PROMPTS:

  1. The free soul is rare
  2. Let there be an end
  3. Fashion is a form of ugliness

BEGIN WRITING:

“I started the grocery list,” Jessica called. Jim was still in the yellow bathroom, shaving, but he answered her.
“I’ll be right there. Don’t forget ice cream this time. Butter pecan.”
In another couple of minutes he joined her at the kitchen table, coffeepot in hand. “Warm up?” he asked, and she held out her cup as she perused the list so far.
“Ice cream was the first thing I wrote down,” she told him. “I put both butter pecan and pistachio. You know how you are. Anyway, I also have onions, carrots, bologna, that chipotle ranch dressing I like, paper towels…” She paused a moment as she caught his questioning glance. “Yeah, I know you just bought that giant economy pack of towels, but if you remember, I’ve told you before that brand is useless. If it’s labeled Sup-R-Save and you find it in a big bin at the back end of the counter, you might as well keep your money in your pocket. I want Bounty or something like that!”
Jim held out a hand in agreement. “Oh, you’re right. I was just trying to be helpful.”
Jessie smiled at him. “I know you were. Now you can be helpful by telling me what I’ve forgotten to put on here. Where was I? Oh, yeah, paper towels. Dish soap–not the dishwasher tablets–white vinegar, English muffins, and some kind of canned fruit–maybe pears to put in green jello. What else?”
Jim thought for a minute.
“Oil,” he said finally.
“Oil. Vegetable, olive, motor?”
He looked at her with a big grin.
“Baby.”
“O…kay…” Jessie wrote OIL in big block letters on the pad. It had been a good forty years since there’d been a baby in the house, but somehow baby oil showed up a lot on the grocery lists. Jessica’s smile was enigmatic.
“I’ll check the garage,” Jim told his wife. He downed the rest of his coffee and slid his feet into nearby slippers. The garage held all the extras of the paper goods and other staples that came home from Costco in packages way too big to store in the house. Jessie grinned at his retreating back as he pushed the back door shut.

“Oil,” she murmured…and her smile widened.
PENCILS DOWN

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