Tuesday, July 8, 2008


My writing group has gone online this summer as everyone travels to their various summer destinations. We're sharing weekly writing prompts in order to stay connected and keep writing...

Last week's writing prompt was Naughty.

Brenda sighed. She was going to have to fire the new nanny. That meant another search, another unpleasant confrontation, and more downtime with no coverage and no one to help out with Tyler and Rex. She felt her breath quicken and her heart race with anxiety just thinking about it. How on earth would she keep them busy? Maybe she could find some sort of military boot camp for little boys to drain them of all that destructive energy. She made a mental note to google that, along with miracle nannies and discipline experts.

When Brenda had hired Mathilda, she'd thought that all her problems were answered. Mathilda was an attractive petite brunette with a functional yet flattering bob. She had been polite and articulate during the interviews as she explained her discipline strategy to Brenda. The words punishment room and spanking rod in Mathilda's elegant British accent were like a beautiful melody in Brenda's ears. If the boys did not succumb to Mathilda's female charms, they would be vanquished by her iron-clad child management technique. Brenda had hired her on the spot, and had only needed one Ambien a night to get her beauty sleep in the weeks before her arrival.

The first few days with Mathilda at the helm had proceeded splendidly. The boys had been so charmed by her that they had become little angels. Brenda hadn't felt her usual need to escape the house. She'd been able to host an impromptu luncheon for the Junior Women's Club steering committee that had gone off without a hitch. Life with Mathilda was going to be wonderful.

Exactly one week after Mathilda arrived, Brenda was woken in the middle of the night out of a delicious non-Ambien natural slumber by a loud thump. It seemed to be coming from the nanny's room. She ran through the house's dark halls and threw open Mathilda's door. Brenda turned on the light and was confronted by a pitiful sight: a red-faced snot-nosed Mathilda sobbing in a heap on the floor. Her perfect coiffe had been transformed into a stringy wet mop sticking to the sides of her face. It took Brenda a few minutes to piece together what Mathilda was repeating over and over again through her hot tears. "Naughty boys! Naughty boys! I've never seen such naughty boys." Brenda suddenly heard muffled giggling from the closet and she sighed, understanding that her short-lived peace was over.

Once Mathilda calmed down enough to give Brenda the details, she'd been filled by a perverse pride for the lethalness of the boys' attack. While they had pretended to be so well-behaved, they had really been on a reconnaissance mission, quietly observing the enemy before electing a battle plan. The attack began on Monday morning at 4:47 AM with a ferocious water balloon attack on Mathilda's sleeping form. It was over as quickly as it began, and Mathilda would have been convinced that she had dreamt it, if she wasn't soaked from head to toe. She'd started walking to the bathroom to change into dry pajamas but she'd slipped on a strategically placed minefield of marbles and landed hard on her side. The thump had shaken the house and woken Brenda.

The termination discussion wasn't difficult as some others had been, as Mathilda was eager to escape the twins. Brenda, Rex and Tyler watched her walking out with her two suitcases, her functional high heels wobbling on the cobblestone street. Rex leaned into Brenda and gave her a little hug before asking, "Was that the last one Mommy? Now will you be our nanny?"

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