Trifecta Writing Challenge #70: IN A JIFFY


IN A JIFFY… a story in 333 words

Jeff’s sneakers slapped the vinyl floor as he raced for the Jewel’s exit, clerks in hot pursuit.

“I tell you, I was almost killed!” “Ethel, don’t be so damn dramatic. You weren’t ‘almost killed’, what happened?”

They were gaining on him as he pushed through the door and collided with the woman.

“Listen to me, Cheryl. I don’t know why you have to be so negative all the time.” Cheryl sipped her tea, waiting. “I was going into the Jewel, you know how I don’t like the Jewel, but I just needed some cornbread mix. Now don’t you go rolling your eyes like that. You know I like to bake!” Cheryl stopped rolling her eyes and tried to stifle herself. Ethel didn’t bake. In fact, Ethel didn’t cook, she ate out or got take-in. The only thing Ethel ever made was Jiffy Cornbread or Jiffy Popcorn… Ethel liked everything jiffy, the woman had no patience.

Ninety pounds of blond had laid him flat on his back. The beer he’d been trying to steal went flying as angry hands yanked him to his feet. The woman had fire in her eyes, and took over.

“So, there I was, on the ground with beer bottles everywhere. People lifting me up and thanking me for stopping the thief. A crowd had gathered, you know how I don’t like to be the center of attention.” Cheryl held her eyes still.

The manager had called the police. The woman Jeff bumped into was familiar. She was the one always complaining about something. It had been suggested she shop elsewhere. Now he would have to be nice to her, as she started in on him.

“Well, I tell you, the ingratitude of some people. They didn’t even offer me a reward.” The phone rang. Cheryl answered and thanked the caller for letting them know.

Jeff had slipped away during the ensuing ruckus.

“It’s your lucky day, Ethel. They want to give you the Jiffy you left on the counter.”

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      The prompt this time is the third definition (as always) of the word LUCKY (adjective).  To read more “Lucky” stories of 33 to 333 words, click on the trike.

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Everything you will need to cook like Ethel…


54 responses

  1. Ha! Ha! Be back in a Jiffy!

    1. I’ll bet that’s all you can cook too!

  2. This was grand Ted and the pics you chose sealed the story. Jeff is one lucky bugga.. I loved the character names especially Ethel it fit so well with your writing. Humorous and inventive little take. 🙂

  3. Ted – I’m going to have to hold you up for misrepresentation. Where’s Daniel Craig?!

    1. Oh, please… don’t be taking me literally now.

      1. 😛 Nor me. But we do want Daniel next time, please.

  4. I’m holding out for Philip Seymour Hoffman to play Jeff.

    Nicely done. Loved the narrative, with the scene played out in italics. This was an accessible form; it worked well for readers.

    First time here, thanks to posting at Trifecta. My goal is to read every one, and hell, I usually don’t even post an entry on time. But I got to read this, so that’s my ‘lucky’ for the day! Peace, Amy Barlow Liberatore

    1. I would have never have considered PSH for the role of Jeff. You have taken my story in a new direction, and I like it. I’m glad I helped you have a lucky day… you returned the favor.

      I have enjoyed your poetry, Amy. Thanks.

  5. This was really entertaining. I used to be obsessed with the Jiffy blueberry muffins. They came with a tin of ‘real’ blueberries. Back in the day, that equaled ‘health food.’ ha ha!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad the ‘Powers that Be’ approved. I’ve done a few Jiffys.

  6. Jiffy mix, now that brings back memories. Good job Ted.

    1. Thanks, Betty. I’ll be looking for you story soon.

  7. I like the interplay between Jeff’s POV and Cheryl’s, and the way they each give you a more complete picture of Ethel. Great use of action to “show” us Ethel’s character. 🙂

    One thought: consider putting Cheryl’s last quote at the end, after “Jeff slipped away….”

    1. Thanks, Dawn… that was an excellent idea. It puts the punchline at the end of the story.

  8. Immensely entertaining. I loved the – she was the one always complaining about something – they suggested she shop elsewhere. So funny. Well drawn characters in such a short piece. I love it!

    1. Thank you, Steph. Ethel and Cheryl have been evolving in TrifectaLand. I’m glad you liked the story. It is hard for a store to send someone away, but sometimes it may be the best thing to do.

  9. I still remember the love I felt for Jiffy when as a young thing in my first apartment I discovered their cake mixes. I’ve since grown up and graduated to big girl cake mixes, but still…the memories. This piece was such a riot! I loved every word!!

    1. I think Jiffy has crossed our paths a lot… one of my daughters still uses it, and she is a big girl baker… put in a little Trader Joe’s Corn Relish… Ab Fab. Thanks, Valerie… I love your sailor suit!

    1. Glad to be of service, Kim…

  10. They kind of all deserve each other, store clerk included. lol
    Great characters, Ted. Love Cheryl holding her eyes still.
    And Jiffy Pop!!!

    1. Like hearing that, Kymm. Haven’t you just done that when someone says something ridiculous, and you’ve already criticized them enough?

  11. Excellent – love the action and story that follows.

    1. Thanks, Rog. I’ve not tried action before.

  12. Cool form, Ted – it was cool slowly discovering how it fit together, and Cheryl and Ethel are a funny pair. Nice!

    1. Thank you, Brian, first time I’ve tried something like that.

  13. This is a nifty story about Jiffy, not the least bit iffy. (:

    1. Thanks, D… you are such a poet!

  14. Great story – but now my stomach is growling (I want some Jiffy cornbread…with some green chilies and shredded cheese mixed in. Yum!) I’ve met a few of these complainer types, and I think it would be great if more establishments banned them 🙂

    1. Damn… you know how to do Cornbread! Put some Trader Joe’s Corn Relish in some.

      Yes, just love to be in the checkout line behind one.

  15. Laughing at this one… I use Jiffy cornbread mix. I need to make some corn muffins tonight in honor of your entry.

    1. I just might do that too… meet you back here tomorrow to compare notes…

  16. Ha!ha!Enjoyed this thoroughly,Ted-great dialogues & excellent character sketches:-)

  17. That was fun dialogue seen from two different perspectives!
    Now get back to the party in a Jiffy!
    Thanks for bringing it by. Have fun clicking on links and chatting up the guests! I know you will!

  18. Cobbie's World | Reply

    What a hoot of a story, Ted! Loved the way you structured this, with the italics and all. And, of course, gotta love jiffy pop. Thanks for a great read, Ted.

    1. Thanks, Cobbie… and thanks for sharing your students with us. Some talented young writers.

  19. This was hilarious. Specially the phrase 90 pounds of blond!

    1. Thank you, your comment pleases me.

  20. Fun read. Love cornbread but never tried Jiffy.

  21. Oh dear oh dear…don’t we know those types! What a reward!

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