Six Sentence Sunday: "Nighttime Jitters"

This is my first submission for Six Sentence Sunday.


Nighttime Jitters
He’s too lazy to spin the cap back on the bottle of bourbon.

Maybe he’s too drunk, but it doesn’t matter anyway, he thinks, since maybe, just maybe, bourbon is like wine (is it?) and letting it breathe adds to its smoky taste.

These are the things he thinks about in the cold of night, no lights on, no heat, where he wanders through their home checking locks, rattling ice, quietly mumbling to himself.

Well, not really.

He thinks about a lot of things, the places he’s been, the places he still hopes to go.

And realizes that he’s stuck here, in this house, slowly rotting from the inside from booze – and outside from dreams not realized.

3WW CCXLVII "Sleepless"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are hollow, misery and shallow. Not very uplifting, huh? I actually, for the first time in more than 150 attempts, missed a 3WW last week. Too many early deadlines, not enough sleep.

Sleepless
The steam on the window is turning slowly to frost, and if he concentrates, he thinks he can actually see crystals form. The fog is from an intensely long, insanely hot shower, where he let the water cascade over his body from the wide rain head he’d installed for her. He let the water go, along with his thoughts, until the water heater emptied and climbed into bed wet and naked.
He pulls her pillow under his head, breathes deep, hoping to catch a whiff of her. He turns his head into the hollow, into the impression left by her head, but he can’t conjure anything except the misery of the hour.
He turns back to the window, sighs. There’s no moon, and a cold winter night twinkles with stars. He lets his vision go fuzzy, and with it his thoughts. His breathing goes shallow, his chest barely rises and falls. It’s a trance he’s practiced for a hundred sleepless nights and for once his mind calms. But just for an instant.
And it all comes flooding back, the hurt and the pain and he rolls onto his back and screams at the ceiling until his eyes sting, his cheeks redden and his chest heaves.
He tosses off the comforter, kicks at the sheets to free his legs and stumbles back into the bathroom. He takes one last look at the windows, which are clear of fog and in the dark fumbles for the shower controls. The water is hot again, and he gets in, plants his palms against the tile and lets the cascade of water fall over him.
Trying again, his tears mingle with water he cannot see as it tumbles down the drain.

3WW CCLXVI "Leaving"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are drank, hitch and muster. A Fiction in 58.


Leaving

We drank until the pain began to fade. We didn’t speak. The afternoon turned to dusk; those who could muster the enthusiasm lit a bonfire. We watched flames dance on somber faces.
As flames turned to ember, I stood. Nobody noticed. I wandered to the edge of the highway. Lights approached.
I threw out a thumb to hitch.




3WW CCLXV, "After"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are carnage, jerk and puncture. Kinda angry.

After
I open my eyes and hears the sounds of women, wailing.

There’s a gauzy sheet pulled over me, soft and ticklish on my cheeks as I rise.

The wailing is coming from the hallway. My father stands in front of the door, a handkerchief in his hand, jerky spasms rattle his shoulders.

His eyes, I notice, are red from crying.

“You fucking kid,” he says, throwing a work boot into solid wood and rattles the hinges.

You’d think someone died or something.

I turn and in my bed is a sheet-draped corpse; a soft outline in white.

At first, I laugh. Then I jab a couple fingers into my neck, feel for a pulse.

And watch as my brother walks out of the bathroom with a bloodied plastic grocery sack. Shards of glass have punctured the bag and he’s got the whole gory carnage resting on one of my good towels.

“Dad, I’ve got things cleaned up pretty well in there,” he says. “I know mom’s going to want to make the final inspection. I’m going to need a bucket or something for all this glass.”
My dad nods slowly, but doesn’t move.

All of a sudden, I feel weary as hell. Then notice the cold, which cuts to the bone.

There’s fear as the realization begins to paint hues across my memory.

Good God, what have I gone and done?