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Excerpt from “Love in the Time of Rising Gas Prices, A Romantic Spoof”

November 21, 2014

Nelie stormed out of the bedroom and into the bathroom.

What’s this? The medicine cabinet door ajar? Ever since first grade when Jeffrey Peenon tricked her into eating an apple with a worm in it, Nelie trusted no one. She carefully opened the cabinet, glanced at the shelves stocked with painkillers and sleeping pills, and eyed with suspicion the bottle of generic mouthwash.

The liquid was a sickly greenish-brown color, similar to the nail polish she wore last Halloween.  Then something caught her eye.  Aspartame.  That stupid Victoria, she said under her breath, which sorely needed a swig of mouthwash. How many times did she have to tell the woman, Read the Label!

“Victoria! In here. Now!”

Victoria stumbled into the bathroom, smoke rising from her scorched hair and clothing.

She was breathless as she spoke. “Fire’s nearly contained, Miss Nelie.  But you’ll be needing new pillows.”

“Never mind the pillows, Victoria.  What’s this?”  Nelie shoved the mouthwash bottle against Victoria’s nose. “Read what it says.”

“Fights plaque.”

“Not there.  On the label.  Starts with the letter A.”

Victoria took a minute to read the label. There were several words that started with the letter A. She wanted to be careful this time and give the right answer. “Got it!” she exclaimed. She recognized the word aspartame, then doe-eyed, looked at Nelie.  “Oops.”

“Yes, oops.” Nelie’s expression could curdle milk.

Excerpt from Love in the Time of Rising Gas Prices, A Romantic Spoof, available now on Kindle $2.99

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