I chose the image of the impromptu sculpture at a wedding for my twenty-minute sprint.
Melon Pope and College Friends:
Jacob leaned back in his chair and smiled as he watched his friends having a blast on the dance floor. It had been months since they’d all seen each other, and he’d enjoyed the chance to talk over dinner and before the wedding. He’d managed to twist his ankle hiking two weeks before, so dancing wasn’t in the cards tonight, but the music was good, and everyone was having a good time.
“You aren’t getting all maudlin over here by yourself are you?” Kyle asked as he settled in the seat beside Jacob.
“Nah,” Jacob said. “Just enjoying the music and everyone’s goofy dance moves.”
“Yeah, none of us is winning any awards there, that’s for sure,” Kyle said with a laugh. “How’s the ankle holding up?”
“Doing alright,” Jacob said. “I managed to keep my weight off it during the ceremony, so no big deal.” He’d been Michael’s roommate through most of college, and they’d remained close since graduation, so he’d been one of the groomsman. Michael’s brother had been best man, and Christy’s sister had been maid of honor. Jacob always thought it was nice when people asked their siblings. It meant they were close with family. He envied that a little some days.
“You going to the after party tomorrow?” Kyle asked as he shifted the plate in front of him.
“There’s an after party?” Jacob asked.
“Well, I say party, I mean brunch,” Kyle said with a snort. “Everybody’s meeting at that knock off IHOP place on the main drag at about eleven. Michael and Christy will be there and we’ll all have a chance to say hi and send them off on their honeymoon.” Kyle started collecting things as he talked. Jacob didn’t think much of it, Kyle was always doing something with his hands.
“Yeah, that sounds doable,” Jacob said. “As long as I leave by one I’ll get home before dark.”
“You afraid of the dark?” Kyle asked as he stole the carved honeydew melon from the centerpiece. It was made to look like some kind of plant-like not-quite sphere.
“Of course not,” Jacob scoffed, smacking Kyle on the shoulder for suggesting it. “I just prefer not to do all the windy mountain roads in the dark if I don’t have to.”
“Oh, yeah, you’re living up near the university still, aren’t you?” Kyle replied.
“Yeah, at the top of a mountain,” Jacob agreed. He loved it there. He worked on campus as the tutoring coordinator, and he had one of the best views in the county from his apartment. He’d really lucked out when he found the place.
“It still cost a fortune to live anywhere nice?” Kyle asked as he started folding a napkin.
“It’s not as bad unless you want to be walking distance to campus,” Jacobs replied. “I’m on the other side of the mountain, so it’s not as exorbitant.”
When Kyle was done with the napkin it looked a bit like a really tall pope hat.
“That’s good,” Kyle said. “I know you’re not making bank working for a state school.” He carefully placed the napkin hat on the melon then stuck two of the decorative toothpicks in the side like little arms.
“It’s not about the money for me,” Jacob replied. He loved what he did. He got to work with the tutors, the students, and faculty and staff. He also had access to the campus library.
“I know,” Kyle replied, snagging two fake rose petals off the table and tucking them in the napkin hat. They looked a bit like eyes.
“So why are you making a melon sculpture?” Jacob asked. Kyle not being still and fidgeting with things was normal enough. Jacob hadn’t seen him make found art while doing it before.
“I get bored,” Kyle said with a shrug. “Besides, he’s kind of a cute melon pope.”
“Melon pope, huh?” Jacob asked. “So is that a pope of melons? Or a pope of the religion that worships melons?”
“Yes,” Kyle replied, grinning full out.
“Dork,” Jacob replied fondly. Kyle was one of the goofier members of the college group. He was always going off on bizarre tangents and coming up with hair brained pranks for them to pull on each other.
“Always,” Kyle replied. “You going to be at home in June?”
“Yeah, the tutoring center still runs in the summer. I don’t get the same breaks the students do.” Jacob didn’t mind. He liked having a full time job year-round. It sure beat having to wait tables or do the retail thing over the summer like he used to.
“I’m coming back for a conference. Thought we could get together while I was there.”
“Of course,” Jacob replied. “I work eight to five, but I’m free in the evenings. Send me dates. Hell, if you’re having to foot the bill you can sleep on my couch.”
Kyle laughed. “Thanks, man,” he said, patting Jacob on the shoulder. “Work’s paying, so I’ve got a pretty nice hotel.”
“Good on you.” Jacob was glad Kyle was doing well. It wasn’t always easy to make it as a researcher, but he seemed to like the company he’d landed at, and he was actually getting to do research and development stuff like he wanted.
“I’m looking forward to another chance to hang out,” Kyle said. “I miss you lot.”
“Amen,” Jacob replied.