Trashes to Ashes

(Is writing structure your friend or enemy? Both! Click here to find out why on this week's Jared's Inkwell! -JMG)

Story Sent in by Rodney:

Something strange happened within the first couple minutes of my date with Cheryl. It was our first time meeting and we were in a park that I thought we'd walk through on our way to dinner. She pulled out a pack of cigarettes and offered me one.

"I don't smoke," I told her.

"Neither do I," she said, and then she threw out the pack in a nearby trash can.

"Why did you have them on you if you don't smoke?" I asked.

"Oh, I've had them in my coat for a while."

That wasn't an answer but I wasn't going to press the issue. There might have been any reason why she had them on her. Maybe she had lent the coat to a smoking friend or whatever else. Didn't matter.

In the middle of dinner we were talking and while since then I forgot what we were talking about, I won't forget that in the midst of it all she suddenly stopped talking and looked at me with horror in her eyes.

She said, "Oh my God. Those cigarettes."

It took me a second to remember what she was talking about. "What about them?"

She jolted up and said, "I have to get them back. Wait here!" Without another word, she ran out of the cafe.

Part of me wondered if she'd be back at all. But she came back, all right. She brandished the pack at me and said, "See? See? I got 'em."

"You went fishing in the garbage for them? Why?"

She put the pack on the table and said, "Because I never should've thrown them away."

I asked, "Would you mind taking them off the table? They were just in the garbage."

She then rubbed them all over her side of the table like she was cleaning off a chalkboard. She pocketed the pack and looked at me defiantly. I couldn't care less, really. When the check came I made her pay for her meal and afterward I never asked her out again.


  1. At first I was thinking it was a test to see if you were really a smoker or not. Then, when she had to get them back I was thinking it was the last pack she bought before she quit and kept them as a reminder. Then when she wiped the garbage contaminated pack of crumpled cigarettes all over the table, I started thinking bitch was crazy.

  2. They were haunted cigarettes. She had to give them away to pass the curse on. Later, she realized that they had to be accepted by someone and that putting them in the trash didn't count and she would still be cursed.


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