by Monica Andermann from the November 11, 2013 issue
In a Nutshell: Ellen has car trouble. The tow truck man is a guy she knew in high school. Turns out he wanted to ask her to the prom way back when.
Observations: I thought this story was above average. Sometimes I like it when the author constructs the story so it feels as though a lot of time has passed. In this case, the almost entire story happens as we read it. Except for "A few minutes later, they pulled into the service station," there are no jumps ahead. It was refreshing.
I wanted to point out a couple of things. One, notice how Andermann helps the reader identify with the heroine with the whole internal monologue about being called "ma'am" versus "miss." Who among us hasn't felt a similar emotion?
Also notice how smoothly she worked in a physical description and some backstory when she talks about Ellen's curly hair. In one fell swoop you get a mental picture of Ellen, you see they already know each other, that she got a divorce last year, and she's optimistic enough by now to get herself a new look. This is the type of multi-tasking you have to do when you only have 800 words to work with.
My Favorite Part:
"You know, Ellen, I had a big crush on you in high school."
Ellen felt her heart skip. "You did not," she laughed.
Photo by ToastyKen (cc)