A Giraffe Under a Full Moon

I once asked Henry if he ever felt itchy all over, and he looked at me like I might have bed bugs.
“Well, no, I don’t think I ever have felt like that,” he answered in that measured way of talking that he has. As if he must be careful to prevent a bomb from going off because of vibrations.
“Well, I do–quite frequently,” I informed him. “I’m itchy right now. I need to get out of here. This town–these people are making me itch.”
“Perhaps you just need to use more moisturizer,” suggested Henry. Henry is sometimes infuriatingly literal.
“It’s not that kind of itch, you ignorant twit! Gallons of lotion, even the extreme, lanolin-enriched, Shea butter, aloe-infused kind couldn’t help this itch. It’s a “let’s ditch school”– “get out of Dodge”– “If I have to hear one more word she has to say, I’ll explode” kind of itch.”
“Well, I think if you’d just take a deep breath and maybe count to ten, things would look different to you,” offered Henry with his eyes imploring me to be normal.
“Oh, Henry, do you never long for a change?”
“Sure. I like variety. I try to shake things up a little. I vary my diet, and sometimes I take a different route home. You know, just for interest’s sake.”
“Well, I need more than eating beans instead of peas. I want to see lava burning down the side of a volcano. I want to come face to face with a giraffe on the African savannah under a full moon. I want my night dreams to be as uneventful as my life is now, and my daydreams to be overwhelmed with the thunder of real-life adventures.”
Henry looked at me a long time, as if he were getting used to bed bugs, took a deep breath, exhaled slowly and said, “Take off your shoes and get in the car.”
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This is my entry in the Trifecta Writing Challenge using the third definition of thunder.
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Cheese Doodles and Other Misunderstandings–Made with real cheese that gives a melt-in-your-mouth flavor you can’t resist.
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About paulajwray

I am a writer and I live in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Colorado with my husband and a balding black cat. I write humor, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, inspirational essays, and poetry. When I'm not writing, making lists, or forcing a family member to listen to something I've written, I'm reading, gardening, or laughing with my friends. I also, occasionally, sit and stare.
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21 Responses to A Giraffe Under a Full Moon

  1. Annabelle says:

    Great job of conveying frustration through dialog — that scene made me want to shake Henry! So the question is, where is Henry going to take her?

  2. karen says:

    Ooooooh, you’ve gotta love a guy who can just go with it, despite his own yearnings. I love this use of thunder!

  3. Terrific writing – I love Henry.

    • Paula J says:

      Thanks. I’ve always enjoyed imagining conversations. I love Henry, too. He’ll probably keep her from getting trampled by a giraffe.

  4. Diane says:

    Great use of the prompt, and I, too, love Henry. I can see his eyes rolling. Great piece.

  5. jannatwrites says:

    This is great! I love that last line, because even though he’s going wild by taking her somewhere, he still asks her to take off her shoes. He can’t quite let go!

    • Paula J says:

      I think Henry’s buying a bit of insurance with the whole shoes off thing. No telling where he’d have to chase her if she left her shoes on. And it’s just a little bit masterful of him. Way to go, Henry! Thanks for the comment.

  6. Amanda says:

    I love Henry’s “eyes imploring me to be normal.” My own husband looks at me this way a good bit. Also, reading this made me literally itch.

  7. Christine says:

    I didn’t expect Henry to go with it. I, too, loved the last line, though I read it a little differently. I figured that going barefoot, to a guy like Henry, would be an extravagant, over-the-top gesture – a flinging of caution to the wind. I loved it. It felt like his own baby step into adventure.

  8. k~ says:

    This was a nice read, I particularly liked the line: “I want my night dreams to be as uneventful as my life is now, and my daydreams to be overwhelmed with the thunder of real-life adventures” best 🙂

  9. Jester Queen says:

    I love that he asks her to take off her shoes first!!! Henry reminds me of my husband, and the speaker reminds me of me. SO much of me!!

  10. Paula J says:

    I am delighted that you related to the story. It’s the best thing you could have said to me. Thanks for letting me know.

  11. Papparaci says:

    “I want my night dreams to be as uneventful as my life is now, and my daydreams to be overwhelmed with the thunder of real-life adventures.” I love this and it is the apex of your story. Wonderful job!

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