Hiding Howard

Prompt: write a story about a character that is desperate to solve a problem. Write 4 possible solutions that become more absurd as the story progresses, but none of which will work.

“Well, then where do you think we should put him, Emily?” Meredith was exhausted and ready to get out of the car and off of this dirt country road. They’d been driving for hours it seemed to Meredith, but they still hadn’t found the perfect place to lay dear old Howard to rest. “Look at this place! Let’s put him here.” Emily said. They got out the car and looked around. There was a thick tree line that hid a deep waterway between two vast fields of corn. “We can just dump him in there,” said Emily as she pointed toward the waterway. Meredith thought for a minute and almost agreed, but, being the wife of a farmer, as brief as that was, she knew this would never work. “It’s October, Emily, farmers are going to be out here picking corn soon. Someone will find him.”

 

They kept driving and Emily couldn’t stop thinking about how much she hated Howard and wanted him gone. No more reminders of what she had become. With each baby she bore, came the addition of ten extra pounds that wouldn’t budge. Howard had scolded her sharply every morning as she got ready for work. “Things weren’t too bad after Sarah and Ben,” she could hear him say. “But David and Chloe really did you in.” Meredith and Emily were pulling up to an old cemetery now. It looked like whoever had been buried here had long been forgotten, their names worn off of their stones and weeds grown up all around. “We’ll just bury him! I brought a shovel!” Emily was already out of the car heading to get the shovel she’d placed just so next to Howard in the trunk. “Emily, you just have one shovel? It would take us hours to dig a hole deep enough so that nothing would come dig him back up. Even with two shovels….” Meredith didn’t even get to finish her sentence before Emily slammed down the trunk and got back in the driver’s seat.

 

“Just take him back and put him in the basement, Emily.” Meredith said. “Who is going to come looking for him anyway? It’s dark down there, he can just suffer in the musty depths surrounded by Christmas ornaments, baby Bumbo seats, and bassinets.” “I will know he’s there!” Emily exclaimed. Emily knew no one would really miss Howard. No one would even know he was missing. But he can’t come back to the house, he would haunt her forever. “Meredith should know better,” Emily thought.

 

As they were pulling away Emily was seething mad. “Let’s just tear him into tiny pieces and scatter him along the way as we go back to the house,” she said. “Look, I’ll put a piece there behind that old barn. I’ll lean the tiniest bit of him against that fence row. And then we’ll just toss the rest out the window into the fields as we head back into town!” Meredith listened to this tirade and tried to keep herself from laughing. “Just decide! This is your bathroom scale we are talking about, Emily, not your husband!”

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