The Exchange – part one

I could regale you with excuses for my irregular posting – a broken computer and a crappy backup, exhausted depression, luke taking extra time off work to use up vacation days, etc, but then i’d be left with another post about not posting. So instead of making a whole post of excuses, i decided to show you some of the other writing i’ve been doing. It’s a short story for my fiction writing class, and i haven’t finished it yet, but here is the first half of my draft. i’m liable to change it up but i’m proud of it so far. Feel free to make comments about things to add or take away; I’m still pretty new at fiction writing.

I groggily walked into the kitchen. I smelled the coffee. John had started coffee for me. I smiled and took down the bag of bread and started to make toast. “ugh, JOHN!’ I yelled.

“What is it Amy?” he hurried into the kitchen.

“Look at this bread” I demanded. “the mice have tunneled straight through it! Haven’t your traps caught any of them?”

His face fell.

“you didn’t set out the traps, did you?” I asked, and sighed. “did you even remember to buy them? This mouse problem will never go away if you don’t actively take care of it!”

“I know. I’m sorry. I’ll fix it. I’ll do better.”

“Honey, you gotta follow through and show initiative if life is ever going to get better.” I was angry at yet another apology.

“Maybe I should go to The Exchange” he mumbled.

“no”. I was frustrated now. I didn’t want him to go to The Exchange and be changed, I just wanted him to change himself. I couldn’t deal with the self pity right now.

He wallowed deeper in, “Maybe you’d like me better if I went The Exchange and changed our lives.”

“No” I replied and kissed his nose. “I wouldn’t like that. The Exchange is dangerous. Now go to work and have a good day. I do love you.”

He left.


I sat down to write – my blog was just getting off the ground – but I had a hard time concentrating on anything but The Exchange. I shuddered at the thought. One time each year, any adult could go to the Exchange and change their life. The Exchange fed off the energy of whatever was lost from your life, much like the weeping angels, and you got your wish. But the wishes seldom worked out right. There was always a cost. Once, the CEO of Save Mart showed up to work as a bagger at the local store, talking about a ‘nightmare’ in which thousands depended on him for a job and a wife and kids depended on him to stay in a job he hated, and The Exchange seemed to glow a little brighter from over the horizon.

I lost a good friend in the third grade when her mom was overwhelmed and went to The Exchange. Emily just poofed right out of existence. Few people even remembered she had existed.

I didn’t trust The Exchange.
John didn’t come home that night. I fell asleep in the chair by the door, waiting for him. I woke up the next morning in bed. In a very soft bed, with satin sheets and no sound of the fan close by in our small bedroom. I blinked awake and looked around to see a large, tastefully decorated room. The other half of the bed was rumpled.

I sat up and called out, “John?”

He popped his head through the door of what must have been the bathroom and answered “yesh?” around his electric toothbrush.

I fell back onto my pillow. He had done it. He’d gone to The Exchange. Apparently we were rich.

I felt a growing sense if fear in my stomach. What would we lose from this exchange? What was the cost.

We were still together; that was good.

We seemed to be in good health.

The mouse problem wouldn’t have followed us to a new, big house. Perhaps there was no big loss for us. But the fear didn’t leave.

John came out of the bathroom dressed in flattering clothes I didn’t recognize, and he was at least 3 pants sizes smaller, with more muscle than he’d had on his pudgy office-job frame the previous day.

“You look great” I smiled at him and struck a seductive pose in the silk nightgown I’d found myself in.

“Thanks” he said, “but I’ve got to start work, I’m behind for the day already”

He was behind at 7:00? I was puzzled.

He saw my confusion. “I’m a real go getter now and I’m working on a huge project sure to make us rich!”

I laughed and walked towards him, lifting my arms for a hug “we are rich”

“Not as rich as we will be” he replied and kissed my forehead before disappearing out the bedroom door.


3 thoughts on “The Exchange – part one

    1. lanamhobbs Post author

      Thanks! Though I can’t take credit for the most interesting part, the exchange. That was part of the prompt I chose to write off of for this assignment. I like to think I’m gonna take it somewhere interesting though 🙂

  1. Pingback: The Exchange – full story | Lana Hobbs the Brave

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