“Won’t get fooled again.”
“Won’t get fooled again.”
Kirby was a failure.
He wasn’t just a failure at school, where his best grade was an “Incomplete”. At work, where his boss was overly forgiving, Kirby regularly damaged previously completed work. In his relationships, he usually started with a pick up line suggesting crude intercourse, and devolved from there.
Kirby had nothing to his name, and blamed everyone else for it.
Kasey was up early, clicking on the button to update her profile to enroll in the course to complete her degree.
The button, of course, wouldn’t work.
She tried again, and again, and once more. The wheel just kept spinning.
Not one to be put off so easily, Kasey refreshed the page three times. On the third time, the page stopped loading, and the wheel appeared once more.
Finally, Kasey went to her last resort. She flipped to the old, legacy system. With no one using that, she was able to get her profile updated and courses enrolled long before anyone else could even get the page to load.
Trying to relax, Dallas stiffened.
The masseuse was good; he knew his stuff, how to really ease the tension from a back. But Dallas was having none of it; there was too much to do, tomorrow was another day, things would just be bad again.
As the masseuse tried to work the muscles loose, Dallas put his hands beneath his shoulders and pushed himself up. “Sorry, pal. I can’t. It’s not helping.”
“Sir, you only just began,” the masseuse said.
“Nope. Nothing doing. I’ll pay you, but I need to step away. Thanks anyway.”
The masseuse shrugged, then left the room for Dallas to put his clothes on. Another attempt down the drain.
The day before the garage sale, Craig stared at the pile in his basement.
It was a simple thing, really. He just had to drag it all out, and create prices. Not even write them down, just think of them. People would ask. He would say. Simple.
But the pile. It was so large. So much stuff. So many things to drag out, most of which he’d probably have to drag back in. Craziness. Just madness.
As he considered clearing out his basement, Craig knew it would be another year of letting crap collect.
Hope, Wendy, and Brigitte stood in a line, waiting for inspection.
The parents arrive, neither smiling, clipboards in hands. The looked Hope’s small figure up and down, taking notes. After a moment, they looked at each other, nodded, and moved on to Wendy. Again, they looked her up and down, looked at each other – frowning – then moved on. Brigitte, the eldest, received the same treatment, though was met with smiles.
“Hope and Brigitte, very well done. You can get in the car,” one of the parents said. The other continued, “Wendy, you stay.”
Wendy received her usual dressing down, and returned to the bathroom to improve herself. She had been ready for this, the usual treatment of being the middle child.
Josie knelt in the sand, grabbed a bucket, and started filling.
Handful by handful, the bucket grew heavier. Josie stopped, swirled her hand inside, and pushed down, compressing it all. Then she started scooping some more.
When the bucket was filled to the top, Josie stood. She grabbed the bucket, her tiny arm straining to lift it off the ground. She pulled it over a metre or so, then stopped. She pushed the bucket over on its side, then upended it all the way. She hit the top, as her mother and told her to do, and slowly lifted the bucket off the sand.
A perfect cone stood in front of her, wider at the base, tapering just a little, and flat at the top. Josie admired her work.
Nodding, she stood. Three more cones to make, then she needed to start on the walls.
The dishes needed washing, stacked high in the sink and crusted with days of food. But Vance sat on the sofa.
The floors needed sweeping, bits of dry skin and dirt from outdoors mingling with dust bunnies and food crumbs. But Vance stayed on the sofa.
The phone needed answering, work calling to wonder why he wasn’t in, what he was doing, where he had been the past week. But still, Vance was one the sofa, lost to the crushing weight of existence.
Vito stood before his audience, mid-way through a lecture on the current state of media, when he saw a man stand.
“You fuckin’ lib-tards and your bullshit support of the Sunderman dictatorship!”
Another man stood, on the other side of the room. “Hey! Get your backwards-ass ignorant fuckwad self outta here you neo-Con redneck!”
“You think you’re so brave, get the fuck over here and I’ll show you bravery, like I showed it to your mother last night!”
“What the fuck is wrong with you, Dave?” the man shouted back. “You know my mother died last year!”
“Yeah, because I pounded her too hard, unh unh! Yeah, fuck you and your mother, and I’ll come take your wife too, Rory!”
“Gentlemen,” Vito said, “if we should return to the matter at hand…”
“Shut your face, OP! I’m a third degree black belt and have studied media more in-depth for the past 20 years than you could ever dream! And Rory, I know where you live, so I’m gonna find you and I’m gonna fuck up your life so bad, your salt ass will be sore until the second coming!”
“Dave, what the fuck is wrong with you? Typical ignorant bullshit, you can’t have a decent discussion without threatening violence or throwing shit everywhere? Quit being a fuck-tard, you dumb-ass!”
Vito grabbed the microphone. “LADIES, GENTLEMEN, AND MAN-CHILDREN. SIT DOWN. NOW.” The two men just looked at him. “SIT. DOWN.”
“But – ”
“I just – ”
“SIT DOWN.” The two sat. “I WAS GOING TO CONTINUE MY DISCUSSION. BUT APPARENTLY, THE ENTIRE THRUST IS LOST ON YOU. THIS TALK IS DONE. THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS. I WISH I COULD SAY GOODNIGHT, BUT IT WASN’T. SO LONG. I WON’T BE RETURNING HERE.” Vito turned and left the stage, while the audience started grumbling.
“GOOD FUCK JOB, DAVE!” Rory yelled, and the place erupted.
A single zucchini sat on a chair.
It was green, slightly shriveled, and in want of attention. It would not receive that attention.
The day before, it was brought home from the store, in a package of six zucchinis. The recent glut had led to such sales.
After opening the package and inspecting them, the purchaser of the zucchinis had decided this one didn’t meet his standards. He left it on the chair, to throw out later.
Waking up in the morning, he made a mental note to throw it out when he left for work. Forgetting, the zucchini stayed where it was.
This would happen for several days, until the zucchini started to smell. Finally, the purchaser would take the zucchini to its new home, the compost. There, it would continue its life of decay, and give birth to new zucchinis, who would, in their turn, be abandoned and decay, and give birth to still more.