No Peace; Tasteless Beer

Nagging.  I hear my wife’s insistent voice, but the words are far away and…mushy, like.  Sometimes it’s like that. I dunno why.  I hear almost everything else fine.  The birds outside the windows.  The steady hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen. But sometimes her voice sounds like it’s coming from real far away…or through water.  Now, I can’t hear exactly what she says, but after 34 years of marriage, I know that tone well enough.   I just want to sit in my chair and drink a beer, watch the game.  I’m a simple man.  I’m a simple man, and like most women, she’s a complicated woman.  I love ‘er, Lord knows I do, but sometimes I just wish she’d stop talking.

I give up.  Can’t taste the beer anyhow.  So I get up and drift to the bedroom.  I feel tired, but I’m not sure how that can be. Why can’t I taste the beer, but I can still feel tired?  Dead tired.  Hardy har.  Maybe it’s on account of all that nagging.  It always did wear me right out, squabbling with her, even when she did most of the talkin’.

Now that I’m in the bedroom and just wanna sleep, all of sudden, her voice is clear as a bell, like she’s whispering right in my ear.  How can a man sleep like that?  Oh, well…at least she’s not nagging anymore.  But this may be worse because now she’s crying softly.

Why did you leave me?  I miss you so much… I’m so lost without you.  I’ll never let you go.

I tell her to hush, that it’ll be okay, but she doesn’t hear me, which seems to set her off to nagging again.

Why won’t you talk to me?

I should be aggravated, but now I’m sad, because, dammit, I miss her too.  I can’t touch her…but she won’t leave me alone.  And somehow that makes it worse, having something or someone so close, but you just…can’t…reach ’em.

Somehow the thought makes me more tired.  So I wish she’d just stop talking altogether, just for a while, so I can get some rest.

Jesus, woman.  Even dead, I can’t get no peace.

Reddit writing prompt:

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The Cycle (III): Meraki

*in keeping with the past two segments of Prompts For the Promptless in which I participated (courtesy of Rarasaur,) I’m going make this week’s prompt another short story in the same series.  Here are the first and second shorts in the series.  I kind of like doing it this way because it allows me to keep to the same story idea, but frees me from having to worry too much about pacing and tying together chapters.  It allows me to play with different styles of writing with each segment.  Plus, Rara’s prompts give me a theme to work with.  So without further pontification on my part…

The Cycle: Meraki

She didn’t find the journal until several months after he’d been in prison.  It didn’t seem as if he had taken great pains to hide it from her.  Rather, he’d likely felt confident that she had no reason to mistrust him or to snoop through his belongings, so complete was his hold over her.

And, damn him, he’d been right.  A simple leather bound book with a snap, the journal was right in his car console, masquerading as a benign looking day planner, or maybe a forgotten address book.  In fact, she thought that’s what it at first, and only opened it in a sort of distracted and automatic way.  At least that’s what she told herself.

Only were the contents nothing like what she expected.  Still, had she found the journal a half a year ago, she might have passed off the contents as nothing more than lines from some obscure film, or perhaps her husband’s attempts at some creative writing.  But now the lines of obsessively neat script seemed damning–not to him.  He’d already confessed when he knew he could no longer make any reasonable claims to innocence, and yet here she was, knowing she would have given him the benefit of doubt with almost eager self-deception.

(photo: courtesy of Immortal Longings on Etsy)

(photo: courtesy of Immortal Longings on Etsy)

…It’s my art. The first thing I’ve cared about in a long time.  First, the woman- she is a blank canvas, and I paint her with blood.

But there’s more- the performance art.  All the world really is a stage, and everyone I meet is a bit actor, but they don’t know it.

Or a chess board, and they are all pawns.  I’m not the king though.  The king is weak, with no freedom of movement.  I am more like the queen- I move, silently and lethally, and the pawns never see me coming.