Writing Prompt: Just One More Thing

This writing prompt was part of the Indie Fall Fest—several weeks of author interviews, giveaways, fun questions, guest posts, and more. The challenge was to write about a character who has one of your bad habits, and in which that bad habit gets out of hand.

My bedtime is ten o’clock. Naturally, it’s midnight by the time I slip under the covers.

I’m pretty sure my neurons are vibrating as I stare up at the blackness. I consider turning on a meditation track. But I can’t shake the feeling I’ve forgotten something.

Did I turn the oven off?

My feet find my slippers and I pad out to the kitchen. Yes, the oven is off.

The wintery air sends goose bumps up my arms. I remember to shut the window. Return to bed.

Half an hour passes before I remember I was supposed to email Kevin back about his barbeque on Saturday. My hands find my phone in the darkness. I open my emails to a new message from OkCupid—a rugged-looking hipster who can distinguish your from you’re. He merits a reply. I need to do it now or else I’ll forget. I write back, spending twenty minutes trying to come up with a non-boring answer to “Any plans for the weekend?”

It’s one o’clock. I respond to Kevin’s email. Yes, I’ll remember to grab kebabs on my way over on Saturday.

Plug my phone in. Lie back down.

I still can’t shake the feeling I’ve forgotten something.

I sit up. I never gave Ms. Jennings her misdelivered mail. I pull on my bathrobe and my Uggs. Tuck the box under my arm. It’s a bottle of expensive bourbon. I opened it by accident when I got it. The bottle, I mean.

The thought reminds me that I need to book an appointment with my therapist. I call. Their office is closed. Obviously—it’s one thirty in the morning. I leave a message. Pick up Ms. Jennings’ half-empty bourbon. Hop the fence into her yard.

She’s pissed when she finally answers. I tell her I’m sorry but I couldn’t sleep knowing I might forget to deliver this. She doesn’t say thank you. I tell her the bourbon is good and I hope she enjoys it.

I traipse home. The wind is icy around my legs. The hair (I forgot to shave) offers little insulation.

As I pass the barn, I realise I’ve forgotten to feed the pigs. I throw them some slop. Tell them “good piggies.” Scratch one behind the ear.

What on earth am I forgetting?

Shivering, I’m about to leave when I remember Daisy is due to give birth. I check on her. She’s in labour. I deliver the calf. Name it Ophelia.

I take off my bathrobe and dispose it. I’ll have to remember to buy a new one.

Stark naked except for my Uggs, I trot back to the house. I’m proud of myself when I remember to put air in the tractor tires on the way.

The sun’s rays brighten the horizon by the time I’m in the house again.

I remember to wash my hands.

My toothbrush lies beside the sink, bristles dry.

I blink.

I finally realize what I’ve forgotten.

I never brushed my teeth before bed.

Header image: Boston Public Library via Flickr