Out of Play
By author: Joy Norstrom
Release Date: October 14th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
“Pardon me?” I’d said. “Harping?”
“Llllarping,” the flutist had corrected. “L-A-R-P. Live-action roleplay, you know?” She’d answered my question with a smile but her predatory gaze had shifted to Ralph.
“Sorry,” I said. “I don’t know.” We were at a gala fundraising dinner for the Philharmonic Orchestra. I’d been performing with them for several years. My instrument, the French horn, might not have been the sexiest, but it was solid. Substantial. Not some flighty, erratic-sounding woodwind reminiscent of a chickadee caught sucking helium.
I took a sip of my wine and wondered how we could politely exit this conversation. Lauren, a flutist who had recently joined the orchestra, was droning on about her gap year after university, while Ralph, more interested in his bacon-wrapped artichoke, had been zero help keeping the stilted discussion going. Zero help until she’d dropped larp on him like crack cocaine.
Ralph looked up from his plate. “Live action. Is that like acting out a scene from a game? In real time or something?”
“Doesn’t it attract some strange people?” he asked. His attention was already moving back to his appetizer. “You know, Dungeon & Dragons types who haven’t left their basements since the 1970s?”
I gave a polite chuckle.
But not Lauren.
She threw her head back, long blonde waves streaming over her bare shoulders, as though Ralph had said the funniest thing ever. The swell of her breasts nearly bounced over the deep neckline of her turquoise gown.
I self-consciously smoothed my black dress – the same one I’d worn to last year’s event – over my Spanx, which were unfortunately cutting off circulation to my abdomen.
“Larp attracts all types,” Lauren said, having managed to catch her breath before her breasts escaped clean out of her dress. “If you like adventure and the outdoors and excitement, you’ll like this.” She directed her response at Ralph, who had, after all, asked the question. “You should check out our website sometime. It lists all our upcoming events.” Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a business card and handed it to Ralph.
“Oh, er, thanks.” He balanced his plate in one hand, handing his wine glass to me while pocketing the business card.
I’d found it there later. I’d taken the card with its heavily embossed gold print out of his pocket before throwing his dress pants in the wash.
And if I hadn’t found it? The card would’ve been mashed to a wet pulp and torn into several mucky pieces, later to clog the dryer vent with the rest of the lint. Would that have changed anything?
Perhaps not. We live in the Internet age. Yet I still couldn’t help wondering.
Because instead of discarding it, I’d placed the larp card in the basket with loose pocket change and odd socks, the ones whose matches were forever MIA.
And there the card had sat. Waiting to be rediscovered.
And, of course, it had been. All it took was the right series of events. A crisis had hit—the unthinkable had happened. Then, incomprehensibly, life had moved on.
I had remodelled the kitchen.
Ralph had bought leather-studded armour.
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About the Author:
Joy Norstrom is a Canadian coffee addict. She also happens to be the author of Out Of Play, a women’s fiction novel long on humour and short on romance. She enjoys hiking with family, wine with friends and reading late into the wee hours when she should be asleep.
A social worker by trade, Joy also writes short stories about lives in transition. Whether she is championing inclusion, parenting her kidlets or popping into the local coffee shop, she can generally be found engaged in conversation. Why? She believes human connection and laughter keep her grounded in a muddled world.
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Hello Chick Lit – Book Excerpt
Steamy Book Momma – Book Promo Post
Kristin’s Novel Café – Book Excerpt/Promo Post
Jena Books – Book Review/Excerpt
Chick Lit Central – Book Review
Book Lover in Florida – Book Review/Excerpt
Appletree Books – Book Review
Grass Monster – Book Review
ItaPixie’s Book Blogger – Book Review/Excerpt Post
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Excerpt
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