Showing posts from September, 2017

Spilt Drinks

Morris was not at the hospital to witness his wife’s last breath, but no-one there was surprised. Not his daughter, Samantha, not his brother, Reg, nor his mother-in-law, Madge. They assumed Morris was drunk because he was a great drunk: great for missing great moments like his own church wedding—held a week later at the courthouse—like Samantha’s birth, and now Dolores’ passing. Reg found Morris at home, asleep on the kitchen floor. Reg slapped his brother’s face. “Dolores died,” he said. “What?” said Morris. “Dolores died.” Morris took hold of the kitchen counter and pulled himself to his feet. “So, I’m a widower,” he said. “I need a drink.” “Don’t you dare,” said Reg. “If I accept your dare and succeed, what prize do I win, Reg? Your respect?” “Too late for that, brother.” “How are the others doing?” “Samantha’s a mess. Gloria’s mad at me for coming to tell you. Madge sends her spite.” “And you, Reg, are you offering spite as well?” “No spite. Hopeless pity, perhaps.” “Yeah, well,

No Brain Pickers for Her!

Outside, all is quiet with hardly a breeze amongst the trees. The late afternoon sky, accountable to no one, seeps through the mullioned bay windows in a lady-like shade of grey. Inside, Beryl listens to the pop of unseasoned firewood as it makes the final shift and crumbles into embers. She sits primly in an old winged armchair, legs crossed and fingers intertwined over one knee. Without warning, a foul odor drifts through from the kitchen area that makes Beryl recall descriptions of the crawl space underneath John Wayne ‘Killer Clown’ Gacy’s murder house. Next moment, her exotically named date, Avocado, pushes his way through the shuttered swinging doors holding waiter-style at shoulder height a silver tray brimming with food. He sits down opposite her in a mahogany chair with cherubs chiseled into the sides. “Can I pick your brain?” he enquires, delivering his best Bela Lugosi stare. In response, Beryl belches operatically. Breaking Avocado’s gaze, with her face set like an adversar