Wednesday January 13th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: disjointed.

I found an ad online yesterday for one of the shops in town needing temporary inventory help. It didn't specify what temporary meant so I dropped by this morning to find out.

And now I'm working this weekend, doing a Saturday shift that starts at 2:30 and runs until late (probably 10) and then back again on Sunday morning to finish things off (I'm under the impression that it will go until noon but I suppose that depends on how quickly things are going).

It's not much, but it is certainly better than nothing. Just a bit of work to help tide me over until I find something full-time.


I walk up the three steps to my front porch, fishing my keys out of my jacket pocket. Rain continues to pour from the sky, an icy November shower. The cold metal stings my fingers as I quickly unlock my door and step inside.

Yelling, coming from the kitchen. It's a fight. A bad one. Glass shatters on the floor.

Shaking my head sprays rainwater around my entranceway. I peel off my coat and set it on its hook, leaving it to drip a puddle onto the floorboards. Kicking off my boots, I head to my bedroom to get changed.

Someone is pounding on the bathroom door. A muffled voice responds from within. She's locked herself in and is refusing to come out. The fist on the door grows more insistent.

I leave my clothes in a soggy heap. Shivering, I grab jogging pants, a wool sweater, and thick socks out of the laundry basket. I'm pretty sure they're clean. The kitchen is calling with an invitation to put a kettle on for tea and I answer it.

The front door slams. 


Silence reigns supreme once more. It is not a happy quiet. It is lonely. It is angry. A drawer in the living room is yanked open.

Standing at the counter I look down to find an open bottle of whiskey in my hand. I don't remember picking it up. Didn't I lock that cabinet? There's no taste of it in my mouth at least. That's something.

A single shot comes from the living room, echoing around the house. Something clatters to the floor, followed by a muffled thump. Like a sack of books being dropped, maybe from shoulder height. Silence returns, this time to stay.

The bottle is half empty now. This has to stop. I can't go on like this. I need help. I... take another drink.


morganna said...

Marc -- whoa.

An angry child
Held by the hand
Lifts her feet, twists
There goes the elbow.

Greg said...

@Morganna: that poem, sadly, feels like it's written from experience. For all it's short it packs a punch, and I'm impressed though chastened.

@Marc: I guess two days does fit the description of temporary, though it's not exactly what I was expecting when you began your tale. I hope it's a fun two days, and that you're not aching too much afterwards!
As ah Morganna said, whoa. That's a deeply angry story on some level. The short writing delivers power, and the breaking up of the present with the past is very effective. I think this is one you don't need to add to your "to-be-continued" list :)

Scritch. Scritch. The dog is scratching at the door, wanting to go out, so she swings her legs over the side of the bed and knuckles her eyes. It's still dark, it's too early for this. She doesn't turn the light on, not wanting to wake herself up properly and be unable to get back to sleep again, so she leaves the bedroom and pads down to the hall to the kitchen door by memory. The door opens easily and a cold breeze chills her, raising goose-bumps on her skin. The dog doesn't push past her though, and it's a moment longer before she remembers that the dog is staying with her mother. She closes the door, wondering at the things people do when they're half-asleep, and is back in bed again moments later.
As she lies down she thinks for a moment that a shape is in the bedroom doorway. She sits up again, but there are only shadows swaying across the walls from the trees outside.
Scritch. Scritch. The dog is scratching at the door again, she thinks, but as she swings her legs to the floor again she remembers this time that the dog isn't here. She's still in motion, so she sits up before she lies back down, and again, for a moment, there's a shape in the doorway. It's about the height of a toddler.
There's nothing there. She's clearly got dream-fragments caught up in her brain, and she's tired. So tired. She lies down, rolls over, and cuddles the dog. He's warm and his breath smells like carrion. She buries her face in the fur at his neck so she doesn't have to smell it.
Scritch. Scritch. She rolls away from the dog and opens her eyes. No, she thinks, the dog is with my mother. She starts to roll back to him, and then she freezes. If the dog is with her mother, what has she been cuddling...?
She opens her eyes, looking to where she was rolling, and there's a weight on the bed and it's moving like a small child. It's climbing over her legs, up the bed towards her head. She can hear a soft giggle, almost stifled, like the child is trying to surprise her. On the other pillow is a mass of chestnut brown hair, perhaps someone's head? The smell of carrion is stronger, and the weight on the blankets is pinning her in place. The giggle is getting closer, and it might be her imagination but it might be insane. Might.
Scritch. Scritch. Of course, it's tree branches at the window.
Scritch. Scritch. Only she had all the trees near the house cut down because it sounded like they were trying to get in.
Scritch. Scritch. The mass of chestnut hair is stirring, something is turning over, turning to face her.
Scritch. Scritch. Something giggles in her ear, breath hot against her face, on the other side of her head and she can't move, can't free her arms, can't pull free of the suffocating blankets.

Anonymous said...

She walked out of the room, right as I was taking my very first bite of the hard-boiled egg. Karen wore only a T-shirt and underwear, a very different apparel than my business attire.
“Hot again?” I asked, confused with her reaction to the cold January air.
“Yes.” A grumble, nothing more.
I took a sip of coffee. Pumpkin flavor. Positively delicious. It was a shame that the Aldi in town stopped selling the flavor after November. I was running low and wasn’t quite ready to go back to my normal hazelnut.
“My parents are bringing the dog Thor over this afternoon,” I ventured. “I was wondering if you could watch him for me tomorrow while I’m in training.”
Karen set her mug on the counter a little too forceful. “I can’t. Too much work.”
She poured her tea and left for her room, closing the door loudly behind her.
So much for helping me out, I couldn’t help but think. I wanted to tell her that she should’ve been doing all that work instead of watching hours of TV episodes on her computer the day before but it was already 7:10, I wanted to walk to work, and it was far too early to have her mad at me.

Marc said...

Morganna - thanks, I think :)

Ouch. Just... ouch. Can't help but squirm a little when I read yours.

Greg - yeah, I was kinda thinking in terms of weeks, not days. But it went fine, and there wasn't any real interview process. I just asked and they gave me the paperwork to fill out. I wish full-time, permanent jobs were more like that :P

And, again, thanks... I think :)

I think your piece deserves a whoa as well. That is some seriously creepy stuff, sir. Fantastic, horrifying details throughout. Well done.

Ivy - intriguing scene. I'm left wondering and wanting more details of what's going on between these two. That's a good thing, by the way :)