No Redheads Allowed

He’d left her house just in time, recognizing how close he’d been to allowing his passions to take control. She’d seemed willing. But his voice of reason told him that she wasn’t that kind of woman. She was the put a ring on it first kind.

Why was he even thinking of what kind of woman she was? She wasn’t his type. Period. He buried the idea of rings beneath a mountain of logic and the images of flour footprints on the floor and a rusty car named Alice.

He sat at his desk, gazing unseeingly at the bowed heads of his students as they concentrated on an impromptu writing assignment. They knew better than to bother him with questions. He’d been morose and grumpy all day. He’d scolded Ben Howard for losing his homework without the usual wink to lighten the reprimand. And Ellie Winslow had barely escaped his ire. He scowled at her bent head, the sight of her frizzy copper hair—almost the same color as her aunt’s—only making him more irritable. He should transfer her to Ms. Lowenstein’s class. Ellie was the root cause of all his trouble, the little sneak. Lying to him about her grandmother. He wondered if Polly had given her niece a lecture yet. The girl had been even quieter than usual today, so maybe Polly had.

Twice now he’d been hoodwinked by a redhead in his classroom. First Ellie, with her mischievous lies, then Polly, employing her infectious smile and pretty, twinkling brown eyes to lure him into agreeing to read her book. He was going to establish a new school policy: No Redheads Allowed in Joe Matthews’s Classroom.

From Her Ordinary Joe
Copyright © 2014 Margaret Desmond

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: Infect

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A load of malarkey

He thought she was crying. Polly lifted her head from the table, took one look at his befuddled expression, and threw her head back, gales of laughter pealing forth. She felt her face turning bright red. She was laughing so hard, she really did start to cry.

Joe, biting his lip in halfhearted irritation, presented her with his handkerchief for the second time of their acquaintance. This made her laugh even more. She buried her face in the handkerchief, inhaling the faint scent of sandalwood. From the corner of her eye she watched him sit down across from her.

She held his handkerchief to her face for a while longer, knowing her cheeks were as red as a beet. “That girl,” she finally managed to say from behind the cotton screen. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she b-becomes an actress someday. To make you fall for a load of m-malarkey like that!”

Another peal of laughter followed. Joe wasn’t laughing, but she could see that he was amused. Finally, she calmed down. She wiped a residual tear from her eye with one corner of the handkerchief before tucking it into her pocket. “I bet you think we really are crazy now,” she said.

“At the moment I’m just relieved that your mother isn’t dying after all. I like her.”

Polly gave a small hiccup of laughter. “I don’t know why you would. Unless you enjoy being manipulated. Watch out, Joe. She’s going to take over where Ellie left off, unless I’m able to drum it into her skull that you’re not the type of man I’d even remotely consider marrying. If I ever marry.”

From Her Ordinary Joe
Copyright © 2014 Margaret Desmond

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: Laughter

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