two-month absence

I take a little time sometimes. but the story continues! editing be damned, below:

he was never much of a cook, which was really a shame because of the light employee discount he could have pulled with the deli counter, or at the bakery, or with his arcane knowledge of Food Lion coupon eligibility. Larry stuck to frozen meals, and the simple things he had learned years ago during his earlier stint as a bachelor: grilled cheese sandwiches, fried egg sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. spaghetti and tomato sauce. the occasional Hamburger Helper casserole. and one day, while flexing his culinary muscle, he set off the fire alarm with a frozen pizza in the oven.

“son of a bitch,” he grumbled, pulling a chair from the kitchen table and placing it beneath the alarm. the alarm was pissed. Larry stepped onto the seat and reached. too short by a few inches. he reached again, on his toes now, he belly extended and straining against his reversable belt, and raked a finger across the face of the alarm, but it kept up its bleating.

smoke alarms are, yes, an alarming noise. the kind that pokes at the button in your brain that the sound of a screaming rabbit might, or that of a baby crying. it raises the hair on your neck and causes gooseflesh, and readies you for action. that action could be flight, or an investigation and a solution; a spur to stop that baby from crying. but it wasn’t a baby, it was an oversensitive smoke alarm shitbox, and it was right in Larry’s ear driving him goddamn nuts, and he hopped and reached desperately for it, caught a fleeting, tentative grip, lost his step and fell.

the alarm flew from his outstretched arm as he flailed, caromed off a cabinet and rolled in lazy circle in the corner near the garbage can, while Larry simultaneously landed on his ass. it would bruise, but only a bruise. the kitchen was suddenly silent again. nobody moved, and when it was clear that nothing would, Larry climbed to his knees and then onto his feet, and shambled across the floor to the alarm. “son of a bitch bastard,” he muttered, and he stooped to pick it up. he flipped it over, saw the missing plastic where the device used to snap into its ceilng mount, and sprung the door housing the battery. maybe it’s extra sensitive, he figured, there hadn’t been any smoke. though that logic didn’t make any sense, he placed the alarm on the counter, and turned back to the oven. his pizza was ready.


2 comments so far

  1. mowgli on


  2. […] very slowly writing a short story. first two installments here and here. note the changes in tone – because every 300 words I take six weeks off. but better late […]

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