Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #808826
Writer's Cramp entry 1/30/04
|The New Prompt is:|
You are NOT dreaming but one inanimate object in your possession has learned to talk and begins to give you either wanted (or possibly unwanted) advice on your life's decisions.
Glad I Didn’t Stick with Ovaltine
The sun was really beating down today and the fish didn’t seem to want to cooperate one bit. I reached in my back pocket for my handkerchief to wipe the beads of sweat from my forehead. If there was only a breeze, but the air was dead calm. So was the lake. Not a ripple.
“Maybe I should get out of the sun for awhile”, I thought. A nice nap in the hammock in the shade of the white pine trees might be the ticket today instead of fishing. Plenty of time for fishing, we had the cabin for the whole month. I glanced back towards the end of the dock where a small grove of white pines provided some much needed shade. A hammock hung between two of them and it looked very inviting.
I reached into my cooler and brought out the bottle of chocolate drink I had put in there earlier. It was ice cold and it tasted so good as I took a large swallow. “Not bad”, I thought as I tipped the bottle back to read the label.
“Yoo-Hoo” I voiced silently to myself.
I looked around to see where the voice was coming from, but no one appeared to be there.
“It must be hotter than I thought”, I muttered to myself.
“It’s going to get a lot hotter if you don’t tell me why you bothered me.”
"All right, that’s it. Who are you? Where are you? And what kind of game are you playing?"
I looked around expecting somebody to show up from the shadows of the pines. Nobody. I took another drink.
“Boy, buddy, you sure like this chocolate drink, don’t you? Maybe you ought to lighten up on it since it’s obvious you’re starting to hallucinate.”
I heard the distinct sound of a giggle and this time my worn ears were able to pinpoint the source. It was coming from the bottle. I studied it for a minute, unsure of how to proceed.
“Yep, its me, your friendly neighborhood beverage container. About time you figured it out. So what you been up to lately, Joe?”
“Wha-, What the heck? What’s going on here? Why is a bottle of Yoo-Hoo talking to me? More importantly, how is a bottle talking to me? I gotta get out of this sun.”
“The bottle’s not talking to you Joe. I’m just using it, so I can talk to you. We’ve done this before, remember?”
“Not really, who are you.”
“Well, think of me as your fairy godmother, only I’m not a fairy, or a godmother. But that’s about as close as I could get to describing this. We’ve talked before. Remember in eighty-two when you were in the hospital with the fever. Remember? You told the nurse that you were hearing voices and she asked where the voices were coming from and you told her from inside of the wall outlet. And I told you you were really screwing up and you better hurry up and marry that girl, what’s her name…?”
“Yeah, Cindy. I told you you should hurry up and marry her before she got away. Did you? Nope, you didn’t. She married your best friend. They moved to Albuquerque. She’s raising two kids and he just got promoted to vice president in charge of widgets at the Radio-Telemetry plant. See, that could’ve been you.”
“Nope. She wasn’t right for me.”
“Well how about back in third grade when you had your tonsils out and you couldn’t wake up from the ether. Do you remember me talking to you then?”
“Not exactly, I don’t think I liked Yoo-Hoo back then. I was more of a Hershey syrup kid. Maybe Ovaltine once in awhile.”
“You were sweet on Ann Marie and I told you to invite her to your birthday party. Did you? Nope. You didn’t listen again. Do you know where she is today? She married some big-shot Harvard attorney and they’re living on Park Avenue, at least when they’re not at their Swiss Chalet. Ever been to Switzerland? Have you?”
“Nope. I like Swiss Miss hot cocoa. Does that count?”
“ Shall I go on? There was the girl in high school. Betty, I think was her name. You couldn’t get up the courage to ask her out, so you went to the dance alone. And then there was college. Let me see, freshman year was Sharon, sophomore year was Kathy, junior year was Maggie and senior year was Sharon again and Sue. You didn’t listen once. Just what in the heck am I suppose to do with you?"
"You know, I have supervisors and they have supervisors and there’s yearly evaluations and every year when they get around to me they go down my record and stop at your name. They raise their eyebrows and say, “Well?”. I shrug my shoulders and they bring out the red pen and another year goes by without a promotion. I should’ve been a supervisor somewhere back around Sue. Do you know how embarrassing it is being the oldest Fairy-godmother type in the business? It’s getting a bid ridiculous. When are you going to shape up?”
The screen door slamming on the cabin took my attention away from the talking bottle. I turned my head and the voice said. “Who’s that?”
“That’s my wife, Linda.” I watched as my wife walked across the yard towards me. When she got about halfway she waved and shouted.
“So” quipped the bottle. “You finally listened.”