The Iron Writer Challenge 94
500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements
Han Solo refrigerator
A jury summons
A tame dinosaur
The story must begin OR end with: “Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?”
E. Chris Garrison
“Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?”
I punched the off button on the car radio with an abrupt motion that startled Jimmy. I didn’t need him getting any ideas; his eyes had run up and down my body tonight more times than The Flash on a pogo stick. I’d never have gone on this date except as a favor to his ex, my bestie Mona. She wanted to know what he’d spent the Powerball winnings on. Probably worthless toys, she’d said. Me, I just wanted to know how much my finder’s fee would be after she took him to the cleaners at the divorce hearing.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, wringing his pudgy little hands.
“Nothing, I just hate Meat Loaf,” I said with a slow smile. Guys are suckers for the slow smile, especially with eye contact. I had to keep Jimmy distracted. Just not too distracted, if you catch my meaning. At worst, I’d beg off on the old “jury duty in the morning” excuse and report back to Mona.
We pulled up to his place. People throw around the term ‘mansion’ so much, it could mean any house made of ticky-tacky in the ‘burbs with more than three bedrooms. Not this place. I wouldn’t have been shocked to know that the W on the wrought iron, remote controlled car gates had been for stately Wayne Manor.
I might have let out a highly unprofessional little noise. I’d best be careful, I’ll blow my cover.
We were met by a valet, who opened the door for me first. That earned someone points, I just didn’t know who yet. He let himself out and tossed the keys to the valet. Jimmy’s chubby grin lit up the evening like a sliver of moonlight from behind unseen clouds. The electric car whooshed off with no more sound than an owl’s wings upon the breeze.
Still a gentleman, he took my arm and led me up the walk, down the hall. I bit back a yell as a lion-sized velociraptor, straight out of Jurassic Park, trotted up to us. He patted it on the head and reassured me that it was only a tame robotic replica. I marveled at its movements.
On into a dining room fit for a banquet. Along the way to our seats, we passed a stainless steel fridge impressed with Harrison Ford’s body in agonized relief. A petite woman in butler’s attire opened Han’s midsection to withdraw a bottle of champagne.
“You sure know how to show a girl a good time,” I said, as he pushed my seat in under my bottom.
He took a seat and shrugged. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I say. Sorry about dinner, though, I didn’t know.”
I blinked at him. Then the butler revealed the entrée of the evening: meatloaf.
Jimmy and I laughed together, and when our eyes met again, I knew I’d need to drop the case. One woman’s worthless toys were another’s treasure.
Han Solo Entombed
Han Solo had been entombed in his refrigerator’s door by his once lovely and voluptuous wife Princess Leia. She’d warned him many times that if he went to the Mos Eisley Cantina one more time that he’d experience a cold day like none other he’d ever experienced before, and today she’d made good on her promise. Barndino, Leia’s pet dinosaur, who unlike other dinosaurs in the neighborhood, was quite tame and stood vigil in front of the fridge mourning the loss of his master.
“Barndino, I know you’re upset, but Han broke his promise to me for the last time,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m going to the Cantina. Must be someone there that he found more attractive, but for the life of me, I haven’t a clue who that might be.”
She walked outside to her shiny red cloud car. Reaching the car door, she was stopped by an officer of the local arm of the Jedi Order that she didn’t recognize.
“Ma’m, turn around and go back inside your house,” said the officer.
“I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but I’m ‘Princess Leia’, and talking to me in that tone of voice is punishable by death,” she said.
“Says right here on this signed complaint by your neighbor that your name is Leia Solo, married to one Han Solo who has not been seen by anyone in the last twelve hours. So I’m asking you respectfully if I may come in and check Mr. Solo’s welfare.”
Leia turned around, ushering the officer inside, closing the door into the kitchen.
The officer moved furniture around as he searched the living room, bedroom, and bathroom. “Mrs. Solo, my order is to search every room. Please show me the kitchen.”
“I don’t think you should look in the kitchen, officer. You see, that’s where our pet dinosaur lives. He’s quite tame and friendly with people he knows, but not so much with strangers.”
The officer opened the kitchen door finding Han Solo entombed in the refrigerator. “Mrs. Solo, you’re under arrest.”
“Officer, you don’t understand, I had no choice! My husband was cheating on me, and when you arrived I was on my way to confront her.”
“Well, I guess it was a good thing I was dispatched here. Otherwise I might be investigating a second missing person.”
Across town, Lando Calrissian had just retrieved his mail and found a summons for jury duty which he would normally try to get out of, but this summons was from the highest court in the land, two days from now. Intrigued, he decided to go even if he wasn’t chosen as a juror.
Leia waited in a holding cell, guarded by two menacing looking characters. Surely they had committed some crime in their lives, she thought.
“Prisoner 0142, get up! It’s your turn to meet the judge!”
She stood, shuffling her feet, coming to grips with the severity of her crime. Entering the court chamber, her eyes scanned the jury box, recognizing Lando Calrissian, believing that only he could save her. “Lando, will you take me away and will you make me your wife???”
“Oh me. Oh carbonite enshelled me.” Said Han Solo, or more accurately thought Han Solo. The carbonite had frozen his jaw stiff long-long ago in a galaxy far-far away. “Frozen for debts owed to a mobster, which I would have had the money to clear if those freedom-fighter cheap-skates had come through on their end.” Han tried to stifle a sigh, but was unable to even get the sigh started. Carbonite, remember?
“For millenia no one could find me. I was just a block of carbonite floating through space and time. Nothing to do but stare and think. And hum every single tune I’d ever heard until they all began to annoy me. All until this jerk, art snob that he is, decided that I would make a grand conversation piece in his kitchen.” Han tried to shake with frustration, but was only able to be frustrated. “He turned me into his refrigerator door!” He tried to shake his head, and his frozen lungs screamed with an urge to holler to the world about the indignities visited upon him. “ Me! I am a refrigerator door! No, no, its ok. I only helped save the galaxy and the known universe, only made it possible for this yahoo to have his ‘fridge in the first place. No, no. I’m fine.” Han would have shaken his head ruefully if he could. But all he was able to manage was to shake some ice-cubes loose and ramp up the RPMs on the compressor. Not as satisfying as kicking something but it would do for the moment.
As a refrigerator it hadn’t been one hundred percent bad. He had gotten to hold art projects, grade cards, reports, notes, birthday and holiday cards, the first jury summons to ever be delivered to the house. A jury summons that the art-snob wasn’t quite slick enough to duck out of. But one does one expect when the man’s calendar was of cute cats stuffed into mugs? Not quite in Han’s idiom, but survivable.
“Oh the indignities and the lack of humanity! It was horrible. But never so bad,” here Han’s internal monologue chokes itself up, “never so bad as the pet.” The art-snob that had, in his mind at least, rescued Han Solo also wanted a pet. And since a puppy or kitten was too mundane and fish too boring, he went and found himself a compsognathus, and was determined to tame him. And by goodness he was eventually tamed and trained. “But not before we had the housebreaking incidents. How many times would you let your tame dinosaur pee on your ‘fridge? Come on!” Han’s outburst made more ice jump out of his refrigerator body.
Han tried to think about something truly positive throughout this whole experience and couldn’t. Just couldn’t seem to come up with anything but one event, a note left by the art-snob’s friend. Left in such a way that Han handed it to the man, “Will you take me away and make me your wife?”
Danielle Lee Zwissler
“Will you take me away, and will you make me your wife?” Shey Storm asked. Her beautiful, silver-like eyes twinkled back at me.
“Oh, come on, you had to know that I’d ask, Jonathon. We’ve been together for…”
“Eight months and thirteen days, but it’s too soon.”
Shey frowned, looked down at her hands and then away toward a streetlamp across the way from the airport. “You can’t be serious…” We were sitting on a park bench, saying our goodbyes when she had asked the question.
“Y…you haven’t seen my place yet.”
Shey grinned. “What does that have to do with anything? I will love you no matter what.”
I swallowed, thinking back to a few years ago with the last girl I had brought there. I shook my head, and then looked at Shey. “I won’t ask you to be my wife until you see my place. I come with baggage.”
Shey tilted her head and looked directly into my eyes. “Do you have kids?”
“No, no kids…it’s…”
Shey took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’m sure whatever it is will be just fine.”
“I would love more than anything to make you my wife, but first I need you to see my place. If you are okay with…it…then, yes, I will marry you. In a heartbeat, Shey, I will marry you.”
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go to your place!” Shey exclaimed. She stood up from the bench and threw herself into my arms.
“But what about seeing your parents?”
“I can always postpone the trip a few days. I would love to be able to tell them something…and, besides, you can come with me.” Shey smiled and winked at me, and then grabbed my hand. “I’m ready.”
I looked down at our joined hands, and swallowed. This was it.
When we got in the car, Shey reminisced about how we met. The day that we both got the jury summons had changed our lives forever. The murder of Nicole Brown Simpson was one that was heard across the nation, and we were lucky enough to get several months of lockdown while the trial was taking place. That’s how Shey and I fell in love—seclusion—and now the honeymoon was over…
When we finally pulled up to my house, I decided that it was now or never. We walked in, and she gasped. I closed my eyes, and wanted the wretched moment to end.
“Oh, Jonathon! I can’t believe this!” Shey shrieked.
“I’ll take you back to the airport now.” I put my head down and started to go back outside when Shey grabbed my hand and forcefully turned me toward her.
“You remind me of that tame dinosaur from Toy Story when you look down like that. It’s like you are ashamed of something.”
“You mean you are okay with my…hobby?”
Shey looked at the Hans Solo refrigerator in my kitchen and her smile widened. “Are you kidding me? That will go perfectly with my R2D2 cooler and my Chewbacca Salt and Pepper shakers.”
I grinned and took Shey into my arms.