Archive for December, 2009

2009/12/27

The Last Time

by mdjb

He keeps banging on the door and calling out her name, but she is not going to let him in. Not now, at any rate. “What do you want, Charlie?” she asks. She knows what he wants, but there’s no answer. He must have stepped away again. He keeps going away and then he comes back and pounds some more. “Let me in, Lana,” she keeps hearing him holler. She knew he’d come around. He always does.

She thinks, he thinks I’ve sliced my wrists again and he’s going to find me in a tubful of bloody water, but I won’t do that again. Not for him. He’s not worth it.

He’s a bastard and there’s no pleasing him. First he tells her she’s changed and when she tries to show him she hasn’t then he tells her he’s changed and they can’t be together any more. What the hell is she supposed to do? Pretend she doesn’t know all about the other one? That she’s the reason he’s the one who’s changed. That bitch. Oh, she knows everything about her, and she knows how long it’s been going on too. This is not a new thing, but she’s not going to argue about it any more.

She says in a soft, dry voice, as if he were in the room with her, “She pretends she doesn’t know it’s me when I call her. She just keeps asking, ‘Who is this? Who is this? Why don’t you leave me alone?’ And I’m not going to give her the satisfaction of answering. I know it drives her crazy that I won’t shout or get mad on the phone. That’s just what she’d like to happen. Me getting all excited like the last time because you’re spending nights over there. She should live so long.” Charlie always comes back to her. They have too much history together.

There he is now, banging again. He must have left his key over at her place. He told Lana he wasn’t coming back again, but she knew he would.

“Did she throw you out Charlie? Like I did yesterday? She hasn’t got the brass I have. You know I won’t put up with your shit for too long. Oh I know, I give you a hard time, but I’m not a phony like she is. You told me she cooks for you, but I think you just told me that to get a rise out of me. Like telling me she gives you gifts. A man is supposed to buy things for his wife, Charlie. Where did you go to school?

“Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. I don’t hear you, Charlie. I’m not getting up to let you in. You’ve got to cool down first. I’m afraid you’ll hit me this time. I was afraid of that yesterday too. That’s the only reason I threw the chair. It only grazed your forehead, you big jerk. Don’t you know how to defend yourself during a little domestic squabble?”

She changes the radio station from soft rock to classical. It’s much more soothing. Charlie’s gone away again. It’s quiet out there. Maybe he’s trying to trick her into going to make sure he’s not there and when she opens the door he’ll pop out from behind the wall in the hallway. Well, she won’t do it.

She’s not a simpleton. No siree. He thought he could keep his affair from her, but she found the bitch’s number in his wallet. And later, the airline tickets too. He thought he would take his little floozie on a trip, but she made short work of that. Tore those babies into little bits and left the pieces on top of the trash where he’d be able to see them.

The phone rings. She hesitates a moment or two, and it rings again. Should she answer it? It’s so far away and she’s so tired. To get up and walk to the phone, it feels like dragging lead. It’s the pills. They make you so dopey. The phone rings a third time and she waits for it to ring again before reaching for it. How can he be calling while he’s still outside the door? He doesn’t have one of those cell phone things does he? He’d better not be calling from a cell phone.

Reluctantly she picks up the receiver, and notices the carpet is wet. There is a trail of footprints behind her.

“Mrs. Adler, this is the super, will you please let the plumber in to check if the leak is coming from your apartment? He’s been knocking at your door for the last twenty minutes. I was about to come up and let him in with the key, only I thought I’d try you on the phone first. I was sure you were home. Are you all right?”

That catches her off-guard and it takes her a moment to come up with an answer. “Only a little mishap here with the tap in the bathroom. I’m taking care of it now,” she says without rationalizing.

“Well, if you’re sure you’ve got it under control, I won’t send him up again.”

Oh, Charlie will be back all right. He doesn’t give up that easily. Nice touch getting someone else to call to try to trick her into letting him in. She’s not going to fall for that one. But at least her excuse will buy her a little time. She walks slowly back to the bathroom trying not to stumble and lowers herself back into the warm soothing water, which is still dribbling over the edge of the tub, and she looks at the razor blade with the masking tape on one side of it. It’s now or never.

Tags:
2009/12/13

Story Virus v5

by mdjb

This is basically a series of flash stories. I was tagged by my good friend the writer CJT on her wordvamp blog to help continue a project with some great writers, and given the list of previous posts so I could bring it forward. I will add to the story, then tag more people for them to keep it moving. It has gotten interesting, and I hope my taggees can find some time to help it along.
The chain begins here:
I, Splotchy
Then continues at:
Cormac Writes
Then:
Lost in the BoZone
Then:
David Barber’s Fiction World
Then:
Writing The Hard Way
Then:
Not From Here, Are You
Then:
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better!
And finally:
CJT’s wordvamp, before coming to me.

Here is my addition to the story:


The Team, comprising Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen, or Rudolph’s Boys for short, were sitting, red-nosed and bleary-eyed, round a flattened tree stump that served as a card table. There were empty booze bottles lying all over the place, and bowls that might have once held snacks, but now were overflowing with upchuck sat uninvitingly to the side.
“Kris ain’t here,” said Donder. “Who’s asking for him? Oh, it’s you Blanco. What the hell, happened to you? You look like you ate some bad fish.”
“Where’s Kringle? He said he’d get you guys ready to go on a mission to save the world, starting with the Universe Mall.”
“Who does he think he is, Doc Savage? We got but one job a year, and we don’t feel like donning those frigging reindeer outfits to go saving the world without time and a half for overtime.”
“Listen, Donner,” said Gary, “Can’t you guys…?”
“That’s Donder, dicktard. Why does everybody get that wrong?”
“Sorry, I heard it in a song or something,” the detective said. “Can’t you guys get into the spirit of the season just a coupla days early, and help us out?”
“What’s up?” asked Blitzen, and the others gave him a look that said, Don’t involve us in anything too taxing.
“Is this all you lamefaces do all the time, sitting around throwing back the hootch?” Blanco asked. As his color was deepening he felt the whole season was falling away to the dogs.
“How do you think we fuel up for the big night?” Dasher said, and that raised laughter from the rest of the team.
At that, Rudolph came out of the back of the barn, wiping his hands like he’d just come from a restroom. “What’s up, fellas?” he asked. “Who’re these guys?”
“Ummn, you’d better go wake up the Fat Man,” said Blitzen, “Looks like we got another job this year. These guys want us to help ’em save the world.”
“Scrotum,” shouted Rudolph, who suffered from intermittent Tourette’s syndrome, “Balls! Ass! Titties,” and his nose began glowing redder than a stop sign at a school crossing. “Waddaya want us to do?”
“Don’t you think we should wake up Kris…” Blitzen started to ask.
“Nah, shit! Blueballs! Jack-off! We can handle this, and be back in time for the big giveaway. Damn!” He kept rubbing his hands, but now he looked as if he anticipated big adventure.
“I’m not so sure you understand the nature of…” Gary began.
“Just lay out the plan,” Rudolph interrupted, “Christ! Mess! We’re more than ready for some action and mayhem. Motherfu…” he stopped, as everyone turned to see Kris Kringle, himself, waddling out from the back while zipping up his fly.
“You guys know who’s in charge here. Didn’t I tell y’all to wake me when these two arrived? Christ, where would this season be without me?”


Now I tag the following:
mkooch
Green Monkey Tales
Bukowki’s Basement
Notes from the Überground
The Way It Is

Tags:
2009/12/05

Honeymoon

by mdjb

At four o´clock Victoria brought orange juice she had prepared for him to take his pills. “Can I get you anything else, love, would you like to watch the television? Or shall I read to you?
“Yes. A moon story,” he said.
That was when she noticed the irony.
Her first husband, Jack used that expression when he was dying. Were dying people preparing for life on the moon?
After Jack died, she lived alone for six months. She dated, but it never became serious; she never thought of remarrying, until she met Philip. So in tune with each other, they walked, and talked of coincidental beliefs along their path, for the first year. They agreed to delay having a honeymoon until it could be done right. Now he was changing, an occasional skittishness to accept the inevitable, a murmur of disagreement came up here and there, but not enough to change her plans, plans she had constructed within weeks of Jack’s passing.
She looked over the book she was reading from and noticed he was sleeping. It would not be long now. He was sleeping for longer periods. If he woke after ten, she would just give him another pill. He trusted her. He appeared so feeble. She did not even have to increase the dosage the way she had had to with Jack.
This this very old looking man in the bed, was merely an inconvenience, but not for long. The prize for waiting and taking care of him? She could not estimate the value of what he would leave her. He had no other family.
At seven-thirty, she watched a comedy and smoked a cigarette, not bothering to leave the room. He hated that she still smoked, but was snoring and would never know.
Quarter after eight, she luxuriated in a warm bath for half an hour. She felt she was washing off the sick room smell.
When she looked in on him afterward, he was sleeping soundly. She might have misjudged the amount of medicine she had given him. He might sleep until midnight.
She decided to make a call from the phone in the other room.
After several rings, finally an answer. “Hello,” she said, “It’s me. How’s it going?”
“Victoria, honey, I asked you not to call here. The old lady’s very sensitive to noises. Fortunately, she’s sleeping at the moment. What’s up?”
“I’m bored, Philip. The old guy just sleeps and sleeps now. How are things on your end?”
“All according to plan. Elizabeth takes her medicine regularly. Don’t worry. Pretty soon we’ll be off on that honeymoon to Tahiti. Listen, gotta go. Try and find something to do, okay?”
“Yes, sure,” she said and hung up.
She began thinking of ways to take care of Philip after the money was secured. She knew she would have to come up with something different. He was too adept at the medicine thing.