“Brotherswater!” Jack exclaimed. “What the hell is that?”
“Google it,” Tony replied patiently.
“I did,” Jack replied.
“We all did,” Nancy chimed in.
“So, then you know its a small lake in Cumbria,” Tony said.
Phillip Catshill nodded in agreement. He too was a Brit.
“Yeah, yeah,” Jack interrupted, “and two brothers drowned there.”
“So, what's your problem?” Tony asked and sighed his exasperation.
“Okay,” Jack challenged, “you write about one and Phillip'll write about the other. What's everybody else going to write about?”
Dennis spoke up as leader of the group, asserting his authority as only a veteran Marine can. “Okay, everyone, let's keep it to the point. We all agreed to write on random subjects that each of you contributed.”
“What's that?” Dennis asked.
“Well then,” Dennis concluded, “see you all same time, same place, next week.”
The tiles went dark in quick succession on Jack's computer monitor as each writer disconnected. Only his overlays from Tony's tile remained, and Jack smiled as he filled them in with warts and unflattering hairs growing from his ears and nose.
He launched Open Office, opened a new text document, typed “Brotherswater” at the top of the page, and sat mutely for several minutes.
“What the hell,” he commented to no one and left the room.
Going to the kitchen he placed a cup of water in the microwave and started it on high for four minutes. He turned to his coffee grinder freshly filled with beans. His order had just arrived yesterday from the Koa Plantation on the big island in Hawaii and he smiled as he studied them. They looked like shiny black, legless beetles in the jar atop the grinder but fell in a coarse stream into his french press. He closed his eyes as he breathed deeply from the aroma. He had high hopes for the commercial success of his first novel, recently published, Rebels on the Mountain, and had treated himself to the coffee, ordering for the first time after suffering with mediocre coffee over the past two years while he was writing it.
Jack returned to his computer with the freshly brewed cup of coffee in hand and sipped slowly after sitting down. He knew that the bliss would pass when the coffee was finished and he had to tackle the challenge of writing something about “Brotherswater.”
“Damn,” he thought to himself.
Slowly, a smile broke out across his face. He leaned forward and cracked his knuckles before placing his fingers on the keyboard.
“I hid a dead rat in the toe of my brother Tony's boot when he was eight years old, and he didn't find it until he tried to put it on,” he typed. “It was the first time that I made my brotherwater trickle down his leg...”