Karen looked down at the total devastation in the lounge. How was it possible that a two-year-old could create such a mess in two hours. Lego, toy trains, dolls and that damn nesting doll were scattered everywhere. Emily had finally crashed half an hour ago, after five stories and two bottles of milk. Having a child was the hardest thing Karen had ever done. Doing it on her own, for the last year, had made it impossible. A tear escaped her eye and ran down her cheek. She wiped it away, angry at herself. Not now, she had things to do. With a sigh of exhaustion, she started to bend down and pick up all the toys, scattered on the floor. She looked down at the several different halves of the nesting dolls. God, how she hated their horrible smiling faces. All of them perfectly identical, getting smaller. As a child they had been her favourite, now she plain hated them. She would have thrown them away months ago if Emily hadn’t clung to them so much. Almost as if she realised they were the last part of her father.
Tommy lay on his bed watching the fan dancing shadows across the ceiling. The gentle thump of the blades so familiar. Today was his birthday, he was 30 years old. He stared at the fan and remembered back to another birthday when he had been 16. He was 16 when he finally learnt the secret of his existence. Ever since his father had walked out on his eighth birthday, he had known he needed the truth.
Zee looked at the jar in his hand, containing his parent’s ashes. His family who he had carried with him for the last two years. Whilst he arranged the journey back to his father’s homeland. His last dying wish, to be buried at home. His mother’s ashes to go with him. Together in eternity. Zee’s parents had loved each other despite the crippling cultural differences. Zee had been born mix heritage, a factor that had haunted him all his life. The bullies at school who had mocked him. The employers who had given him the worst jobs, because of it. When he complained to his parents about it, always the same answer.
After the miscarriage, Sarah and Simon’s marriage struggles to survive Sarah sat and watched him. He had clinically laid the table a minute ago. Making sure all the knives and forks were exactly the same distance away. Placing the pot stand, exactly in the centre of the table. Simon walked over to the table, placing the pan exactly on the pot stand. Not a millimetre off the centre. Things had been tough for the last year in the Parker house. Ever since they had lost the baby the pair had been on a different page. It started with a quick niggle at each other. A few cross words had grown into a full-scale war. The arguments lasting for hours. Always resulting in one of them spending the night on the sofa. Two weeks ago they had faced the final decision. Go their separate ways or make their marriage work. It hadn’t always been like this. Before pregnancy, they had been happy. Constantly in the bedroom, only wanting to spend time with each other.
Tommy stared at the screen. Five percent battery left, how was that possible? He needed to log onto Facebook and find the next set of instructions for the mission. The tube rattled along the tracks making the familiar noises. Tommy turned his body away from the rather overweight man sat beside him. He needed privacy to log in. As much privacy as you could get on a busy tube carriage. If only Tommy could remember the code that extended your battery. He remembered seeing if you pressed a combination you could access the reserve battery. It was no good, Tommy couldn’t remember the sequence. Tommy pressed the familiar F logo on his phone and everything went black. He looked in despair at the phone. Punching the home button with his thumb, nothing happened. Tommy swore, earning himself a tut from the elderly woman sitting opposite him. How Tommy would have loved to follow the old bat home and make her pay. She would have to wait he had another mission to fulfil today. That was if he could ever access the details of it on his phone. Why had he left home without his charger? He was so sure he had enough battery. He had thrown the phone on the wireless charger last night. Only to discover when he was on the tube that it hadn’t charged. Tommy needed a phone charger and he needed one fast. As he stepped out of the train in search, he spotted exactly what he needed. A guy walked in front of him. He had a leather jacket, black jeans and trainers. What attracted Tommy was the phone in his hand which was connected via a lead to his backpack. He had to have a mobile charger in that backpack. What more, they had the same phone.
As I pulled down hard on my shoelace with utter despair I heard the rip as it snapped in my hand. I looked down at my battered boots and knew I had been living on borrowed time. The boots, that had once been buffed, so I could see my face, were dirty and leaking. The leather was peeling. Wherever I went the hole in the sole allowed water to seep into my feet.
Tommy stared at the bloody handkerchief in his hand. He thought back to the night before. He remembered the trip to the pub with his friends, he didn’t think he had drunk that much. Shit, then it hit him the guy who had shoved him in the club for spilling his pint. His hands trembled … Continue reading The Drunken Night That Changed Tommy’s Life – Short Story