WHAT’S IN A NAME?
‘Seven plus seventeen equals twenty-four, a nice round number, I like that.’ Bendel Banks was on her way to the public library to change her life. Bendel hated her life. Bendel hated her name. She blamed her misfortune on her parents, who had named her Bendel Banks. Her mother had been a big fan of alliteration, and Bendel had paid the price all her life.
People called her “Bendy” and then, “Hey, there goes BeeBee!” She always thought that sounded like two honeybees stuck together. Little Teddy had first called her that. Their friend Grant thought it should be BB, like the shot in their air-rifles. Grant and Little Teddy had always been her best friends, but now they were gone. They had carried those BB guns everywhere and took great delight in shooting each other. Once they shot Bendel… she told, and that was the end of the guns. She didn’t mind so much when they called her BB, but hated it when others did, or worse Bendy. ‘Now’, she thought , ‘everyone should just call me Biddy, because that’s what I’ve become, an old biddy.’
Bendel was unhappy, friendless and in a job she hated. All because of her unfortunate alliterated name. She spent her free time on-line now, where she did not have to see people. Upon reading a self-help blog entitled “You Too Can Change Your Life… In Seven Easy Steps”, she decided to try Step One. She would change her name. No one would ever call her Bendy again. Things would change, and she could be a new woman, the blog said so.
Going up the granite steps, Bendel felt a lift in her spirits, maybe it was starting to work already. She pushed through the ornate brass door into the hushed interior and asked the woman at the information desk where the baby name books could be found. She had planned to open a baby name book to a page, close her eyes and stick her finger on a name. But, being a big fan of numerology, she decided to take today’s date and use that. It was July 17th, so her number would be 24. She also decided that she would use whatever name it turned out to be, no matter what.
Bendel picked out ‘Modern Baby Names’, closed her eyes and opened to a page. She held her breath and counted down twenty-four names… BETTY! Her new name would be ‘Betty’.
‘Great, so much for getting rid of alliteration. But, I like Betty, and Betty Banks has a nice sound, and I absolutely adore Betty Boop. I feel better already!’
Bendel… Betty replaced the book on the shelf. Making her way through the stacks, she felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. People were smiling at her. The woman at the desk said “So nice to meet you, please come again soon.” As she got to the exit, a gentleman held the door for her and winked. Leaving her old life inside, Betty went outside. She never looked back, she just kept walking.
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I enjoyed writing this story. With such an excellent line it work with and a very cool short film, the story just came to me somehow. Be sure to watch the film below and read the story of last week’s winner. Here are this week’s instructions from The Speakeasy Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Purkis:
technology is a tool
And you should use your tools wisely, right? This week’s sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner,Ted, must be used as the LAST line in your piece.
“She never looked back, she just kept walking.”
Submissions must be 750 words or fewer, and must be fiction or poetry. You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
The video prompt is a short film by Claude Sadik, entitled The Device, which you will find below.
Please visit The Speakeasy and read the other author’s stories… tell ’em “Ted sent me!”.
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In the photograph, I am on the left and my friend Grant is in on the right. I do not know who the little girl is… she may be my cousin Carol, but I don’t know for sure.
Once The Wild Child rides into your life, you are never the same again…
I don’t remember where I first met Susie. I have been clicking ‘like’ on her posts since early 2011. I think it was the one about some frozen dead guy. She was in black & white then, I almost prefer that, as she is colorful enough without color… but it does show off her home in Boulder, Co. to a nice advantage. She actually prefers it all white, as she is an avid skier and has a white dog named Roxy. Roxy is the victim/subject of many a post, along with DJ Slash, Courtney and her husband Danny. She is a talented writer, artist, claims to be a tennis player, and has shown talent as a wannabe pole dancer… her dance numbers are legendary. Here’s where to meet her… Susie Lindau.
Susie is a special blogging buddy, not only to me, but to many other writers. Each month she throws a party on her blog. It’s called Use Me and Abuse Me Day, the purpose is to give her friends a forum to showcase their latest favorite piece of work. It is quite a party, as usually about 100 show up to brag and view each other’s offerings. I’ve met some talented writers and made some good friends at Susie’s parties. Do yourself a favor and come to the next one and add one of your stories.
This month Susie won’t be having a party. Something more important has taken the party’s place. She will be back soon (no, she is not in jail) and writing her blog again. I will be looking forward to June’s party. But for this month, her friend brickhousechick suggested we hijack ‘Use Me and Abuse Me Day’ and have our own party, to honor Susie for a change.
See you soon, Susie… I’ll be thinking of you today… your pal, Ted