Blogging 101: Make a Prompt Personal
Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt.
Sitting in her downtown D.C. law office, Katherine Robinson fidgeted with the amber-colored bottle on her desk. The instructions she had been given echoing in her head.
“Be careful. The formula is powerful. Do not dispense it without receiving consent first.”
She’d received the bottle through covert sources; a former CIA operative friend. As a lawyer, Katherine knew the ramifications of giving truth serum without consent. It was risky, for sure. But, no one she wanted answers from would consent.
If she had access to an unlimited supply of Truth Serum no. 5 she imagined the multitudes of people she would give a sip of the truth serum.
O.J. Simpson – “Did the glove really fit?”
George W. Bush – “Did you really think there were Weapons of Mass Destruction hidden in Iraq? Or were you seizing the opportunity to get back at Saddam Hussein for embarrassing your Dad, Bush 41, a decade earlier?”
“Ah ha, I thought so.”
Queen Elizabeth – “Were you ever aware of a plot to kill Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed?”
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles – “What were … Forget about it, you two are a waste of my time.”
Oprah Winfrey – “What do you really know for sure?”
Actually, it would be “If you could have one last conversation with Maya Angelou, what would you say to her? What do you think she would say to you?”
Every mob boss past and present from Providence to Detroit and everywhere in between – “Do you know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa?”
She’d be shocked to find out he died in a small Indiana town twenty years after his disappearance at the age of 82 from natural causes.
Ouidad – “I’ve been to your salons, I’ve used your products and my hair never looks like every curl is in place. What do you really use on your hair?”
Ray Rice and every other man who ever hit or threatened to hit his wife or girlfriend – “What were you thinking in the seconds before and after you did?”
Prince Andrew – “Are you still in love with Sarah Ferguson?”
Follow-up question – “Just as I thought. So when are you going to do something about it?”
Katherine knew she wasn’t going to interrogate any of these people. She had acquired Truth Serum no. 5 for far more personal reasons.
Katherine was associated with a group of people, who were all family and friends; connected not through blood but through a relationship not unlike marriage but without all the benefits marriage could provide.
Most of the time that her relationship was without the benefit of marriage did not bother her. She had long stopped thinking about hyphenating her name; Katherine Robinson-Walters; he wanted her to be simply Katherine Walters so they never married.
It was Steve Walters’ large extended family and group of friends they accepted as family that she wanted to serve a sip of Truth Serum no. 5. They were God fearing Christians, regular church going folks who were mean to the bone.
Steve’s mother and three sisters tried to control the lives of everyone they knew. They controlled their husbands, their children and their friends. They never quite understood why Katherine didn’t henpeck Steve into doing everything she wanted. After all, it worked for them.
The Walters women never quite accepted or liked Katherine long before she chose to either hyphenate her name or not bother with the legality of marriage. They were quick to point out they disapproved of her relationship with Steve for not having the blessings of the church and God.
Katherine noticed they became crueler to her with each passing year. Katherine was raised to respect others and that’s what she did. The problem is that her “in-laws” mistook her kindness for weakness and when they couldn’t control her they retaliated trying to cause problems between her and Steve. And at first they were successful, but Katherine was on to their game and she wasn’t falling into their trap.
She set her plan into motion. Without telling Steve, she acquired the bottle of Truth Serum no. 5. The following weekend, they would host their annual end of summer clam bake. Serving seafood always guaranteed the people she wanted to show up on that particular day would be there.
She would empty the contents of the amber colored bottle into one of the bottles of juice right before her “mother-in-law” arrived. Steve’s mother always made the punch even in Katherine’s kitchen. When people started to speak with a level of honesty that was out of character no one would suspect the punch.
Katherine could sit back and enjoy the show as his people talked to each other honestly maybe for the first time ever. She had her questions and comments, too.
Ironically, one of Steve’s sisters didn’t trust her and blamed her for every fight she had with Steve when it was actually his brother’s wife Gina that caused the drama. Growing up in a family of five girls, Katherine knew siblings fought and sometimes said things they didn’t mean or would later regret. She made it a habit of not repeating what any of the siblings said about each other in her presence to anyone even Steve. After everyone had started eating and drinking, Katherine would quietly say to Steve’s twin brother, “Remember the time Gina told you Maxine badmouthed Steve because of the issues he and I were having?” Blurt it would all come out, setting the record straight.
To Maureen, another one of Steve’s sisters, Katherine would slyly comment, “Did you hear that the good Reverend is having an affair with a married member of the church? It’s probably a vicious rumor.” One, two, three, boom, his sister blurts out that she knows the rumor is true because she’s the one having an affair with the reverend. If Maureen didn’t respond like that, Katherine would then call Gina over saying, “Gina, was it you who told me that Reverend Jones was having an affair with a married woman?” Even bigger boom.
To Steve, she would whisper, “Remember the time you didn’t want Maxine to come to one of our parties? How we fought because I insisted she be invited to parties at our house? Aren’t you glad everyone is here today?” She would smile and think how the truth sets you free.
Katherine imagined herself quietly working the party dropping a comment here and there. Ironically although they almost always treated her as an outsider, she had enough information to set the Christian posers into an uproar. After the truth bombs started to explode, she’d sit next to her father-in-law and share a cocktail or two with him while they watched the show. He always treated Katherine as family and even if he suspected she had a role in the uproar he would sit back and enjoy the moment with her.
As Katherine fantasized about the party, she realized she really didn’t want to hurt them. Except maybe Gina, who was at the center of so much of the hurt and lies. Katherine knew she wouldn’t even go after her because to hurt her would hurt her children.
As Katherine thought about what she wanted to ask the Walters women, she realized she didn’t need their answers. She already knew the truth.
And in that moment she knew Truth Serum no. 5 would serve her better if she made an appointment with Ouidad in her NYC salon and got the truth about styling her curly hair.