Friday, June 26, 2015

Fiction, Sangria, Roasted Red Pepper Spread, and a Picnic

The combination of fiction, photography, sangria, and a recipe for a roasted red pepper spread made this a really fun post for me to write!

This is Part 3 of my story about Mindy, a compulsive shopper and hoarder of cleaning products. Like the first two parts, this segment was also written using word prompts from Words for Wednesday writing challenge

The prompts for the Words for Wednesday writing challenge have long been provided by Delores at Under the Porch Light. She recently relinquished this task, however, and it is temporarily being continued by EC at Elephant's Child.  In future, volunteer bloggers will each take a turn for a month, and provide the prompts and host the challenge on their own blogs. 

It will be my turn to host Words for Wednesday in September! I am already thinking about what my words should be! It is a wonderful writing exercise and I highly recommend giving it a try!

To catch up with the story so far:

When you are ready, here is Part 3 ...


Sangria, Roasted Red Pepper Spread and a Picnic

Mindy checked her reflection in a storefront window. Her full-length mirror at home had
been completely blocked by a stack of boxes, so she was happy to see the outfit she had pulled together looked quite nice. She was actually glad that she had not found either her red skirt or black sandals. She liked this outfit even better. 

Somewhat of a rebel, Mindy liked to make a fashion statement. "I do have a good eye for color," she thought. Mentally congratulating herself on how well she had paired the aqua blouse with the bright-orange short skirt and purple sandals, Mindy walked toward Barb's house with a spring in her step.

Recipe, sangria, appetizer

Approaching the picnic tables set up in the back yard, Mindy spied Barb. Next to her was a burly man covered in tattoos, wearing a bro tank (stretched too tightly across his large belly) with a baseball cap placed backwards on his head. It was the repairman who had fixed the window in her bathroom, after a stack of boxes had tumbled over and caused the glass to smash.

Mindy wondered with alarm if this could be the man Barb intended to set her up with. He had shown very little respect for her belongings - practically flinging boxes out of the way so he could get to the window. She had disliked him intensely.

Just as Mindy was contemplating sneaking away, she saw Barb stick up her arm and begin to frantically wave. With a sigh, Mindy continued walking towards her. To her relief, the burly guy gave Barb a hearty pat on the back, and wandered off. 

Barb greeted Mindy with a hug, guided her over to a pitcher of sangria, and poured the ruby-red, aromatic liquid into two glasses. Mindy told Barb her concern about being matched up with the repairman. Barb had just taken a swig of sangria, and her giggle in response nearly caused her to choke.

"Oh Mindy, he just unclogged the drain in our basement, and was telling me that he had finished. He's not even a friend or an invited guest!” 

Barb looked thoughtful for a second and her tone became more serious. “I think you and the the man I mentioned will be much more likely to have a lot to talk about. I just hope he shows up soon. He's flying here from Chicago today, and called this morning to tell me there was a maintenance issue holding up the departure of the airplane. He thought he would still get here, but he might be a little late.”

When Barb wandered off to greet some arriving guests, Mindy found her way to the tables laden with food. To her delight, she immediately spotted Barb's much requested Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread with Garlic-Oregano Grilled Pita Bread! She filled a small plate with them, refreshed her beverage, and found a small table to set them upon. Munching contentedly, she looked around to see who else was at the party that she knew.

Sangria, Recipe, appetizer

Mindy noticed a red Mercedes pull into the driveway. A man of medium height and build emerged. He was wearing grey flannels, a light pink oxford shirt and a silver tie with black polka dots. "Wow - now that's more my type," she thought. Mindy decided he must be Barb's friend, coming straight from the airport. He certainly wasn't dressed for a picnic.

The man stood a little uncertainly on the sidewalk, hesitating briefly before entering the yard. Barb spied him, rushed over, and shook his hand. They appeared to have few minutes of a rather intense conversation, and Mindy saw Barb point towards her. A little nervously, Mindy swallowed her last bite and wiped her fingertips on her napkin. This seemed a little less casual of a meeting than Mindy had anticipated. It was almost like he had come here just to meet her. “How very odd,” she thought. 

Barb and the well-dressed man crossed the yard. “Oh, Mindy," said Barb. “This is the person I thought that you should talk with. His name is Dr. Freud. . . oh, oh I mean Dr. Franklin.” 

A bit bewildered by Barb's flustered demeanor and her use of a formal title in the introduction, Mindy stuck out her hand and said, “I'm Mindy. Do you have a first name, Dr. Franklin?” 

After glancing briefly at Barb, Dr. Franklin responded, “It's Paul. You may call me Paul.” 

“Hello Paul,” said Mindy. “I understand you had a delay getting here. Traveling by plane these days can be such a royal pain. I assume you live here?” 

“Actually, no. Barb's my second cousin, and she requested that I come from Chicago for a few days. She thought you and I might have a lot to talk about. I hope you have some time to spare this week?” 

“My goodness! Barb's confidence and your trust in her matchmaking skills is really quite impressive” said Mindy, flirting just a little. 

“Matchmak---” began Paul sharply, but Barb cut him off. 

“Oh Mindy, really - you are so funny. I did tell Paul your schedule is pretty clear this week - and I think he would love it if you invited him over for lunch tomorrow. You can even make him one of your amazing desserts.” 

Mindy and Paul were now both staring with confusion at Barb. 

Mindy felt put on the spot. Paul was attractive - but this all seemed so peculiar. Judging by the clothes; travel; rental car; and professional occupation, it seemed as though Paul could afford to take her out for lunch! Glaring at Barb, she said, “Umm, certainly. Would you come over for lunch tomorrow Paul?” 

“I think that would be perfect,” said Paul. “It will be helpful to see you in your home environment.” 

“What?!” Mindy found this almost creepy, but she was in too deep now to back out. A vision of her tightly stuffed apartment surfaced, but she brushed aside the thought. She could make a trip to the office tonight, with the boxes now covering the dining room table and chairs, and they would then have a place to sit down to eat.

The characters and events in this story are totally fictitious.

The Words for Wednesday words that I used in this story were:

Choke, Respect, Smash, Airplane, Royal, Spring


Good, Eye, Burly, Alarm, Stick, Rebel

Barb and Mindy seem to have different goals for Mindy's relationship with Paul. Any thoughts of what might happen in the next chapter? 

Have you looked at the linked recipes? Do you plan to make them?

Sangria, Red Pepper Spread and Grilled Pitas

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. Love it.
    Not sure I approve of Barb's duplicity. I would like to see things turn around on her - but am happy to wait and see what eventuates.

  2. Something tells me that both Mindy and Paul might agree with you! I haven't done a Words for Wednesday for a while, and it was fun to pick up where I left off with this! Your choice of words were easy to use, EC!

  3. I love this continuing story Susan! I would love to get involved in this project. I love working on Fiction writing!

    1. You should do a Words for Wednesday prompt Rena! It is a really fun challenge! You will be able to find the next words at this blog on Wednesday:

  4. Great chapter Susan - this story is getting really good :)! Loved your pictures, and I will definitely be trying out the recipe.

    1. I'm glad you like both the story and the photo Lana -- the recipes for the spread and pitas are pretty yummy!

  5. My problem is that is when I do my reviews. I have two more and then I might not, but you never know. I would love to though. I had just joined Karen's Friday "Use Your Words" that's one Friday a month.

    1. Words for Wednesday comes with no obligations, Rena. Post when and however often you want, on your blog or on the host site in a comment. I will look forward to your "Use your Words" articles as well!

  6. So, so clever. I went back and read the previous Mindy posts. OMG. She's hilarious. Love how you wove in the different brands and the recipe. I'm going to check out the latter. Wanted to comment first. As for how the story is unfolding? I'm grinning here over Mindy's and the doc's confusion. Brilliant. Looking forward to learning what's on the menu for tomorrow's lunch.

    1. Thanks for reading, Kelly! I'm glad that you find Mindy funny. I'm not experienced at writing with humor like you are, and I was afraid my attempt would flop!


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