This little story was inspired by Write on Edge’s Write at the Merge, and the Trifecta Writing Challenge.

Write at the Merge gave us a picture of a brickwork heart and a quote from Groucho Marx:

When you’re in jail a good friend will be trying to bail you out.  A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, “Damn, that was fun”

Trifecta gave us the third meaning of the following word:

BITCH (noun)

1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals
2 a : a lewd or immoral woman
b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse
3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

I guess I should warn you now, if you haven’t guessed already… this post may contain mature language.

I hope you enjoy the piece – let me know your opinions on it, concrit always welcome.

The new patio looked fantastic.  Lori called it an ode to HGTV.  She said Mike Holmes couldn’t find something to complain about – it’d last for a hundred years at least.

Jenn hoped so – no good would come of digging it up too soon.  Her gaze was drawn to the centerpiece of the brick patio.  Heart-shaped and decorated in a mosaic of broken crockery, it was a work of art.

Lori always saw the possibility of beauty buried within old and broken things.  There’d been an abundance of broken things to work with when they’d started this project.  She’d been the only one to see something better buried in Jenn herself.  She rubbed the crook in her nose where it’d been broken.

Sensing the maudlin turn of Jenn’s thoughts, Lori stopped dragging patio furniture out and joined her friend in admiring the heartstone.  She punched Jenn affectionately in the shoulder.  “Life’s a bitch, but we’re bitchier, eh?”

Jenn tried to smile, feeling her lower lip start to tremble.  “Do you really think it’s over?”

Lori shifted a pair of rattan chairs a bit closer to the grass and pulled a cooler between them.  She cracked open a beer and passed it to Jenn.  “Honey, it’s been six months. That nice detective told you he’d personally keep you posted on the case.  Sounds to me like they’ve shelved it, anyways.”

“You don’t think anyone will come looking?”

“Earl wasn’t exactly a picnic, Jenn.  Nobody really wants to find him.  You ought to put your mind to nicer things.  Like Detective Jim.”

Jenn blushed, eliciting a whoop of delight from her friend.

“I knew you were sweet on him.  Spill!”

A grin crept across Jenn’s features, youthful and bubbly.  “He invited me to dinner – we’re going to that fancy French place on Highbury next Friday.”

“Well I’ll be damned – something good finally came out of your first marriage.”

Six feet under the patio, worms agreed that Earl was a delightful picnic.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. There’s more than one way to end a marriage… and to refurbish your patio.

  2. A bit of practical magic that. Earl is just the sort to feed worms under a re-purposed patio. Nicely done!

  3. ohh.. very good!

  4. 🙂 I knew that’s where we’d find Earl. WTG1

  5. They’re always named Earl, aren’t they? haha. Nice! I liked it. The pacing was great, the writing fluid, and you set up what could be a really good conflict with the relationship with the detective (I’m imagining they get married down the line and he figures out her secret). Good stuff

    • There’s a whole song about that kind of earl – 😛 They really are always named Earl!
      Never good to get too involved with the man investigating your ‘recently deceased’ husband’s disappearance. I agree with you about the future plot. The question is, what will our detective do about it? 😛

      • I was wondering if this was inspired by “Goodbye Earl” but then I realized the names were different. You had me going for a bit…almost as soon as you mentioned no good coming of digging it up too soon, I thought uh-oh! But then you had me questioning myself, so good job keeping me guessing.

        • Yeah, i didn’t listen to the song for fear of being unable to write anything BUT the lyrics… I just remembered the name of the guy who ‘had to die’ 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed!

  6. Humming Dixie Chicks “Earl Had To Die” while reading. Clever post, lady 🙂

  7. Ha!ha!This is what they mean by “killing two birds with one stone”,eh?;-)Loved it totally specially with the hint of romance & good things coming in the future:-)

  8. I had a feeling there was more to that patio than just a nice spot to have a few beers and admire some bricks…I loved this! It was a really fun and clever piece and I’m glad Earl got his just desserts (or should I say, Earl became dessert-for worms!)

  9. Ha! What fun! In this case, the heart marks the spot rather than the x. I love that she is ballsy enough to go out with the detective investigating the case!

  10. Haha!! I love this!!

  11. oh man. now all i keep hearing in my head is, “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..” 😀

  12. Ha! I like the turnaround of Earl being a picnic.

  13. Draug419

     /  January 24, 2013

    I’m sure the worms liked the turn the marriage took (:

  14. ooo! I love it!!

  15. That last line was perfection.

  16. I’m glad Earl was finally useful in his own way 🙂 We all need a friend like this, don’t we? You can really see that Lori and Jen take care of each other, no matter what the situation.

    • Definitely – friends who’ll be your shoulder to cry on, and possibly just beat the crap out of the cause of those tears to see that it doesn’t happen again >:|

  17. Ha! Goodbye, Earl indeed.

  18. Oh this was great! When she rubbed her nose, I just knew there was an abusive husband/boyfriend out there and I wanted to hug her friend for helping her heal. The last line about Earl made me laugh.

    • thanks 🙂 I had to fit the abuse scenario in somehow… otherwise people might have felt pity for poor earl 😛

  19. I never cared for the song, too angry and bitter. I enjoyed this though, it was very well written.

    • fair enough. I always hear it as just funny… but I also think the same of the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”, lol, so I might just be a bit twisted 🙂 Thanks for commenting, and glad you enjoyed the story

  20. Excellent! They’ll be looking for Earl like they are still looking for Jimmy Hoffa. 😉

  21. Ah, I’ve just been breezing through the comments and saw that there was a Dixie chicks type theme to this one. 🙂 One of my favorite Dixie Chicks songs, how I’ve dreamed of creating a video to it. 🙂

    Great job (as always.) You are a very creative and talented woman.

%d bloggers like this: