Thursday, February 23, 2017

Serial Fiction: Mistake 27

“Oh-Donna, wake up!” Tammy demanded. “You know, you’re eventually gonna have to get some medication for your condition. You can’t spend your whole life asleep.”
She’s right. I’ll never get the revisions completed on Mike’s manuscript if I can’t stay awake. And I can’t begin a new work of my own until I finish his. I will be published. I will make that happen. In the prime of my life I will make my dreams come true. I have stories to tell that only I can voice. And the world needs new stories. Mine. And Mike’s. Damn it.
Tammy picked up the revision letter. I snatched it from her.
“What are you doing, Oh-Donna?” she accused.
“None of your business.”
“You said that book belonged to the geezer’s heirs.”
“So why are you reading it? Isn’t that against the law or something?”
“Mind your own business Tammy.”
“Just where would you send it, if you did want to get it published?”
“To a reputable literary house.”
“Such as?”
“Really Good Books, Charlatan Press, Premium Press America...why?”
“No reason. Just curious.”
Tammy is never just curious. She’s concocting something. She’d better not have stolen my manuscripts! Or maybe she’s planning to take this one when I fall asleep. I have to get it out of here. Quick.
I clutched Mike’s manuscript to my chest as I cast evil eyes toward my doe-eyed sister. She was a work of art. Damn her.
Perry called out, “Dinner’s served.”
I stuffed the manuscript and letter back into my purse, slung it over my shoulder and trudged to the kitchen. I plopped down in the wooden chair.
He said, “That’ll be ten dollars.”
“What’ll be ten dollars?” I asked.
“Dinner. Ten bucks each.”
“It did not cost you thirty dollars for the ingredients of this meal.”
“It was Twenty dollars and nine cents.”
“So you’re making me and Tammy pay for your free meals?”
“I shopped and cooked. Only fair.”
“Fine. I dug in my purse and fished out ten dollars worth of change. I shot it across the table at his honor, one coin at a time. I made sure I used up all the pennies and nickels I could.
He counted them in between shovel fulls into that fat mouth of his.
I sank my teeth into the first bite, careful to get a sampling of all three layers. “Yum...” I groaned. The ground beef, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, carrots and the fluffy mashed potatoes all had distinct flavoring. I savored the warmth and yanked a piece of Yorkshire pudding off. Steam rose as the pastry collapsed. I shoved it in my mouth. Flaky and eggy and oh so good. I sipped some water. That even enhanced the other flavors. “Perry, you’ve out done yourself.”
He grunted.
Tammy gobbled her plateful while pacing backwards around the kitchen.
I asked, “What are you doing?”
“Working the backs of my glutes. She then segued into squats.
I watched. Good food and free freaky entertainment. Oh, wait, I forgot. The whole dinner show cost me ten bucks. That’s okay. At least it lightened up my load. That change gets heavy. Momma always had a heavy purse too.
Perry said, “Oh-Donna. So when are you going back to the doctor?”
I grunted.
“You need to make an appointment.”
“Don’t boss me Perry.”
“Fine. Let yourself get worse. One day you won’t wake up at all. Is that what you want Oh-Donna?
“No. Of course not.” How could he say such a thing?
Tammy said, “If you give me a day’s notice, I can drive you to see the doctor. But I have clients and they need the courtesy of twenty-four hours notice.”
“Fine. I’ll make an appointment tomorrow. I mean that tomorrow I’ll call the neurologist’s office to schedule an appointment for a future date. I’ll give you plenty of notice.
Norma Jean sat tall beside me with those big sad eyes. I plucked a big chunk of ground beef off of my plate and tossed it in the air. She bumped it seal-like with her nose and rebounded it back to my dish.
Tammy said, “Eww gross!”
I picked it back up and threw it again. This time she was able to snap it between her jaws as she wagged her tail.
I was feeling really sleepy. After finishing my meal, I scooped up my purse and headed to bed. This time I had normal nocturnal sleep, even if I did turn in at seven thirty.


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