Today’s Daily Writing Challenge was to write about the creation or invention of something. One of the suggestions was the ceiling fan.
It was Florida. It was summer. It was humid. The rain had just ended and the moist air clung to the furniture, wrapped itself around the throats of everyone. The thought of human touch, so pleasing in the winter (whatever two weeks of it there were) was a sickening one. Any touch fired the nerves, burned with insidious intent. Anyone doing the touching was peered at with suspicion. Maybe he’s not such a good person after all, one thought. Who would touch me now in this, my heated torment?
Mothers rolled their eyes at children; their cuteness floating away like steam. Wives, husbands fought like dogs for elbow room on the couch. This was not cuddle season. Everyone knew it. The dog lay neglected in the corner. The children eyed him mournfully but had not the will to take him out to play. The dog eyed the children through his drowsy eye praying that they might forget him there. He’d be willing to bite if it came to it. He would not go outside. It was hot.
At the Yeats house someone kicks on the fan and the children go fighting to suck up the air. The game is Stand Right In Front, Open Wide and Say Something Funny With Your Vibrating Voice. Th adults call bullshit but what can they do? Kids gotta be kids.
At the Tolstoy house someone kicks on the fan and dad pulls the I Pay the Bills Around Here So the Fan Stays on Me card. Children call bull but what can they do? They wither behind him trying to catch some strings of coolness that may get past.
At the Austen house someone kicks on the fan. It’s mom and she’s cooking. She pulls the It’s Hot in This Kitchen and I’m Cooking For All Of You So the Fan Is Mine card. Dad calls bullshit but what can he do? He groans in his chair.
At the Dostoevsky house someone kicks on the fan and each person is in heaven one moment and hell the next as the Rotation of Fairness greets and dismisses again and again. It’s coming, it’s coming. Damn that air feels good… and it’s gone. Everyone calls bullshit.
At the Twain house someone goes to the shed and gets the duck tape, rips the plug out of the wall and tapes the fan to the ceiling. Everyone sits on the couch, with elbow room, touching is forbidden. They lean back allowing the cooler air to wash over their sweaty bodies. Eyes closed, mouths open like gapping fish, they swallow the air.
This. This will change everything.
I haven’t done many of these daily challenges although I love reading what others come up with. But being a Floridian and growing up with parents who most often refused to spend money to run our central air, I automatically knew I wanted to write about the trials of floor fans. Everyone wants a piece of it and there just ain’t enough to go around. It’s a little different from my usual writing, but it’s my contribution. Hope you liked it. Stay cool.