The Wrong Decision
Simone had begun to rue the day she met Sheldon. Oh, he possessed the physicality she desired. As he rowed the boat down a tributary of the Mississippi River, his pectoral muscles rippled most divinely. Despite that unruly beard she fancied his gentle and open face.
Unfortunately, a thorough checking proved he owned not a single hectare of land. He owned no business that anyone knew of, and apparently he received no known endowments from a wealthy family. He was a charming and fit vagabond, but a landless one, and that would never do!
Luckily, his tales of travel and adventure were impressive enough to keep her interest. Though how he expected her to endure such similar travails along with him, she couldn’t imagine. Her role would be to raise children (by properly guiding the servants of course), but how would that be possible without a sufficient monetary stipend?
She hoped this one last boat ride might prove his worth, but he’d grown quiet as he struggled mightily with the boat’s oars. Without his exciting tales, Simone had grown bored and impatient. Clearly, pursuing a boat ride with him was the wrong decision. “Are you experiencing a difficulty, Mr. Cotsworth?” she inquired.
“A slight one, my dear Simone,” said Sheldon. “Apparently seven alligators have fastened their toothy jaws upon the boat. They’ll be quite unable to attack you as long as I row with vigor. You’re quite safe I assure you, but this exercise is quite strenuous.”
Simone rolled her eyes. One of Sheldon’s more annoying habits was his penchant for hyperbole. “Not one nor two, but seven alligators, Mr. Cotsworth? Perhaps the entire population Mississippi’s alligators converged upon this very spot?” she quipped.
Sheldon grinned. “I do enjoy your wit, dearest Simone. The problem shall soon be rectified when we arrive at my ship.”
Simone groaned. Did he actually intend to continue pursuing this wild fantasy? “Would this be one that moves through water as easily as air?”
“The very same! Even unto the stars in the heavens.”
“I should think claiming to own a balloon, the greatest aerial invention of man, would be sufficient, Mr. Cotsworth.”
“But this is 1884,” protested Sheldon. “Greater inventions since Montgolfier’s balloons have developed since then.”
“Truly? Was it in this heavenly ship where you encountered the 7,000 bird-headed warriors?”
“And in this ship you defeated the nine-foot tall creatures with iron hides and their space navy of four hundred vessels?”
“The very ones!”
Simone crossed her arms angrily. “Pish-posh, Mr. Cotsworth! Hyperbole owns a certain charm, but only in dribs and drabs. You’re wielding a sledgehammer and claiming it is a rapier!”
“It’s all true!” exclaimed Sheldon. “We’ve nearly arrived at my ship. I’ll show you everything I’ve described.”
Simone had had enough. “Mr. Cotsworth, I’m afraid your request for marriage has proven quite unsuitable. I’ve rather more serious proposals to entertain, you understand.” She stuck her chin out imperiously. “Take me to shore at once!”
Sheldon slumped. “Are you certain?”
“My decisions are always final, Mr. Cotsworth.”
A huge vessel suddenly breached the waters, rising up from below. It easily stretched forty feet long. Simone watched in shock and amazement at the vessel’s size, but this proved to be only the conning tower. It rose still further and the ship’s true length of four-hundred feet soon hovered, supported by heavenly forces, above the waters. Sheldon swung himself aboard the great ship with unparalleled athleticism.
A bird-headed man stepped out from a hatch and called, “All is ship-shape and ready for star travel, Cap’n!”
Simone’s mouth fell open. Her sharp tongue had placed her in trouble before, but for the same reasons she possessed equal expertise in escaping retribution. “Oh, Sheldon!” she called. “Perhaps I’ve acted hastily. Would you consider discussing your charming proposal further?” Her eyelashes fluttered invitingly.
Sheldon grinned sadly. “I’m afraid you said your decision was quite final, and I do have other rather serious opportunities to pursue. Good luck to you!” He waved and entered the ship before it streaked into the heavens.
Alone in the boat, Simone looked about for assistance. Behind her, she realized there really were seven alligators biting into the boat. Without headway to drag them behind they appeared ready to enter and attack at any moment.
“Bother!” muttered Simone. “Letting him escape was clearly the wrong decision.”
Written for Grammar Ghoul Press’ Mutant 750 writing challenge. The picture above was the media prompt. “Hyperbole” was not only the word but the literary structure to include in any story. I think I included entirely enough of hyperbole, oodles of it, boatloads! Enough to sink a battleship. 🙂 Look here to see what other folks wrote in answer to these prompts: http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-48/