So I keep a little black book with me. I write and I write and I write. Most of the time, inspiration is drawn from people that I see while I'm at lunch or something. Sometimes it's about me and sometimes it's completely fictitious, made up from my head. Sometimes it gets mopey. They are all really short. Most don't have any development plot wise, they are just snapshots in my brain. They are like songs that don't rhyme. Anyway, I've decided to start publishing some of the stuff I write. I'll take any criticisms or thoughts, just be gentle; these are first and only drafts. Without further ado:
He was a consummate optimist. Of course he was religious; he was filled with so much hope, how could he not be? He wanted there to be an after life; he prayed there was an after life and he would be damned before he ever allowed himself to not be saved.
He had a catchphrase throughout his whole life; a motto, if you will. He saw it on the back of a Rav 4 and liked it so much, he didn't let it go.
"No Bad Days" it read, with an hibiscus beneath.
He carried the slogan with him through the majority of his life. Even when his mother passed away, as he laid her favorite flowers on her closed casket, you could hear him mumbling it. Sometimes he believed it, sometimes he used it to reassure himself, other times he was only trying to convince himself. He wrote it at the beginning of his journal, in high school would photoshop memes on his computer and later in life, tattooed it onto the back of his left shoulder.
But today, on the day that his work had let him go home early, he walked into his familiar home, which was found suddenly unfamiliar.
First, there were men's dress shoes at the entry way, followed by a long sleeve, button up shirt on the arm of the sofa. Then, on the second step of the stair case, contrasting with mundane brown carpet, a bright pink bra on the floor, seductively enticing. He didn't move from the entryway, how could he? He suddenly questioned whether or not he was in the right house. He checked and saw that the flat screen was the same; could be coincidence. He checked for the photo of her and him and found it right where it should be. This was his house.
There was a sudden thud from the floor immediately above him: his room. Her room. Their room. Followed by laughter, it was hers, light and soft and familiar followed by a groan. The groan was a man's, amber and young. The groan turned to soft laughter followed by another thud and now they were both laughing.
He was in the living room now. His shoes were off from the force of habit. She cared so much about the carpets, they had established the rule to not wear shoes in the house. He had struggled early on with the rule; she would come home and yell as he cooked dinner with his shoes on.
"Jerry!" she would cry from the entryway. "You're going to ruin the carpets!"
Jerry would smile, remove his shoes and apologize.
Another thud, more laughter.
"Is it against the law to kill someone if they are in your bed with your wife?" he wondered.
Jerry surprised himself as he began to whistle. He was even more surprised to find a sudden peace come over him. He walked into the kitchen and took a seat by the window. It was sunny and there was a bird perched on the power line on the other side of the street.
"I wonder what birds did before there were power lines and billboards?" he said aloud.
A blue car passed by.
The laughter had stopped and was not replaced with a soft, rhythmic thud.
Jerry rose from his seat and walked back into the living room, down the hallway and into the garage. He grabbed his two five gallon gas cans and went back into the house.
Up the stairs, he found a pair of Banana Republic slacks, a quarter and two dimes. The door was partly open, rays of sunlight pouring through. His wife moaned and he moved closer.
He kept a good distance from the door, but poured one fourth of the first five gallons of gasoline onto the carpet. He doused the stairs, the slacks, the bra, the shirt and the shoes. But mainly the carpet.
She hated that he smoked. She constantly complained that he tasted bad and wouldn't allow him to do it in the house or in the car or near the house or at work. She wouldn't allow him to do it at all, really.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his last cigarette. He lit it and took a long drag. He took one last glance around what was surely his home, laughed softly and dropped the cigarette on an especially damp part of his carpet.
On his way out the front door, he smiled and said "No Bad Days."