Thursday, January 10, 2013

100 WS: "Prom Night"

{The busy ministrations of Leeroy and his human novelist pal Lance produce another 100 Word Song this week, the Afghan Whigs' "Debonair". This is called "Prom Night".}

"You're going to be careful?," she said for the seventh time.

"Yes, Mom," I said. She knew we would be careful, but she said it anyway. I was obsessively smoothing the front of the black jacket. Wendy was standing in front of me, her legs primly together, her eyes shining with promise.

"You look good. Handsome. Debonair," she said. "You both look perfect. Like you belong on a cake." Wendy smiled.

"Thanks, Mom," I said. I wasn't the sort of man the tuxedo would suggest.

We stepped outside, heading for my car, ready for some things, but not for this.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Master Class: "Stuck"

{The magical Eric Storch offers yet another Fiction Challenge, this one called the Master Class, which gives you a starter sentence and lets you go where you wilt. His sentence this week is from Dodie Smith's "I Capture The Castle", and the sentence is "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."}

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. I wasn't planning to do this- it is an uncomfortable place to sit. It's not designed for that. My life feels like that- like it was ill designed, poorly planned, intended for another. Living in a trailer was not part of the plan, having a baby in high school wasn't part of the plan, and having them take the baby because you couldn't take care of it wasn't part of the plan. None of this was as I intended.

"Failing to plan," my history teacher said, "is planning to fail." He said it so much he bought a frame and hung it on the classroom wall. Or maybe somebody got it for him. I don't know. I had stopped listening to anyone but myself and my hormones at that point. I had thought about him, Mr. Archibald, a lot recently. One day he stopped me as I was leaving class and said to me in a very solemn voice that some day, I was going to regret the path I had chosen.

I was thinking about him because, as much as I laughed at him that long ago afternoon, the old man was right. I did regret the choices I made. Or the choices i failed to make. All the lies I swallowed, the things I believed not because I thought they were true, but because I was too stubborn to admit that I could be wrong about him. Too stubborn to admit I didn't know everything.

He was lying on the floor in front of the sink. The blood was pooling on the floor, a giant purple mass that was already starting to make everything smell bad. I thought about running, of course. I guess everyone does. When your on again off again boyfriend insults your cooking and pushes you as your fat ass crosses in front of him to wash the dirty dish he made and you turn and bury the steak knife you had in your hand into the center of his beer belly, you think about running.

I couldn't think of any place to run to, no place that would take me in and let me explain, so eventually I just climbed up on the counter as the blood spread, inch after sickening inch, after he finally stopped moving and collapsed. Now I was trapped up here, in my nightgown and underwear, unwilling to step down into the blood that was soaking everything in its path. I hadn't planned to do any of this, but as surely as night follows day, I had, so I sit here in the sink, waiting.

I guess I can take out my phone and call the police. It seems unfair to make them chase me down, and I'm too tired to run. I look down at John, his head turned to the side, his eyes staring at nothing. I've known him longer than I've known anyone except my parents, and I've alternated loving and hating him for all that time. Sitting in the sink, looking at my lover, my tormentor, my batterer, my only friend, I tried to think of a reason to get down. But I just couldn't.