Monday, October 08, 2018

The Chardonnay Conspiracy – Fiction Writing – R. L. Saunders

The Chardonnay Conspiracy - Fiction Writing - R. L. SaundersWhat happens when politicians get old and can no longer be trusted?

Out of power, living on a trust fund, her philandering husband living his own life without her.
Only her dreams of one-time fame (and an often re-filled case of wine) to keep her company, and her old campaign adviser to visit now and then to help her with her biography. Trapped in her own, private, white house. A form of retirement.
But she knows they are all up to something. A conspiracy. So she quietly quits her meds. And starts conspiring back…

The Chardonnay Conspiracy – Fiction Writing – R. L. Saunders

Excerpt:

Every day, after she got up and had her first cup of bitter black brew, Mrs. C_ stopped the clock.

Then she turned the hands back 5 minutes.

That was why she kept the old thing. She had to bring the clock weights up every night to “wind” it, and that’s when she would then re-set it to the correct time according to her flip-phone.

This routine was one way she could turn back time, if only for a short while.

She’d done this ever since her breakdown.

She didn’t remember what that Foundation-hired psych called it. Something with “denial” in the middle of it.

Gradually, over years, she weaned herself off the drugs. They kept prescribing them, and she kept storing them daily in the toilet. Just before she flushed. They thought she had gotten better because she was taking them. Let them be happy with that thought.

She had gotten better as her revenge.

It was all their plot to keep her down and out. To keep her from speaking. They told her no one would listen to her talks any more. Didn’t want to interview her. It was all a conspiracy. She knew her adoring fans still loved her.

But she quit mentioning it to her few visitors, as it upset them. And keeping them happy meant they wouldn’t change her prescriptions. As long as she kept “getting better.”

Two can play at this game.

Her only request was to keep the Chardonnay coming. A case every week.

That was her best friend these days.

She used to have a cat, but it ran off one day.

So she would talk to the empty bottle, recording her memoirs on her phone.

An old campaign adviser, fired and rehired more than once, came by once a week to transfer her recordings and drop off a sheaf of papers with the new transcriptions. Then they’d talk over her changes to them and what she had on the recordings, how she thought the outline could improve.

That old press agent, named Ron, was a big fan of outlining and detailing the story so it would be just perfect. That was to be her legacy, he often told her. He said she just needed to take her time and get this one absolutely right. After the fiasco’s of her last two memoirs, they both agreed that time was on her side with this last one.

He also wanted her listen to motivational talks as she walked in the woods behind her big white house. But she found that when she did, she didn’t have anything to record when she got back. After a few months of nothing to write down, she decided to change things.

Ron kept leaving her new motivational recordings on her phone when he’d take her personal recordings away. That was the only electronic piece she had. Like winding the clock, everything else was manually operated.

Of course, he liked to check she was listening to them, so she would skip around just before he came and look up the titles and listen to bits and pieces. Just so he thought she was paying attention to them if he asked.

Two can play at this game. Their conspiracy would lose…

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