Anecdotes. Anec-DOH!-tes. Antidotes. Barter. Banter. Barfer. Conjugal. Cordial. Conjunct. Daring. Darning. Dashing. Elation. Elegant. Elephant. Flora. Fauna. Forfeit. Great. Grate. Greet. Hibbity. Habbity. Hop. Improve. Improv. Impure. Jump. Jeep. Jack. Kick. Knick. Knack. Lack. Loose. Louse. Mouse. Moose. Mousse. Noose. Nose. Noise. Ole! Okay. OK. Par-tay. Parlay. Parfait. Quart. Quirk. QWERTY. Ribbit. Rabbit. Rubic. Scibbity. Scabbity. Scut. Trance. Trace. Truce. Umbrella. Umbria. Unicorn. Versatile. Versailles. Varicose. Whim. Wham. Whomp. Xylophone. Xylem. Xyst. Yak. You. Yuk. Zip. Zap. Zup.
The word hate itself gives me the shivers. This should be the bottom-of-the-barrel word, the leftovers nobody wants to touch. Actually everybody wants to touch it. It’s an easy word to access and utilize for a numerous amount of occasions. It’s deathly versatile. It’s as easy as frowning. Even if you dislike something simply, the word hate strives to slide off your tongue, leaving a burn from its friction. There are numerous paths to go from here in the realm of hate, but the majority of these topics have been touched before, thousands and thousands times over.
Hate is worse than any scatological term referencing religion, race, culture, deformity, sexual preference, personality, appearance, and any other societal derogation. It’s worse than solitary using the word fuck, shit, asshole, bitch, bastard, and the rest of the crew. All the other terms are inappropriate and unkind, but the one word that does the trick–the stem, the umbrella, the whatever-you-call-it–wears the crown of evil.
It’s so easily accessible.
It’s so convenient.
(Nice Dream) <— Radiohead song.
This could have been a dream.
It was different, as situations usually are. It could have been my actual driving to the brick housing complex. Whether the complex consisted of townhouses, condos, or apartments, it didn’t matter to me. Actually, it did matter, because there could not have been no reason why I drove there. This happened a few times. Maybe it happened days before, driving up the natural ground driveway, no tar nor pavement guided the way to the front of the building. Yet, in retrospect, maybe it happened three times within the course of a day or a just few hours.
Vines crawled up sections of the walls, but didn’t coat the place completely. Think of Franklin Square, but the area felt older and more secluded. The place emitted an aura of historical relevance, a city gem located in what did not feel like a city. The complex, when viewed at a bird’s eye view, was built as a U. Whether the undercarriage of the U was rounded or boxed, who knows. That fact did not matter. What mattered was that this was exciting!
The car drove up and around the front of the building a couple times, practically skidding with a quick turn around, quieting to abruptly park. This action was done, the driving and skidding along the bend of the building, and around the white fountain. There was no base for the fountain, so the spurting water arched to the ground, but immediately soaking into the dirt. No puddles were formed.
The weather was warming, the air was comfortable. My mood defined elation. There was a specific door to enter, a door which allowed inquiries within. That certain door was nestled in a nook, and three stairs led up to it. A small table, attached to the brick wall, with papers sat to the left side. The wooden door, original and solid wore securing bands of wrought iron. The knocker was centered at eye-level, and the door opened before it could be utilized.
You’re here, she said with a smile. Her short dark hair had little give, but strands still fell down in front of her eyes, bluish, to be brushed away. Her white shirt, collar wings spanning and unbuttoned down a couple holes, was tucked into her black pants. I’m sorry. We don’t have anything for you at this moment. It’s not time, but we’re almost ready. Please come back again. She shut the door, and I turned toward the table to grab business cards and small fliers. An emblem, it appeared to be a goat or a dove or some greyish-decorated animal, sat in the center of two separated ribbon banners.
I had to attend a party. It was a costume party. Several people dressed as rabbits. I was the only one not in costume. Besides, it was difficult finding a place to shower while at the gym and then get ready.
He actually felt the color from his face drain.
But that didn’t happen until it was while.
It didn’t matter what time it was, because when the livelihood of the sky vanishes, drowning and sinking upwards in the deep blue, mentality swings back and forth–a pendulum–within the hours of before-and-after-midnight, and 12 is the average time. Driving home was a chore, because it didn’t feel like the same route. The streets were the same, but the houses weren’t. Lucius suburban townhouses with white, plastic fencing decorated the streets with their roofs perfectly peaked–the string of houses seemed to illustrate/parallel a white picket fence itself.
This is what threw him off, causing him to drive around longer than he wished. The world shifted, and the streets curved more–ups and arounds zee bends. However, the streets were the same. Upon arriving to the apartment, the car’s atmosphere was stale and heavy, dry, and a drink of water was definitely needed. Exiting the car was normal, except the realization of walking into a world without sound was a tad unsettling. It was as if standing in a vacuum. The silence almost radiated a piercing–
She: A mouse! Kill it! [she jumps upon the couch and sits with her feet hidden beneath her]
He: [peeks head from around the corner] I don’t see a mouse.
She: It ran under the coffee table!
He: You probably freaked it out more than it freaked you out.
She: [impatiently after a short pause] Well… [her eyes light up and dart to his direction]
He: Fine. [He goes back into the kitchen and returns with a plastic spatula. Insert gong sound.]
She: Are you going to cook me a mouse omelette?
He: Yes, as soon as we catch the thing.
She: I hate your sarcasm. You need to kill it. I want it out of here. Plastic will only stun it.
He: I am not going to kill the helpless creature. It’s winter. The mouse is probably cold.
She: Its family is, too. They’re probably incestually procreating beneath the floorboards or within the walls.
He: At least the mouse is getting some.
She: Excuse me?!?
He: You fuckin’ heard me.
[Insert one minute of staring, silently, at each other, mouths agape. Hell, make it two minutes to make it super awkward.]
She: If you don’t kill that mouse, I will kill it. I’ll probably kill you after.
He: Right. [Walks back into the kitchen and returns with a butter knife. Insert gong sound.]
She: What the hell are you going to do with that? Butter toast for the mouse? It’ll go well with the omelette.
He: I hate your sarcasm. I’m going to catch the little bugger, and I’ll cut it’s head off.
She: Surely, you’ll need something serrated.
He: Surely, you would know. It’s just like the time with your brother.
She: You leave that situation with my brother out of this. He’s my brother. We will not speak of this. Get the damn mouse like you are supposed to.
He: Excuse me?!?
She: You fuckin’ heard me.
He: [Walks back into the kitchen and returns with a butcher’s knife. Insert gong sound.] How’s this?
He: We can cook the mouse after decapitation.
She: We can. We can even put it’s head on a toothpick for the rest of the mice to see. Now, go get it.
He: [Walks to the coffee table, and gets on his hands and knees] I don’t see it.
She: Maybe you should get a flashlight.
He: Maybe you should do this yourself.
She: I’m a lady. Treat me like one. I don’t kill things.
He: Yeah, [rolls eyes] tell that to your brother.
She: What did I say?
He: [Crouching now, puts his hands beneath the small opening between the floor and the table. He flips the table. Insert gong sound.]
She: What are you doing?!?
He: What do you think?!? Uncovering the mouse.
[They both stare at the mouse for two minutes as the creature simply munches on food remnants. Hell, make it three minutes to make it super awkward.]
Mouse: [looking up] What?
He and She: What?
Mouse: I really hate you two humans.
He: No. You don’t.
She: You can’t.
Mouse: You’re right. I don’t. You both are pathetic slobs. You give us food. You give us power. We–my family and friends and I–have been consuming your food and shitting in the containers. The rabbits have joined in as well; we have parties. You’re both poisoned, and you don’t realize it. I’ve essentially killed you before you’ve killed me.
He and She: Excuse me?!?
Mouse: You fuckin’ heard me.
To hear this, one had to really concentrate on not thinking about not concentrating.
The concrete steps unfolded in front, ascending. The balance was unstable, and grabbing the railing only caused the stairs, the ground they were connected to, to bend up and sway. However, there was success in the attempt and composure to walk through the red double doors. Another challenge awaited him: another staircase. It was a series of steps shaded by the light being splashed in all the right places. The stairs creaked as they were utilized; the intensity depended on how hard he placed his weight down and where. This staircase did not pose a threat, and entering through the door at the top was a success. Looking back down-down-down, he noticed that the stairway turned and twisted toward an abyss.
The hunger pangs hit him as he entered. The remnants of the last meal cooked lingered in the air. The notes of odor danced up his nose. At one point, his feet no longer felt resting upon the floor. Then he remembered the leftovers from dinner, which were boxed up and back in the car. It was cold enough, he believed, to preserve the food. There was no way he was going back down to the car.
The light turned on to a dull hum as static ignited from his scuffling socks scooting the carpet. His toes were on fire by the time he reached the kitchen, and he threw his socks in the sink to douse them with water. To ease his stomach’s
[the camera zooms in at the clock, which has hands that read 9:32]
pangs, the debate on what to eat plagues him. It is well past nine, which isn’t a great time to be eating, so he goes with the option of humus; however, the container is almost empty despite the half-full bag of chips to go along with the snack. The second option is salsa, which there is an unopened container of on the shelf, but the tortilla chip bag is practically empty with small chip remnants. You cannot mix the salsa with the humus chips; it does not make sense. It’s unheard of. It’s irrational.
The second shelf of the cabinet held a box of popcorn, which was light enough to consume at such an hour–kettle corn especially. He took out a bag and shut the door.
Flies pitter-pattered upon the window, and the sound blended in with the ticking of the second hand. What are you guys still doing up, he asked. He ripped the bag open and the three-fold popcorn packet fell to the ground. Yippee!, announced the flies. His eyes narrowed at the creatures. The two ends of the packed folded, creating legs, and it began to flop around like a surfaced fish. Disregarding the celebratory comment from the flies, he jumped upon the packet and punched the center with the kernels. It fell limp, incapacitated and twitching. Quickly, the character took the bag in his hands and threw it into the microwave, and he hit the quick cook option. As a minute passed, he could hear the bag expel a defeated sigh of
and the flies repeated a victorious, Yippee!
The dark of the back den beckoned him. Curiously, feeling this subconscious want, he peeked in. The second-hand of the clock clicked courteously. The flies stopped bouncing against the glass, anticipating some sort of event to happen. The notorious creek of the chair could be heard.
Into the dark he asked who was there.
Who there, a whisper replied back.
It’s not funny, he replied. Nervous blood swirled in his veins.
It funny, slithered the words of the whisper.
Slowly, our character slid back into the kitchen–two minutes and a quarter were left on the timer–and he walked over to the knife rack to grab a bread knife (the serrated blade would work well on whatever it was, he knew).
[He just knew these kinds of things.]
Show yourself, you coward. He called from the kitchen, gripping the knife.
Show coward, the whisper beckoned back.
He actually felt the color from his face drain as his hand gripped the knife’s handle tighter.
He peeked his head around the threshold, sweat beaded heavily upon his forehead. Some drops slid to salt his eyes. You’re obviously messing with me, he called back and continued, so knock it off and get out of here.
The whisper murmered back.
Our character asked, Pardon me?
You fuckin’ heard me, growled the hoarse voice louder. Unfortunately, upon hearing this clearer and discerning retort, our character felt two hands grab his head, one on his nape and the other in his mouth, grabbing tight to his jaw. As he was brought to the ground, dropping the knife for it to only penetrate his hand in the unfortunate happenstance of the nick-of-time. He thought of not to respond to strange voices. His parents had mentioned this to him as a child–pay no mind to the voices of the dark beneath the bed and in the corner of the closet. This was never disclosed.
[However, things like this only happen when you least expect it. You should already know this.]
[the camera zooms in as the clock hits 32 seconds, counting down to make it super awkward]
As the timer sounded, the flies shout, Yippee!
He didn’t expect it, this tomfoolery.
“Why are you taking so long? What are you doing? Are you ready to play?” He began to grow impatient as the seconds passed.
“Yes! Just give me a minute!” She adjusted the tea party set set she had received for Christmas. The napkins, utensils, and dishware were placed specfically upon the table; all of this was learned from the A Little Table Etiquitte for Little Ladies coffee table book, which was a gift to go along with the entire set. Her brother got a signed baseball glove.
These were both one of the many gifts, but she got more. She usually did.
“I want to play horseshoes.”
“You just want to win, brother.”
“Why do you talk like that?”
“Mother says so. It’s what I read in the book as well. Mother says it will make Father proud.”
“You’re out of your mind. Your horseshoes are over here. I will throw them to you.” He tosses the metallic toys over to his sister haphazardly.
“Be careful! That one is my favorite horseshoe!” She was talking about the bright pink one.
“They are supposed to get dirty.”
She ignored this comment, and she adjusted the seating of the rabbit, the mouse, the bear, and her doll. They had to be sitting upright with no hands or paws on the table.
The game played on until the little girl threw her favorite U-shaped toy for a game she hated a little bit too far. It rolled into the brush of an adjacent wooded area. Mumbling to himself, he searched for his sister’s toy for several reasons, and amongst those: (a) he did not want to get into trouble, and (b) he actually did care about his sister. Scuffling through the brush, avoiding what looked like poison ivy–he learned about the ivy the hard way on a couple occasions–he noticed the horseshoe leaning against a stump. He walked over, picked up the piece of equipment, and turned around to more trees.
He had to have walked ten feet, if that. He called, “Sis?!?”
He called again, this time but louder.
Rustling branches jingled behind him, and he turned.
He shook off this sudden onset of nervousness generated by his own self, but that was right before he heard a whisper.
“Hey,” the voice said, “keep walking straight.” A shrill, hoarse snicker followed.
He felt cold and pale. Doing as he he was told, he sprinted and exited successfully. As he approached his sister, she exclaimed, “Yippee!!!”
“I heard the voice again,” he admitted solomnly.
“Remember what Mother and Father said. Ignore it.”
“But it’s hard not–” he was cut off by a sharp pain in his stomach. He fell to his knees, and his eyes rolled back into his head. His jaw opened wide and a swarm of flies poured out of his mouth in a dense cloud.
His sister ran into the house, screaming
There was a knock at the door. She looked in the mirror, which was fixed over a hallway table topped and decorated with a vase of flowers, white daisies, and adjusted her hair quickly–the couple strands which fell astray. She smiled at herself before opening the heavy wooden door. She looked out at him, calmingly.
Apologetically, she stated: I’m sorry. We don’t have anything for you at this moment. It’s not time, but we’re almost ready. Please come back again.
She shut the door, and the smile melted from her face. Her back pressed against the door, and she sighed.
The light from the room slowly drained. A whisper asked her, What are you doing?
It wasn’t his time, so I refused.
It’s supposed to happen when he least expects, you should have let him in.
No. I couldn’t.
A whisp of black smoke slowly raised to her face, swirling, and streams branched out as the thick of the smoke reached her jaw.
We see a scene of mice and bunnies having a tea party. The bunnies have faces of humans.
All turn their head toward the camera.
(for more fiction, please visit: www.sporadicattic.com)