I’m looking for Linda. Have you seen her? She likes to spend her afternoons here reading magazines and drinking coffee. She says you guys have the best coffee in town. She...she...Ha. Haha! HAHAHA! HEE-HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Sorry about that. I had to shift the marbles. Cat’s Eyes to the right, Steelies to the left. That’s the way they work best. If they get bunched up in the middle they make me laugh. And it always seems to happen at the most inappropriate times. I laughed at Linda when she broke up with me. I was devastated, but I laughed anyway because the marbles had slipped. The Steelies were on the right that time. It’s hard to keep them on the correct sides because there’s moisture in there and it makes things shift.

But it’s not always bad. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes the marbles stay put and everything’s fine. Sometimes I go days without having to take my ball cap off and reach in there to rearrange them. It hurts when I poke around too much. Sometimes I touch the wrong spot and it makes me wet my pants. One time it happened on the bus. I got up at my stop and there was a big puddle on the seat. I think the Cat’s Eyes had slid to the back that time.

The worst pain I ever felt was the day I was eating hot peppers and I felt the Steelies shift. I took off my cap, and without washing the pepper juice off my hand first, I dipped my fingers through the hole in my skull. Once that juice hit my brain it was like my whole head went up in flames. I ran through the restaurant screaming and knocking tables over. It must have been a sight. Anyway, I grabbed the fire extinguisher off the wall and tried to spray my head with it but my aim was all off. So I handed it to this cook who was just standing there staring at me and I said, "Put the fire out!" But he just kept staring at the hole in my head with this stupid look on his face. I don’t eat there anymore. If they can’t help their customers, they don’t deserve my business.

So now I carry a spray bottle in my pocket in case that ever happens again. I keep hoping I’ll run into Linda somewhere so I can show her my spray bottle. Show her how smart I am. She’s the one who told me I’m crazy. But I ask you, would a crazy man know the proper way to situate these marbles? Would a psychopath have the mental capacity to understand why they work in the first place? Would a man of questionable cognition possess the capability to learn from his mistakes, to realize that vacuum cleaner parts don’t work, that the nuts and bolts, while roughly the same size as marbles, tend to get lodged between the skull and the frontal lobe, and sometimes even wedge themselves beneath the corpus collosum, causing me to… to… Parumph! Parumph! Parruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Sorry about that. Had to shift the marbles again. Now where was I? Where’s Linda?

Copyright: © 2010
Chris Reed

Chris Reed is the author of more than 50 short stories. His fiction has appeared in a variety of small press publications including Black Ink Horror, Chimeraworld 5, and the Cutting Block Press anthology, Tattered Souls: The Provocative Boundary of Fear. When not writing, he spends his time browsing thrift stores, eating pizza, and waiting for hockey fights to break out, sometimes simultaneously. He lives in Davison, MI, with his photographer wife and their two enigmatic children. VILE VISIONS, his first collection of fiction, is now available at his Web site: www.ChrisReedFiction.com.

1 comment:

  1. Quite a neat story. Very imaginative and fun to read.