(Featured photo credit goes to Lukas from pexels.com)
I was sitting in an ice cream shop, finishing my fourth milkshake and waiting for a sundae when my inner voice started nagging. A few weeks before, I’d planned to have a nice photo taken for my author bio. Of course, as soon as I expressed interest in such an undertaking, it seemed the whole world turned against me.
So you wanted to take a picture, eh? The sneer in my inner voice was obvious.
I poked my straw at the chunk of oreo at the bottom of my cup—it was too big to suck up—and mumbled a response. “Well, you said the book was nearly finished so—”
“Ow! What was that for?”
That wasn’t a question, see?
“But I thought—”
It was rhetoric.
My gaze flicked around the shop. By now, the other customers were starting to stare. The ice cream man was dipping his scoop in the canisters of frozen delight, piling a banana shaped bowl high with my favorites. “Hurry up,” I muttered, ducking my head to avoid eye contact with the other people.
Now let’s try this again, my inner voice said. So you thought you’d take a picture, eh? Just thought you’d wake up one day and take a stunning photo without ever consulting me? I noticed you brushed up for the occasion. Or tried, anyway. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?
I remained silent, but it was no use. The slap came again and I visibly recoiled. Now the customers were staring even harder.
“Will you cut that out?” I said under my breath.
I asked you a question, see?
“You said it was rhetorical.”
Sometimes it is. This time it wasn’t.
Great. I hate rhetoric. “I didn’t think you needed notice. You looked fine without it—”
*slap-slap* Fine? *slap* You think I looked FINE without it?!
I gritted my teeth. “Ow.”
What about my hair sticking up all over the place? And the blemishes and the dark circles under my eyes. You think they’d just disappear in a photo?
“Blemishes?” It was difficult to keep the sarcastic amusement out of my voice. “Why don’t you just call them what they are: acne.”
Don’t say that word.
*slap* I’m giving you one last chance, Monson. One more, see?
I could just imagine my inner voice shaking its fist at me.
You try this again and I’ll bury you so deep you’ll never see another scoop of ice cream. Understand?
I hunched down further on my stool, glowering. My inner voice melted away as the ice cream man approached with the sundae. He didn’t give it to me right away.
“That’s your fourth milkshake,” he said, nodding at the cup in front of me.
“Yeah, what about it?” I said, still glowering.
There was a brief silence as he scanned my bloodshot eyes and—blemished—face. “Look,” he said at last, “don’t you think you’d better be heading home now? I can call a cab…”
I glared at him, waiting until he sighed and slid the sundae over to me. “Alright, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Ignoring the comment, I picked up my spoon. Then, I hunkered down over my bowl and dug in, hoping to drown my troubles and my inner voice in the rich, creamy goodness. But the voice came back for a final warning and I shivered as it spoke.
One. Last. Chance. See?
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Our YA fantasy Badgerblood: Awakening is getting close to self-publishing through Amazon. Read the summary on the homepage, and get a free Badgerblood downloadable desktop wallpaper and updates on the book’s release date and upcoming contest by joining our mail list: https://www.scmonson.com/