Wordle 65: A Little Fiction

Here are this week’s words at The Sunday Whirl. Wordle 65 made for quite a challenge, especially one of the words. I bet you can guess which one:

flicks, swells, spray, grittle, gravity, plant, trigger, relishes, chain, crack, humility, refrain, claim

Here’s the result of my playing with these words–a bit of fiction:

Seven Letters, Starts with G

“What’s a seven-letter word, starts with gr, has an l second letter from the end?”

Lori ticked off letters on her fingers. “Grabble? Grapple?”

Harry tried them. “Nah. I don’t think so. Doesn’t work with 13 down. That’s r-a-p-t. Rapt.”

Lori scribbled a few words. “How about griddle?”

Harry chewed the end of his pen. She hated it when he did that.

“If rapt is right, then there’s a t where one of the d’s would be. Gritdle? Gratble?” He shook his head. “You’re no help.”

She flicked the dish towel at him.

“Ow,” he said. “Refrain from the abuse, would you please?” He grinned, and she aimed a pretend gun at him and pulled the trigger.

Pow. See? Rhymes with ow.”

“Ha,” Harry said.

She was finishing up in the kitchen, but he hadn’t yet left the table. He was like a crack addict when it came to his crossword puzzles. First thing every morning while he ate his breakfast. The easy puzzle first, then the syndicated New York Times puzzle edited by Will Shortz. All while she showered and dressed and slugged down coffee and grabbed a Pop Tart before she left the house at seven to go process claims at FiveStates Insurance Company in downtown Ithaca. She hated that job. A computer programmer, Harry worked from home these days. She wasn’t sure what he did exactly. Maybe he worked puzzles during the day, too, but then after dinner, he was back at it.

She wasn’t going to be stuck at FSIC forever. She was writing at night, or before Harry got up, sometimes as early as four in the morning. It was her true work, her calling, the dark, romantic fantasy with a heroine who sprayed diamonds from her fingertips like bullets and whose breasts, Lori had just written a couple of days ago, were like “the swells of waves in a high sea.” She relished those words. She relished that time when she didn’t feel chained to a desk. Chained to Harry.

She shook her head. Had she just thought that? Yes, she had.

She was almost done in the kitchen now. She nested the clean casserole dish inside another, but it slipped and bounced out of her hands and shattered on the tile floor.

Harry dropped his pen. “Good God, Lori! Can’t you be careful?”

“It’s called gravity, Harry. It slipped. It fell.” Her heart pounded. She was close to tears. He’d gone back to his puzzle. Damn you, she thought. She picked up the biggest pieces and dropped them in the trashcan. Then she got the broom and dustpan out of the closet and started sweeping up the glass. She got a sliver under her fingernail.

“Ouch! Oooh!” She was crying now.

“Hey,” Harry said. He got up from the table. “Let me help.”

“I’m done. I don’t need your help. I don’t need you. Why don’t you take your damn puzzles and leave?”

“Leave?” Harry looked stunned. “Uh uh. I don’t think so. You think you could make it without me? I saw that, that novel, or whatever it is you’re writing. I read it. It’s awful.” He took the dustpan from her and dumped it. The broken glass made a kind of pleasant sound going in the trash, a little like a wind chime. I could use that in the book, she thought. A nice detail.

“It’s good, Harry. I know it’s good. I think I can sell it.”

He put the dustpan away. She was still standing there with the broom and her bloody finger. He handed her a tissue. “I’ll say one thing. Humility’s not your strong suit, is it?”

She slammed the broom into the rack inside the pantry. She grabbed her coat off a chair and her keys off the table.

“Where you going?”

Lori planted her feet, squared her shoulders. “Out.” She opened the door, but then she stopped and turned to look at him. “It’s grittle,” she said.

“It’s what?”

“Grittle. The word you couldn’t get.”

He laughed. “Never heard of it. You’re making that up.”

“No I’m not. It means something like a coarse grind, or what you get after a coarse grinding. What’s left. The nitty-gritty, Harry. Go look it up.”

And she was out the door.

28 thoughts on “Wordle 65: A Little Fiction

  1. Nice unexpected t wist at the end demonstrating her superiority at that moment of the conversation and describing Harry as she saw him. Does he get it?….

    1. Thanks, Jules. I think you’re right; this story might expand, although one of the things I would like to learn to do better is write very short fiction! I visited and left you a comment, too. Loved your story-poem and want to read more.

  2. That was such a masterful use of “grittle” – it grew so organically in the story and tied everything together. I felt like I was eavesdropping on a very real moment – excellent.

  3. I enjoyed reading this, Gerry! Sad, but good for her! I love watching how you transformed a group of words into a moving story.

    1. Magical? Wow. Thanks, Jo Ann! It was fun! I don’t know where these things come from, but that’s the beauty of playing with the words. And yours isn’t a “poor poem”! You could do stories, too, I’d bet. Thanks for the read and the lovely comment.

  4. GERRY!! so nice to meet you yesterday during the wordle email frenzy. It appears you did indeed find time to write. In this short piece you created a woman’s freedom. I find that amazing. All it took was a bit of grittle … 😉

    1. Nice to meet you, too, Teri! I know; that email frenzy was so much fun. How could I not write after that? It’s great how these words take on lives of their own from so many different perspectives.

    1. I’m so glad you read it! I knew it was running long, but it seemed to want to go that way. I just read Gardener Grittle and loved it! The rhyme and form fit these words so well. Thanks for the comment.

    1. Thanks, Pamela. I had fun doing it. Lori’s being bugged by the crossword puzzle was the tip of the iceberg, it turned out. I didn’t know the word “grittle” until this Wordle challenge, so I learned something.

  5. I love that grittle drove the entire piece, Gerry. Thank you for this piece, and for making your woman strong-minded. I love how she gives him his answer on her way out the door. Ha!

  6. Good for her! Why shouldn’t she be allowed to follow her dreams. They are, after all, that which keeps us going. I hope she makes it and, leaves Harry to his crosswords…lol
    I was addicted to them once too.
    Enjoyed this very much and loved how you used the grittle word too 🙂

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