded the thought of having starved to death if she had not taken the promised opportunity of dry weather and made the run for groceries. That, of course, reminded her never to listen to Mr. Weather Man again. She would have to find someone else with more accurate weather forecasting abilities.
Horns began to sound off around her and she rolled her eyes at the futility of it all. Didn’t those idiots realize that the traffic would not move until it was ready to move regardless of how much they banged their horn or how many obscenities they shouted? People could be so stupid. The traffic began to inch forward very slowly and she noticed that the other drivers around her seemed to be laughing and more than one of them had their iPhones out taking pictures of something. She knew people could be crude and gruesome. There were so many stories of people taking pictures and videos of accident scenes and bloody bodies. The internet was full of them. She felt like opening her window and yelling at them to quit being such jerks. They should put themselves in the place of the ones whose pictures they were taking. How would they like it if pictures of them in their most desperate and tragic moments showed up online?
Just as she put her window down to yell at the man in the car next to her who had actually gotten out of his dark blue Mustang to take pictures of the scene up ahead, she heard people laughing. She looked ahead of her and saw Him. That’s what everyone was laughing at. Him. She couldn’t believe it. She had heard stories about his crazy antics but she hadn’t really believed half of them, assuming people were embellishing but here it was, evidence of His craziness, right before her eyes. She shook her head and smiled as she considered the possibility of taking out her own smartphone to capture the scene.
There, up ahead, just feet from her now, was Peter. She had seen him before and had known that he dressed unconventionally but she never expected to see him standing in the middle of the street, on top of a car, in nothing but his boxer shorts. Not in 29° and snowing weather on a January night. And she hadn’t thought she would ever see him in neon green boxer shorts decorated with electric pink flamingos. But, just to prove that one never knew what another was capable of, there stood Peter in his outrageous boxer shorts and nothing more. However, to say that he “stood” there was not exactly right. He was directing traffic…as he danced…wildly…and drank who knows what from an oversized Oscar the Grouch mug. And he was singing, too. She could hear his off key rendition of The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun. She slowly reached for her phone and began to capture Peter’s attempt at helping local law enforcement to clear the traffic jam. Heck, he wasn’t attempting it, he was accomplishing it. Traffic was moving. As soon as drivers got Crazy Peter’s picture, they moved on, shaking their heads and laughing, some of them waving at him and others giving him a thumbs up.
She had seen it all. Yup, Peter was crazy alright. She had seen it herself and as soon as she got home she would upload the video to You Tube. She couldn’t wait to get home and she didn’t even mind the snow on the road as she smiled all the way home.