I fully admit, this is probably the worst thing I have written this month, so far. It is also the shortest, which I feel zero guilt about.
Because my head is elsewhere, on a project that no one can ever see. Which is really frustrating. But also, if I don’t write it down, it’s just going to stick in my head and nag me. So…out it comes, even though it’s just playing in someone else’s sandbox and thus useless. Sigh!
Being a writer is hard.
Prompt: Putt-Puttin’ On the Ritz.
Karl handed over the short golf clubs and four matching colored balls to the family of four. They seemed far too excited, trashing talking each other. Particularly the oldest son and the father.
There were two types of people, it seemed, that frequented Putt-Puttin’ on the Ritz. People that were happy to be there; excited at the challenge of their full 18-hole course. And people who weren’t.
Karl, as four year employee, figured he counted as a frequenter. He was not excited to be there.
He’d started the job the summer before his Freshman year of college. It was reliable summer work. It let him pack away extra cash so he could focus during the school year and work fewer hours at his on-campus job. He was lucky. He knew that.
It didn’t make him happier to be hanging out primary-colored sticks and balls. To listen to the laughing and shrieking cut through him. And he hated playing mini-golf. He hated regular golf. What was the point?
His shift seemed to drag on, and on. Even his co-worker, Tany, couldn’t bring him out of his funk. He just sullenly watched the games happening on the greens. It wasn’t until he did his round; reminding the remaining players that they had fifteen minutes before they closed that he seemed to break out of it.
A small girl who couldn’t be older than eight or nine, laid the sticks and balls that she and her Dad –who hovered a few feet away, talking into a phone.
“Thanks,” she smiled brightly at him. “I had a lot of fun today.” She glanced back at her Dad, the smile turning into a dark frown. Almost as an afterthought, just for herself, she added, “I wish he had.”
Karl watched the girl approach her Dad, sliding her hand into his. The man looked down at his daughter. Smiled. Spoke into the phone again, and then shoved it into his pocket. He bent down onto one knee, wrapping an arm around her, asking her a question with a big smile before he picked her up around the waist and hoisted her into the air. Karl heard her laugh as she was carted toward the car.
“You okay? You have a weird look on your face.” Tany nudged him. “I finished the cash box. All the equipment back?” “Yeah,” he nodded. “I’m good. Let’s go home.”