To Do List Fiction

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to create a To Do list that, when read, tells us a story. Keep in mind that To Do lists can have multiple parts or sections, that they do change from day to day, with things often crossed out, and that they are typically something we use but don’t share and therefore tend to be not only personal, but often secret. Good exercise in subtext and “showing, not telling.” Dive in!

16 responses to “To Do List Fiction

  1. [ ] Friday – Page 1-50
    [ ] Saturday – Page 1-50
    [ ] Sunday – Page 1-50
    [x] Monday – Page 1-50
    [x] Tuesday – Page 51-120
    [x] Wednesday – Page 121-200
    [x] Thursday – Page 201-250
    [x] Friday – Sell my story
    [x] Saturday – Buy fake party CD and Huge Hi-Fi
    [x] Sunday – Sleep
    [x] Monday – PLAY new CD as loud as I can on a loop
    just to annoy my partying neighbor
    [x] Monday – Enjoy my two week vacation

  2. Now that’s my kind of story! Let’s see. Is it in the fantasy or metafictional genre? Good one, WB.

  3. My take on this is fiction. It’s not a list per se, but about a guy who makes mental lists throughout the story..



    I gotta keep my cool. That’s the first thing. Watching my wife and her latest fling, Aagh. Keep cool Jack. Keep cool. I want to pop both of them. My mind wanders. Maybe in their hotel room. Nah. Security cameras everywhere. How about in his car at a red light? I need a silencer for that. Don’t know how to get one.

    And I will need an alibi when I do it. Shit. That’s going to be tough. Can’t be in two places you know…

    I think she knows I’m watching. She keeps looking around the restaurant. And she has good reason to. Last time I caught her and her previous lover in a hotel restaurant. Not this one. The restaurant I can’t go into anymore. Maitre’ ds don’t take kindly to a guy in a leather jacket slamming the face of a big-tipping customer into a bowl of lobster bisque. Six times that is. I broke his nose and split his lip. The last thing he heard was me growling in his ear, “That’s my wife you’ve been dicking. Time to move on, don’t you think?”

    He looked to be an investment banker type. Hopefully not a lawyer. He took my advice. Took it to the bank, not the cops.

    Before I left, I jerked a diamond pendant from around her neck. It was apparently a present from him. It’s definitely out of my price range. The platinum double woven chain cut her skin a bit and left a welt. I still haven’t figured out what to do with it. Pawning is too dangerous. Cops track “stolen” jewelry. Selling it on the street is too risky. My hand reaches in my jacket pocket. It’s still there. I rub the stone between my thumb and forefinger. Maybe I’ll just keep it for a while. I might need a lawyer.

    I need a drink right now. The hotel bar is crowded but not too loud. I usually drink beer, but not tonight. Need something stronger. Scotch. No, can’t stand the taste, even that fancy single malt stuff. Gin. Nope, a wussie drink. Whisky? Almost. Got to have a bourbon. Neat. A double.

    I find a pair of empty stools at the bar. I take the one closest to the wall. The waiter comes my way. “Burbon. Double. Neat.” He turns on his heels without comment. He returns with my drink. “Bring me another,” I tell him. Before he returns with my second, my first is history. The burn in my throat is magnificent, until it hits the acid in my stomach. I nearly throw up. Nearly. I ask for a water.

    I drop a fizzy antacid in the water and start to chug it. A voice hot and sexy asks, “Seat taken?” I start to give her a smart ass reply before I look. I look. Jeez, what a babe. I don’t know what to look at first. Her red lips that look like cherries. Her eyes, dark and inviting. Her cleavage, a lovely and tidy pair. I’m figuring 32C, Maybe B. She leans forward to adjust the strap on her shoes. I get an eyeful. Naturals. My favorite. My wife bought herself some plastic tits. It’s like snuggling with two football halves. Or was.

    I tell her to have a seat.

    My first impression is that she’s working. But she doesn’t look strung out, high, or anxious. Her arms aren’t bruised or track-marked. Guess she’s just a woman out on the town.

    “Most guys have bought me a drink by now,” she says as she lights a smoke. She exhales out her nose. I haven’t seen that in years.

    I figure she’s a red wine drinker. Definitely not beer. Probably a mixed drink girl. Manhattan maybe? Martini? If she says champagne I’m out of here.

    The bartender appears. “Double bourbon, rocks,” she says. “Same for me, I tell the bartender. “No rocks.” Our drinks arrive. We toast. “Jacquie,” she says, “with a “Q.”

    “Jack. With a “K.”

    Our glasses clink. I’m glad we don’t do that handshake thing. Or a bunch of small talk. We watch each other in the mirror behind the bar. Her foot brushes my leg.

    “You want another?” I ask. She shakes her head. “Let’s go to my room and have one there.” I lay two twenties on the bar. She’s already off the barstool and moving toward the exit.

    I wonder why me? All these guys in suits with fifty-dollar haircuts. Smooth shaves. All wearing some cologne that promises to get them laid.

    I’m two weeks past due for my fifteen dollar haircut. I need a shave. I could use some cologne. A shower.

    The elevator door closes. She pushes “22.” “Why me?” I ask. She smiles. “Because you weren’t looking for it.”

    We get to her room. It’s not cheap. Slightly extravagant. A parlor. Huge bath. She catches me looking at the tub. “Maybe after,” she says.

    She turns her back to me. “Zipper, please.” I do as she asks. Her dress falls off her shoulders. She steps out of it. She is beautiful. Damn near perfect. She walks to the closet dressed in bra, panties and heels and hangs up her dress.

    “I have to tell you something,” she says. My gut winces. Here it comes. She’s got VD or the like and I need to wear a condom. Or this is where she asks for the money.

    “We’re only going to do this once.” Her voice is soft.” I only do a guy once. No dating. No strings. So, give it your all, because there won’t be a second night.” I nod like a bobblehead.

    I slip out of my jacket and toss it over the back of an upholstered chair. Kick off my boots. Pull off my socks. Drop my jeans and lay them over my jacket. She picks them up and hangs them in the closet next to her dress. “I assume you’re not going anywhere soon, are you?”

    I shake my head “no.” She smiles. She is so at ease. My boxers can barely contain my excitement. “Ready for that drink?” I ask and open the bar fridge. I pull two bourbons.

    She picks up the phone. “I need some Ice,” she tells room service. I settle in the chair and watch her. Every movement is graceful, but with purpose.

    I begin to think about the coming hours. I have read three books that I can recall. “A History of World War II.” “South America on $15 a day,” and the “Kamasutra.” I don’t remember much about the first two.

    “Going to freshen up,” she tells me and gives me a smile and a wink. My mind wanders to the book I remember. I begin to make my mental list. “Rocking Horse.” “Curled Angel.” “Erotic V.” And several other positions I don’t remember the names of. I chuckle. I’ll be lucky to last through the first two.

    The knock at the door breaks my fantasies. I look through the peep hole. It’s the room service kid with a bucket of ice. I unlatch the door and turn the handle. It swings in like a linebacker taking down a quarterback and simultaneously crashes into my head and my big toe. I scream in pain as I hit the floor clutching my foot. I am floating in space admiring the twinkling stars. Then the stars fade.

    I wake up. I’m duck-taped to the chair. My toe is bleeding; I think my toenail is gone. Jacquie is at the closet slipping on her dress. Her heels. She gives me that smile again as a guy hands her a big fold of green. She smiles again and her hand brushes my cheek as if to say “I’m sorry.”

    There are two guys in the room. And, my wife. The first guy with the money has a bandage across the bridge of his nose and a stitch in his lip. It’s the investment banker putz. The other guy is the one I saw my wife with tonight. He takes off his coat. I can’t help notice the shoulder holster and the piece. He reaches to his back pocket and pulls a sap. Before I can put two and two together the sap smashes my face. My nose goes numb. I feel my nostrils filling with blood.

    My wife stands, arms crossed under her grossly massive chest and smirks at me. The guy with the nose bandage and lip stitch starts screaming at me. “Where’s my diamond pendant you miserable piece of shit?”

    “Your pendant? YOUR pendant? You gave that to me,” yells my wife. I want MY pendant.”

    Mr. Muscle gives her a shove, and she falls on her back on the bed. Her mouth starts to protest but nothing comes out. She looks comical trying to see over her boobs.

    Investment banker nods to Mr. Muscle and the sap cracks the back of my head.

    “The pendant.” It’s not a question. Investment banker pauses. “We can do this all night if you want.”

    I consider my options. Sit mute and let Mr. Muscle turn my head into a pumpkin full of oatmeal. Or, give them back the pendant and hope for the best.

    I spit a mouthful of blood that has trickled down my throat. “It’s in my jacket pocket. Right pocket,” I mumble.

    Banker nods to his muscle who retrieves my jacket. His huge hand barely fits in the pocket. “It ain’t here, boss.” Banker jerks the jacket from muscle’s hands and checks for himself. Right pocket. Left pocket. Inside pocket. No pendant.

    I begin to chuckle. “What’s so funny, funny boy?” asks investment banker.

    Your girl got it. Jacquie, or whatever her real name is. She must have taken it while she was at the closet getting dressed. She double crossed you.”

    The last thing I remember is me laughing again. When I wake up the three are gone. My head is throbbing and I can’t see out of my right eye. I’m no longer taped to the chair. I try to get up and walk but fall on the bed, face first. On my second try I make it to the ice bucket; its contents half melted. I put my lips to the rim of the bucket and drink. I grab a handful of ice and held it to my face until it melts.

    The shower feels good as it sprays on the top of my head and rolls down my face. I grab a towel off the vanity and pat my face and pause. I can smell Jacquie’s scent on the towel. I stand motionless except for my breathing.

    When dry I get dressed. I reach for my wallet hoping I have cab fare. I open it and I still have forty dollars and a piece of paper I don’t recognize. I unfold it and read the hastily written message:

    “Jacquie 555-1212”

  4. Off topic, but I promised to give you a link to my bear stories. This is the one chapter you should look at even if you look at no other.

    • I can’t believe you live so close to those big bears. Those look like grizzlies! I trust you are staying safe. Loved the story!

      • Actually they are Coastal Brown bears–much bigger than grizzlies. These bears are the third largest bears, after polar bears and Kodiak Brown bears. Grizzlies and black bears are next.

        As you probably notices, there are a continuing number of chapters in the story. I hope you also looked at Chapter 8 and the joy of cubs playing.

  5. To Do List

    Hire neighbor to plow vegie garden plot
    Buy potato, onion sets, tomato plants, green pepper, and strawb plants
    Get yellow bean, cuke, zuch, pumpkin, squash, beet, carrot seeds
    Order fifteen bales of straw from Boris, delivered
    Sharpen chain saw
    Sort blankets, old towels for GoodWill
    Check for holes in tarp
    Pump wheelbarrow tires
    File dull spade edge
    Find the pick ax
    Do the digging
    Check calendar for next full moon
    Pick the date, prepare special dinner and cocktails

  6. Not unless you want to be a witness at my murder trial!

  7. Dear John,

    Thanks for leaving the note of the things you wanted me to do before you leave on your business trip this weekend:

    1. Get tax info for accountant ready.
    2. Get clothes ready for our dinner with your boss and wife tomorrow.
    3. Take car to car wash.
    4. Get clothes ready for business trip.

    Well, I started for the car wash but a thundershower was passing through so I thought I’d go inside and get something to eat and maybe do a bit of housework until it quit raining

    I got your travel clothes and headed for the laundry room to put them in the washer, but saw the leather jacket I’d put in the washer earlier. I took the jacket out and put it in the dryer, then threw your clothes in the washer.

    I went up to the kitchen, popped a hot dog and bun into the nuker and noticed all the dirt on the kitchen floor. Well, I must have done it as I’m the only one who lives here. Pablo the parrot contributes feather and sunflower seed hulls, and the little parakeet who’s visiting for a few weeks tosses seed hulls around, too, but I can’t blame the dirt on them.

    I figured I may as well clean their cages before I swept the kitchen floor as I’d just have to do it again anyway. After I did that I gathered up the four empty Coke Zero cans on the counter and started for the garage to put them in the recycling bin, but then remembered the garage bathroom needed TP so I grabbed two rolls from the main floor bath as well as the extra hot dogs buns on the kitchen counter, and went down to the garage where I put the Coke cans in the bin, the hot dog buns in the freezer and the TP in the bathroom, where I saw the toilet bowl needed cleaning.

    I spent a couple minutes looking for the pink toilet bowl acid to get rid of the hard water line in the bowl, and realized that I still hadn’t refilled the wild bird feeder because the seed container was right there next to the bin for the black oil sunflower seeds. Which, of course, was empty.

    I got the new bag, located a razor knife to slice it open, then emptied the contents into the bin. I refilled the seed container, put the razor knife back in the tool box then went upstairs and refilled the bird feeder and put the seed container in the kitchen cabinet.

    That put me back in the kitchen where the floor still needed sweeping. I emptied the clean dishes from the dishwasher and put a few dirty dishes in it, then put the new cinnamon raisin bagels in the freezer part of the refrigerator, and went back to the laundry room with the dish rag and towel which I put in the hamper.

    I spent a couple minutes more looking for the pink acid, found it, and squirted some in the downstairs toilet bowl. I decided to clean off the counter by the washing machine while the acid did its thing in the bowl. The counter contained all sorts of stuff that came out of my pockets so I started putting all that stuff in various places, including a pile of clean work gloves that were on top the chest freezer, which is where I sort, fold and stack clean laundry.

    There was no room in the glove bins for the new work gloves because all the winter stuff was still there so I sorted the winter gloves and hats and went to the entryway closet where I pulled out the container that holds such stuff, dumping it on the floor in the process. I picked up all the contents and returned them to the container, added the winter stuff from the garage, and went back to the garage where I put the new work gloves in the now clean bins. Then I sorted out the stuff on the top shelf of the bins and noticed it needed wiping off.

    I went back to the laundry room to get a wet rag and checked on the pink acid job. I flushed. Didn’t do so well, so I read the instruction on the pink acid bottle, turned off the closet valve, and squirted more pink stuff into the bowl. Then I wet a rag, wiped off the glove bin shelf, and decided that as long as I had a wet rag I may as well clean off the table that I’d used for potting plants a couple weeks ago because it was so cold and windy outside. First, though, I had to take all the now empty seed flats off the table, so I stacked them and took them outside where I put them on the utility trailer that I pull behind the four-wheeler.

    I figured I may as well take care of that right now, so I started the four wheeler and towed the trailer up to the greenhouse and put the seed flats inside. I was right next to the lawn shed so I got the two spruce stumps I needed out of it, and went back to the garage where I put the two stumps on either side of the garage doors and put the big flower pots on top of them.

    I thought I’d better check on the pink acid thingy , so I finished up that chore and by that time the dryer had stopped so I unloaded the jacket and hung it up in the front entry way closet, then went back to get the rest of the dry laundry. I didn’t have any extra hangers in the laundry room to hang up the tee shirts so I gathered up all the other stuff on hangers as well as the rest of the laundry that’s been piled on top of the freezer for a week or so, and went upstairs, distributing clean, folded laundry as I went.

    Then I found some empty hangers and went back to the laundry room where I hung them up for future use. As long as I was in the vicinity I decided to look again for the coffee maker box and put away the extra coffee maker that’s been sitting on the freezer for a month. I saw a bunch of stuff that I’d moved on the storage shelves when I’d been looking for freezer paper for Rose a couple weeks ago, so I put that stuff where it belonged and, sure enough, found the coffee maker box. I put the coffee maker in the box and put it back on the shelf.

    I went over to the big garbage can which I keep inside the garage to keep the bears out of it, and got the half empty trash sack that I’d put in it earlier, untied it and put all the worn out work gloves in it, as well as some other stuff I saw that I could throw away.

    There were some twist ties lying on the floor from a new garden hose I’d bought a few weeks ago, so I picked those up to throw out and grabbed the battery charger I’d left right beside them the last time I used it. I threw the ties in the trash bag and put the charger on the shelf. Then I went back to the potting table and wiped it off with the wet rag I’d left lying there, folded up the table and put it just inside the crawl space door.

    Back in the garage I took the two coiled extension cords and hung those up, then noticed that the sun was shining again. I got my purse and went to the car wash.

    When I got home I plugged the hose into the central vacuum system and vacuumed up the dirt from the laundry room and garage bathroom that I’d apparently tracked in, then vacuumed the garage floor.

    When I got upstairs intending to sweep the kitchen but I saw the new Ann Rule book I bought yesterday, and was anxious to start it so I took my reading glasses and water mug into the bedroom, stepping over the other vacuum hose that’s been lying on the bedroom floor since the last time it rained because I haven’t finished that job on this floor level, and climbed in bed.

    Hope you’re happy with the clean car.


  8. Ann, you must go back to the blog and read chapter 11. You won’t believe what happened!


    1. Check the oil
    2.Check tire pressure
    3.Top off the gas
    4.Get new air freshener
    5.Pick up good black suit from cleaner
    6.iron dress shirt
    7 Shine shoes
    8.Get there at least 15 minutes early, He likes punctuality


  10. “It’s a long way down the holiday road.” – Lindsey Buckingham

    Wednesday, July 1st

    – Check on docs for Mexico (Passport, DL)
    – Call kennel. Wash bed, take toys.
    – Pick up dry cleaning BEFORE 5:30!!
    – Wax 6:15

    Thursday, July 2nd

    – Print tix
    – Empty fridge
    – Note to mail ppl
    – Last minute items…..
    – CVS hehehe

    Friday, July 3rd

    – Pack!!
    – Drop dog after noon
    – Call Mom. GOING WITH A FRIEND ha
    – TOMORROW!!!!

    Saturday, July 4th “Independence Day”

    – Taxi @ 5:30AM
    – LaGuardia 6:15 Jet Blue (pre board)
    – 30mg (one tab) Ativan ONE Hour before
    – 9:05 GONE!!

    Sunday, July 5th – Sunday, July 12th

    – VACATION!!!!!

    Monday, July 13th

    – Call Work (Henderson project folder in bottom left drawer)
    – Call Kennel, Tuesday??? Cost? If not, ask/beg Nikki?
    – Brown shoulder bag??

    Tuesday, July 14th “Bastille Day”

    – Call work. Talk to Richard, explain
    – Kleiner Assoc. Dr. Jameson OB 8:30AM Bring insurance card, history
    – Wallgreens (16th and King) pickup in 1 hour
    – Call Port Auth. Re. drivers lic.
    – DOG BY 4:30!!!! Cash

    Wednesday, July 15th

    – Call for NAAT “nucleic acid ?” results tomorrow
    – WebMD –>LOOK UP3 oz.
    – Henderson TODAY!!!
    – CVS by 2 for script. Ask about OTC “Antipruritic”
    – Jet Blue “aircraft maint co.” 371.555.1212 Call during biz hours. Pauli

    Saturday, July 18th

    – Call Kevin??

    Sunday, July 19th

    – Call Kevin

    Monday, July 20th

    – Kleiner Assoc. after hours 555.1212 (SSN, patient ID)
    – Quin-o-loans??? Quinolones/Tetracycline –> inc. dose
    – Call Kevin
    – Henderson mtg @3 Pissed!
    – Call DMV re. drivers lic.

    Tuesday, July 21st

    – 8AM “SHARP” Henderson post-mortem
    – HR @2:15
    – CVS BC/BS card. –declined– plan num????
    – Call Kevin

    Wednesday, July 22nd

    – Mtg. w/ Richard & HR (PIP = “perform imp prog”)
    – Review 25th and WEEKLY!!
    – Capital One 888.555.1212 Michelle “fraud unit” unlock crd.
    – Call “Bill” 473.555.1212 – BoH = board of health???

    Thursday, July, 23rd

    – Call Kleiner re. test results
    – Return Kevin’s VM. TONIGHT! Talked to Bill???
    – Call La Vida es un Playa (Mexico?) re. parking ticket?!?!?

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