Sleep Eater

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A late-night and somewhat silly entry for today’s 500 Club over at The Parking Lot Confessional. I chose the second prompt (“If I could just get her to say it, this would all go away”), modifying it slightly. I used the Write or Die 2.0 software to crank out 500 words in 20 minutes and this is what my brain came up with. Not sure why. Hope it isn’t my subconscious telling me something…

Sleep Eater

Okay, I confess I have a thing about being right. I’ve always been that way, so there’s not much I can do about it now. Let’s just say thirty-some years of practice made perfect. So when Carol told me my leftovers were still in the fridge, I flat-out told her she was wrong.

“I saw them in there earlier today,” she said, popping open a can of Sprite. She took a long drink and set the can on the counter. “Go look.”

“It’s not there.” She was wrong and that was that.

“Did you look?”

I rolled my eyes. Same tactic she always used. Did I look? Of course I didn’t look. I didn’t have to look. I just knew.

“You didn’t look, did you?” She laughed and took another drink. “Just go open the door. Ten bucks says it’s still there.”

You know what they say about money, don’t you? The first one to mention money loses. “You’re on.”

I slid my chair back from the table and walked to the fridge. Simon, our Aussie, lifted his head to watch me. Fridge means food, right? He’s no dummy.

“Get that tenner ready.” The stainless steel handle chilled my hand as I pulled the fridge open. With a flourish of my hands, I presented the truth to my dolt of a girlfriend. “Voilà.”

“You didn’t even look!”

“I don’t have to. The cheesecake isn’t there. It’s gone. I just know it.”

She sauntered over, swirling the Sprite like a vintage Merlot. The look on her face made it clear she thought she was right. She stopped before the open door and peered inside. Careened her head to the side to peer past the ketchup. “White box?”

“Yep.”

“Styrofoam?”

“Yep.”

She reached into the cold, beyond the bread, beyond the pickle relish. Move dthe hot dog buns and kim chee aside. Reached in almost to her shoulder and pulled something out. A white box. Styrofoam.

My voilà hand dropped at my side. Couldn’t be. I squelched a momentary dizziness that threatened to unsettle me.

“What was it again?” she asked, waving the box in my face. “New York style, or one of those hoity-toity cheesecakes? Red velvet flavor, or maybe lemon raspberry? That one’s yummy.”

“Open it,” I said.

“Are you kidding me?”

“Open it.”

She rolled her eyes and popped the styrofoam latch.

Empty. Just as I’d suspected.

“Ha!” I pointed my finger at her. “I knew it! You ate my cheesecake.”

She looked confused. “But…” Her mouth moved without speaking as her eyebrows worked over some difficulty. Her next lie, perhaps. “But…I didn’t.”

“That’s it? You didn’t? That’s all you got?”

“I didn’t.”

“Oh, come on. Don’t lie.” If I could just get her to say it — to say I was right — we could get on with our lives.

She got in my face then, and her teeth flashed with each enunciated word. “I didn’t eat your stupid cheesecake.”

“Then who did?”

“I don’t know.” She drained the rest of her Sprite, set the can on the floor and crushed it under her heel. “Maybe Simon. I heard him up and about last night.” She left the kitchen.

I looked at Simon, dozing on his side on the cool tile, looking all fat and happy.

I got in his face. I wouldn’t back down this time. “You ate my cheesecake, didn’t you? Tell me the truth.”

Copyright © 2010 by Amy K. Nichols

 

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4 thoughts on “Sleep Eater

    S. C. Green said:
    October 1, 2010 at 9:31 am

    If you can do that in twenty minutes using one of the cruelest pieces of writing software there is, I should just hand in my writer’s badge now.

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      October 1, 2010 at 11:14 am

      Sometimes that cruel software is the only thing that will get my fingers to move!

      (Thank you. And you dismiss your own abilities much too easily.)

    Vandamir said:
    October 1, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    She’s so sure that she didn’t eat it, so which one is the sleep eater? Great story, made even better by knowing you wrote it in 20 minutes!

    Amy K. Nichols said:
    October 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you, Vandamir! 🙂 I’m not sure which one is the sleep eater, really; but I suspect it’s the narrator.

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