It Sucks To Be Me

F290BAED-C9DF-4145-853B-AB189CE55376He put the paper down in front of me. He had a big smile on his face as he handed me a fancy pen. “Sign on the dotted line,” he said.

I remember that I could feel the cold sweat forming on my brow. I was young, I had a crappy job working at a warehouse, and I had never made a purchase this large. But my old junk heap of a car had broken down and I needed wheels to get to and from work each day and to, well, drive from place to place. You know what I mean, right?

So I signed on the dotted line and for the first time in my young life, I was in debt.

I have to admit that I was excited about my new purchase. It made me feel like a real adult to have an apartment, a job, and now a beautiful, shiny, brand-spanking new, two year old used car.

Little did I know that, on that fateful day that I signed on the dotted line, my life would start a downward spiral. A week after I bought the car, my girlfriend broke up with me. The breakup was a bad one. But what really hurt was that she was living in my apartment with me and was paying for half the rent and half of the utilities. When she moved out, my cost of living nearly doubled.

A few weeks after that, I hit a friggin’ moose on the way home from work. I was okay, but the moose, not so much. But my car was a mess and it had to be towed to a local auto body shop. The guy at the repair shop said a week and a half to two weeks. Jeez.

Then I got my hours cut at the warehouse from 40 to 25. Something about foreign competition and having to cut costs. I also lost my company health insurance plan because my status changed from full time to part time. Can you believe that shit?

So money got real tight, you know, what with having to pay the full rent and utility bills on my own, coupled with the reduced income from my job and the cost of the repairs to the car, and all.

I was forced to start prioritizing how to spend my money. First rent — a guy needs a roof over his head and a place to sleep, you know. Then the utilities — water, gas, and electric. And food — I mean you gotta eat, right? Well guess what. There was nothing left over to pay the finance company for the car. That’s just the way it was.

Anyway, about a month after I got the car out of the shop, the calls started coming in. Some debt collector started harassing me every day about my car payments. I tried to explain to him what had happened. You know, my girlfriend moving out on me, the goddam moose, the cutback of hours at the warehouse.

But the guy was heartless. I suppose that being heartless is a job requirement if you’re going to be a debt collector, you know what I’m saying?

Anyway, long story short, the car got repossessed. The warehouse I worked at closed down, and my landlord evicted me when I couldn’t keep up with the rent. Now I’m alone, homeless, living on the street, and panhandling for quarters. It sucks to be me.

All because I signed on the dotted fucking line.

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “breakup,” “warehouse,” and “moose.” Also for Prompt A (character challenge: Debt Collector), and Prompt B (sentence starter: “Sign on the dotted line”), from Teresa’s The Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt.

That’s Really Something

“Do we have to go to your grandmother’s house?” Sam complained to his wife. “The last time we were there, the place smelled of bengay and peppermint.”

“I know,” Karen said, “but she said she had a special gift for the new baby. We’re almost there, sweetheart, and I promise we won’t stay long.”

“Fine,” Sam said, “but no more than an hour, okay.”

Karen’s grandmother was standing by the front door waving at her daughter and son-in-law when Sam pulled the car into the driveway. “Here we go,” Sam said.

When they got to the door, Karen’s grandmother warmly hugged them both. She stood back and looked at her granddaughter. “Oh Karen,” she said, “Look how big you are. You look like you’re going to have that baby any second now.”

“The baby’s not due for another two weeks, Granny,” Karen said. Didn’t you write the due date down on your calendar?”

“I think I did, honey, but with my memory the way it is, who knows? Would you mind checking? It’s the one hanging in the kitchen with a picture of a dolphin on it.”

“Sure, Grandma,” Karen said. “You know, we can’t stay too long. Sam has this work thing.”

“Well, let’s get down to business, then,” Grandma said. “First I have something for you, Karen.” She pulled a little velvet box from her apron and held it out to Karen. “Go ahead, open it up.”

Karen opened up the box and found a pair of earrings in it, each with a small ruby stone in it. “Grandma, these are your earrings,” Karen said.

“Yes, dear, but I never go anywhere to wear them, so I want you to have them.” When Karen started to protest, her grandmother said in a firm voice, “They’re for you. I’ve been saving them for you, so no argument, do you hear?”

“Thanks, Grandma,” Karen said, “but I thought you had something for the baby, not for me.”

“I do, sweetheart,” Karen’s grandmother said, beaming. “I ordered this wallpaper for the baby’s nursery. Here’s a sample,” she said, as she handed a three by three square sheet of the wallpaper to Karen. “Fantastic, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Grandma, that’s, umm, really something,” Karen said, as Sam ran out of the house laughing hysterically.E26F21BC-056F-4FDA-8417-EB5549CA3E83

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “calendar,” “dolphin,” and “ruby.” Also for The Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt from Teresa, where the setting is an elderly person’s home, the sentence starter is “The place smelled of bengay and peppermint,” and the photo is the flowered wallpaper. Photo credit: Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

I’m Just Not Feeling It

4F6A46DC-2742-4D23-B446-3106CE524C9FI have four partially written draft posts that I started today and they all suck.

In one of the four drafts, I tried to craft, as I am wont to do each day, a cohesive story around five one-word prompts, including my own. But nothing worked.

Then I began writing a post for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt and I just couldn’t get it to come together. Same with The Haunted Wordsmith’s Daily Prompt post and with Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge post. Nada!

I thought about writing yet another rant about Donald Trump and, even though there’s plenty to rant about, my head and my heart just weren’t into it.

I have been wracking my brain (or is that racking my brain? I’m never sure which is the correct expression) all day, but nothing has surfaced.

Then I saw the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where we are challenged to weave a tale in which ‘search’ features prominently.

So perhaps that’s the answer. I’ve been spending all this time today in search of something to write about and to post. But is it appropriate to write a post about a search when that search has come to naught? Probably not.

Maybe I’ll try again later. Or maybe not. But right now, I’m just not feeling it.

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Demon Within

6E25D9AD-DF6B-4690-8C58-70E81FB2ECBCHeather stood up after tightening the shoelace on one of her sneakers when Bill walked into the room. She smiled at him and started to walked up to him to give him a kiss. “Sweetie,” Bill said, “is that a cold sore or a bug bite you have there on your lips? They look a little swollen.”

frown appeared on Heather’s face. She reached up with her right hand and touched her upper and lower lips on the left side of her mouth. “Oh my God, it’s a rough patch and it almost feels like it’s undulating beneath my fingertips.” She beckoned Bill over to her. “Take a closer look and tell me what it is.”

Bill moved in close to get a better look at Heather’s lips. An icicle ran down his spine as he tried to fathom what he was seeing. “Jesus Christ!” he shouted. He looked up into his girlfriend’s eyes, which had suddenly changed from beautiful brown to cat-like green.988ac3fe-93a6-4d5c-9a6d-4345c935d854.pngBill jumped back and started to scream, but before he could get a sound out, a long, serpent-like tongue shot out of Heather’s mouth, and numbed his cheek, essentially causing Bill’s body to become paralyzed.

A deep, masculine voice came out of what was once Heather’s mouth. “Welcome to Hell, mortal,” the voice said just before the hingeless, fanged mouth of the demon engulfed Bill’s head.

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: Christo Dagorov.

Also for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “frown,” “shoelace,” and “icicle.”

Float Like a Butterfly

CDFACB19-76BE-46F7-8302-D03B93AAA666“With that mouth of yours, you’re lucky someone hasn’t yet knocked that shit-eating grin off your face,” Jimmy said.

Ted was sitting at a piano in the bar playing a tune. “I’m too fast for that, my friend. As Muhammed Ali used to say, ‘I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.’”

“You wish,” Jimmy said. “Putting you and Ali in the same sentence is like putting lipstick on a pig and calling it Julia Roberts.”

“Well, Julia Roberts has some pretty impressive lips,” Ted said, without halting his piano playing.

A couple of young men walked into the bar making a lot of noise and acting aggressively.

“Hey you two, tone it down a little will you please? I’m playing here.” Ted yelled at the new arrivals.

The two men walked over to Ted. One of them said, “Were you talking to us?” While Ted was looking at the man who addressed him, the other man smashed a fist into Ted’s face.

Ted fell onto the floor and Jimmy rushed over to assist him and called out to the bartender, “Call 9-1-1!”

At that, the two rambunctious men quickly fled the bar. “Float like a butterfly, huh?” Jimmy said to Ted.

“I was blindsided,” Ted complained.

“Yeah, well meanwhile that bruise on your cheek is swelling and turning a lovely verdant shade,” Jimmy said. “But don’t worry, Ted. I’ll just tell everyone that you got stung by a bee.”

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “lipstick,” “piano,” and “butterfly.” Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (mouth), Word of the Day Challenge (lucky), Your Daily Word Prompt (rambunctious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (meanwhile), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (verdant).