The joke (short story)

Come here and give me a hand a minute, will ya? Michael yelled to Sheldon who sat comfortably in the lazy boy reading his book. Sheldon dog-eared the page and threw it down on the seat. Sure, anything to get out of reading that crap he said with a smile. What are you making anyway? Michael held some skeletal arms and string in his hand at the top of the stairs, stretching precariously to reach a hook that was about a foot too far away from his reach. It’s a joke, stupid, and then jumped up a few inches but still not quite reaching the destination. Sheldon grabbed the string from his hands, stood up on tiptoe and hung it effortlessly. It’s gotta suck being so vertically challenged he said with a laugh and Michael just gave him the finger as he handed him the next string. Different gene pool, different results…good thing I got the personality, you got nothing. Now shut up and help me, get this one up there too you ass, chuckling to himself and then grabbed the excess string and walked around the corner and began to hammer into the plasterboard.What kind of joke is this anyway? Seems a bit fake looking if you ask me. Michael peered around the corner and laughed out loud. Yeah, it may look that way but when Morgan gets home from work tonight, hits the light for the upstairs hall that I might add, is no longer in service thanks to the lightbulb that is no longer there thanks to yours truly, it’s gonna look downright freaky scary. Sheldon looked at the get-up again and shook his head, I don’t think this is such a good idea, man. Someone might get hurt or something. Michael turned and walked away flipping him off again. Nah, she’s a lot stronger than you think, she’ll think it’s funny, besides, I’ll just tell her you did it. After all, you’re the one who hung it up, right? Michael slipped around the corner again and slammed his bedroom door with a resounding thump. Stupid ass, Sheldon thought and went back downstairs to finish the last few chapters of A Separate Peace.

Morgan usually got off her job at the 7-11 most nights by 12am and unfortunately she thought to herself as she glanced at the policeman in front of her, tonight wasn’t gonna be typical. The whole night sucked. A drunk came in and she refused to sell him any beer, bad enough he was parked almost sideways in the lot, kind of the same way he walked in as he sneered at her as he staggered back to the beer cooler. She heard a six-pack smash as it hit the floor, beer spraying all over the chips and candy, and then he grabbed another, barely able to hang onto it and she reached for the phone and dialed 911. She whispered to the voice on the other line what was happening and they said don’t worry, don’t confront him and the police would be right there. They took their sweet time getting there of course and she tried to keep the guy there as long as possible. He just wanted the beer honey, he kept muttering over and over again. Gotta get some to take home or Helen will have his nuts on a platter. She didn’t know who Helen was, assumed girlfriend or wife and really didn’t care. His bloodshot eyes stared at her like wet glass, his lips slurring the words and his aggressive nature raising her hackles. Just gimme the beer you stupid bitch, I gotta get home before she does, he spewed and she just stood there looking at him, he threw a twenty at her which blew back off the counter and onto the floor. She leaned down to get it and as she rose, saw him leaving through the door. He got into the car through the passenger side for god knows what reason, shimmied over to the driver seat and put the car in gear. The car lurched forward and smashed through the front glass, sending shards and two liters and chips flying everywhere and she screamed and ducked behind the counter. She told the cops what happened, as she stood there still shaking and waited for the manager to show up so she could get the hell out of there. An hour later she finally made her way to her car in the back lot and just sat there shaking. Asshole could have killed me, she thought and slipped out of the parking lot as a news crew came through the entrance. Not tonight she laughed, not tonight. Don’t need my 15 minutes of fame, just wanna go home thank you. She looked both ways and pulled out.

The local liquor store was open till 2 and she pulled in. Her hands still shook on the steering wheel but she figured she deserved a little treat tonight, walked in and bought a bottle of fruity Sangria from the cooler, paid for it and headed home. Yeah, gonna be a tough night to sleep she said as she tapped on the paper bag, but you’re gonna help me. I’m sure I won’t have to work tomorrow…good, a day off would suit me perfectly she said.  She unlocked the front door and walked in quietly. Michael and Sheldon might be out, a Friday night and all she said to the silence as she grabbed the bottle, twisted off the cap and poured herself a tall glass of red fruity wine on ice. Nice night to sit outside she thought and walked out onto the back porch and settled in to watch the stars. Yeah, just what I need, peace and quiet, and she took another sip.

Michael walked in the front door and rubbed his eyes sleepily, glanced at the clock and saw the bottle of wine on the counter. He sniffed the contents, wrinkled his nose and sat it back down, pouring himself a glass of sweet tea instead, he drank it in almost a single gulp turned off the lights and then started to walk through the living room to head for bed. The pot Frankie scored for them at the party had been pretty damn good, he could still feel the effects and laughed in the dark. Yep, gonna sleep like a baby tonight he said as he began to walk up the stairs. He knew his way in the dark and walked carefully up each step, knowing where they creaked and avoided those particular spots. He was out longer than what he was allowed and didn’t want to get caught breaking curfew, there was another party tomorrow and he was gonna be there come hell or high water. He made it to the last step before the ghostly form in white came hurtling through the darkness at him, his mouth open in a terrifying scream as he fell backwards, his back twisted in a sinister way as he landed wedged in the wood where the stairs turned. His eyes wide open, but no longer seeing. The joke took its victim like planned. Sheldon sat above in the shadows, quietly turned and walked away smiling. Yep, somebody may be hurt, maybe this isn’t a good idea and he closed the door and slipped into bed.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “The joke (short story)

  1. It was just a quick fun write, wasn’t sure at first where it was going…I enjoy writing on the fly like that, start and keep moving through to see which door it will open and what I shall find😊 thanks Lady G💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Sheldon, in a bit of Halloween not so spooky story…actually had another in mind but this came out instead😊👻glad you enjoyed it super S….like the names used? Hmmmm…..

    Liked by 1 person

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