“CHANGING MENTAL CHANNELS (So You Don’t End Up in Podunk When You Wanted Emerald City)”
by Glenn Younger
Creating a story from reader’s input—rough first draft.
Chapter 13:Release, Prayers, and a Little Begging
The first thing Tandy does when she wakes up to the newness of Marc’s pull-out sofa, is sit up and listen to the meditation he sent to her phone. She’s half asleep, which actually works to her favor since she hasn’t yet fully crossed over to her waking mind where tumultuous thoughts lay in waiting.
Marc is right. It does make her feel good.
When it’s completed, she releases her past for transformation into illumination, just like the paper suggested. While she’s at it, she also prays that Karl loses his phone and doesn’t ever hear her message. Or if he already has, he accidentally erases it and forgets it ever existed. And please, please, please make the flowers mean something important.
The thought hits her in a flash of blinding hope. She’s always believed that men will leave her. First her father. Then Marc. And all the other boyfriends she’s had along the way. But Marc didn’t leave her. Last night proved it. Ergo…connect the dots… Karl isn’t really leaving her. She totally leaves his son out of the mix.
One please-please leads to the next. Please make it good at work. Please let her find a solution to money just in case it doesn’t work out with Karl. But please make it so it does. At any rate, she can’t come into the relationship with hands out begging like a pauper. Look at how her mother had gotten entrapped by the very same thing.
She thinks about how after Edwina left, Marc and she had spent time reviewing her photo collection in greater detail. The better photos are now the proud owners of a little gold star. The duds are marked with a thumbs down icon. The in-betweens with good subject material, but weak composition, are marked with thought bubbles. Maybe she can photoshop them to new glory. Then there are the ones that are now in circle frames to “help her think outside the box” as Marc put it. At any rate, she feels more positive about learning her voice.
I’m praying only for me, she admonishes herself.
So Marc is added to her list. Please let his big clients pay their bills so he isn’t strapped for cash flow. Please let him and mom get together somehow, someway, because they belong together. Always have.
When she hears Marc come down the stairs from his upper level bedroom, she finishes her meditation with a rushed, “Amen.”
After a quick breakfast, Tandy gets dressed and enters the office with a new determination. She’s going to ask Mimi for a cash advance and the promise to make good on it. It won’t be begging. No, it will be more like using the bankcard from that metaphorical Universal Bank of Being. After all, she did the meditation this morning so that counts for something, right?
Dressed to impress in her New York “little black dress”, she knocks on Mimi’s door.
“Good morning. Do you have a minute?”
“Tandy. You were on my to-do list anyway.” Mimi closes her laptop, and turns off the stain glassed lamp. “Have a seat.”
“I like that lamp. It’s pretty.” Tandy surreptitiously rubs her damp palms on her skirt.
“What can I do for you?”
“Well, it’s about money.” Tandy coughs to clear her throat.
“What about it?”
“See, my apartment is being fumigated and it’s cleaned out my savings. So I was wondering if you could advance me money from my paycheck.” When she sees Mimi’s eyes narrow, she rushes to add, “I’ll make good on it. I promise.”
“Exactly how are you planning on doing that?”
Tandy’s mind races. She obviously hasn’t thought this through. The decision to ask only happened this morning over breakfast. The courage to go through with it came on the elevator.
“How about the fundraiser on Wednesday? I can take photographs of the attendees that we can use for our promotion and press releases.” Tandy grimaces when she sees Edwina’s barely suppressed smile and raised eyebrows. She adds weakly, “That way, you don’t have to pay a photographer…?”
“You can’t possibly think you’re the best person for the job, do you?”
Tandy fights against the sickening sense of defeat in the pit of her stomach. She thinks about that flame of Light from the meditation, and how it made her feel strong. She sits up straighter. “Let me show you something.” She reaches down and pulls out her laptop.
While she’s waiting for it to fire up, Tandy’s heart beats in rhythm with Mimi’s red fingernails drumming impatiently on her desktop. Breathe, Tandy, Breathe. Don’t let her get to you.
“Here.” Tandy opens one of her newly formed gold-star folders entitled, ‘People.’ She turns the computer towards Mimi. “Look. I can do it. See?”
Mimi’s expression is flat. Tandy’s face flushes red from the exertion of trying to send that Divine Light stuff to Mimi like she read about.
“I’ll tell you what.” Mimi’s voice is neutral. “You can take the photos at the Fundraiser.”
“Thank you, you won’t—,” Tandy leans forward eagerly.
“I’m not done yet,” Mimi cuts her off.
“I’ll pay $25.00 per photo that we actually use. But I’m not going to use you as replacement to an experienced photographer. He’ll be there taking photos, too.”
“That’s fair enough,” Tandy says, even though her expression says otherwise. There’s no way Mimi will use 100 photos from even the experienced photographer.
“Will that be enough to float you?” Mimi sits back in her chair, with fingertips touching together in a time honored power pose.
“I didn’t think so. I’ll give you an additional opportunity, how does that sound?”
“That sounds good.” Tandy visibly relaxes. Maybe this Divine Light stuff really works. Her respite is short, however.
“You still only have two weeks to prove yourself. You know that, don’t you?” Mimi waits for a dramatic pause. When Tandy appears to be sufficiently off center, she leans forward over her desk. “Taking a few photographs that we may or may not use is not enough. Each person who works at the foundation needs to make their contribution. So I’ll make you a proposition.”
The silence between them is thick. Tandy waits for the bomb to drop. Mimi waits for Tandy to ask. Tandy backs down first.
“What is it?”
“I’ll give you the standard 10% for any donors you can prove you were personally responsible for signing at the fundraiser.” Mimi emphasizes the words ‘personally responsible’ to make her point.
Tandy hears that Mimi thinks there’s no way she can personally sign on a donor. She’s probably right. No! I can do this. Use the bankcard. Yeah, but with who?
“The same 10% goes for any new artists you sign up to donate their work for the cause.” Mimi watches Tandy do the math. When she’s sufficiently satisfied that Tandy doesn’t think she can do it in time, she sits back again and casually adds, “Of course, if you can get your mother to donate a piece of her work, by Friday, I’ll front you 50% of the eventual proceeds. Better than that, I can’t offer.”
COMMENTS are open for business. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and ideas. Or just cheer me on in this NaNoWriMo challenge of getting a rough draft of a new novel finished by November 30.
**What are your thoughts? In your opinion, where did Tandy go wrong? And what’s your take on Mimi?
P.S. Like what you’re reading? Share it with a friend!