The Plot Turns in the Personal History Of Corky

First things first. I feel as though I deserve a flogging or something (I know, it says a lot about me) for messing up. I vowed to myself and my fellow writers, who constantly put me to shame by their relentless dedication to their craft, that I would at least post every Sunday, using writing prompts from my favorite little prompt book, 642 Tiny Things To Write About, to spur my creativity and get into writing mode. As a writer, routine is critical-at least for me it is, because it require work…

But, as your favorite procrastinator is prone to do, crept back inside her head and tinkered around for every excuse known to man as to why she couldn’t stick to the promise she made to herself. Among her favorite excuses, which if I were to judge anyone, might make some sense–it was just too damn hot-the heat had melted her creativity and fried her motivation. Can I get a little sympathy here? Among her least favorite excuses, and the one she has shamelessly and consistently wrapped herself in for her entire life, is that she lets her feelings and emotions debilitate her, rather than using those feelings to create…

Well, beloved writing community, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies and hope. Welcome to today’s prompt. As in a previous post, let’s just see where this takes us…

Indulge me if you will, as I outline the plot turns for the personal history of one of my most treasured objects. A cork named Corky.

Corky was found beneath the shoe rack in her foyer. Right below the shelf upon which her black puma gym-bag/wine cellar sits.

Corky’s been sitting behind the shoe rack for as long as he can remember. Sad and lonely, collecting dust. His owner had been looking for him since the time she lost him here-after popping him from the champagne bottle she didn’t want her husband to find.

A black cap from a bottle of sauvignon blanc suffers Corky’s fate. The cap was lost behind the shelf when in a rush to hide the bottle she dropped it. It landed behind the mess of shoes piled behind the shoe rack. Corky makes a friend.

The two become inseparable as they commiserate about their lot in life, how they’d been forgotten and forsaken, but they find themselves sympathizing with her. The hiding, the sneaking around. The lying…the fighting. She needs something she will never find in the dark. Something she’ll never find at the bottom of a bottle. They see how lonely she is. How starved she is.

Corky and the black cap are found when the shelf is knocked over. It will be the last time she visits the gym bag.

She collects them and puts them together; the black cap fits perfectly on top of Corky. In fact, it looks as though Corky is wearing a top-hat.

She takes a permanent black marker and draws a face on the the cork. One eyebrow is highly arched, with a slightly upraised black line for a mouth, giving the cork a judgmental look. The cork has become “Corky.” Her constant companion. She takes him everywhere. They go on picnics together. They attend meetings and gatherings, Corky is proud of her; since he came into her life, she hasn’t been to the gym-bag/wine cabinet anymore. She depends on him and Corky enjoys being needed. Corky is proud of his role in her life.

After one particularly trying day (something to do with the greeting card she’d found addressed to her husband that was strangely glued together, as if to hide the true inside), she’d left Corky unattended on the kitchen table as the arguing ensued. It was dinner time. The kids found him. They had no idea what it was-who Corky was, and as the husband and wife argued, the kids distracted themselves by pulling off his black cap-and throwing him back and forth between each other like a tiny football. The cap was lost. She couldn’t bother to look for it.

After he’d left, with the door slamming behind him, she turned to find Corky hatless, and judging her.

“What’s this?” One of the boys asked.


She ripped Corky from her son’s hand. Without his little black top hat, the cork looked as ridiculous as she felt. Turning him over and over in her hands, she contemplated throwing him away. She didn’t need him anymore. Not after tonight. Corky proved useless.

He looked pleadingly at her. Was he crying?

He wasn’t crying for himself. He was crying for her.

Corky knew he would be replaced.

She held him over the recycling bin, turning him over and over in her hands. He would miss her. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for. He closed his eyes and prepared himself for the descent to darkness. He waited. It never came. He opened one eye and found her staring at him in her open palm. She placed Corky back on the table.

Was he smiling?

She cleared the dishes and began looking for his cap.

Perhaps she’d never find it.

Thanks Solange.

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