Saturday, August 7, 2010

(Recommendation) AN EVENING AT HOME By Melissa L. Webb

 

Tom unlocked the front door and stepped in. The house lay dark before him. Reaching out, his fingers brushed a switch causing light to flood the room.

Shutting the door, he made his way into the house. He stopped in the kitchen and looked around, his stomach growling darkly...

 

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Panties Half Off part ten

Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Chapter Three
Panties Half Off
part ten


Each day I went to work at the Julia Shop desperate with the hope that Lilly would stop by and talk to me but with each day that passed I lost more hope. I didn’t have the nerve to keep trying to call her anymore, not with Jessie back in town. To have been so close to winning the love of my life only to have everything fall apart was almost too much to bear.

As soon as my car was fixed I started driving by their place at odd hours while listening to heartbreak-centric mix tapes. I know it was creepy and pathetic but I was powerless to stop myself.

Then I got my first employee review and it was a complete disaster. I was warned that if I didn’t pick up the pace and get the boxes cleared out I would be fired.

Of course after right after that they had me spend the rest of the day rearranging signage.



*


“What are you doing?”

I was hard at work cleaning mirrors and trying not to look at my reflection. I sprayed layer after layer of Windex on the glass and watched it trace patterns down to the rug. My head was full of songs from the mix tape that bore Lilly’s name. What could I have done wrong? What could I have done right? Was this what a Total Eclipse of the Heart felt like?

“Hello?”

Finally I realized someone was addressing me, of course it wasn’t the voice I wanted to hear. I looked up to see Cloe, the girl I had replaced. “Hey,” I said, “what are you doing here?”

“Shopping. Why do they have you out here?” She asked, “This is a salesgirl job.”

Sighing I stood up, “My duties, like my waistline, have expanded.”

“But why?”

“Management feels that I should be able to handle both jobs.”

Cloe gave a shrug, “Well I suppose. I used to have a bit of free time in the afternoons.”

“Free time? What? How?” I asked, “I’m weeks behind.”

“They have you out here that much?”

Somewhere nearby Maddie was shouting at a salesgirl for letting a customer try on a bathing suit. The customer stormed out around about the time the word ‘crabs’ was used.

“No,” I explained. “It’s just a lot of work to count all those dresses and match them to the packing slips. Well, it is for me anyway.”

“You’re counting the dresses?”

“That’s the job description.”

“I never counted them, I just hung them up and signed the order as complete.”

It took me a moment to digest this, “So you cheated?”

Cloe nodded, “Yeah, every stock person does it that way.”

“But the inventory is all wrong. I had to take a lie detector test because they thought employees were stealing.”

“They probably are,” Cloe explained, “half of Beverly’s wardrobe comes out of the back room.”

“God. Damn.” I slumped against the damp mirror, and promptly slid to the floor with a squeak.



*


There is a place on the border of New York and Vermont called the Tomannock Reservoir, a slender body of water about three miles in length. A pitiful dirt road circles the reservoir, slithering through the thick copse of trees that covered the area. My friends and I had taken a likening to prowling around that road in our cars, with the windows wide open and Alice Cooper songs blaring away. After all we were 18, or close to it, and we didn’t really know what we wanted.

Well, I had known what I wanted, but I had blown it and I knew in my heart of hearts that this had been my last chance. Once I was deep in the woods I killed the Monte Carlo’s headlights and sat there in the dark for a long long time.

I didn’t see how I could go on.

I didn’t really want to go on.

A quote from Lovecraft bounced around in my head, “…in oblivion there is no wish unfulfilled.”

Well, if I wanted oblivion this was the perfect place, all I had to do was gun the engine and tear through the treeline and into the deep waters of the Tomannock Reservoir. No one knew where I was and I found the thought of just disappearing darkly attractive. They might never find me and I would leave everyone with a mystery to ponder.

And if I chose oblivion how long would the mystery I created endure? Would I be mourned by my family? By my friends? By Lilly?

As I’m sure you guessed dear reader I didn’t go through with it, I don’t think that they have internet connectivity in Hell. Well, maybe dial up…

Before heading back home I threw all my mix tapes out the window, leaving them on the dirt road to rot away. I was going to go on, but for now I would do so alone, and in silence.



*


A short while after that I simply stopped going to work. I stopped doing a lot of things, like hanging out with my friends, writing and behaving rationally.

It was the first or second day of June when Paul DeSanti came to call. He was one of my stepfather’s friends and there were two things I had realized about him; first off, he didn’t seem to have a real job, just innumerable moneymaking schemes, second of all he wore a toupee that looked like a corduroy beret. I left my room to get a bite to eat; I had been holed up in there for days watching Doctor Who videos and giving the finger to old yearbook photos.

My Mom, stepfather, brother and Paul were sharing beers and laughter. They tried to make small talk with me as I made a sandwich but I wasn’t even remotely interested.

Paul said, “Your Dad tells me that you’re looking for work.”

“I wouldn’t exactly call it looking,” I said, “and he’s not my Dad.”

“You should come to work for me,” Paul said, “I’d pay you cash, no taxes.”

I chewed my ham and cheese insolently, “Doing what?”

“I’m in the art business, selling velvet paintings at abandoned gas stations,” He explained, “you’d be working with kids your own age, like my niece.”

“Sounds thrilling.”

My stepfather’s voice was a growl, “Do you have to be an asshole?”

“It’s a lifestyle choice.”

Before the argument could progress further I heard the sound of the toilet flushing and then the sink running. The door opened and a girl walked out of the bathroom; she was around my age, tall with white-blonde hair and gray eyes. She was wearing tight red shorts, sandals and a t-shirt for a rock band I had never heard of.

Paul said, “This is my niece Athena.”

I had just taken another bite of my sandwich, it took me a moment to choke it down. Then I asked, “What time do I start?”




5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred And Fifty One Through One Thousand And Three Hundred

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty One


Rick wasn't afraid of the collapse of civilization; he'd been looking for an excuse to drink his own urine for years.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Two


He was the only knight of the round table that liked to play pranks while in his armor. He was a full metal jacknape.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Three


It wasn't until he got loads of sand in his costume that Psychotic Kid truly understood what it was to have gritty adventures.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Four


When the Mathmagician used algebraic equations to create a rabbit she wasn't just pulling the numbers out of her hat.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Five


Karl was heartbroken to learn that a Syllogism was not a money shot involving a clown.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Six


"This must be what the Rapture is like," Audra smiled, "except there are no Christians floating up to Heaven going 'Nya Nya!'"


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Seven


They banned Karl from the pool after he got his penis caught in the filter, he sued them for not having a bigger intake valve.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Eight


Chunky McBride stayed away from strangers with candy but after he encountered a stranger with pastries he was never seen again.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Nine


They loaded the work of HP Lovecraft into artificial intelligence. Instead of new stories all they got was 'The LOLcats of Cthulhu'


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty


A freak accident with a can of spray-on tan and a beer bong was only the prelude to the ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT DOUCHEBAG.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty One


And one beating later Psychotic Kid learned not to make wisecracks about a cyborg having 'junk in his trunk'.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Two


Amazing Ed liked to brag about his 'alien costume' but buying a cape in Mexico didn't count.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Three


All we are is dust in the wind but the Lunt family were more like lint in the dryer.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Four


The incredible Bratman gained his powers after being bitten by a radioactive toddler.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Five


The Maven grabbed a barbecue, the Crime Countess grabbed a hibachi, they started hitting each other. It was grill on grill action.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Six


The Maven grabbed a barbecue, the Crime Countess grabbed a hibachi, they started hitting each other. It was grill on grill action.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Seven


When living in a kingdom of magic and enchantment inadvertent bestiality was almost inevitable.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Seven


When living in a kingdom of magic and enchantment inadvertent bestiality was almost inevitable.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Eight


It was the most racist ghost they had ever encountered. "Just what we need," Magwier said, "a wight supremacist."


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Nine


He kept several answering machines in his house and let them fight it out whenever he got a call.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy


The argument during dinner left her feeling all torn up inside, the double helping of super hot chicken wings didn't help either.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy One


Her body was an erotic amusement park but he wasn't at least this tall to enter.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Two


Her body was an erotic amusement park but he wasn't at least this tall to enter.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Three


For years his parents argued that their son hadn't died during a breath-holding contest, he was just holding on to his record time.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Four


If she told him once she told him a thousand times he had a brain tumor that effected his memory.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Five


"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times and someone's getting shot."


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Six


Karl enjoyed the porno remake of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW right up until the appearance of Aunt Pee.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Seven


He vowed that as soon as he got off the elevator he was going to take things to the next level.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Eight


Despite his successes it pained Captain Hero that he had never developed a catchphrase.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Nine


"I have no problems with necromancy itself" Lorelei said, "but most actual necromancers are just trying to shock their parents."


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty


The Scotsmen all their sheep had been stolen by the English. One said, "They may take our lambs but they'll not take our FREEDOM!"


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty One


They were the Allied army's secret birdcall brigade- the Chirpy Dozen!


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Two


Quinn awoke in a puddle of his own urine, grabbed hold of the jumper cables and knocked himself back out. This went on all day.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Three


She invited her boyfriend over so she could cook him dinner and refuse him sex. She loved macaroni and pleas.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Four


His daughter was going through puberty. His wife was going through menopause. He was going into witness relocation.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Five


An unfortunate typo left the world thinking that Abner Deggent was scouring the African jungle for white loins.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Six


Captain Hero had no patience for fad superheroes- did anyone even remember the Battling Breakdancer or the Nehru Knight?


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Seven


The extreme milking contest was canceled when the bungee cord holding the cow broke.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Eight


The golden idol was hidden within a trap-laden tomb, so Abner Deggent let the archaeologists go first into each chamber.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Nine


It was easy to program the DOUCHEBOT 5000's speech circuits, every question was answered with the reply of "Yeah with your Mom!"


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety


Guns blazing the Shellfish Gang took refuge in a bowling alley where they quickly found themselves pinned down.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety One


At Choe-Je's Home for Wayward Ninjas a small donation can keep a bloodthirsty assassin in katanas and smoke bombs for weeks.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Two


She had once dated a TS Elliot fan but whenever they made love it ended not with a bang but a whimper.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Three


While the strip club secretly run by vampires has become a cliche, a day care secretly run by zombies was a surprise to everyone.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Four


A customer told her she lacked the proper empathy, she told him he could take his dead father to some other funeral home then.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Five


"You might think an invisible monster truck is a bad idea, but how else you gonna run down invisible monsters?"


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Six


In his dreams Karl made love to a woman who was soft and warm in his arms; when he awoke his pillow was unspeakably squishy.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Seven


She pulled aside the cushions of her new couch to find a mummified body. She whispered, "That's the last time I use Craigslist."


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Eight


Fuego worked as a substitute teacher and kept order in the classroom with quiet authority and the occasional sleeper hold.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Nine


Once the company found a doctor that prescribed medical marijuana for a case of the Mondays no one was ever late for work again.


5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred


Want to use the urinal while wearing Apple's new iPants? There's a flap for that- just don't try to flash.