100 Words

Note: I don't know who started this 100 Word Phenomenon. There are many variations: 99 Words, 101 Words, Flash Fiction. No matter the format, I enjoy the challenge of telling a complete story in so few words.



Not Nearly Enough

You said we should get married. It was a suggestion, not a question.

I rolled over in the bed to face you. I listened patiently while you told me how good it would be for us...financially.
The Corps would pay you more if you had a family to support. We could live on base. My kids could get your health insurance.
But...where was my ring? My knight on bended knee? Your confession of undying love? Why were you trying to sell it to me like a used car?
I wanted to say yes, but you never asked me.




Party Game

My dreams last night featured an albino cockroach, my grandson's other grandma, fires, secret passageways, and beautiful green eyes the color of sea moss.
There was also an army of zombie-like creatures, a boy from my jr. high, and an eviction notice.
I didn't get the chance to write anything down today, because I woke up briefly, realized that today was my day off, and then went back to sleep. I slept and slept and slept until 6:56 am.
It was the best sleep I've had for weeks.
I was supposed to give up coffee yesterday. That didn't happen.



Eviction Notice

I've not seen one dime of rent money from those bitchy black birds who gather in the eaves outside my bedroom window.
On the eighth day of vacation, I sneaked out there, risked my neck on a rickety chair and sprinkled a generous amount of cayenne pepper across the most popular roost. Just for good measure, I forced some into the hole I found up there with little bits of grass and twigs.
On the ninth day of vacation, I awakened to the low grumbling of pissed off black birds lined along on the privacy fence, plotting my imminent demise.



Insect Anatomy

There's a bug of some sort in the trash can beside my desk. I can hear it scritch scritching against the thin plastic liner, trying to escape.

It's been there all morning.

The sound is driving me nuts. I can't concentrate on my writing.

My overactive imagination stops me from freeing it.

It probably doesn't have two inch pincers on its mandibles. It probably doesn't excrete flesh eating acid from its thoracic spiracles. It probably isn't plotting to sting me into submission, devour my left eyeball and lay eggs in my eye socket.

Probably not.

But why take the chance?



Budget Restraints

My dog is too sexy for the fish shaped pieces of dog food. She noses them onto the floor, as if they aren't even worthy of touching the bowl.

She's such a spoiled brat. I've let her get by with it far too long. There was a time when I would simply sigh and sweep them into the trash.

Nowadays, I'm clutching the wallet a little bit closer; everybody has to make sacrifices.

If I am forced to eat tuna fish out of a can, then she damn well better learn to eat those little pieces of fish shaped food.



Mother Farkle

I'm making my New Year's Resolution list early this year. It's full of the stuff I never got around to in 2011. Lose weight. Be nicer. Write more. Read more. Curse less.
It's that last one I always seem to dismiss first and foremost. The first day back to work usually has me screaming the EFF word not once or twice, but multiple times.
Last year I tried to stick to it by having somebody hold me accountable. I was to pay Bryan five dollars for every profane word I uttered. One hour and fifteen dollars later, I cancelled the deal.



Wayward Son

He strolls right through the front door every Friday without knocking, though he's never lived here.  He'll spend his time eating our food, flipping through our channels and catching up on juicy family gossip. He might even remember to ask about his nephews.
I'll pretend it doesn't bother me that he dyed his beautiful blond curls a patchy, weak black. I'll let the other kids razz him for it. Next time we see him, it'll be back to normal.
When he's had all he can take of us, he'll rise, stretch, and say those three little words...

"I need money."



The Boy Who Ate Everything


Listen here, Kid. In two hours you have inhaled one tube of Spongebob Go-gurt, three slices of bacon, two tomato basil cheese sticks, fourteen red grapes and a fruit cup. 

You are two. 

There is no possible way you could be as hungry as you claim to be.  Stop clutching your belly and howling in that dramatic fashion. 

We have fed you. You are full. You need to slow it down, mister, or you are going to have a major tummy ache when you go to bed tonight.

Besides, your mother said she'd murder me if I give you chocolate.



Summer


We should have had Thanksgiving on a day like this, when I am thankful to be living in this tiny house with central air conditioning. I heard it roar to life at five this morning.
Initially, I thought it was hailing. In my dreary state, I imagined the tap, tap of hailstones against my bedroom window. Excited at the prospect of rain, I sat up and moved my curtain aside. I could feel the heat through the double-pane window. I growled into the darkness. The tapping sound was only the click click of the chain on my ceiling fan.



Hunger


When Netherton reads to the class, he uses a melodic voice with just a little bit of a hum to it. I read silently  along,  but about halfway through, my mind succumbs to his lullaby and the words on the page swirl together into a chaotic whirlpool of letters and punctuation.

Class begins at seven pm, just fifteen minutes after US History ends. Supper is an unrealistic fantasy on school nights.

That is why you will often find me with my face pressed to the glass of the vending machine, begging a Snickers bar to magically leap into my clutches.



First Things First

I was about to sit down and write an award-winning essay about equality as demonstrated in "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. My outline is outlined. My works are cited. My notes have been noted, and my mind was focused.

Then I got a whiff of the ole body odor pouring off me and a glimpse of the "jus' rolled outta bed" hairdo I'm rockin' this morning. (What if Publisher's Clearinghouse stops by to give me my ten million dollars? You know they always film that shit.)

Sorry, Mr. Vonnegut. I simply must get in the shower. Priorities, you know.

David


The boy with the Mohawk, tattoos, safety pin in his ear called yesterday from his cousin's cellphone. He's stuck in Nebraska, no ticket home.

He's called a few times, so I know he's desperate to get back where he belongs. Usually, I get a quick message on Facebook. “Hi, mom. I’m still alive!” When he calls, he knows I can hear the homesickness in his voice. I'm no rookie. This is a tactic to get money.

In my mind, he’ll appreciate being home much more if he has to work a little harder to get here.

It's a tough call.


Plop Chatter Hiss

     There's enough drizzle to set a gloomy mood, but not enough to scare away the workers at the apartments down the street. They've got edgers and weed-eaters and mowers out mighty early today. The roar vibrates across the wet asphalt, strikes the wooden fence, bounces against my house, whips into my living room.

     I'm disappointed. I like to open the door, listen to the trickle of water run across my roof, gather in the rain gutter, and plop onto the patio. I like to listen to birds gossip across powerlines. I like to hear the hiss as precipitation hits pavement. 

Stank

What is that smell?

It's like a dirty skunk and a musk ox fell in love and gave birth to a wet dog.

Seriously, it reeks.

It's worse than Matthew's socks, and if you've ever been within ten feet of Matthew's socks, you'd be handing me the flame thrower to ensure proper eradication of the offensive items.

I'll have to shut my bedroom door to keep from retching. Or maybe...maybe I'll shut her bedroom door instead. 

It is my house after all. She's just a temporary freeloader moocher guest. 

(I can't wait to have my house to myself again.)

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