Friday, March 19, 2010

So You Think You’re Lazy? Short-Story Contest

This week’s short-story contest winner is Michael Micheletti! Drawn from random, his name will be inserted as the protagonist into this week’s tale. As per usual all contestants names are drawn from a hat (based on the followers on this blog) and have their name used in my weekly short-story. All stories of course are fictional and bear no resemblance to the name of the winner involved (minor disclaimer). In continuance of my forty days of short-stories for Lent I have continued the seven deadly sins theme with a story about sloth. I recently just finished reading John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, which inspired my idea for this week’s short tale. Have a great weekend, and enjoy!





Sloth

Mike left a pile Cheetos on his mother’s sofa. The television flickered blue light across his long frame, sprawled along the living room couch. A motherly voice trickled in from the other room, nasally asking him for the hundredth time if he would come with her to the cemetery. The thirty-year-old, unshaven, shaggy haired Mike failed to stir. He reached into the bag for another fistful of Cheetos. His mother called his name again while she fixed her hair in the bathroom mirror.

   “Shh!” he silenced her. “Captain Picard is on.”

   “Honey, it’s your grandfather’s funeral,” she replied, appearing in the doorway.

   Mike kept his eyes to the television set.

   “I don’t do burials,” he grumbled, munching on more Cheetos. “They’re always full of old people, and old people give me hives. Besides I couldn’t possibly go outside, I’m still sick and my immune system has yet to recover.”

   “You stubbed your toe, you didn’t catch the flu,” his mother retorted. “That’s what you get for leaving those toys laying around. Honestly, what full grown man has dolls?”

   “Those are collectors’ items,” Mike pointed a finger. “And once the market peaks on eBay my original action figures from Battlestar Galactica will be worth a small fortune.”

   “Don’t pretend you’re saving up stocks and bonds,” his mother replied, fastening her earrings. “You’d make more money with an actual job instead of loafing on your mother’s couch, eating your mother’s food, sucking up my retirement pension in the process.”

   “I tried the business world once, mother,” Mike wrinkled his nose. “I nearly stifled under all that corporate bureaucracy and red tape.”

   “You sold ice cream from a cart in the park for two weeks,” she rebutted. “Mr. Leon had to fire you for refusing to sell to Girl Scouts.”

   “They’ve already cornered the market on cookies, I wasn’t going to give those smart little hussies a monopoly on drumsticks and missiles,” Mike frowned. “The crafty urchins were busy buying snow cones and Dove bars from me for 50 cents and selling it on the black market for a dollar to their peers.”

   “They were twelve year olds,” his mother frowned.

   “They were extortionists!” Mike boomed. “Now are you going or are you determined to ruin the rest of the Farpoint episode? The Enterprise is in considerable peril.”

   His mother shook her head.

   “And to think of all your grandfather did for you,” she remarked.

   “He couldn’t remember my name half the time,” Mike replied.

   “He was old,” his mother folded her arms.

   “He was drunk,” Mike scoffed. “He used to mix brandy in my baby formula.”

   “Now, that only happened once,” she fumed. “He was very fond of you.”

   “Is that why he called me Molly all the time?” Mike said between Cheeto bites.

   “Well, with the size of your chest you do look a bit girly now,” his mother muttered.

   “Get me some fresh chips before you go, these ones taste stale,” Mike suggested.

   “Michael, I’m putting my foot down,” his mother began. “You come with me right now or God will curse you for dishonoring your own kin.”

   “I went to college and law school,” Mike smirked. “I’m educated beyond beliefs in a Santa Claus, bearded Sky-man or any other deity for that matter.”

   “You took one semester of each and never graduated,” his mother replied. “And as for the Almighty, he’s already plucking your scalp bald in retribution.”

   “Yes, but he leaves the sides,” Mike observed, running a palm along his ear.

   “Last chance, Michael,” his mother tapped her foot. “You come or so help me…”

   Mike glanced up at her shaking the empty Cheetos bag imploringly. Grumbling, his mother left the room, and prepared to depart the house. As she did so she tossed him a new bag of Lays Sour Cream and Onion before exiting the front door. Mike popped the seal with one hand while upping the volume on the remote.

   “Ka’ Pla!” he grinned in Klingon.

   The sound of phasers and spaceships boomed throughout the darkened living room.