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A Day's Lost

January 9th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
  "Son! You need to get your grades up!" my mother exclaimed loudly.  She paced across the room and glanced repeatedly back at me, anxious to see my reaction but disappointed at my blank stare.  "You will become a failure! Nobody will give you a job!"

  I did not understand; I had almost straight As - perhaps one B.  I opened my mouth to protest, but immediately she thrust her finger into my right eye.

  "Son! Why do you have a scar on your cheek? Wash it off!"

  I stared at her for a moment.  I didn't really have a scar; more or less it was just the natural appearance of my skin, like a texture.  Furthermore, it had always been there.

  "How?" I asked, but she had already left the room.

  A few minutes later, she returned with a towel and bottle of windex.  I thought for a moment she was really going to try and scrub my eye out, but she strode right past me and started watering her plants.  Then she spun around and stared at me for a moment, a look of disapproval glaring from her face.

  "Son! Why aren't you eating dinner? You're going to starve to death! You know people aren't lucky like you and don't always get 2 meals a day?!"

  I glanced at my watch.  It was 4:00 in the afternoon.  I had just gotten back from school.  I wasn't sure what to say; I barely began to spoke when she jabbed me in the throat.

  "What was that for?" I tried to croak.

  "You have something right there." She pointed at my nose.  Instinctively I reached for my nose, but she jabbed me again, in the throat with her sharp incisive nails.  "Don't worry about it! I got it off already."

  I could not understand; I tried to protest.  But scarcely had I figured out what to say when she started her rave.

  "Why aren't you eating? Are you becoming insane? Wait here! I go fetch dinner! It's you who's at blame!"

  I watched as she disappeared into the hallway, but she never returned - at least for a while.  I managed to find some peace and began on my homework.  I was just about finished with my essay, when two hours later, she hobbled in again, this time snatching the paper before me and ripping it in the process.  She didn't even bother to glance at it, however, and proceeded to wave it wildly above her head.

  "Son! Why do you waste your time on this junk? You do so poorly anyways! Do something useful! Get a job!"

  This I found strange.  I did have a job.  I was hired by reknowned company only weeks before, but I was never able to finish my contract.  My parents had refused to sign it; they claimed I needed to get my grades up, though I had straight As (and not anymore).

  "So what do you want me to do?" I asked.  If they did not want me to work for a company, what job did they expect me to strive for I wondered.  I scarcely finished my sentence when suddenly she slapped me.

  "Why aren't you asleep?" she asked.  "Don't you know your growth will be stunted? Do you want to a be tiny man for the rest of your life? What is wrong with you?"

  I still had most of my homework to do, especially now that I had to restart my essay.  I also hadn't eaten dinner yet.  I wasn't tired; I did not want to go to sleep.  This I expressed, but again she insisted.

  "Your health is more important! You don't do well anyways; just make something up! Go to sleep! I'll wake you up in a few hours if it's that important!"

   "You sure?" I asked.  I set my alarm just to be sure; leave on the lights I did to keep me slightly awake.  The world went dark and I drifted to a dreamless sleep - almost.

  I barely shut my eyes when I found myself in pain.  I found myself attacked by needles and a cane.  I forced open my eyes and saw it was not.  Instead I was being whipped by a broom and a mop.

  "You lazy bum!" my mother cried. "How dare you sleep when there is work to be done! All your life you only care about fun!"

  I struggled to recover; I tried to hold back.  But in came a baseball bat, and to my surprise, the world went black.  How long I slept, I do not know.  But dreamless it was and filled with pain.  My fingers ached.  My face was sore.  My throat felt no more.

  I snapped awake at the break of dawn, not by the light nor to an alarm.  Something putrid had filled the air, but I could not see nor did I care.  I glanced at the clock for no reason at all, but shocked I became - it was 3:00 past night.  Wake me she did not; did she forget? What of the alarm? It had been switched off.

  What was that smell? It stunk of decay.  I flipped on the lights and bewildered I was.  On the table before me, with napkins and all, was a plate of pie and a chilly meat bowl.  I did not remember that being there the evening prior.  Dinner, I realized, I did not eat that before.  But pointless the meal was; it had been spoiled.  It appeared to have been sitting for hours for it was stone cold.  The smell had been the meat which now appeared condensed in its own juices and what suspiciously appeared to be tap water.

  I put it aside, discarded the waste.  I had work to do and began to make haste.  An hour passed.  I was almost done.  My work was restored.  I could almost see the sun.

  Then to my surprise, there was a pounding at the door.  In stormed my mother, the meal, I had discarded, now in a pot filled with butter.

  "Son!" she roared.  "You don't appreciate enough what we do! We work to sustain you, but you don't eat food!"

  "I was asleep!" I countered.  "Did you not say you would wake me?"

  "Son! I need my sleep too! I cannot wake up just only to wake you!"

  This I did not understand, and I regret to have pondered.  "But why then - did you bring dinner and turn out my lights? Who turned out my alarm?"

  "Why do you want to wake at night? You were sleeping so nice! I helped you sleep by killing the alarm and lights."

  This confused me and this I couldn't conceive.  I replied: "Then what were you expecting? How can you have both? How can you want me to sleep and eat too?"

  Her blank eyes blinked coldly but her expression flickered hopelessly.  Then without a heed to my query nor a moment too wary, she opened her wide mouth and proceeded with yet another moment of fury.

  "Why aren't you asleep? You will do poorly in school!" she screeched.  "Get to bed now! If your grades do not improve, you do not get a peach!"

  I tried to reason again, though I did not know why.  "If I do not finish my essay, then I will surely do poorly," I mumbled with a sigh.

  But hear me she did not, for she suddenly spun in place.  "Do you feel that?" she asked frantically.  "There's something in this room! I'm getting dizzy just standing here!"

  I glanced about, but could only see the decaying mess she held in her hands right before her nose.  I tried to explain, but she only cut me off.

  "You must leave this room at once! It might have been gassed! Pack your things now! In the cellar you will last!"

  This I found bombastic; this I just refused to do.  I held my place and ignored her.

  "Go sleep it off!" I muttered and went back to work.

  She stood in the doorway; I feared for the worst.  I nearly died of fright when a huge clang rang in the night.  I glanced back at my mother.  Dropped the decaying dish she had, but worried not she was of the mess.  Immediately, she stepped forward, proud at her best.

  "Son," she began.  "No wonder you fail! You cannot be rude and expect to prevail!"

  Rude I was not, I knew in my heart.  I knew of no enemies, I mistreated no one.  And fail in what? I struggled in none.  What I wanted to do, I had already done.  I had barely summoned a moment's thought, when to my surprise, the air she fought.

  "Oh no, wait here! I have to leave now! Something disturbs me! Something really foul!"

  And vanish she did, leaving not a trace of her visit, besides a stench of decay.  A rooster cried in the distance.  A scream of terror began the day.
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