Covered With What? – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 17 January 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Rash
  • Wax
  • Phone

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



“Are you kidding me?” she screamed over the phone. “I thought you said this place was legit!”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “I’ve been going there for years.” I twirled the cord in my hand, wondering how bad it had been. Whatever, I thought, she deserved it.

“You told me they did the best Brazilian wax in the state!” Amber screeched.

“They do,” I replied mildly.

“Then what is happening? I’m covered!”

“Covered with what?”  I pulled out a treat for my cat, Numbz, short for Numbnuts. A private joke with the vet. Numbz liked the duck jerky, and who was I to deny him?

“This rash”, Amber gasped. I heard something that sounded suspiciously like scratching, and taking the cue, scratched Numbz’s ears, much to his delight. His purr sounded like a freight train and I grinned.

“Oh dear,” I said. “I have no idea how that could have happened. I’ve never had any issue myself.”

“I have a date tonight with Brad!” she screamed.

“Oh, was that tonight?”  I smiled at Numbz. “I had totally forgotten.”

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Donna’s rash words still hurt as Sam sat on the couch and stared at the phone blinking full of messages on his side table. It had been less than a day but last night’s fight had impinged. If she thought that was going to steer him away from his goal, she was not the women for him. The shrill ring of his phone echoed throughout his half-packed apartment. Funnily enough, Donna’s scolding had only made the burn to leave the city that much brighter. A situation he couldn’t refuse. To go to a place that Donna had vowed never to return. His father has passed. His brother was missing. He was the only one left to take over the clan. He felt the pull like a magnet to steel. He had to go. It was his legacy, his duty. He was the strongest left of the lionweres and he would make a difference. Donna could not ever change that. He picked up the phone and waxed enthusiasm.

“Hello, Mother.”

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Shelly looked back to her cabana “I think that is my phone, excuse me” she turned and walked away not waiting for a reply.

She moved into her bedroom and released a sigh. She would have to figure out how to avoid him for the next week.

“Phones don’t work on the island” he was standing behind her. He wasn’t quite past the line where her patio ended and bedroom began but she felt invaded.

She looked around as if trying to find the noise she made up coming from something else “My mistake, I wonder what that was.”

He then crossed the threshold “Do you want me to help you look?” he asked and without a moment of hesitation she yelped “NO!” then a breath “No I am good. I think I will just take a nap”. A look of disappointment crossed his face as he turned to leave.

“Make sure you take the wax off of the fruit before you eat it.” He said as he was leaving.

“What?” she replied without thinking.

He turned back again “The wax on the fruit, it will cause a rash” and with that he turned and left.

Now she was confused, worried, annoyed and nauseous. She should have stayed at home for all of this.

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Cathy’d been on the phone with the European Wax Center for twenty minutes already, getting passed from person to person. She’d been told to hold for the manager, and when the sultry smooth silky voice of the manager came on the line, and called itself, “Shiloh” she knew she’d reached the top of the line. Shiloh was a name reserved for Salon managers or hippies.

“How may I help you?” purred Shiloh.

“Um, did anyone already talk to you about my issue?”

“Please let’s begin fresh. Tell me how I can help you?”

Great. Nobody had bothered to explain to the next person why she’d called out of four people so far, so she’d had to re-tell the story, smack in the middle of her office, and by this time, she felt like maybe she’d need to raise her voice so that people more than two cubicles away could listen in better.

“Okay, so am I really definitely talking to the person in charge?”

“M-hm,” Shiloh intoned in a voice so soporific and calming that she almost forgot why she was calling. New age music whistled and bonged in the background at the wax center where she was calling, occasionally slipping past that voice.

“Fine. So I got waxed yesterday, and today I woke with a huge rash over the entire area.”

“What area might that be?” Cathy sighed.

“The private one,” she hissed. A giggle snort erupted from the cubicle to her South. Benjamin wasn’t even pretending not to be amused anymore.

“What private area?”

“How many do you have, lady? Let’s just call it the one so many Brazilians have.”


Angela stared at the burning candle, mouth twisting in concentration as the wax perched on the edge, seemingly defying gravity as it refused to spill down the side of the tall candlestick. “But…” she began, but the words trailed off. She looked from the candle to the beaker in front of her. More concentration, this time with her eyebrows joining the massive party of confusion across her face. “How…”

Arthur waited another long moment, seeing if she would articulate her issue, but her face was just too much, and he spoke, unable to keep the rash words inside, almost immediately cursing himself for the outburst. “What is it, Miss Price?”

Her face twisted even more, painfully at a loss, and sympathy suddenly overwhelmed his annoyance. “What?” he prompted, more gently this time. He had to remember that it was hard for first-timers. The stress of these tests was horrendous. He remembered those days. He should be kinder.

“It’s just…” again with the pathetic face, “how…how can I get the wax into the beaker?”

He stared at her for a long moment, wondering if he had heard correctly.

“I mean, it won’t even roll down the candle, so how do I get it into my potion like that?”

With a long-suffering sigh, he reached out and picked up the candlestick, tilting it so the wax ran freely off the side.

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The man on the swing chuckled and pushed away his oversized bangs. “They always do that, sorry if it made you nervous.”

She did not know what to say to him. When she’d signed up for the island’s program, she’d obviously know what it entailed—but that did not mean she really had a grasp on what was okay and what was normal in this place. She’d seen an awful lot of candles, thick golden wax candles, just lying around in a room marked first come, first served earlier.

“So…uh…” she trailed off and took a nervous step closer.

“Yeah, I know—it’s awkward. Just sit here, I don’t have a rash or anything.”

She did, after a few wobbling steps. He gave her a small smile, and then pulled out his phone. She did not know why, but she could not stop noticing how veiny his hands were.

The man flicked through a few things on his phone, before her own image sat there, smiling. She hated that look on her, but when they asked for a picture of her from the last five months, it was the only one she’d bothered to take—data limits sucked.

“So, then, your name is Sasha?” he asked.

“Yeah …”

“Well, Sasha, apparently you and I are potential true loves.”

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Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

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