Random Compliment

I’m not sure what’s up with the universe at the moment, but things are seriously coming up roses for me. It culminated in a compliment from a complete stranger that I got tonight.

I have just started going to an improv writing group. It’s awesome. We do three prompts (got there too late for the first two, tonight). For each one, we write for a specified amount of time and then we all share what we’ve written. You must share- which is good for my public-speaking skills. After I finished mine, a lady sitting at another table asked if I’d just written it or I was reading it from a book- since it was better than the book she was reading! How awesome is that?!

The prompt was random pairings of opposites. Randomly, I ended up with both life and death. What follows is the completely improvised bit I wrote:

“So those are the options. Life or death. How original.” I should have been scared. He wasn’t kidding about the death part. I was too tired to be scared. “What if I pick cake, huh? Cake is a better choice than either of those.”

Surprisingly, that made him pause. It was really bizarre to almost see his brows draw together under the executioner’s hood. His massive hands shifted on the haft of the very big, very sharp ax. Always request a sharp ax if you get the chance.

I kept talking. “Really, you know that if you could choose life, death, or cake, you’d pick cake. Chocolate for me. Buttercream icing. What about you? What kind of cake would you choose?”

Thank god this was a private execution. My hands were bound behind my back and I was kneeling at the feet of this behemoth- but without an audience to keep him on task, my words seemed to be distracting him.

“Homemade cake, of course. None of that box stuff.”

The head of his ax swung to the ground as his head tilted like a dog’s.

“They don’t have box cake mix just yet, but it’s coming, and it’s tragic. Be glad you’ll be long dead by then.” I laid my head on the block. “Speaking of- can we get on with this? I need a nap and a dirt one will do.”

Slowly he re-gripped the ax, starting to lift it.

“Tub icing, though- that was genius. You don’t have to eat the cake to get the best part. Chocolate, strawberry, funfetti. You don’t know what funfetti is, but it’s, well, very fun.”

The ax head lowered again as I chattered.

Life, death, or cake? Cake seemed to be going well.