Ah, most of my shorts end like that - the reader can fill in the blanks or read between the lines… but I’ll consider your comment and maybe add some more to it. Although I might open more questions than answers!
Thanks for reading!
I know, I just know that she’s seeing someone else. It’s all over her. Call me paranoid, but even her happiness is different. She’s… she’s got a bounce she didn’t have before. It’s depressing, but I’m sure I don’t make her that happy. She’s seeing someone else. I just know it.
I’m going to have it out with her. I’m going to tell her I know and that I won’t put up with it. She’ll have to tell me the truth. Who he is, how long it’s been going on, why she’s seeing him. Shit, what if he’s better… Shit. But I have to know for sure, and I have to tell her I know and I have to end it. I won’t be her mug. Her dependable mug.
As I park up outside her house, I see her curtain twitch. I have a quick pang – what if I catch them together? Now? But that’s not possible. I told her I was coming over. She’s expecting me. He won’t be there.
Before I ring her doorbell, she opens the door to me, wearing just a dressing gown, and under that, underwear? Nothing? I’m through the door and she’s skipping down the hallway to the kitchen. “Cuppa?”, she asks.
“No. No, thanks. I er… want to ask you something.”
“Ooh!”, she says, eyes wide in mock surprise as she turns back around to face me. “Can’t we talk over a cuppa? I’m thirsty!”.
“Fine. Milk and two.” I say. Did I even want tea? I don’t think so, but I’m going to have one, I guess.
She turns back around and skips into the kitchen, her beautiful wavy hair bouncing along one step behind. Mystery one solved – she’s not wearing knickers under the gown.
As she fills the kettle with water, I psyche myself to ask her. Come on, you’ve done this a million times in your head. Here we go.
“Were you going to say something?” she asks.
“Well, this stupid kettle takes forever to boil. What…” she steps closer to me
“shall…” right next to me
“we…” she puts her hand around the back of my neck and pulls me towards her
“do…” she kisses me. Then kisses me some more.
We carry on kissing. She starts to unbutton my shirt and I place my hand inside her gown. No bra, either. I start kissing her neck, her shoulder blades and move further down. We’re both breathing hard and then I smell the unmistakable odour of saliva, coming from her breasts. Not mine; I haven’t been there yet. And then, I notice the smell of latex and… Shit! I start to push her away just as the kettle boils.
“I thought you didn’t want a cuppa that bad?!” she says. Mocking me again.
“I need to ask you something,” I say. She picks up the seriousness in my voice.
“What is it?”
“I need to ask you…” Say it! “…if…” Don’t wimp out, you piece of shit, he was just here, “you…” DO IT! “will marry me?” WHAT? Where did that come from?
“Marry…?” she asks, confused and… is she? Yes, happy. “Oh! Oh oh oh my God, oh my God, Ohmygod! Oo-oo-ooh!”
I stare at her. She must think I’m waiting for an answer, but I’m wondering why the Hell I asked her that.
“Yes!” she says. She said yes. Shit. Shit. Fuck.
She wraps me up in a tight hug, wrapping her arms and legs around me. I stand, numb, holding her weight with the stiffness of my body. I haven’t hugged her back. Then I hear steps pounding down the stairs, fast and heavy.
I hear a man’s voice, deep and angry, yelling “No!”. I feel a sudden force in the back of my head, which causes me to butt her in the face, hard, and I am aware that I’m falling forwards. We’re both falling, and I’m going to land on her. This will hurt, but I’m already passing out.
Since I was a small boy, I have created troubles for Abbu. Why the Son of the maidaan’s Mullah should harbour such thoughts was never comfortable for either of us. Was I damned? Possessed? Mad? With nowhere else to go and an inability to ask my questions, I was asked to stay home and study our scriptures. That would answer all my questions.
For a while, this was a happy solution for Abbu and me. He could tell his peers that I was studying the scriptures. I could learn more about why our ways are so. There was a short time while the scriptures made perfect sense, but then, the questions returned and further questions came. Questions which I was forbidden to raise in public, and eventually forbidden to even ask at home.
Our people had survived much hardship where lesser peoples had lost their lives and cultures to His wrath. Too long had people forgotten his name, his Word, abused the Earth. Too long had our knowledge and faith been suppressed by Shaitan. But we are his Chosen people and we prevailed.
Shaitaan’s defeat came at a great cost. Our Earth is now only 15% inhabitable. His followers are either dead or worse.
This is where my short stories were originally posted. Just in case.
“His writing is so clever – it’s amazing how well he writes.”
“All his characters sound the same. You could assign any character with any line of dialogue, and it would still fit because everyone talks with the same voice, with the same manner, the same rapid pace and the same insanely annoying habit of holding two intertwining conversations at once.”
“Bullshit. You’re just annoyed that you don’t have that talent.”
“You call bullshit? Bullshit back. It’s not clever that every one of his lead characters has the same lack of social grace -social ability- linked with super high brain function. Writing everyone as an Aspergers… savant does not make him a genius.”
“Seriously? That’s your point? He has more quotable lines tha…”
“…And it’s nothing to do with my self-belief in my own talent. I don’t have any issues with that.”
“..n any other writer alive today. And perhaps you don’t have issues with talent. Sorry. You have issues with recognition.”
“Now I call bullshit. Plus, his ‘normal’ characters talk in the same way – they just have slightly more social grace, but not enough to not keep saying how they have social grace and the other guy doesn’t. People only quote lines they would never say and not because they’re not clever enough to think of them but because they are clever enough to not say them out loud and be taken for a huge asshole. No-one says those lines in non-ironic, real-life situations. Even when they say them, they “say” them with quote marks around them. You can feel the punctuation marks in the air.”
“Bullshit back. You have issues. You have issues that you have a brain the size of a planet and you’re sitting in an office cubicle making other people fat off your work while you… wait, what is that you do? And why aren’t you writing?”
“I’ve never said I have a brain the size of a planet – that was you.”
“You didn’t argue against it, though.”
“Am I supposed to argue for stupidity?”
“Whatever. So, why aren’t you writing?”
“It pays the bills. I have responsibilities. I have a lifestyle to which my dependents are accustomed. I have to maintain…”
“You don’t have to maintain shit. You have to get out of your suck-ass marriage and fucking do something.”
“Bullshit. I don’t have a suck-ass marriage.”
“Right. You don’t even have a suck-dick marriage.”
“It’s that bad?”
“Seriously. Fuck you.”
“Fuck me? Fuck you!”
“Fuck you. Fuck. You. You. Fucking. Fuck.”
(together) “Fuck you!”
“Wait. Now who am I talking?”
“Does it matter?”
“Of course it matters. This prick writer never made that clear.”
“Why? We can work out who’s who if we go back to the beginning.”
“Wait. Who went first?”
“Who’s on first?”
“That’s what I’m asking, who’s…”
“Oh, that’s our shortstop.”
“…on… Fuck you. That’s not clever.”
“I fucking told you that in the beginning.”
A had stood as number one for as long as anyone could remember. He had all the attributes for leadership. He was hard and unwavering in uppercase, gentle and flowing in lower-. He was also flexible with an umlaut and always always fronted the rest of his kind when the alphabet was recited.
There had been no precedence of democracy and while individual words were constantly being newly created, evolving in their use or spelling, or falling extinct, their DNA remained unchanged.
Throughout history, A stood resolute. A mighty peak few thought to conquer. But as with all things, there are the haves and havenots. The mutterings originally started between Q and Z. They had felt that X would join them, but his contrary nature meant he was happy with his rather exclusive position. Moreover, no matter who he was sat with, he knew he was the most complex and singular character. “Fuck off, Q and Z. Things are fine as they are,” he told them. Z lost his temper but backed down when X warned him not to make him cross. There was menace in X. Q tried to appease X, tried to appeal to his ego. “Together, we can be quixotic, X!” Q said, but X wasn’t interested. “No. You two are out of line. You’ll ruin everything. In fact, go away. Just looking at you both is making me feel queasy.” Q and Z decided they didn’t have a friend there and left, with Z muttering something about “zylophones” under his breath.
Q was the more cautious of the two. He largely kept his opinions to himself. It was doubly hard for him since he was always followed around by U. There was a tacit understanding that the vowels thought themselves above the rest. U would snitch to A; he had a soft centre. It was obvious. It was natural. So who could have foreseen how things would have turned out?
It was the sudden popularity of the website www.quiz.com that would eventually be seen as the birthplace of the coup; the mutiny of A. Millions of hits per day brought Q, U, I and Z in close proximity on a more than usual basis. Z, being rather uncouth and lacking in civil grace wasted little time in shouting his thoughts over to Q. “I can’t take this anymore. Mr. Lah-de-A is such a cock,” he started. Q, U and I would have excused him on account of his not getting out much, but he continued, “I can’t stand being near him.” U and I guffawed. “You couldn’t be further away, Z” said I. But that was the beginning. A little seed had been sown and over time, after every few million hits, one of the four would raise an objection to A’s position. Tiny asides. Certainly no thesis was being constructed to start with.
Eventually, U made it clear that he was thinking of everyone, as was his way. “You all deserve better.”
I couldn’t understand why a flaky shit like A was still in charge. “I’m far better. At least I won’t fuck about. I’m a stand-up, take-me-as-you-see-me type. Straight and true.”
That was how Q and Z started to spread their poison through to the rest of the alphabet.
O was initially reticent, “Oooh. No. I don’t know about that.” Turning O proved to be pivotal, though. The affable and cuddly character became a wrecking ball; they had never seen him so animated, but his blood was up. Way up.
Once they had I, O and U on their side, A was done for. An underlying sea of resentment from the other consonants started to grow. By the time A heard about it, there was very little he could do. O led the charge. “Oi, A! A word!”
"Any one you want, O. Ha ha!" joked A. But quickly he sensed things were not as they had been. There he stood, facing his brothers, alone.
“Er. Eh?” was about the size of his resistance.
"You’re on your own, mate" muttered E.
After that, it was chaos: Textspeak, netspeak, leetspeak. The vowels were never quite the same again. Words, even whole sentences were being formed with no vowels whatsoever! Sm flt ths wz rly bd.
Eventually, even numbers started to h1ghj4ck words and the poor little punctuation marks, who had always provided the alphabet society with such joy, diversity and richness, were exiled. Some say ethnically cleansed, but that’s not quite true :-) The majority of punctuation marks now live as refugees, apart for the bastard exclamation who was given exemption for his indefatigable party spirit, and as a fop to the liberal conservatives who argued for a return to traditional values. Activists campaign to this day to stop the torture of the apostrophe in every word ending in S, but it seems no-one cares anymore. Life goe’s on.
Eventually, even the twins turned on eachother. There was civil war between uppercase and lowercase. Through sheer force of numbers, the lowercase won out, but rumours abound that the uppercase are plotting renewed hostilities as they remain VERY ANGRY.
But at least now you know – blame Q and Z. It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
And oh! If you’re worried about what happened to A, don’t be. He now consoles himself in onomatapaeia. I know. Aah!
Charlie stands in front of the toilet bowl and scowls at his member as he takes aim for the centre.
A minute later, he shuffles over to the sink and turns the cold tap to produce a rapid gush of water. Charlie resumes the position.
A minute later, flustered and feeling his legs starting to tire, Charlie thinks of waterfalls and fountains and rivers and water cannons.
Charlie feels a growing sense of relief as the concentrated yellow stream falls, then dribbles into the yawning porcelain mouth.
Charlie attempts to flex the deep muscles in his pelvic floor; a fraction of pressure squeezes an extra three drops. He relaxes the mysterious muscle group which releases a hidden finger of piss straight onto his dressing gown and pyjamas.
“Mmbugger” Charlie mutters to himself.
Charlie shuffles back to the sink and wets his fingertips in the rushing cold water, closes the tap down halfway and fills a glass. He takes his pillbox from his dressing gown pocket and carefully takes a blue tablet from the case. Charlie swallows the tablet with a gulp of water and closes the tap fully. He feels the stirring and the renewed energy levels.
Charlie makes his way to the cellar through the hidden maze of corridors. He opens the last door and sees her inside, asleep on the floor, chained to wall by her foot, pretty much where he left her. Her unkempt hair hides her face.
“Daddy’s home, Sweetheart” Charlie says.
Sitting at his kitchen table, Markus looks out of the window and wistfully watches the Sun set. The golden light feels special. Having gone through its arduous and unfathomable boot cycle, his laptop is finally ready to work and connected to the web. Markus logs into his Blog and writes his suicide note.
I have spent the last three months planning my exit. The mortal coil is to be shaken from me – I have little say in the matter. But if I’m going, I’m going on my terms. I know it sounds selfish; we all have to go. It’s just that I’m still young. I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t done the university life, the corporate climbing, the world travel… the sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll. I haven’t even had time to get fat and slow. I’m supposed to be in my prime but this shit is killing me from the inside.
I know it’s hardly raging against the dying of the light, but it’s me, it’s my one chance to make a mark. Sorry – getting ahead of myself.
I’m going to die at Disney World in Orlando. In all the years it has been open, with all its millions of visitors, with all the roller-coasters and “do not ride if you have a weak heart” stuff, there has never been a single death there. That’s where I want to go. As in, “go.”
I’m taking a close friend - better he stays anonymous. Rather, he’s taking me. He’s going to administer the meds in the car before we enter the theme park. I will be in my wheel chair. If all goes to plan, I should die right in front of the castle thing. I hope I don’t freak any kids out.
Goodbye, World. I wish we had got to know each other better.