Drinking Without Driving

Greg looked out the window in disgust. There was nothing for him inside except the booze. He blindly reached to the table beside him, feeling around until his fingertips brushed the smooth glass of the bottle that he so desperately needed. He took a long swig and set it back down, the drops of liquor glistening in his mustache. He swiped the back of his hand across his mouth and dropped it back to his lap.

The only sound in the room was his heartbeat, echoing in his ears.

A thought struck him, and he stood up abruptly, swinging his arm around to grasp the neck of the bottle. He took it with him downstairs.

One of her high heels was abandoned in the stairwell. She used to be so fashionable, before she had the breakdown. He kicked the shoe through the railing and continued down until he hit the bottom, in more ways than one.

The cab he hadn’t thought to call was waiting outside the front door. Must have belonged to a neighbor, but Greg got in anyway. They could call another one.

“Fourteenth and Marks,” he said, and tipped the bottle up to his mouth again.

“No drinking in the cab, buddy,” the cabbie announced, watching in the rear view mirror.

Greg shrugged and finished off the bottle before opening the door just enough to toss the empty out to shatter on the sidewalk.

The cabbie shook his head, but drove off.

When they arrived at the junkyard, Greg threw twice the fare at the cab driver and got out without a word.

He wandered through the broken cars, the pieces of lives gone awry somewhere, somewhen. The tall grass that grew up within the longest abandoned machines whispered against rusted panels, waving softly in the wind.

Greg sat down on the hood of an old, once-blue Plymouth with the right rear fender smashed beyond recognizability and wished that he still had that bottle.

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Fish in the Sea

necklace on a pillow.JPG

Karen knew it was time. She could only take so long of singlehood before getting too antsy with herself, and antsiness was coming.

When George left, she was alone for just over nine weeks. It was nice. She got caught up on all her housework, even finishing painting the dining room, which she’d been planning for nearly six years. Productive.

When Kent left, she was alone for just under fourteen weeks. That was not so nice. She spent ten weeks of that institutionalized. She missed Kent a lot during that time. Didn’t even get laundry done.

When Stephen R. left, she was alone for six days. Just enough time to finish the laundry that had been piling up during their whirlwind eighteen-day romance. She also read one and a half romance novels. Not too bad.

When Stephen S. left, she was alone for almost four hours. She practically had the next one waiting in the wings. But that was absolutely necessary: Stephen S. was in poor health when she met him, and he didn’t last long.

Karen sighed, closing the photo album in her mind’s eye and putting on her lucky beads. She was looking forward to a long evening of hunting.

 


Bitter Sorrow

blanketShe rolled the dice and called him. When he answered, she started to thank him for the flowers, but the click of the disconnect was a padlock around her heart.

The moon shone down. She walked inside, slapping on the kitchen light and rummaging through the cabinets, but everything reminded her of him.

The peanut butter reminded her of peanuts that they ate while they flew to see the Pyramids.

She fled to their bed, and cried herself to sleep under the Southwestern blanket he’d presented on her last birthday.

That was probably the most editing I’ve ever done on something so short, just to get it down to 90 words, but I did it!