Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stitches and an Uncomfortable Surprise

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 the words are being supplied this month by River at Drifting Through Life

This is Part 4 of my story about Mindy, a compulsive shopper and hoarder of cleaning products.

 Like the first three parts, I wrote this segment of Mindy's story using the words from the Words for Wednesday challenge that was published last week. Be sure to visit River's blog today, to see the new words she has posted there this week.

To catch up with the story so far:
When you are ready, here is Part 4 ...


Stitches and an Uncomfortable Surprise

Stitches, sutures, ER Visit, Accident

Mindy’s battered old car skidded to a halt in her driveway. She jumped out and rushed back into her house.  

Assessing her living room as objectively as she could, Mindy felt pleased. She decided that taking a carload of stuff to her office really had widened a clear path of carpet from the front door to the kitchen. Her office was so full now, however,  there would be no way it
could absorb anything else.  She wondered if perhaps renting a storage unit would be necessary soon - but she would have to pay for it with credit, as there would be no way she could afford to rent one otherwise.

Glancing at the clock, she realized she would have to hurry if she was going to get lunch ready before Paul arrived. Fortunately, she had prepared most of the meal the night before. Quickly Mindy set the table, then looked through her large collection of knives for one that was not still wrapped in its original packaging. She grabbed a sharp one, and started slicing tomatoes for the salad.

“OUCH!”  Blood spurted, as Mindy pulled her hand quickly away from the food, and wincing at the gash in her finger. Reaching for a paper towel, she heard the doorbell. “Drat. He would be early”, she muttered to herself.  Without time to examine the wound or clean up the blood, Mindy rushed to the door, knocking over a precarious stack of new bedspreads (six of them, as they had all been on clearance!) as she went.

Mindy opened the door and tried to smile.  Paul looked more handsome than ever, wearing a casual polo with well-fitting jeans. He extended his hand, but to shake it would have meant releasing the pressure she was applying tightly around her left thumb. She shrugged, and showed him the well-soaked paper towel. “I just had a little accident.”

“Oh my”, said Paul, that doesn’t look good.  “Do you have some antiseptic. I could take a look and clean it up.”

“Um, sure.  It’s somewhere in the bathroom. Follow me.”

Mindy heard Paul’s sharp intake of breath as he entered the house. He was quiet as they walked through the tunnels in the living room, down the narrow hall into the cluttered bathroom.  Once there, he gently removed the paper towel and examined the wound over the sink.  

“Mindy, It appears our lunch will be delayed a bit. This will need to be sutured. I can take you to the ER in my car," said Paul.

“The ER -really?”  Mindy started disagree, but remembering that Paul was a doctor, she believed him.  “Are you sure you don’t mind taking me? This is so embarrassing.  There is an Urgent Care just a couple of miles from here.”


pie, recipe, dessert

Fortunately the waiting room was nearly empty when they arrived at Urgent care, and Mindy's wound was quickly tended to. Back at her house, Mindy studied her well-wrapped thumb, and thanked Paul again for his help. 

“I’m glad you still decided to come to lunch,” she said. “I’m sorry I ruined the salad. I hope the soup and pie is enough for you.”

“It’s perfect, said Paul.” “In fact, this Mango-Peach-Blackberry pie is so good, I’m going to help myself to another piece! Mindy, I can’t help but notice that you have sort of an interesting  collection of things.  Do you mind if we talk about it for a moment?”

“What collection are you talking about? Do you mean all those boxes of dishes? They were such a good buy.”

“No,” said Paul. “Actually, I was referring to the sheer volume of things you own.  Have you ever wondered why you feel such a need to accumulate so much stuff? Do you worry that you might have a problem?”

In a flash of clarity, the whole situation of meeting Paul sort of clicked for Mindy. She reddened with fury.

“So, that’s what this is all about!”  Mindy’s voice went up an octave. ”OF COURSE it makes sense  - you are a doctor, a psychiatrist! Barb wasn’t setting us up on a blind date - she sent you here to psychoanalyze me.  That’s why she suggested I make lunch - so you would come here to my house and see my stuff.  Barb told me she thinks I have a problem - that I’m a hoarder. That’s what you think too, isn't it. What sort of game is this that you two playing?!”

Paul said, “Mindy, I’m sorry.  When I agreed to come out here, I thought Barb had told you about me, and that you wanted my help. In addition to being an MD, I have my PhD. My thesis was written on the topic of hoarding, and I  am well respected for my work with patients who have hoarding tendencies.  Barb is worried about you, and she thought I could help you. I think she was afraid that if she told you the truth before we met, you would refuse to see me.”

Glaring at Paul, Mindy said, “I thought this was a date! I think you knew that. How unethical!!”

“Yes, you are right. After meeting you at the picnic, I suspected that you thought Barb was matchmaking.” said Paul. “After you left, Barb admitted to me that she hadn’t told you why she was introducing us.”

“I debated just calling the whole thing off. I know my actions seem unethical, but let me explain. We didn’t yet have a physician- client relationship, so I persuaded myself that it would be alright to come for lunch, and clarify the situation.

I am going to level with you.  You are very pretty, but I am not interested in a personal relationship with you. I’d like to keep things professional between us, and after seeing your home, I think you would benefit greatly from the assessment and referrals I can offer you.  Will you please let me help you?

Mindy began to cry.


The characters and events in this story are totally fictitious.

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

battered, assessing, widened, credit, collection, clarity
thesis, believed, really, finger, game, flash

What do you think. Will Mindy agree to let Paul help her? 

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


  1. Poor Mindy.
    While it does seem that she needs help, she must feel so betrayed...
    Loved your use of these words - and can't wait to see what you do with the next set.

    1. Betrayed, and probably disappointed that Paul was not interested in her romantically!

  2. Great chapter! Even though it will be hard on Mindy, I'm glad she's going to get some help. So impressed with your fiction writing Susan!

    1. Thanks Lana - If Mindy doesn't get help soon, her possessions may come tumbling down and crush her!

  3. I love what you did with the words. Poor Mindy. I don't think she'll let Paul help her, not yet anyway. She doesn't think she has a problem, on top of that, now she feels betrayed by Barb. Eventually, they may talk her into accepting help. now I need to go back and read the 'before' stories.

    1. Thanks for the words River! I have been wanting to get over and comment on your blog, but my Internet access was limited all week. You are doing a nice job with Words for Wednesday this month!

  4. I hope so then has a giant yardsale...and lives next door! I am going to get myself in order and join this on nowmthat I know I can do it on Fridays. I did use your words with Karen @BakingInATornao it'll be out tomorrow today is the 16th. Told you I'm so behind and totally unorganized!

    1. That would have been a fun twist to the plot, Rena! Headed over to your blog to catch up on your post right now!
      I'm glad to hear you might be doing W4W's as well! When you read the intro, you will see that there is a ton of flexibility of what you can do with the words, when (and where) you can publish, etc. Most people just write a short paragraph, often just in the comments on the blogpost where the words are published. Have fun!


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