Saturday, March 22, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Edna pulled out of her driveway in her lime green Gremlin. As she checked her rear-view mirror, she reached up and wiped the tears from her face, along with most of her blue eyeliner. Tucking the soggy kleenex into her purse, she sighed, and reversed into the street, almost running over the teenager on the skateboard who had the misfortune of being in the street behind her.
The Gremlin was all she had left of her husband, Albert. Albert had died, ten years ago, and she still missed him. He'd been in a freak train accident in the small town they lived in. The train wasn't supposed to come down those tracks anymore. Unfortunately for Albert, it had. One last time. She'd gotten a fair settlement from the train company, though, that she'd used to pay off their modest modular home. She'd not seen the need to replace the old Gremlin. Albert had worked long and hard on the car, and he'd loved it. Some called that Gremlin his mistress.
Thinking about her husband, Edna tearfully drove towards the local Grab n' Go. Parking her car in the handicapped zone, she sat for a moment, gathering herself. She wasn't sure how long she sat there, but the sun was much higher in the sky when a young man in a Grab n' Go smock knocked on her window, startling her enough so that she cried out "Fluffy bunnies!". Frowning, the man asked "are you coming in or what, lady? There are other people who might want to park in that spot."
"Oh! Oh yes!" she replied, and quickly re-applied her bright red lipstick around her lips, being careful that it didn't bleed into the wrinkles surrounding her mouth. Knowing that she could not procrastinate longer, Edna sighed, and, gathering her large purse, soggy kleenex and all, she got out of the car, commandeered a shopping cart, (Welcome to Grab 'n Go! it said, in bright yellow letters on the seat) and went inside.
Once inside, she slowly began to peruse the aisles, hearing the tick... tick.... tick... of the clock on the wall. HE would be very angry if she was slow with the shopping, but she just could not bring herself to be in a hurry to get home. Home was not a place where Edna was happy, anymore.
Up and down the aisles she went. Looking at things, trying to decide what she wanted. "Should I get the blue toothbrush, or the red one?" she thought. (She chose the blue.) The produce aisles totally had her dis-combobulated. All those choices! All those pears! She poked and prodded the different fruits and veggies, eventually settling on a homely looking head of cauliflower, half a cantaloup, and some green beans. They would do.
For dinner, she chose some ham, and a box of Rice-A-Roni. She was only really cooking for herself, and her tastebuds had kind of given up the ghost a long long time ago.
Finally, she made it to the aisle she was dreading. The last aisle she had to go down.
The aisle of doom.
Stopping, she lowered her head, staring at the white tiled floor, with black marks from the other shopping cart wheels streaking it. She saw the young man wearing the Grab n' Go smock whom had startled her earlier passing through the aisles with one of those furry push brooms. Those did nothing for the black marks, though.
Finally raising her eyes, she slowly scanned the shelves for what she needed. Her eyes did not find them until she reached the top shelf. Way over her head. Sighing, she opened the tall glass door, and, standing on her tippy tippy toes, stretched her arms up as high as she could, hoping, somehow, magically, that she would grow another few inches, to be able to reach what she needed. HE would not let her back into the house without them. Standing, stretching, but not reaching, she almost cried in frustration.
From behind her, she heard a kind voice inquire "Can I reach those for you?" and before she could say yes, a young, long, strong arm reached around her, and took down what she needed. Dropping back to the flats of her feet, she spun around, and accepted, with pink cheeks, her four pack of Guinness, in a can. (ban the cans!)
"Thank-You, young man", she stammered, grateful, but yet, embarrased.
"No problem" he answered, selected his own drink (a Rock Star!) and loped away.
Shopping finished, she reluctantly went to check out, and, then, drove home in her green gremlin.
She banged her special, assigned knock on the door, and a querelous voice inquired "did you get my Guinness?"
"Yes!" she squeaked fearfully.
The blue front door, with white daisies swung open, and she quickly entered her home. Sprawled on the couch, straw in hand, was Seamus McMonahan. Leprechaun. The tiny mite who'd been terrorizing her for the last three years. Ever since she had dared to take a coin from his pot at the end of the rainbow.
"Well?" He asked, one red eyebrow raised in irritation. Scurrying to deliver his Guinness before he got REALLY mad, she moved forward, and plunked the four pack down on the table.
"Bloody well time" he snarled. "You've been gone three hours."
"The lines were long at the check out!" she stammered, fearfully, with good reason. Ignoring her, he flicked his wrist, and pinched, and one of her many cats yowled, then turned into a garden gnome. Tearfully, she gathered up the gnome, and took it outside, where the other seventeen resided. "You were my favorite, Angus" she wept, as she found a good spot in the shade for him. Wandering her garden of gnomes, she patted each one of them, tears falling freely. "There's a good one, Spooky. Nice to see you, Chuckles. How are you, Lightening?".
"Get in here woman, and open my beer!" cried Seamus McMonahan, who could not open the cans well with his little fingers. When he used his magic on them, they exploded. Hurrying in, she failed to notice that the mean little bugger had gotten off the couch. Underfoot, she heard a crunch, and a tiny voice screech 'faith and begorrah!" and with a green pouf! Seamus was gone. All that was left was the leprechaun goo on the bottom of her shoe.
Around her, cats sprang to life, and bounded inside, looking for food. Including poor Angus. Not surprisingly, Lightening was the first one to the bowl. Grinning, she went further inside, ignoring the scowls of her neighbors. Happy to be free at last.
"Crazy cat lady" said Mr. Peterson to his wife, Judy.
"Yes dear" answered Judy. "but where did all the gnomes go?"


Jo Beaufoix said...

Hee hee. If only we could get rid of all life's little nuisances with a stamp of our feet. Ooo where would I start...hmmm. I loved this Mie, so dark and cute. :D

My expressions LIVE said...

Very cute story, I liked it a lot!

Daryl E said...

Loved it.. what a cool story to end the week that began with St Patty's Day!

I love the Green Gremlin imagery..

mielikki said...

Jo- it was a very near thing that he almost got a can of Guinness dropped on him. Except, Edna didn't want to waste the Guinness...

MEL- thanks, I added you, too

Daryl e Mustang Girl actually picked the Green Gremlin, she has a good imagination, that one...

holly said...

at first i thought you meant a living gremlin and i couldn't figure out how a gremlin could be left from a husband unless he turned into one. hadn't yet had my tea.

another great story. thanks mie!

Bubblewench said...

i'm so behind... that's great!!! Your stories totally rock...