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March Writing Challenge – Red Glitter Devil: Vignette 5

March 28, 2022

This month’s prompt is “He was sure the Devil created red sparkly glitter”. I had some inspiration and have created a series of vignettes related to the prompt. You can find the first in this post, the second in this post, the third in this post, and the fourth in this post. Keep scrolling to find the fifth and final installment. Enjoy!

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I couldn’t believe I agreed to come to this PTA fundraiser, let alone come in the school’s mascot costume. I was in fact wearing a bright red crab suit, stuffed claws included. I hadn’t thought it would be too bad when Sammie squealed from the back of the PTA meeting that I should volunteer for the role. She shouldn’t have been there anyway, but her favorite babysitter had cancelled at the last minute. Anything to make her happy, right? 

What I hadn’t figured into my plan was that I would be dressed as a crab, while all the other adults sauntered past me dressed in their posh formal wear. Why couldn’t Creek Cross Elementary just have a bake sale for a fundraiser like every other school? They had to have a dinner, show, and silent auction. At least I could be thankful I didn’t have to raise money or find auction prizes. 

My participation was a one night commitment. I’d been told to stand near the entrance and welcome people to the event.  Easy enough.

“You look more crabby than usual Nate.” I heard the voice behind me and near my ear. “It’s absolutely clawful seeing you stuck here. I’ve got one for you Nate. How did the crab cross the road?”

“You’re really enjoying this aren’t you Candice?” I turned around to face her.

She was beaming at me, and at the anticipation of finishing her joke. “Come on, ask me how.”

“How did the crab cross the road, Candice?” I spat out in a flat tone. She wasn’t going to get encouragement from me for bad dad jokes.

“It used the sidewalk! Get it, the sidewalk!” She doubled over laughing. It was a delightful sound if I was being honest. I couldn’t help the grin that snuck onto my face. Candice and I had gotten to know each other a bit better after Sammie’s playground accident and I had to admit, she fascinated me. Candice was a successful lawyer whose husband left her with a three year old. She was bold and brilliant and unforgiving in her career, but a bit lonely, insecure, and confused in the rest of her life. This made her quick to turn defensive under criticism, but she was always searching for ways to find joy. I just hadn’t been able to see them under the prickly exterior. Once I’d understood these aspects of her life and personality, it was easier to figure out her reactions to me and the world at large.

While Candice giggled about her crab jokes, I admired her red dress. It was a slinky satin material with a V neck, and came down to her knees. I smiled at the glittery red sash tied around her waist that accentuated her hips.

“Glad I could help bring laughter to your life,” I said, faking annoyance.

“Oh come on Nate. I was only joking.” She reached out and tugged one of my antennae. “You actually look pretty cute in that crab costume. No one else would have done it and everyone loves it. You’re doing us all a huge favor.”

We stood facing each other, silent for a moment, as a steady stream of people walked past us and into the venue.

“Candice, we need you at the auction table. We can’t figure out where the bid cards went to,” a voice called from inside the doors.

“Duty calls. See you around Nate,” Candice said and turned to leave. I gently caught her by the arm before she’d made it one step.

“You look really nice tonight. I like the red,” I told her as I glanced down at the sash. “Just be careful. Glitter can get everywhere if you’re not paying attention.” I ran my hand down her arm before releasing her.

Candice looked at my hand as it fell back to my side. When she looked up at me it was with a soft and confident smile. “Funny thing, Nate. In the last few months I’ve realized that I really do like red glitter, even if that means it gets everywhere. I like the sparkle it’s added to my life.” She took a step toward me and placed her hands on my shoulders, then leaned in and kissed my cheek. She smelled like jasmine and vanilla and her lips were soft and warm. The kiss was slow and confident, but she pulled away more quickly than I would have liked.

Once she’d stepped back she said, “If you’ve got any decent clothes under all that crab, you should come inside when you’re done with your shift. I’ll save you a dance.” She whirled away before I could respond.

As I stood at the doors greeting people in all my crabby glory, I thought about Sammie. My little girl was smart and creative and cunning, and in that moment I was sure she was the one orchestrating my life. I thought back to Sammie standing on that pedestal months ago, as she smeared glitter on my cheeks and kissed my forehead. She’d done it on purpose to help lead me here. My little Devil had created red glitter to add a some sparkle to our lives, a little sparkle I wasn’t going to let us lose.

When my shift was done, I shed my crab costume. Then I put on my dinner jacket, straightened my red glittery pocket square, and strode into the venue.

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