I started writing this yet-to-be-named short story about a week and a half ago. The first few hundred words came quickly, then I stalled out. I’ve added a few things since then, but right now I just don’t know where it is headed.
The good news is that I’m posting it for you to enjoy! Have fun…
“Who died and left you queen of the world,” he growled as menacingly as he could while still staying doubled over beside the truck.
“Yeah, yeah I heard you the first time,” she sighed and gingerly stepped around the soggy grass to neatly nip the keys to his ’78 El Camino from his back pocket. “You know, real men may only bow down to their queens, but sometimes a sick boy must bow to his nursemaid.”
“Oh you think sooo…rah,” straightening up had been a bad idea apparently and whatever the rest of his retort would have been was lost behind the lurid, almost comical upheaval wreaking havoc of Carson’s typically well-groomed lumberjack appearance.
“I know so,” Paula sighed again, louder and longer this time, awkwardly patting his back and holding the adorably Neanderthal curls while Carson finished giving it all back (not that he had much left to give this time around). “And I could be a queen! I am a queen! How would know the difference, caveman?”
“uhhhn,” With no strength left to argue, Carson meekly nodded at his friend and allowed himself to be helped into the passenger side of his own souped-up ride.
“If you need to spew, warn me,” Paula trilled, slamming the door just to watch him cringe and shrink against the soft seat. “Homeward bound!”
The ride was blissful silence and heavy metal, though Carson enjoyed one much more than he enjoyed the other. Paula parked him, and his car, safely at his little house and jogged her way two blocks over to plop down on her own slightly smashy couch. Turning on the television to what was, happily, a romcom marathon, the woman drifted in and out of a sleep riddled with ridiculously real dreams.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Stumbling up the steps and into his bachelor pad, slamming a little harder that the door than typically necessary, Carson flattened himself against the wall and peered out of the curtained window that would allow him to watch Paula’s perky backside sass its way down the block without risk of being spotted if she turned to check on him. How in the world a woman could walk with that much attitude showing without heels and dance music was a mystery, but the dark pony tail and faded jeans were doing a good job all on their own. Shaking his head in frustration as Paula disappeared around the corner that would take her home, Carson dragged himself to the kitchen, snagged some water, and went back to flop on the couch. Shoes off and a blanket thrown across his legs Carson flipped channels until he found his guilty pleasure…a romcom marathon. Smiling sarcastically at himself, the muscular bearded and tattooed tough settled in to watch a lineup of his favorite little secrets, and daydream.
“Who? What?” the annoying chirp of the cell phone in his pocket woke Carson a few hours later. Long shadows across the floor and a new movie halfway finished on the screen told the sick man that he had been out for at least 2 hours. Batobato binbinbing his phone was at it again. Thankfully though, it was a text message. “Dead?” he snorted, “Nope, if I were you I’d hold of planning the party until you know for sure I kicked the bucket.”
“Well do me a favor and either die now or wait,” she quickly responded, “I have appointments all day Thursday and Friday and just cannot possibly fit in a funeral then.”
“Bitch,” he mumbled, “Sometimes I hate that she makes me smile so much. Damn snarky wench.”
Thumbs careening over the screen, his scathing remark took a turn he didn’t expect so that Paula’s phone buzzed with, “I guess I’ll just have to live a little while longer for you then. Too bad no one is here to take care of me.”
“What a whiny little turd nugget,” Paula griped to the cat staring down at her from atop a nearby bookshelf, “Like he can’t take care of his own grown ass self.”
“You’ll be fine. Need anything?” “Need anything?” She wailed into a couch pillow, “Need anything? Jeez woman, keep it up! If he doesn’t know yet, he will soon. AAAAAAKKKK!”
“Need anything, hmmm,” Carson mused, “I wonder if…naw! She’s just being nice. I couldn’t get that lucky after all I’ve done…”
“I’m just tired and lonely. Like you said, I’ll be fine. Thanks though.”
“Awww, Maybe I should…NO PAULA!” She smacked her hand and threw herself back down on the groaning couch, “He said he’d be fine. Leave him alone!”
“Maybe??? Did you think of something you need?”
“Well, maybe you could bring some soup or something? I don’t think I can handle steak right now.”
“ YOU COWARD!” He growled at himself. “Her company would have been the answer…not Soup! I don’t even like soup!”
“I got you Gatorade and chicken noodle,” A hesitant voice called through his front door not even five minutes later, causing Carson to fall on the floor in a pile of tousled blankets and startled chagrin. He had been staring at his phone, wondering whether or not to text again when Paula showed up at the door.
The Gatorade in questions was tossed unceremoniously into the pile on top of him as she headed to his kitchen, just as comfortable there as in her own. “How do you like the broth…searing pain, pretty hot, warm, or cool?”
“Pretty Hot indeed,” he muttered, struggling to get up and follow her, “Umm…Pretty hot.”
“What are you doing up?” Paula suddenly appeared in front of him, hands on hips and a concerned frown marring her face. “Get back on the couch and wallow.”