#FlashMobWrites 1×19 : Friction

The alarm screamed at 0430 hours, so I grabbed it and threw it across the room. Of course, some genius made it so it didn’t shatter when it hit the wall. It just made a quiet, “whap,” and fell to the floor.

At 0435, it screamed like the token girl victim in a cheap horror movie. With it screaming like that, I had to get up, find it, and turn it off. “Fuckin’ geniuses…”

I staggered to the bathroom for my morning pee, “Welcome to fuckin’ Monday.” Hell, I didn’t bother standing, I figured I’d miss as bad as I was swaying, so I sat down. Which meant the cat had to say hello and demand attention. He whined. “Roow. Mrow. Merowwww. Rrrow.” On and on he rambled as he marched in, and parked is but on my feet.

“God, cat! Why you always gotta do that?”

Next up was the shower. At 0445 in the morning, I stepped into the downpour of hot water, and winced. I heard my mother’s voice in my head, “Gotta use hot water, it’s what takes the dirt off.” And I heard my dad mumble, like he always did, “Listen to your mother.” Hell, I knew physics. I understood water was caustic, and cold water would strip away the dirt as effectively as hot, and how the soap’s only real purpose was to make you think it did something. But, you can’t fight the words of your parents, and the things they taught you. Hot water, lots of soap, more shampoo than my balding head needed, and lots more hot water to wash it all off.

“At least I can feel my fuckin’ toes.” I wiggled them on the bath mat as I dried off. The cat, of course, wrapped himself around my ankles, and purred. “Great. Cat hair.”

I got dressed. Black pants, socks and shoes. A white shirt, with a tie, and a black blazer. The only item that ever changed was the tie. “Monday. Hmm. What’s a good color for Monday?” I settled on maroon, “Closest thing I’ve got to blood…”

Dad always said, “You gotta look sharp, like you take care of yourself, so people’ll think you can take care of the work they want you to do.” Like I said, you can’t fight the words of your parents.

I looked in the mirror, “Professional!”

Every Monday, breakfast was a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit, a pile of hash rounds, and a cup of coffee at the Hardee’s a mile from my apartment. From there I picked up the Starbucks mocha.

At work, I parked my car in my usual space, then did an inventory of the parking lot to figure out who was already there. Before I headed in, I pulled two naproxen pills out of the bottle in my glove box, popped them in my mouth, and washed them down with a chug of mocha. “Take that, fuckin’ headache!”

It was time to go to work.

496 words

This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×19, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×19. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

I soaked in the shower, letting the steam from the hot water fill the room. The heat felt good on my neck and shoulders. It helped wash away memories of the dreams I’d had while sleeping.

Eventually, I turned the water off. I reached past the curtain, grabbed my towel, and pulled it in. I liked to stand in the warm shower to dry off before opening the curtain, letting the cold air outside the curtain in. Getting the water off my body before the cold air found it, and felt colder than it was.

I pulled on my underwear, then my pants, then pulled a t-shirt on. That’s when I noticed something funny about the mirror. It didn’t look right. The mirror was coated in condensation from the steam of the shower, that was normal. But there wasn’t suppose to be anything written on the mirror, and there was.

I faced the mirror, read the writing, “Mystica”. That’s all it said. “Mystica”. I recognized the handwriting. It matched what was on the bottom of the sketch. The same hand had written both places.

I used my towel to wipe the mirror clear, grabbed my hairbrush, started brushing out my hair. I froze as I stared into the mirror. Floating a foot above my shoulder was the fairy from the birdcage. “Her name is Mystica.”

I dropped my brush.

“Her name is Mystica.”

Then, she was gone.

I stared into the mirror for a while, trying to understand what I’d seen. It couldn’t be real. It couldn’t have happened. Fairies aren’t real. They don’t exist. They’re just beings in fairy tales.

But I’d seen her in the mirror. She’d said, “Her name is Mystica.” And how else could the writing in the condensation on the mirror have gotten there? I couldn’t explain it.

I was realizing there was a lot I couldn’t explain.

I finished brushing out my hair, left the bathroom, pulled on my shirt, buttoned it up, put on socks and shoes, packed a lunch, and headed to work.

It couldn’t have been real. Had to have been my imagination. Or a dream. Yeah. A dream.

Fairies aren’t real.

Everybody knows that.