(Yesterday, I blew up a high school drama that was verging on nauseating. Today, well…have you ever wanted to smack a parent because of the child they couldn’t, or wouldn’t control? Read on…
Today’s gratuitous photo is strange people doing strange things in an alley at night.)
“Damien, please don’t do that.” Judy’s voice was calm as she reached down and picked up the magazine her son had just deliberately pushed onto the floor. The table beside him had a stack of them and this was the second one he’d pushed over the side. Judy put the magazine on top of the stack and looked at her son with a mixture of exasperation and understanding. “You mustn’t do that. Now, please, don’t do that again.”
The waiting room for Dr. Benjamin Canney was small and hot with merciless metallic chairs and fluorescent lighting from the fire pits of hell. There were no pictures on the pale green walls.
Across from Judy and Damien, Ward Andrews shifted uncomfortably on his metal chair. After his last bowel movement, about an inch of his hemorrhoids were still protruding from his sphincter. He was in pain. The bowel movement had been small and he was bloated with constipation. He was tired and cranky and all he wanted at the moment was to slap the little bastard who deliberately pushed the magazine onto the floor. He’d watched as the little bastard pushed it slowly over the top of the stack, eyes on his hand, as his mother said, “No, Damien, don’t do that.”
Pushing it slowly.
“Damien, I said don’t do that.”
Over the top of the stack.
“No, Damien. Stop that right now.”
Off the stack.
Onto the floor.
“Damien, I told you not to do that.”
He’d watched as the woman bent over and picked up the magazine and he’d thought, Lady, smack the little fucker in the head with the magazine.
Two excruciating chairs to Ward’s left, Laura Richter barely kept her eyes open. She’d been five days without sleep and even if she did close her eyes she’d still be wide awake. Sleep had deserted her. She was barely aware of anything happening around her. Everything seemed like a long boring dream. Only one thing broke through her wall of dream. A woman’s voice. A name. Damien. The woman’s voice saying the same stupid things over and over and over. Laura wanted to smash the voice. She wanted to walk across the small room, grab the woman’s tongue and rip it out of her head.
The magazine was back on the top of the stack. The boy moved his hand over the table and placed it on top of the stack. He glanced briefly at his mother and moved the magazine slowly, inch by inch.
Dennis Lockhart sat in the chair next to Ward. If you were to look very close at his hands, you would see the tremor. Dennis’ whole body was tense and shaky. His mind was a puddle of worry. There was something in his left lung. A nodule. It was in the x-ray. A nodule…and they weren’t sure what it was.
“It could most likely be just some scarring,” Dr. Canney had said. “But, we’ll get a CAT scan just to be on the safe side.”
The safe side? Today, Dennis was going to find out just how safe that side was. The uncertainty of the situation had done some strange things to him. He’d been spending money a little more freely, perhaps too freely. But what the hell…it’s only money. And he was talking to God a little more. Making up to him. Paying more attention of the spiritual side. If Dennis were a gambler, he’d be known for always covering his bets. For the last week, whenever he’d heard someone sneeze, he’d mentally said, “Bless you.”
At this moment in his life, he was in a forgiving mood. God was forgiving and so Dennis would be.
“Damien, please don’t do that,” said Judy as she watched her son slowly push the magazine across the stack.
Lord, please forgive that young boy for being a nuisance and a burden on his mother, thought Dennis.
“No, Damien, stop it,” said Judy.
Lord, please forgive that woman for not knowing the first thing about how to raise a kid.
The magazine slipped off the top of the stack.
“Damien, how many times do I have to tell you not to do that?”
Lord, I know there must be some good in that child, somewhere, hidden deep inside that child somewhere, and I pray that you allow that goodness to flow up into that child and make him a good little boy, even though his mother may not be deserving of a good little boy.
The magazine slid slowly across the table, over the side and onto the floor.
“I told you not to do that, Damien. Now, stop it,” said Judy as she bent over to pick up the magazine.
Lord, failing goodness in this child, is it possible that there might only be evil and now would be a good time to strike him down? Just wondering. Amen.
Lady, thought Ward, make that little fucker stop it or I will. Stupid little brat.
What is wrong with that woman? thought Laura. What is wrong with you? Why don’t you do something instead of just saying the same thing over and over? I want to kill you.
The magazine was back on top of the stack. Damien moved his hand slowly toward the stack. This time, he looked square into this mother’s eyes. His face was blank. He just stared into her eyes as he placed his hand on the magazine.
His mother stared back. “Don’t, Damien. I told you not to do that.”
Judy’s face flinched as she bent toward Damien to warn him again. She put her hand over her stomach, where the bandage was, covering the cut from the knife, where her son had stabbed her that morning. It wasn’t deep. It wasn’t serious. No need for the emergency room when Dr. Canney could fit her in. And she was sure that it was just an accident. She was afraid her son would hurt himself playing with the knife. Maybe she shouldn’t have tried to take it from him so quickly, but she was worried that he would cut himself. Surely to God it was an accident.
The magazine slid across the top of the stack
“I’m telling you, Damien.”
Stop telling him and start slapping him, thought Ward.
Lord, please smite him, thought Dennis
I want to stick my fingers into both your eyes, thought Laura.
The magazine slipped off the stack and slowly slid across the table.
“Stop that right now.”
Take the fucking magazine and spank the shit out of him with it, bitch.
Lord, please make him go away.
How can you be so stupid? How can you be so stupid?
The magazine slipped over the side of the table and onto the floor.
“Lady, will you do something about that fucking kid!” yelled Ward.
“He’s not listening to you. You have to do something,” said Dennis.
“Where do you get off calling yourself a mother!” yelled Laura.
Judy and Damien froze, their eyes scanning the other three.
Very subtlety, a smile began to appear on Damien’s mouth. It stretched wider as he looked first at Dennis, then at Ward and finally at Laura. The three saw the smile and wanted nothing more than to do terrible things to him. But they wouldn’t have that chance. They heard the distant rumble and seconds later, the boy’s smile evaporated into an onslaught of fire.
Miraculously, Ward managed to get out one complete thought before he disintegrated: Serves the little bastard right.
For more crazy writing by Biff Mitchel, visit Amazon.