Writing Short Stories: Hot & Cold

So, last semester I had an awesome teacher, Hugo Ottolenghi for Creative Writing Strategies. It was one of he most tedious classes I took because it really challenged my writing. I never saw so much yellow highlighter (errors he found) in my life.

Over time, I progressed with my writing. I actually received an award in the class for writing excellence. Here is the story that got me the award. The topic was to write about anything hot or cold.

Should I develop this into a short story? Leave your thoughts!

hot cold

It had been almost three years since Izzy had been in a serious relationship. Her best friend, Tanya had never approved of her ex-boyfriend and wanted her to move on. Tanya invited Izzy to join her at a Valentine’s Day speed-dating event. Tanya shuffled her feet through the parking lot as Izzy walked toward the entrance of the hotel where the event was being held.

At the door, a young lady registered incoming guests and wrote name-tags for them.

“Welcome to the Cupcake Factory’s speed dating event!” the registrar said.

Once inside, they scanned the area. The ballroom was dimly lit. Dinner tables lined the rectangular room in an open U- formation with the DJ toward the opening. The tables were draped in black and white tablecloth with centerpiece candles forming an intimate ambience. The DJ  played high-energy music as a sea of women sat at  the dinner tables chattering while they sipped on cocktails. Across the room, next to the bar, bachelors stood with drinks in hand and laughed as they stole glances toward the tables every couple of minutes.

Tanya and Izzy walked over to the bar for a drink before finding their seats. Because they were the last to arrive, for a moment all attention focused on them. Tanya glanced at her friend and chuckled as Izzy quickly downed a shot while Tanya sipped her Cosmo.

The music changed, queuing for the commencement. As they sat down, the DJ welcomed the crowd and explained the rules.

“OK, ladies! Once I hit this bell, you have five minutes — about a song and a half — to interrogate these gentlemen to the best of your ability. Gentlemen, no matter the connection, you must work your way around the room until you have seen everyone. Gentlemen, please take your seats across a beautiful lady to begin,” the DJ said.

Over 20 men, ages 25 to 35, of all ethnicities and backgrounds approached the tables.

“Go!” the DJ said.

Izzy drilled a series of questions toward the first gentleman. She liked his responses until she realized he never asked about her. The bell rung.

“It’s been a pleasure!” Izzy said.

They shook hands and he walked over to the right, to Tanya. The two women glanced at each other and quickly rubbed their noses, signaling in code that they didn’t like the person that they had just met.

A tall gentleman sat in front of Izzy. He had dressed in a navy blue, fitted, collared-shirt tucked into white, slim-fitted trousers and a bow-tie which accented his shoes. As he sat down, his cologne wafted toward Izzy and she smiled. He grinned and Izzy saw his shiny teeth. He had grills in his mouth.

Her eyes grew wide. She quickly recovered and kept the conversation light until the bell dinged.

Tanya and Izzy exchanged nose rubs most of the night. Izzy met an overbearing poet, a man who wasn’t over his ex-wife, and an ex-football player who was hung up on his professional career.  Even the men in which Tanya had some interest displayed character flaws that made them unappealing. Two Jell-O shots later, she sat with her hand under her chin when the next man joined her.

“Hi, my name is Bryson,” he said.

“Izzy, nice to meet you,” I said.

“You’ve looked extremely bored, and I’ve eyed you since you walked in,” he said. “What’s your favorite color?”

“That’s your best question, Bryson? Purple.” Izzy said. She rolled her eyes.

“You can tell a lot about a woman by the color she chooses first,” he said. “Just from that information, I can tell you’re an artistic soul, and may come off — slightly — as a know-it-all. I don’t mean to offend.”

Izzy furrowed her brows.

“Isn’t that being arrogant? You’re prejudging. What’s the latest book you’ve read and when?” she said.

She leaned back and crossed her arms in her seat.

“Walt Whitman, ‘Leaves of Grass,’ last week. Too easy,” he said.

Bryson matched her stance.

They went back and forth for a few more minutes and realized they shared common interests. She leaned in, resting her elbows on the table, rubbing her hands together slightly. She leaned her head to the side and smirked. He leaned in and grinned as he held her gaze. She squirmed in her seat. The bell dinged and interrupted the trance.

“By the way, you look lovely tonight. Until next time, Queen,” he said.

He knocked twice on the table and moved over to Tanya. She glanced over and Izzy didn’t touch her nose.

“Hi, sweetheart,” Bryson said. “I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve decided to get to know your friend there. Since she’s a friend of yours, I’m assuming she’s amazing. So, what can you tell me about her?”

Tanya sat back for a moment and smiled.

Izzy raised her eyebrows, leaned back slightly and chuckled. The next gentleman was so busy texting that he didn’t realize what was going on. Izzy had no idea whether the drinks or her interaction with Bryson had made her dizzy, but she grabbed an event flyer and started fanning herself.

Tanya looked at Izzy and grinned.

“Her number is 954–” she said.

“Tanya!” Izzy said,

“What? I approve!” she chuckled.

Tanya continued giving Bryson the number. Izzy let out a belly laugh.

Ten minutes later, Tanya and Izzy were ready to go as the game wrapped up. Izzy saw Bryson standing, his back turned from her as he listened to the DJ give more instructions. She walked up to him and slowly put her hand on his upper chest and leaned in to his ear.

“Bryson, you only get one shot. Use the number.”

“It’s already saved under ‘Future Wife’,” he said, “I’ll call you tonight.”

They both laughed as she walked away.


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