Thanks, I guess

by | Nov 15, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 10 comments

Thanks, I Guess
By Laura McHale Holland

I want to throw one of those huge Oxford-type dictionaries at him, iron his ears flat to his skull, shrink him to toy poodle size and throw him so hard against the patio door that the glass breaks and he tumbles bloody and broken to the slab outside.

Jeez! Did I really just say that? Man, I’m messed up.

The doorbell is ringing; I’m sure it’s for him. His half-eaten pizza has grown hard and cold on a TV tray, as usual. His papers are strewn all over his bedroom floor. His dirty underwear is balled up by the toilet. I could go on and on. Living with a 13-year-old boy sure isn’t easy.

I can’t believe he’s not even getting up to answer the door. Okay, okay, so it’s up to me to get the door just like it’s up to me to do everything else around here. That’s what a mom does, after all.

Damn, hold your horses. I’m coming already. People don’t have an ounce of patience anymore.

What? You’re here to deliver a package? Well, gosh thanks, I guess. So what are you standing … Oh, You want a tip? Sure, yeah, everybody wants something these days. Hold on a sec. I’ve got a couple dollars in my purse right here. … There you go.

Well, let’s see here. Man, this lid is tough, but I think I can pry it off. There now. What is that? A head? Somebody’s head? Oh, no, no, no. This isn’t happening. No, no, no, no. This looks like … What the?

Get in here right this minute, Sonny. Right now or I’m going to slap you to kingdom come. Right now, you mental case. Right this minute.

So, is this what I think it is? … But why did you kill him and why the fuck did you send me his head?  … Oh, for Christ’s sake. I never meant all that shit I said about him. He was your father. Your father! I can’t believe it. You thought it would make me happy? Oh, you’re sorry, are you? Get out of my sight, you moron. Go to your room. Go, go, go. I need some time to think.

This is bad, really bad. The head I can just dump in the river, or something. But who’s going to take him off my hands on Wednesday nights and every other weekend now? Jeez. I’ll probably have to pay somebody to keep any eye on him, the little fucker.

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  1. Jerry Kohut

    this in a way was funny in a strange way, guessing it’s not fun being a mother of a 13 year old little f’er. I suppose being the single custodian of a 13 year old can really suck and now the few times you can get some peace and quiet is gone. Yes your free time is gone. I had no I do feel sorry for the both of them and now Dad has left you to go it alone. I love. the delivery box ( this side up) . Mom’s having a melt down, but wait this is only a dream, thank God. I had no idea how to get rid of the head. Thank God for wednesday nights and every other weekend.

  2. Robin Leigh Morgan

    I can’t believe you being able to have a 13-year old boy. capable of doing all the things you wrote about. There’s a lot more going on than one gets merely by reading it. You have to read between the line. After reading this a few times, I once again let my imagination run away with me. The final message I got this, the mother in your flash is now alone, either by divorce or separation, and the only memory she has of him, is their son.

  3. Nancy LaTurner

    Why does this make me laugh out loud and keep on smiling for hours? Because you capture the dark side of a mother’s love and the vengeful twist of a son’s devotion — and I can relate to it? Thanks again, Laura, for another delightfully crazy read!

  4. admin

    Thanks, Jerry, for sharing your thoughts. I find it funny in a strange way, too.

  5. admin

    Thanks, Robin, for your feedback. I didn’t include your rewrite, but I do appreciate your taking the time to stop by, read my stories and comment.

  6. admin

    I was laughing as I was writing the end of the story, and I was asking myself, “Should I really be laughin at this?” I’m honored you find that I’ve captured the dark side of a mother’s love and the vengeful twist of a son’s devotion. The story really does explore that realm, doesn’t it.

  7. wordwranglinwoman

    Omigod! Did you creep inside my head or something? I had satisfying a moment of recognition as both single parent and ex wife. You keep me smiling. www

  8. admin

    Thank you, dear Word Wranglin’ Woman (love that moniker). It is sometimes fun to exaggerate negative undercurrents until they become so bizarre you just have to laugh.

  9. tara pleshar

    U R an amazing writer…U make me laugh, cry and angry…everything U write is so unexpected…Look at U,,,,Miss Hinsdale…U should have tatooes,piercings, and dreds…AND U DON’t…Love your stuff..I’ve got a great book in my head, not a writer, what to do?????????????????

  10. admin

    Thank you, Tara. I know what you mean about the tattoos, piercings and dreds, because there is a side to me that’s not at all mainstream (okay, maybe more than one side), but In some ways I’m very conventional, too. We’re all so multifaceted and complex, aren’t we? … As far as the book in your head goes, I’m sure it’s a good idea, because you are amazing (I know because I used to admire you from afar way back when). Why don’t you try dictating it into a digital recorder if you don’t feel comfortable writing? Your voice just might shine through that way, and you could transcribe the recording. You just might have a first draft of something uniquely your own.

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