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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Drama · #2088767
The Writer's Cramp contest. Character finds undeveloped film.
Peace and quiet is what I want but I never get. You would expect that kind of attitude from some cubical dweller, old person or chick. But I am a sensitive guy. The morning my mother died I had no clue she was even sick. I had worked out and was in the shower. Not going to hide behind pride, when I shower, I glory at my form. The muscle fibers that wrap my torso; so perfect.

The green apple scent of my shampoo always relaxed me but that day, it didn't. Fear rippled through me like I was meditating and having a bad MDMA trip at the same time. While I was toweling off, my phone rang.

It was my sister. "Something is wrong with mom; they are taking her to the hospital." Fuck me, I have clients today. The whole day is screwed. I have to go to the hospital. Reordering my day in my mind, I suit up. Love my suits. Nothing like a suit cut to you and sewn by real sweatshop girls.

The kitchen was washed in sunlight and filled with perfect smells. The baby hadn't vomited yet and his mother was lightly touched by perfume. I love the smell of that shit.

"Honey, they are taking Elphaba to the hospital and I have to move some things around. I won't be home tonight," I say.

She said something like “your mother isn’t a witch” but I couldn't hear it through the sound of bacon crunching. Gotta love low-carb. The baby's head smelled like sunshine and for once he isn't screaming, so I kissed it. Kids are so fucking loud.

My Maserati has a beautiful gravel hum when I start it. A few calls on the way to move appointments and all is good.

The hospital is quiet. The evening rush of druggies and knife victims must have died down. My shoes click sweetly on the tile. Nothing like the sound of wood soles. I see my sister and her useless husband hugging. I see mother. She is clearly dead.

We are cleaning my mother's shit out of her apartment and my sister keeps yammering at me. I find a roll of Kodak film in a drawer and put it in my pocket, not sure why.

My wife found the film in my pocket and had it developed. Probably thought I was fucking someone and took pictures while I did it. I find her flipping through the photos.

"Stop crying, you’re fucking up your mascara." She got instantly hissy and stomped out.

My couch is aniline, the best, don't let anyone shit you. The first picture, wasn’t a dick-pic thankfully. It was a shot of baby me. Now why the fuck would mother keep a roll of film for 27 years and not develop it?

The next shot: me at nine in my baseball uniform. We had just won the trophy. There was a lot of time in between pictures but I figured she must have used the camera infrequently. Funny, no photos of my sister or father.

Drinking Glenmorangie Pride tastes like victory and so I poured myself some. The next photo I am eighteen. It is a picture of me in front of planned parenthood smoking. My girlfriend is inside. Who could possibly have taken this picture? I felt fear at that moment. In the next picture, I am helping her into the car; she looks scared and small and so did I.

This shit could not be real. I left the photos behind. My wife was sobbing in the bedroom but the cavernous closet is soundproofed. I went out to run, it felt great. This is where I find the peace. I run without music. The wind soughs through the trees and birds occasionally sing in the distance but there isn't much else to hear.

When I get back, the house is silent; now that is clutch. But I am drawn to the photos. Me in a club dancing. Oh shit, that was the day my father died. He died in the morning and I couldn't handle it. The next was of my mother and sister holding each other and crying that evening. Both photos must have been taken at same time. My throat is tight and I knock back more scotch.

The next shot is of me and my buddies at my bachelor party, kind of graphic. No one had a camera that night, we all had too much to lose, this is nuts. That picture was bad but it had to have been the next two photos that must have set my wife off. The next was my wife covered in mud at the spa where we had our honeymoon. God she was hot. I lingered on that photo, knowing what the next must show, me bending the maid over in our hotel room. Fuck me. You can’t blame me, she was so hot and so willing. But then I saw what I missed in that moment; the tears on the maid's face.

There were so many. I flipped through them faster. Me at the groundbreaking of my firm’s office building. The crying children standing outside the homes we tore down to build it. My clients and I toasting our success. A big man sobbing, the name of the company we liquidated on his back.

Shot after shot of me celebrating.

My wife crying alone in the emergency room when she miscarried. My mother at one doctor's visit after another. I had no idea she was even sick. My infant son almost blue in the face wailing. More, so many more.

When they were done I looked at myself. I had torn my shirt nearly to shreds. My perfectly manicured nails had dug trenches into my chest. Monsters are for pretend and live in closets and under beds, don't they?
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