Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is “no phone restaurant,” and the post comes to us from Val Muller, author of The Scarred Letter, a tale of bullying, secrets, and sticking to the truth no matter the consequences. You can learn more at www.ValMuller.com.
No. Phone. Restaurant.
By Val Muller
The texts were flying in almost faster than Sammie could process them.
Rachel: They’re gonna send me to FL for the summer.
Amy: Why FL?
Rachel: To live w my Gma
Amy: The churchy one?
Rachel had finally done it. She’d told her parents about Rob, and they were freaking out beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Sammie barely noticed the glowing sign advertising The Seafood Shack as the sedan slowed—but darn it! Why were they so close to the restaurant already? The electronic drama unfolding in her hand was much more engaging. As Sammie’s mom pulled into the parking lot, Sammie jumped in on the conversation:
Sammie: What good will Florida do?
Rachel: Gma will keep me away from Rob
Rachel: And send me 2 church
Amy: They can’t own you.
Rachel: But they’ll cut me off if I don’t obey
Sammie: Cut you off?
Rachel: Car insurance, tuition for next year, stuff…
Rachel: Said guys in their 20s are off limits.
Rachel: Ive never seen em so pissed.
Amy: What does Rob think?
Rachel: That’s the thing. He wants to break up.
Amy: Or what?
Rachel: Or me move in with him.
Amy: What about college, tho?
Sammie: And if you live with him?
Rachel: Mom n dad would literally disown me.
Rachel: Not sure how long I’ll be here.
Amy: What u mean?
Sammie: What? Where?
Rachel: My parents r looking for me.
Amy: R U running away?
Sammie: Where R U?
Rachel: I’m hiding in the woods can u get me?
Sammie looked up. Her mother was eyeing her from the front seat, her eyebrow cross. “We’re here, Sammie, in case you didn’t notice.” She cut the engine, and the doors clicked to unlock.
Sammie forced a smile.
“Be nice, Sammie. Be polite to your grandmother. We talked about this, remember? No phones in the restaurant.”
“For my birthday,” Grandma said. She turned around from the passenger seat, and the excitement in her face melted when she saw Sammie’s phone. “Oh,” she sighed.
“Sammie.” Mom sighed, too. Like mother, like daughter.
“I know we talked about it,” Sammie said, “but I think I may have to pick up Rach. See, she—”
But Grandma chimed in. “In my day, we respected the people we were with. We didn’t have cell phones constantly distracting us. It’s just plain disrespectful. I don’t know what the world is coming to…”
Sammie risked a glance at her phone. She looked back up quickly. “Sorry, Grandma.”
She turned to put her phone away but couldn’t help looking down. The texts were flying in again, already scrolling off of the screen.
Rachel: And when they find me, they will take my phone.
Rachel: I’ll srsly never see u guys again!
Amy: I don’t have a car
Amy: Sammie, can u get her?
Rachel: I’m scared.
Rachel: They’re gonna take my pHone.
Rachel: They said no contacting anyone over the summer while at Gma’s
Amy: OMG, that’s like…
Amy: They’re gonna get ur Gma to brainwash you!
Amy: You’ll become all churchy like her.
Amy: You’ll marry a preacher’s son or something
Sammie looked up. Two generations of angry eyes glared at her from the front of the car. Mom’s lips moved in slow motion. “Turn. The. Phone. Off.”
Sammie glanced down just long enough to type three words.
Sammie: No. Phone. Restaurant.
Then she powered down her phone even as a barrage of texts came flying in. She exited the car and joined her mother and grandmother. Then she trudged on to Grandma’s birthday dinner sequestered from the teenage drama unfolding in the electronic ether of her now-dormant 4G network.
It would be a long evening.
* * *
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com
Have you read The Spot Writers’ first book? Check out the just-released Remy’s Choice, a novella based on a story we wrote a while back. It’s available at Amazon for only $1.99 e-book and $5.99 print. Remy, just out of a relationship gone wrong, meets handsome Jeremy, the boy next door. Jeremy exudes an air of mystery, and he seems to be everything she’s looking for. While Remy allows herself to indulge in the idea of love at first site, she realizes she’s the girl next door according to her boss, Dr. Samuel Kendrick.