Sorry for the late post. I had family in town for the weekend. But, better late than never! Here it is, the long awaited, Fiction Friday. This short story is a little out of my comfort zone, but I hope you all enjoy it. I welcome constructive criticism from other writers, so contact me with thoughts.
What about this one, I think while the loading sign looms over the top corner of a photo. A generation five, LX23 silver/red blender.
The trail started with online grocery shopping. To silverware. To tea pots. To blenders. It’s one thirty in the morning and I should be asleep, not online shopping for blenders. I don’t even want a blender to make smoothies or protein shakes out of, no. That would be too pure. I’m dreaming of margaritas. Like the ones we made on my 20th birthday, and we poured them into a plastic tub, and we thought we were cool.
A Lowes ad appears in the corner of my screen, great now they think I need a new kitchen. No, I don’t need a new kitchen. I just need some dramamine. I can’t afford those pills though, let alone a new kitchen. That hand towel, though, I think that’s cute. Who sells cute hand towels? I can afford a hand towel. I move the mouse, ready to search again.
“Congratulations!” flashes across my screen. I should no better than to fall for spam, but it’s 1:30 in the morning. So, I click on the brightly colored icon.
A new screen appears with too many words, “Come on over to claim your prize!” I decipher the main message out of all the other jargon. I could go to bed; I do have work tomorrow. Or, I could experience adult life and the freedom to leave the house whenever I want.
Obviously, I roll off the couch right away. I slide on my crocs and a hoodie I bought in college, it says something about tacos, before I leave my barley furnished apartment. It’s on the NorthWest side of the city. A good location for the price, I haven’t felt like I would be shot yet. The rent is still not cheap enough to afford that blender.
It’s not cold outside; the Indian summer has kept crunchy, brown grass crunchy and sprinklers working hard. I walk down the street, no car to drive. It’s unsettling to walk alone at night. I wish I kept the car. But, realism takes over my fantasies. In reality, I couldn’t afford the parking premiums the city thinks they get to charge.
I grimace, I’m sounding like my mother who always complained about parking in the city when I was young. Of course, back then I had no concept of money. However, I was a master of the concept of my mother’s voice. That dripping faucet.
Slow, drip, drip, complain, drip.
At least that woman could afford a blender. I wonder what my mother’s ads are like? Vacations, cats, viagra. Something like that probably.
A few street lights are on, they help fight off the shadows. I scamper faster whenever my path takes me through a dark spot. I know where I am, I know where I’m going, and still with every step I wonder why I’m not turning around.
I could go home to my bed, go to sleep. Stop looking at blenders, start looking at jersey knit sheets because Google is monitoring my searches, so they know I need new sheets. Know I looked them up, so later I will see an ad and like the world’s most successful clickbait, they will lewer me in. Don’t they know that I need sleep?
I keep walking. I’m probably two miles from my apartment now. Maybe further. Almost there. I don’t know for sure though. I left my phone at home, so I won’t get ads for night vision goggles. Light up running shoes. Pepper spray.
I look up. It’s not as scary as looking at the dark sidewalk. I know the toner in God’s pen is running low when the night sky goes from ink blue to light gray. God will sleep during the day, while angels refill the ink in his pen. Then, he will wake up at night to paint the masterpiece of constellations in the night sky. The day sky is a fresh piece of paper, from the ream. Uncluttered, unmarred, perfect, whole, and totally alone because there’s no room for anyone else. I know I’m almost there.
I stop walking near a highway on ramp. The gray is lighting into a yellowed white. So close, I think.
At the top of the highway no cars pass, so I run safely to the middle concrete barriers that separate one flow of traffic from the other. I lean over the edge to stare briefly at the ground twenty feet below. It’s littered with boxes and packages. Not clear, not clean, imperfect.
I turn back around and walk forward until the gap is filled with concrete. I hoist myself onto the concrete, cross my legs and settle into the precipice. The cars start coming. A few cars honk, but I don’t listen .
I stare, instead, into God’s masterpiece. As the gray scale takes on hues of red and orange. The sun grows stronger from the horizon, wiping clean all of God’s musings.
“Congratulations,” I exhale, and the morning warmth wraps me in it’s sweet embrace.
On the walk home, a breeze plays with tree leaves. Corners of leaves are turning from green to brown. The taco hoodie helps to fight off the wind, so I still feel warm. I return home in time for me to rush to work. Before I leave, I check the computer.
“25% off flights to your favorite Winter escape.”