This is a culmination of my too many interests. It's is an in-between place. It's more focused than my Myspace blog, but less so than my author blog. Here you can find artwork, photography, writing, poetry, book covers, manga and pointless videos. All of these things mesh together to become a reflection of their creator in an in-between place colored like shadows and flavored like frappuccinos and chocolate. It's one heck of a world.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Dream - short story

I actually have a lot of little random stuff that I am going to have to make into a blog in the next day or so, but I haven’t done any short stories for Blogophilia in several weeks, so I wanted to get back to that. The only inspiration for this one is the prompts and while we were at Wood’s Grocery store earlier, there was a teenage employee sitting on the bench talking on his cellphone and looking morose. So, of course, I wondered what he was talking about…..



The Dream



The music pulsed loudly; so loud it seemed to be inside Dave’s head. It was like his heart beat in time to the drums. All around him people jumped and moshed and then the girl in front of him whipped off her shirt and flung it towards the stage with a whoop. She turned back and looked him over, then winked and shouted over the noise, “So what are you doing after this?”

There was only one word for this moment and that was “Awesome”.

“Hey Dave!”

At the sound of his manager’s voice, the moment faded and he was back in the grocery store, a bottle of cleaner in one hand and a rag in the other.

“You got those counters done?”

He glanced at the work he should have been doing and gave a semi-nod. He wasn’t sure if he’d actually washed it or not, but it was good enough. It was just a checkout after all. It wasn’t like people were going to put their food right on the surface, all naked and germy.

Just then his cell phone went off and the blood drained from his face.  He grabbed it from the holster and hit silence, but it was too late; they both knew it had gone off. What a pickle to land himself in – cell phones were supposed to be shut off at work, and yet here his was, ringing right in front of his manager. God, he was going to get canned. Canned. Now that was a funny thing to call it. Why not call it jarred? Like those pickles….

His boss cleared his throat loudly, and narrowed his eyes. “Why don’t you take your break, since you’re done with the counters? You can see what that very, very important call is.”

Dave managed to nod, and then he dashed for the doors as fast as he could. Diane laughed at him from behind her register and he scowled back at her. She thought she was so much because she was out of school and had an apartment. Just wait. He’d graduate next year and then he’d show her!  Her and that damned supervisor! But first, when he got off work, he was going to kill- he paused the thought long enough to check the caller ID – Chad. He was going to drive straight to his house and strangle him with his own socks!

Outside the evening air pulsed with an early spring chill.  Dave dodged a customer and headed for the “smoker’s bench” under the big Deli sign. As the nickname implied, butts littered the sidewalk around it, despite the three angry red signs that declared “Put cigarettes in the ashtray!”. The ultimate irony was that there was no ashtray.

Dave dropped onto the bench and auto dialed Chad’s number. No one answered, so he left a voicemail that said something like, “What the fuck? You just called and nearly got me fired! Answer your phone, moron!” Then, he called back. This time, Chad was a little faster.

“Hey man! About time. I just called you-“

“Yeah, no shit. Right in front of my boss! You know I’m at work. What were you thinking? I need to hang on to this for a couple more weeks or I won’t have the money for the concert.”

The concert. The words were spoken with a reverence befitting something of great importance. The Concert – with a capital “c”.  It deserved a capital letter. Not only was it the best band in the whole world, but it was where the girls would be! Real girls, not just the dowdy small town things they had there. No, there would be college girls there; college girls looking for fun. Girls with names like Candy who took off their tops in those girls gone wild videos Chad stole from his dad. Oh yeah. The Concert was going to be the best night of their lives. They were going to go, mosh in the pit, pick up some chicks and then –

“Yeah, look, about that…” Chad trailed off. “Look, I can’t go.”

Dave couldn’t form words. No. This couldn’t be happening.

“Dave? You there? Hello? Can you hear me? Stupid junk phone!”

Dave choked and forced out a strangled word, “What?”

“Oh, cool. Thought I lost you. This phone is such a POS-“

Dave’s voice got stronger and he cut his friend off, “What do you mean you can’t go?”

“I can’t go.” There was a moment of uncomfortable silence and then Chad went on, “I really want to, but, you know. It’s Gina, man. She found out and got pissed. She says if we go she’s gonna break up with me.”

“Gina?” The name held a note of disbelief. “You’re giving up The Concert for Gina? What are you thinking? There will be REAL girls there! REAL girls! Are you listening? Do you get this?”

He could almost hear Chad shrug. “Yeah, I guess. You can always go on your own.”

Dave nearly shouted into the phone, “I don’t have a car, you moron! And there’s no way my mom will let me use hers! God! I can’t believe this! You can’t be serious?”

“Sorry.” The silent shrug was there again. “Hey, I got an incoming call. I’ll catch ya later, bro.”

“Chad? Chad wait! Chad-“ but he was gone.

Dave shouted out a string of obscenities and slammed his fist into the bench. He watched his dreams flutter away on golden wings inscribed with the single name “Gina”. He’d never liked her; not since third grade when she’d put a snake in his shoe. She was probably the one who’d started making fun of him, too. It was her fault; everything was her fault. Maybe if she’d left him alone he could have got a date in this stupid town instead of having to go to the city, only now she’d ruined that too.

He was still muttering when Diane showed up. She sat down on the other end of the bench and pulled out a cigarette, but he barely noticed her.

“Hey, you know you’re break’s over, right?  It’s been five minutes. After that cell phone thing you better get back in there.”

“Why?” he asked morosely. “What’s the point of it all?”

“You’re in a bad mood.” She took a puff and blew out a stream of curling smoke. “Your grandma die, or something.”

“I wish.” He sighed. Diane smirked and, though he knew she was just being nosey, he vented anyway, “Chad bailed on me. We were supposed to go to this concert in a couple of weeks, but Gina found out and said he couldn’t go, so now I have no way to get there.” He stopped himself from further explaining how the world was going to end in a ball of fire and screaming, but only because he was too depressed to go on.

As if to make matters worse, Diane laughed.

“It’s not funny!” he cried.

“Yeah it is,” She flicked her cigarette ashes towards him playfully. “Ah come on, you can’t let pickled prune face ruin your fun. So what if she won’t let Chad go? Go without him.”

“I just told you I don’t have a car! Are you deaf?”

She rolled her eyes. “Then ride with someone else. It’s not that difficult.”

“Like who? Do you know anyone else who’s going?”

“Um, yeah. Me, Jennifer and Christy are going,” she broke off at the blank look on his face. “They’re my roommates. Christy graduated with Chad’s older sister and Jennifer-“

Diane kept talking, but Dave quit listening. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, it was that a new dream had seized him. Who needed Chad to take him to the concert and help him find real girls when he could ride to the concert with a car load of them? It would be beautiful; just him and them, and loud music and then a long, three hour trip home. Sure, he worked with Diane, but that was okay. She was kinda hot and she already knew who he was. That had to be a plus. But if he was going he’d need money, which meant he needed to keep the stupid job – his job!

“Yes!” he cried suddenly, oblivious to the startled look on her face as he leapt to his feet. “But my break’s over.  I better get back in there before…”

Diane’s surprise faded into amusement. “All right. See you later. We can figure out the details after work tonight.”

Dave nodded enthusiastically and headed back into the grocery store, his mind once again swirling with rainbow colored imaginings.



**********************
Had to give him a happy ending, poor guy.



For the segment I like to call “Random Things from My Hard Drives”, here is some…
artwork

As you may – or may not – know, I’ve drawn the principle characters from my book some time back, but I skipped Claudius and Arowenia because I didn’t deem them worthy of the attention. However, some other people feel differently, so here they are:

Arowenia

claudius


If you’ve never seen the others and are oddly curious they’re all on the website at http://joleenenaylor.com/#sog under character bios.

Song playing at the moment – “Call Me” – Shinedown

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