Embarrassing Moments by Allison Merritt
‘When I was a young teenager, my mom and dad took me with them to Walmart one day. My mom never used public restrooms, but we’d had a big lunch and she said she had to go. This was back before super centers and multi-stall bathrooms. My dad and I waited a couple aisles away. He looked at me and said, “You know what would be funny? Go jiggle the bathroom doorknob, knock as hard as you can and say in a deep voice, ‘Hurry up in there!’ Then run back here.”
Sounded like a good idea to me. I pounded on the door and said the magic words. Oddly, there was no response. Giggling, I hurried back to my dad’s side and we laughed together. We rounded an aisle and there was Mom! We didn’t stick around to find out who was in the bathroom.
Embarrassing moments are kind of like a garnish for life. They’re wonderful when you can look back on them and laugh. Which is why I like to sprinkle them through my writing and make my characters’ lives more interesting. In my newest novel, the heroine, Nora Frost, is a teacher a private girls’ school. She has a secret that she’s managed to hide from society—she can see the past, present and future by touching another person. But she’s very awkward and tries to overcome her “curse” by pretending to be normal. This is Nora’s embarrassing moment from The Turncoat’s Temptress:
“Well aware that history was one of the least popular subjects in the school Nora nevertheless gave it another attempt.
She tapped the wall where the illustration mapped on a glass slide was thrown into sharp relief by the bright light of the projector. “As you can see the headwaters of the Tiber form here. The area has been called the cradle of civilization. Can anyone tell me the legend of how Rome came into being?”
Francie Draper’s hand shot up. Nora was speechless. In the two quarters she’d taught at Miss Slater’s School for Young Ladies, Francie had never raised her hand to answer a question.
“Please, tell us what you know,” Nora said, managing a smile.
“Miss Frost, I think your projector is about to—” Francie never finished her sentence. The machine burst into flame, cracking the glass. Panicked shrieks filled the room. Nora clapped her hands over her ears as the students rushed past her out the door, leaving her alone to handle the situation.
She snatched up the dust cover she’d discarded earlier and beat the flames with it. In less than a minute the danger had passed. She lowered herself into one of the chairs and waved a hand in front of her face to clear the air.
The projector was ancient, of course, something her cousin had dug out of storage when she started teaching. Rather than petition the headmistress—who was well known for her thrifty nature—for a new one, she’d assumed the old one would suffice. Wait until Miss Slater caught wind that Nora had nearly burned her precious school to the ground. She already had one foot in the proverbial grave as far as her teaching career went.
“Miss Frost, your students have just informed me that you’ve developed a problem with your projector.”
“There’s no longer a problem, Miss Slater,” she answered meekly.
The older woman’s eyebrows rose. “Your skirt is on fire, dear.”
Nora looked down at her hem, which fed a merry little flame. She beat the singed cover against it, cursing beneath her breath all the while. She raised her eyes to meet her employer’s bemused gaze…’
For more about Allison Merritt, her writing, and other books, visit her blog: http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com and Facebook page: http://facebook.com/authorallisonmerritt and follow her on twitter: http://twitter.com/allison_merritt
For a copy of The Turncoat’s Temptress: Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00C0ULRCS or Barnes &Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-turncoats-temptress-allison-merritt/1114917064?ean=2940016333915
Thanks again to author Allison Merritt for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more Guests, blogs from me, and Readers & Writers Recipes. Have an embarrassment-free day! – Vonnie