Dave – Daily Prompt “The Name’s The Thing”

The Name’s The Thing

Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.

——–

A year and some change ago, my dad was looking to buy a new car.  Well, new to him.  He wasn’t rolling in the dough, but he was a thrifty sonnama bitch.  Dad was old school and his Hyundai Accent just wasn’t doing it for him.  He had some “commie asshole” (his words) chew him out in the Meijer parking lot one early Sunday morning for owning a car made by “Chinese slaves” (commie asshole’s words).  The car was made in Alabama.  We checked.  But it also sat low to the ground and was hard for him to get in and out of with his bad hips and knees.  And since I wasn’t buying him a Cadillac (he wanted me to buy him a new one and a 1946 Cadillac like his uncles had), he decided it was time for a new car.  He was old school, so he wanted a Ford.  Good solid sturdy car. 

Enter Dave.  That’s the car.  Dave.  He was giving me a tour around town a month or so after he bought it (I moved to Tennessee and he was in Central Indiana) and was showing it off to me.  Nice car.  Good on gas, mood lighting around the cup holders and floorboards at night.  Powered leather seats that warmed your cold butt in the winter.  The works.  It was a nice car.  He was pleased with it. 

My dad didn’t get to drive it around that much.  Dad died in December 2013.  A week after Thanksgiving and just 3 days after I left to go back home to Tennessee.  I drove Dave around, sometimes in a daze, as I tended to the many things one needs to do after a parent dies.  I was his only son and the only immediate family member he had left.  He and my mom split up when I was a wee toddler.  But thank god for my mom.  She helped a ton.  After all, she had to go through it with her dad when I was a slightly wee’er toddler.  So anyway, I drove Dave around with his mood lighting set the way dad had it and the radio on the same station and the butt warmers turned on.  He had a handicap placard he hung from the rearview mirror, remember he had bad hips and knees, and I kept it there.  Even parking in a handicap spot once.  I didn’t realize it and my mom said you can’t park here, it’s a handicapped spot.  I said, “What are they gonna do?  I’ve got a sign.  Besides, my dad just died.”  I was going to the flower shop to order flowers for the casket.

Dave came home with me, I was appointed executor of the estate and he pretty much left everything to me anyway.  My brother (from my mom’s second marriage) and I went on a trip to Wyoming this past summer.  We drove Dave.  In the middle of our trip, my brother said he thought Dave a free spirit.  I had to agree.  After all, he had taken us from Indiana to Wyoming, up a mountain side that Jeeps would be envious of, past herds of buffalo, past Old Faithful, and through the dirt roads and mud holes the size of Nebraska. 

Dave is now my car.  I’ve always given my cars girl names, you know, like, you don’t call a ship “him” or “he”; it’s always “she” and “her”.  But Dave kept his name when I became the new owner.  And every time I get in the car to go somewhere, I say a silent little hello to Dave, and I think of my dad.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-names-the-thing/

Jerry’s Vacation

Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy
by Krista on March 7, 2014
Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMPULSE.

——

Jerry sat in his easy chair watching the baseball game on a hot summer evening. He was drifting off to sleep, a ritual he had started as a young man which continued into his married years. It was something his wife, Carol, had always hated. It was his only vice she had known about before they got married. He never drank too much or smoked too much or anything really worse than that at all.

About four or five months after they were married, she started seeing him change. He’d leave a beer bottle in the living room over night. He’d forget to take the trash out on the morning the garbage trucks came. It started small, but got to be a big problem in her eyes. A big problem.

Jerry thought it was a big problem too. He worked full time at the Ford plant and was tired when he got home. He’d been there for thirty five years already and wanted to retire. But damn, Carol got on his ever lasting nerves sometimes. He’d come home and wonder, “What’s it going to be tonight? Dishes? Garbage? Jesus, Carol, just put the dishes in the dish washer. Just throw the damn beer bottle away. Was it really that big of a deal?”

As he sat there drifting off to sleep to the sound of a Chicago sportscaster calling play by play, he heard Carol.

“Jesus Christ Jerry! How many times to I have to tell you to rinse your plate off? It’s not that hard.”

“Then why don’t you do it,” he thought. “Sorry dear,” was what he eventually said.

“Sorry doesn’t rinse the dishes off, dear.”

He sighed heavily and collapsed the easy chair’s foot rest. He heard the crack of the bat on TV and stood there watching as the runner rounded third heading for home and the hitter rounded second trying to stretch a double into a triple.

“Jerry!” The shrill voice of his wife screaming his name made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and goose bumps form on his forearms like fingernails on a chalkboard.

He sighed, “Coming.”

His wife was wiping down the table when he meandered into the kitchen. He went to the sink and looked, but there were no dishes in it. He turned to his wife who had stopped and turned to face him already.

“You took too long. I didn’t want to start the dishwasher too late. You know I can’t sleep with that damn thing running.”

He hung his head and sighed again. Jerry could feel his blood pressure rising as if he’d just eaten a bag of Lay’s potato chips in one sitting, which wasn’t unheard of. He knew it was bad for him, but how could you eat just one? Or was that Jay’s potato chips? He couldn’t remember.

Jerry walked back to his chair and baseball game. The guy on third had scored but there was nobody on base. Must have been a sac fly or something he thought. He heard his wife again in the kitchen. She had a habit of muttering under her breath just loud enough for Jerry to hear. All he heard was, “Dammit Jerry…” and then metal slam on muffled metal. He must have “forgotten” to take the trash out again.

Jerry took his eyes off the baseball game and eyed the double barrel shotgun hanging above the fireplace.

“Jerry,” he heard close by. “Will you please take the garbage out tonight? The truck comes in the morning and you always forget to take it out before you leave for work and I have to drag it out there myself.”

“I don’t always forget,” he replied, looking up at his wife standing in front of the TV blocking the game.

“Yes, you do,” she replied just as sarcastically as he did. “For the last three weeks I’ve had to drag it out to the curb by myself.”

“Ok, ok. I’ll take it out tonight.”

She turned around without saying thank you or anything and went into her sewing room. He looked back again at the shotgun for a second and then looked back at the baseball game. It was a commercial and he didn’t know how the inning ended. He took the last swig of his fourth and usually final beer of the night. But tonight he’d have another one just for shits. It was Friday and he didn’t have to go to work in the morning.

He got up, and as an after thought, grabbed his empty beer bottle and threw it away before grabbing another one from the fridge.

As he popped the can open, the inning started back up, but whatever the announcer said was partially drowned out by, “Jesus Christ, Jerry! Are you drinking another beer?!”

He picked up the can and took four huge gulps emptying half the can in one go. “Yes dear,” he almost shouted. “It’s the weekend and I don’t have to work in the morning!” He eyed the shotgun once more. It’d be quick and painless. Dirty, but quick. And painless.

He heard nothing more from the other room and resumed watching the baseball game. He had fourteen minutes and thirty two seconds of nothing but baseball. At fourteen minutes thirty three seconds, he heard the door slam. He sighed.

“Jerry, how many times must I ask you to fix the closet door in my sewing room before you actually fix it?”

“Forty two,” he replied.

“Excuse me?”

“Forty two times. You must ask me, nicely, forty two times.”

“Cute. Real cute, Jerry. Just fix it tomorrow. I’m going to bed.”

He sighed. “Yes, dear.” She turned on her heels and walked into the bedroom. The sound of the game on the TV seemed far and distant. He looked at the shotgun over the mantel again and sighed…again. Quick. Painless. Dirty…but quick. And painless.

He got up when the inning was over and the commercials started. Jerry walked into the kitchen and popped the lid of the garbage can, took out the trash bag and tied it up. He took it out to the garage where the bin was and threw it in. There was one other bag in the bin, hardly anything Carol couldn’t handle in the morning. He contemplated opening the garage door, it would be easier to drag the bin out that way rather than having to muscle it over the threshold of the regular door. But that would make much less noise than the garage door and he knew how Carol couldn’t sleep with the dishwasher going so she surely wouldn’t be able to sleep with the garage door going up and down.

After muscling the garbage bin over the threshold, he came back in after grabbing a can of WD-40 and a flat head screw driver. He went into Carol’s sewing room and used the flat head as a lever to pop the folding door back into its track. He sprayed some WD-40 on the squeaky hinges of the metal doors and opened and closed them a few times. Quiet as a mouse.

He put the tools back on his workbench in the garage and came back and sat down in his chair, slightly out of breath, and resumed watching the game only after taking one more glance at the shotgun.

He got up, walked to the shotgun which used to be his grandfather’s, and took it off the mantel. He opened it up and looked into the barrels confirming it was indeed empty and took a half full box of shells out from corner table drawer. The next thing he would do would change his life forever.

—-

Carol woke up in the morning and through crusty eyes saw that Jerry’s side of the bed had not even been slept in. He must have fallen asleep in his chair again. She got up and went to the bathroom calling out his name weakly once before actually getting to the bathroom. No answer.

After she finished her business and had washed the sleep from her eyes, she went into the living room. But he wasn’t in his chair.

She walked into the kitchen and saw the note on the table. She picked it up and began to read it.

“Dear Carol,” it began. “I couldn’t take your nagging anymore. I thought about taking granddad’s shotgun and killing myself, but I really didn’t want to do that. I don’t want to die. Then I thought about killing you, but figured you didn’t want to die either. Besides, after thirty years of marriage I didn’t have the heart to do it anyway.” He always did have a sense of humor she thought. “So then I thought I’d move away. So that’s what I’m doing. I took out our savings of $80,000 from the ATM. I didn’t think it’d do it, but it just kept spitting out the money. You wouldn’t believe it anyway. You never believed me. Anyway, I have our savings. But there’s the emergency fund for you. It has almost $49,000 in it. You’ll have to sell the house too, but if you move into an old folks community, you can call someone and they’ll take the trash out and fix your closet doors if you need them too. Which, by the way, I’ve done for you before I left. After two years, you can have me declared legally dead. You’ll get my pension from the plant and my half million dollar life insurance policy. Don’t worry about me, I’ve already called Fernando from the plant. His brother helps get people out of Mexico and into the U.S. and he agreed to help me get into Mexico without a passport. Said it was the first time he’d ever heard of that. Anyway, I took the only thing I wanted which was my granddad’s gun. $80,000 should last me a good long time in Mexico or Costa Rica or wherever I end up going. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about this personally, but I thought this was quick and painless. Dirty for you having to deal with all the paperwork and filing missing persons and having the courts declare me legally dead. Definitely dirty for you, but it’s quick and painless for me. So, I guess this is it. Thanks for the memories. It’s been good and bad. But I just felt the need to do something impulsive and while this is still probably fraud and illegal, it seemed better than killing one of us. Have a good rest of your life. Love, Jerry.”

Carol sat down in the chair stunned. She couldn’t believe what she had just read and so read it again. After a moment she rummaged through her purse and found her little address book. She called Fernando and had a brief conversation. Yes, he had talked to Jerry at three in the morning. Yes he was on his way to Mexico. No he didn’t know where.

After she hung up she sat in the chair and gazed out of the small kitchen window. “You son of a bitch,” she said out loud. “Jesus Christ, Jerry. You son of a bitch.” She started laughing and took the lighter sitting in front of her and lit the note on fire and put it in the ash tray.

She burst out laughing until tears streamed out of her eyes. She hadn’t laughed so hard in years. When she calmed down after a few minutes she stood up and walked into the bedroom to change into her clothes and she began to think of how she was going to spend a half million dollars of life insurance money.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/daily-prompt-lets-go-crazy/

The Surprise of a Lifetime – Daily Prompt: The Twilight Zone

Daily Prompt: Twilight Zone
by Krista on February 28, 2014
Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? Tell us all about it. If you haven’t had an experience in real life that you can draw from, write a fictional account of a surreal experience.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SURREAL.

———

The sun had just peeked his face above the horizon sending brilliant red and orange light into Jack’s face as he got in his car to go to work. He sat in the car and before he started it up he just paused for a second. He had a strange nagging feeling, like when you forget if you left the stove on or left the front door unlocked. Only it wasn’t a nagging feeling that he forgot something. It was just a strange nagging feeling. He let it go and left to begin his forty-five minute commute to work in the chaos of morning rush hour that daily tested his patience.

As he merged into unusually light traffic on the interstate, he turned the radio on to his morning ritual of NPR’s Morning Edition. The news stories always seemed to calm his nerves during the chaos of traffic. It gave him something to concentrate on other than the morons cutting in and out of lanes or going ten miles per hour under the speed limit in the passing lanes.

The familiar voice of Renee Montagne filled the car reporting on some story. Jack couldn’t concentrate on the news because of that strange feeling. The radio filled with static as if he was moving out of the listening area but he was in the middle of the city. This had never happened. And the traffic was unusually light. He deftly changed lanes passing cars here and there. The radio kept going in and out and after a minute or so he just turned the radio off all together. He figured he didn’t need it with traffic being so light.

After a few minutes of silence he thought he heard a voice again and figured he might have just turned the volume down instead of off. But he looked down at the radio console and it was off. Then he heard the voice, clear as day, like someone was sitting in the passenger seat. The voice said, “It’s not the radio, Jack.”

Hearing this voice, and the split second it took for him to register it and know that nobody was in the car with him nearly made him run off the highway. He jerked the wheel back into the traffic lane from halfway on the shoulder kicking up tiny rocks and plenty of dust and dirt in his wake.

“What the hell was that,” he asked out loud.  Half expecting an answer, he braced himself so he wouldn’t repeat his poor driving of a few seconds ago, but the voice did not return. He turned the radio back on and This time a story about some kids in California dealing with the schools and the American flag. He still couldn’t concentrate very much but at least it wasn’t static like before. “It’s going to be a long day,” he thought to himself.

“Yes it is. But it will be worth it,” the Voice said.

“Who are you?!” Jack didn’t lose control of the car this time, but he was startled nonetheless. The voice didn’t answer.

He finally pulled into the parking lot and walked to his office, sat down and just stared. His coworkers all asked him if he was alright and he said he was. He just had a bad night’s sleep that’s all. He was afraid that people would laugh at him or think he was seriously going crazy if he told them what had really made him this way.

The day progressed normally until about eleven o’clock when he was wrapping up a report and getting ready to go to lunch. He thought he heard someone call his name, he turned around but nobody was at his cubicle. He stood up and peered over the wall, Sherry wasn’t in her cubicle.

“Tim,” he called across the isle at his friend. “Did anyone call my name out just now?”

“Nope,” Tim said without looking up from his computer. “I think you’re going crazy.”

Jack stood there agape. His face flushed and his palms started sweating. Tim looked up now and laughed at the sight in front of him.

“Dude, I’m kidding. You’re not going crazy. I just didn’t hear anyone.”

But it wasn’t what Tim said that caused Jack to freeze in his tracks. Jack saw a reddish orange glow around Tim’s body. It seemed to dance just like the lines on a digital equalizer going up and down in short quick movements, only around Tim there were thousands of thin lines that all seemed to blend together.

“That’s his aura Jack. The red signifies strength and energy in this case. The orange signifies determination. He’s in a state of concentration and is feeling very confident about his abilities and in himself.”

The voice seemed to come from his right, so Jack turned and saw a man who looked to be in his thirties, young, with chiseled features. He was dressed in white robes and had a white glow about him. “Dear God,” Jack thought. “I’m dying!”

“You’re not dying, Jack. You’re connecting to the Universal consciousness. We’ve picked you, Jack. We have agreed to give you powers beyond your abilities. What you would call psychic powers.”

Seeming to fade in louder and louder he heard his name being called out. Jack turned back to Tim who was standing up now with a concerned look on his face.

“Dude, what the hell? Are you feeling alright? You just zoned out on me. What’s going on?”

“I don’t know.” He looked at Tim and saw his “aura” alternating between pink and blue. The voice came from in his head this time, “The blue signifies Tim’s loyalty to you and his sensitivity to his perceived condition of you. The pink signifies his friendship for you.”

Jack thought to himself, “Can you hear me? Can I talk to you through my mind?”

“Yes, of course,” the Voice answered.

“Can I pause time or something so I can think for a minute without being interrupted by anything?”

“Just think it, and believe it and it will happen.”

Just like that, time seemed to stand still to Jack. He stepped back from Tim and walked around him looking at Tim frozen in time in mid sentence telling him he ought to take the rest of the day off and go home and relax.

He walked around the office, not hearing anything but his breathing. As he walked, it felt like he was in a dream, moving in slow motion. His limbs wouldn’t work as fast as he wanted them too, as if he was trying to move like normal while being underwater.

He walked around the corner and saw his other friend Rikki Ann sitting at her desk frozen as she was typing an email. He tentatively reached out to poke her cheek expecting her to jump at him and scare the crap out of him. But she didn’t. And it felt just like he thought it would. It just felt like normal. Then he picked up a lock of her long dirty blonde hair and held it out and then let go. He didn’t know if it would stay where he left it or if it would fall back into place. It stayed in place when he let it go. But when he looked closer it was sort of floating there as he could barely see it moving back and forth as if it was floating on the calm and gentle waters of space and time.

“Amazing!” He sat on her desk staring at the floating hair trying to process everything he was experiencing for the first time. He felt like he was in a dream. Like he could wake up at any time and find himself in his bed with the alarm screaming to wake him up.

The man appeared and Jack looked at him smiling. The man smiled back. “I am called Phillip. I am your guide and I will be with you until you die. When you die, you will become part of the Universal consciousness and may someday be called upon to be someone’s guide. This is nothing to be afraid of, Jack. This is a wonderful gift you have been given. We chose you because of your kind, giving heart. We determined you wouldn’t use this power for bad, but for good. For helping people and yourself. Your reward for this will be happiness beyond your wild imagination. You need only to think of something and it will manifest itself to you in time. More will be explained as you progress in your abilities.”

Without knowing how, Jack seemed to understand and accept everything Phillip just said without question. And instantly he felt happiness like he had never felt before. Every fiber of his being seemed to jump for joy.

It was the most surreal five minutes of his life to that point. He was sure he would have more as the days and months and years passed by.

Without help from Phillip, he walked back to where he left Tim and found him still frozen in time. He resumed his place and looked at the concern frozen on his face and he smiled. He was going to seriously enjoy his life now.

Jack formed a thought of time resuming, he believed it, and it happened; time continued and thus began his lifelong quest of bringing happiness to others.

dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/daily-prompt-twilight-zone/

Stupidity – Epidemic of the Ages

If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why? Photographers, artists, poets: show us HEALTH.

If I were King of the World, I would have all my potion makers and healers and alchemists create a pill that would cure stupidity once and for all.  The land would be pure and stupidness wouldn’t exist.  That’s not to say that people wouldn’t have their differences.  It wouldn’t take our minds away like you see in so many dystopian movies and books.  No, this would take the “How have you survived so long because you’re so stupid” stupid out of people.  This cure would make people that park in two spots because they don’t want their precious cars dinged not be so upset when someone purposely dings their car because they couldn’t fit properly, or they had to park three miles away.  After having the stupidity pill, they might still park that way, but they would say, “Golly gee.  I probably shouldn’t have parked that way, huh?  Next time I’ll park like a normal human being.”  I’m sure you can think of tons of other examples of how the world would be a better place without stupidity infecting the minds and hearts of its inhabitants.