Happy October Exploitation Day. Let’s celebrate with a story.
The Swimming Hole
by Your’s Truly
by Your’s Truly
Mr. Webster flipped through his manuscript again as the frown that seemed to be permanently etched into his face grew even more pronounced. “Blasted tarniverous obfuscation,” he muttered.
The woman seated in the chair beside his work table looked up from her needlepoint and peered down her hawkish nose, across the rims of her spectacles, and on to the trouble form of the man who’d won her heart a half century earlier. “What is it, Dear?”
“I’m missing something,” he said.
She considered his words, then the bulky collection of papers covered in his perfect script. “I don’t see how you could have. That book must be a thousand pages.”
“It’s more than that, but there are so many words.” He thumbed through it again. “So awfully very many.”
“Then it’s to be expected that you’ve missed a couple and no one will mind.” She was a sensible woman which was why he’d chosen her over the flighty Mabel.
He considered Mabel for a moment. Wondered how long she’d be content to sit in a chair with skein and needle. Once more he counted himself fortunate to be with Merriam.
He looked down. His breath stopped. There it was. “Ahh HA!” he cried out. “I knew something was missing. Right here between swill and swindle.”
Merriam, God bless her soul throughout the eternity to which she was predestined upon her baptism at Courtland Abbey, rose from her chair and ambulated to her husband’s side. “What’s missing?”
He scratched his chin. Then he scratched his lower back where something had bitten him in the night. “I don’t know.”
“It seems to me that one word doesn’t make that much of a difference,” she said.
He looked over at two covers for his opus, identical but for the word “Abridged” attached as a subtitle to one of them. “Sometimes one word makes all of the difference.”