Three days before Christmas, Mary slipped in the shower and cracked her head on the soap dish. I found her a half hour later. The water was long cold and her skin had turned purplish, like an overripe plum. Her speech was gone, and she gave me one of her impatient looks: what took you so long? I wrapped her in her favorite plaid blanket, then carried her to the car and drove to the emergency room. After all the tests, they told me it was brain cancer, four to six months to live. That was seven months ago.
Tag Archives: every day fiction
There’s a dog in the street. A cocker spaniel, I think. His head is flat and a tire track runs down the middle of his back. When Marilyn and I were first married, we rescued a cocker spaniel from the shelter. It was one of those “bring us closer together” things. I spent forty-five bucks for the dog and then another hundred to get him fixed. To thank me for saving his life, he pissed on the rug. Marilyn’s always been into rescuing things. She’s the queen of lost causes.
The dog’s bright red tag says My Name is Pepper – Call Jenny, and a phone number covered in blood. Pepper’s hind legs point south and his front legs point north. He crossed against the light and now his furry body looks like a black and white S.
There’s a homeless guy standing by the dog, a stack of newspapers at his feet. He’s a bearded Danny DeVito, but thin and grimy, selling the news for beer money. DeVito weeps dirty tears. He regrets not stopping Pepper when he had the chance.
Vladimir loves vampires. Ever since the night spent huddled on the couch, peering from beneath a blanket while watching Blood of Dracula on his mother’s little black and white television, he’s been hooked.
He faked the flu during grade school to stay home and watch Dark Shadows. Barnabas Collins was the greatest. As a teen he cheered when the Night Stalker repeatedly bested the Chicago PD, and scoffed at the hapless reporter Kolchak. During the nineties he wore out multiple VHS copies of Salem’s Lot and The Lost Boys; today he owns boxed Blu-Ray sets of The Vampire Diaries.
Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Peter Tonkin — he’s read them all. The walls of his house are covered with paintings and woodcut drawings of draugar, moroi, ramangi, and pijavicae. A Lestat shower curtain hangs in Vlad’s bath, a Nosferatu statue lurks above the fireplace.
Vlad even keeps a wooden stake in his nightstand, but knows in his heart he can never bring himself to use it.
His father named him Vladimir, not in recognition of the most famous vampire of all, Vlad the Impaler, but for the pianist Vladimir Horowitz, whom his father had once seen at Carnegie Hall.
Read the rest: https://everydayfiction.com/fat-vlad-by-kip-hanson/
The first storm of the summer rolled in as Karen walked home from her day job, waiting tables at the corner bar for two bucks an hour plus tips. From her right hand dangled a plastic grocery bag containing a jar of peanut butter, a partially smashed loaf of bread, two packs of smokes, and a pint of Jack Daniels. She was still two blocks from her door when the rain started in earnest.
With her dress clinging to her wet skin like an unwanted lover, she splashed down the sidewalk. She jammed the key into the lock and stepped into the tiny apartment where she lived alone, with her son. The smell of stale cigarettes and tired dust greeted her at the door. Slipping off her shoes, she kicked them across the kitchen and proceeded to pour two fingers of Jack into a dirty glass. She stared out the window at the rain slanting across the parking lot, and poured two more.
Read the rest at Every Day Fiction: http://www.everydayfiction.com/margarets-daughter-by-kip/
I was waiting in the beauty shop for my wife to be done with her cut and color when it hit me. Maybe it was the simpy crooning of the GooGoo Dolls coming from overhead, or the dog-eared copy of Vogue I’d by then scanned three times for lingerie ads. Or maybe it’s just that I was two days from Monday and dreading another week of the nine-to-five bullshit. It didn’t matter – sitting in that damned uncomfortable chair, my hemorrhoids burning like a son of a bitch, I finally realized what I want to do with my life.
I would become a hairdresser.
Read the rest at Every Day Fiction http://www.everydayfiction.com/a-new-life-by-kip/
Doris stared into his dark alien eyes, admiring the black like a helmet on his pumpkin head. He stared back, a serene grin on his face; one which said he knew everything about her. Shaking her head, she pulled herself away, turned and walked down the aisle, and was kneeling to play with a nice little calico when she heard him growling — when the thought came unbidden into her brain, Take him home.
She pushed through the shiny double-doors, clack-clack, and approached the fat volunteer chick puddled behind the stainless-steel counter. “I’d like to adopt number twenty-nine, please.”
Later, having stopped on the way home from the shelter to purchase a catbox and a bag of Old Mother Hubbard and a fuzzy mouse-shaped toy which he ignored completely, they sat together in her small crappy apartment, she cross-legged on her Salvation Army couch and he crouched on the cracked leather ottoman, staring at one another across the two wooden crates she jokingly called her coffee table to the few friends she allowed in.
My first story at Every Day Fiction. Read the rest here: http://www.everydayfiction.com/saving-darth-vader-by-kip/