Written in Nov. 2010 from the workshop writing suggestion:
Begin a piece of writing with the line of dialogue: “You think it’s nothing, but it’s not nothing.”
by p.j. nix
“You think it’s nothing, but it’s not nothing.”
“Then what the hell is it?”
“I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you,” Francis said to Mrs. Ladelbottom. “Sit down over there and close your eyes.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! I will not close my eyes!” Mrs. Ladelbottom shouted. Mrs. Ladelbottom dearly loved to shout.
“Then turn your back, this is supposed to be a surprise!” Mr. L scolded. He was now in a huff. His surprise was being ruined by the very person for whom he had meant it. This was not going well at all. Mrs. L turned around in the chair, her enormous ass fell halfway off the small stool, nearly touching the floor.
“I’m waiting!” she sang impatiently. Mrs. Ladelbottom was good at saying one thing and meaning another.
Mr. L struggled with the straps and buckles of his invention, it was not as easy to get into the thing as he’d imagined. A twist here, as turn there, a cough, a grunt… finally it was done.
“Don’t look!” he warned his wife. Mrs. Ladelbottom propped her head up on her fists, she was already quite weary of this presentation. What would it be this time, she thought. She already had an Electro-Magic Dust Sucker, a Wonderful Whirling Wet Bowl, and the L.B. Easy Squisher, all Mr. L’s latest inventions, non of them were very useful though she pretended they were.
Mrs. Ladelbottom heard a switch flip that triggered a low-pitched electrical hum. Whatever it was it didn’t sound like any of Mr. L’s other contraptions. It sounded serious and she almost began to think perhaps she’d misjudged her husband.
“Okay, you can turn around.”
Mrs. Ladelbottom didn’t move, she didn’t want to turn around. For the first time in their 30-year marriage and the countless benign inventions she had pretended to appreciate over the years, this time Mrs. Ladelbottom felt inexplicably unnerved. She didn’t know what it was, but already just the sound of it made her afraid.