Friday, May 18, 2012

#fridayflash "Slug"


Today's flash fiction piece is prompt-inspired again. The prompt is in bold and came from this website here.


From his sleeping patterns he appeared jetlagged when in fact it was laziness. How else could he still be asleep when I got home after a double shift at the restaurant?

My enthusiasm for home flopped like a dying salmon when I saw my good-for-nothing, out-of-work, lazy ass husband sprawled in bed. I dropped my purse upon the table and kicked off my shoes and socks. My toes curled into the plush carpet. His snores grated my nerves until my fingertips stretched toward the pillow. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to smack him or smother him with it.

I yanked my hand away and stepped toward the closet to change clothes.

At first, I thought Jerry was depressed when he lost his job at the factory. They laid off over four hundred workers. Times were tough, and work wasn’t plentiful. That was ten months ago. Now he stayed up half the night playing video games and drinking beer. The rest of the time, he watched TV or slept.

I slipped the T-shirt over my head and ripped the ponytail holder from my hair. Strands—more gray than black—entwined around the elastic band. I tossed it upon the bureau and pulled on a pair of shorts.

He hadn’t applied for a position in three months.

I stepped into the bathroom and turned on the faucet. The water sloshed into the sink’s basin and splashed the sides. I cupped my hands under it and rinsed the makeup and long day off my face.

The snoring stopped and the bed-springs creaked. “What’s for dinner, hon?”

My breath spurted against the droplets. I closed my eyes, cut off the water, and grabbed the hand towel to dry off.

His steps clomped behind me, and he smacked me on the rear. The playful gesture got him a hard glare. He lifted his arms and gave me that stupid cocked grin. “Tough day?”

“You have no idea.” I straightened the towel on the rack.

His hands dug into my shoulders. The pressure felt good, relaxing, but I just didn’t want to give in. Again. He leaned closer and pressed a kiss against my neck. His breath reeked of stale beer and cigarettes. When did he start smoking again? We didn’t have the money for that crap. He wouldn’t even let me buy the dollar store hair color anymore. “How about I—”

“No.” I jerked away from him. “What’s wrong with you?”

“What?” He gave me that damn slack-jawed expression.

A million words jammed against my front teeth, as if they could knock them out. I wanted to spew the verbiage all over him. Fists formed at my sides, my nails digging into my palms. A tremor raced through my body before I regained control. “Nothing. I’ll go make dinner.”

I twisted away and left for the kitchen, but I didn’t know how much longer I could stay in the house. Life had to change, or I would do something I may—or may not—regret.

How long I could remain with the ungrateful slug?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think he's about to become a statistic.

Summer Ross said...

Great tension in this piece.

Unknown said...

Agree with Alex; this guy should be sleeping with one eye open! lol

Favorite line: "A million words jammed against my front teeth, as if they could knock them out." Really good stuff, Cherie.


Christine Rains said...

Awesome piece. Intense in its reality. Here I was thinking she was going to use magic to turn him into a slug! Heh.

Nicole said...

Nicely done as usual!

Donna Smith said...

So that's flash fiction. Until the A to Z, I hadn't even heard of it. Now I'm liking it. Lots. This was great. So much emotion packed into a small cup, it spills over until I wish it were a full bowl. How can I get a prompt? Where do you come up with the sentence or picture? Is it on your own or do you share prompts amongst a group? (hope these aren't stupid questions) Don't know if I have it in me, but I think I'll try the Flash Fiction Blogfest...whether I enter or not...

Cherie Reich said...

Donna - Most of the time I just have an idea or a moment in time in mind and I write a flash fiction piece. Sometimes I use a prompt. The one I used today, I discovered on a writing prompt generator website: If you refresh the page, you'll get a different prompt each time.

Donna Smith said...

Thanks, Cherie! After I try "The lightning flashed" I'll go there and try one from that site out.

Larry Kollar said...

I know people like that, unfortunately. It really is easy to get depressed in a situation like that, where applying for a job is basically a waste of time. Of course, wasting it in another way doesn't help either.

Nice slice of life, served up raw!

Cat Russell said...

Another domestic disturbance in the making!

Anonymous said...

I love the tension.

He should've been making dinner.

Talli Roland said...

LOVED this! I could just feel the anger inside. Great title, too.

Gina Gao said...

This is great.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Loved this snippet--I'm a little afraid for him, but I loved it :)