so i was looking through my old creative writing notebook & i came across a short story i wrote awhile ago that i’d like to share. its definitely a feisty signature – sinister sarcasm with a surprise ending! enjoy….
This lady has gotta be the most annoying old crank yet. I haven’t even met her yet, but as I survey the front yard filled with gnome families and cutesy, “handwritten” signs, I can tell.
“Fuckin-a,” I mutter as I step out of the shit stain “Meals on Wheels” van, and walk around to the back. Opening the back doors take talent and I get them open on the third try. Happily packaged trays of slop line up one on top of the other, and I pull one out haphazardly. I can hear the food slosh around inside, but it doesn’t matter. These old people would eat poop if you told them it was food.
Standing at the door, complete with dried flower wreath and “Beware of Granddaughter” sign, I sigh and ring the doorbell. Almost immediately, the door swings open to reveal a portly woman with a head full of white and a face full of wrinkles. She glances down at the tray in my hands and lights up like they all do.
“Oh dearie, how sweet of you!” she cries, like I’m here out of the goodness of my heart. More like it was this or jail, and I thought losing my dignity would be easier than losing my freedom. Turns out I didn’t want to lose anything.
“You must come in,” she smiles, and pulls my arm into the foyer. The house is nice; wood floors, spiral staircase, vaulted ceilings. Too bad it smells like slow death. She leads me into the kitchen and sits down at the table, unwrapping the tray she had snatched from my hands.
“Did you bring silverware?” she asks me expectantly. I smile, what I hope is apologetically, and lie, “I’m sorry ma’am, but budget costs forced us to stop carrying silverware. Most people already own it in their homes.”
She sighs, annoyed, and points to a drawer two feet away from her. “Can you bring me a fork, from that drawer?”
Lazy fuckin bitch!, I scream in my head, but only smile my fake, sincere-looking smile. “Sure!” I assure her, and bring one over.
“Please sit down,” she says, and I pull out a chair and sit. In between bites, she rambles on about her life’s past. How her daughter is married and has two beautiful kids, or how her husband died a couple of years ago. Blah blah blah. The trick is to nod and say “Oh really?” when appropriate and then you barely have to listen. At one point, in the middle of her talking and scarfing down her food, she starts to choke. Is this it?, my excited mind wonders. This would make my day!
The excitement ends when she hits her chest hard and is suddenly fine. I can’t help how disappointed I feel, but I cover it by exclaiming “Oh thank God you are okay!” She looks at me suspiciously then goes back to eating.
After she finishes, she sits there and just talks. About the state of the economy, drivers on the road, global warming, her favorite TV shows, whatever. Technically its part of our job, but there is only so much one can take. Right when I’m about to cut in with, “I really must get back to delivering the rest of my meals,” she beats me to it with “I must take my nap now” and stands.
I stand and take her dirty, disgusting tray. “I hope you have a nice day,” I say as she ushers me out the door. “Thank you,” she says curtly and closes the door.
I walk back to the van and throw the tray in the back. I pull out of her driveway, hoping to hit a gnome family or two, and drive around the block. I give her about 15 minutes to get up to her room, take out her fuckin dentures, or do whatever old people do before they sleep, and then I drive back, parking across the street.
This time, I’ve got my lucky knife tucked in my back pocket as I break into the front door. I never get a chance to use it though, as I’m met with the bottom of an iron cast skillet to my face. “I can always tell the criminals,” I hear the old lady say as everything fades into black.