Ch 1. Something something

The hotly anticipated sequel to last summer’s blockbuster hit, “High School Ritual,” has finally arrived!

Listen, I’m the doing the best I can here, and if that means recycling material and posting without a title, Oh well!

I had a bad day at work, not the least because I didn’t know the P.A. overhead of the whole store was on when I started talking, so I’ll have none of your crap!

And it’s still September 1 in my time zone as I publish this!

Thanks for reading!


       

“That’s it!” Chad’s father screamed as his face turned a redder shade of crimson. “You’re getting outta here! You’re not mooching off my dime anymore! I didn’t win ten of these—” he shoved his five carat Superbowl ring in Chad’s face—“just so you can sit on your ass all day!”

Chad scratched the goatee he was trying to grow. His new girlfriend said it made him look more mature. But not making the team was the least of his problems right then. Not even dropping out of college the first semester was near the top of the list. “Dad, it’s not like I’m not trying. I just need to figure some crap out—”

“Well listen up! You’re figuring that crap out somewhere else! Come back when you figure out how not to be a failure!” He started blowing air hard out of his cheeks and grabbed his chest. Chad’s sixth stepmother, who just turned old enough to drink, ran into the sitting room before he toppled over onto the sofa.

He figured his stepmother could handle reviving his father, so he grabbed his cap and went out to his usual hangout at the pool hall. He ordered a drink and some fries and went to the restroom.

Taped to the wall above the hand-dryer was an advertisement calling for tenants for an apartment, with slips bearing the landlord’s name and phone number cut into the bottom of the page. He tore one off. Whoever that guy was who was outside his room for the last few nights wouldn’t find him there.

*

Natalie held the edge of the kitchen counter with one hand and felt around for a plate in the cabinet as Gram rambled on about something into a sunbeam streaming through the floral curtained window. Having almost dropped the plate, she sighed and rubbed her eyes.

“And then, and then, we put a little dollop of cream on top of each one, and then—”

Natalie finished laying slices of tomato on the olive-loaf sandwich she made for her grandmother, and carried it to the table in the sunny kitchen, where the old woman, in her printed cotton dress, sat with a half-empty, cold cup of coffee. Natalie took the seat across from her and leaned her cheek on her hand. The sandwich was falling apart.

Gram lifted the sandwich and looked at Natalie. “What? You’ve got to eat something. Look how thin you’re getting. Have my half my sandwich—”

She lifted her head. “Gram, I’m fine! Really. I just ate before I came here.”

Her grandmother didn’t probe much anymore, so she happily bit into her lunch as the tomato slipped out and plopped onto the table, bleeding red juice into the tablecloth. Natalie realized she forgot the mayonnaise, but Gram hadn’t noticed.

She would clean it up later after she propped Gram up in bed for her afternoon nap. She returned her head to her hand and watched the dark spots float across Gram and the olive-loaf sandwich.

26 thoughts on “Ch 1. Something something

  1. Wowzer! I love this. Your bad days must be pretty good if it motivates this level of writing. I had an angry dad too but he lasted a long time. After he lost his mind, he was quite enjoyable. And I swear I’ve been there at that table watching my grandfather bite into his sandwich and his teeth fall on the floor and roll under the China cabinet. The situational humor was great even as the story reveals the poignant undertones. And that PA thing. That’s a good writing prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dan (it’s Dan right?). I have a slightly volatile relationship with my father (we’re both super oversensitive but he’ll never acknowledge his part in that), but it doesn’t really fuel the Angry Dad trope for me. The idea of an angry former pro-football player dad screaming and giving himself heart attacks makes me laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s Dan. Or as my mother often proclaimed loudly, Dammit Dan. I actually snort laughed at the former pro football player Dad giving himself a heart attack. That was deeply layered cool right there. But so was the other humorous moments. I’m a fan Hetty.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes, Chadworth I believe it was. Don’t worry, I got lots of good stuff in store for our friends.

      And the PA incident could have been worse… least I didn’t curse anyone out.

      Like

    1. I say that because you’re the only one in this mess I follow that can string words together in a straight line, so we can wait because we know that what’s next isn’t going to be hackneyed vehicles and fabric softener ad copy. And we all need something to look forward to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Phil, though I’d beg to differ about myself. I think some people try too hard to be what they think they should be instead of just being themselves. It’s a cliche but it really is that elementary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These were wonderfully crafted – short, to the point, and complete. I liked the contrast they created – a character that does not care about his father, that might be dying, vs. one that is willing to die for her grandmother. I found the bit about the sixth stepmother coming of age quite hilariously perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

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