Friday, February 13, 2015

"Is That the Garden Hose, Or Are You Really Happy to See Me?"

My third Valentine's Day excerpt was written before I switched to the multiple third-person character viewpoints I now use. It's from An Army of Angels and takes place after the wedding of Alex and Robyn, as Alex prepares for his first gallery exhibit.....

Robyn was worried about Alex.

He was so stressed over the exhibit, his anxiety was overtaking him. He barely ate, didn’t sleep, couldn’t make love. No matter how she tried to reassure him, he was a wreck.

“You’re worrying for nothing,” she told him. “You’re going to be a hit. A big hit.”

“You’re biased,” he said grimly.

“Yes, I am. But I know talent when I see it, and you’re the best,” she insisted.

She woke during the night to find him pacing in the darkness. She decided then she would have to resort to drastic measures to release him from his anxiety.

The next day, she found him in the studio, standing before a blank canvas, unable to paint. “Could you come outside for a minute, sweetheart?” she asked.

He shook his head. “I need to work.”

“You do, but you’re not. Get your butt out here or I’m coming in after you,” she warned.

Reluctantly, he put down his brush and went outside, only remotely curious as to what his unpredictable wife might be up to. “Whatever this is all about--”

He didn’t get to finish. A water balloon smacked him in the face, He reeled for a moment. “Heads up, sexy!” she shouted, another balloon in hand.

He was angry at first. “Stop!”

“Incoming!” she yelled as she scored another direct hit.

“What are you doing?” he asked, still bewildered, as the second balloon hit. “Stop it!”

Then he saw the child’s wading pool, filled with water balloons. She grabbed another and took aim. “Come on, defend yourself!” she laughed.


“Chicken!” She started doing her chicken dance, stepping high as she moved in a circle, arms moving up and down like wings.

He couldn’t help smiling. “Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look?” he wanted to know.

“You’re the one who’s all wet--chicken!”

He realized then that she had gone to a great deal of trouble, making a complete fool of herself, with only one objective in mind: to make him smile.

He grabbed a balloon and threw it, hitting her shoulder. Water splashed across her T-shirt. She only laughed. “Is that all you’ve got?” she challenged.

He snatched up another balloon and aimed. When the cold water spilled over her torso, she danced around, enjoying it. He hit her with another. Her clothes clung to her body, her hair a mass of wet curls.

For the first time in weeks, he wanted to paint. He wanted to paint her as she looked at that moment, wild, uninhibited, a free spirit who looked as though she’d just emerged from the ocean.

He wanted to make love to his wife.

His thoughts were interrupted by the smack of another balloon that split open against his thigh. He looked up at her. “You need to be hosed down!”

Robyn’s eyes widened as he reached for the garden hose. “You wouldn’t!” she gasped.

He only laughed as he turned it on, spraying her with ice cold water. “Surrender?” he asked.


“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” He turned up the force of the spray. She screamed and tried in vain to dodge it. He advanced on her menacingly.

“Alex, don’t you dare--”

He grabbed her wrist and held onto her, spraying her at close range. She squirmed wildly, unable to break his grip. “Give up yet?” he wanted to know.

“No way!”

“Okay.” He took aim again.

“Okay, okay, I give up!”

“Say it!”

“You win!”

“Say it!”

“You’re the master!”

“That’s more like it.” He dropped the hose abruptly and lifted her up. She wrapped her arms and legs around him and gave him a wicked grin.

“Now what?” he asked.

“Is that the garden hose, honey, or are you really happy to see me?”


  1. Replies
    1. Am I weird to think humor and romance go hand-in-hand?

    2. They totally go hand in hand! You're so, so, so good at dialogue, Norma!

  2. Replies
    1. It was just a Robyn thing. She's never been one to take life too seriously.

  3. Sounds like a very fun way to get someone's attention Norma.. would work well here in our scorching weather.. hmmm! idea forming....:)

  4. LOL, that last line cracked me up! Great dialogue but I'm not surprised because all your writing is great!

    1. Dialogue is the one thing that's always come easily to me. It irritates me when writers have their characters speak in a way no one in real life would. Soap opera writers are especially guilty on that count.

  5. acck, I found your other blog... I am so lost

    cheers, parsnup


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