I tried to do a 30 day writing challenge ages ago but it pretty much failed as i only did it for seven days. I had day 8 ready but never published it so I decided to put it out here anyway. I hope you enjoy it.
Day 8: Choose a song title as a prompt for a short story.
When I Get Home You’re So Dead (Mayday Parade)
The bright light of the computer screen burned my eyes after a long day of just staring at it. I felt the need to gouge my eyes out to stop the stinging. My job requires me to spend hours on end looking at this blinding painful light where I am unable to do anything other than just that. I was broken out of my trance by the vibration of my phone against the desk which caused a loud sound to be heard throughout the whole office, I quickly grabbed it to stop the disruption without checking the caller.
“Marvin, sweetie,” said sweet old Deidre Simmons. She lives next door to me along with her husband and three cats. She brings soup when my kids or me are sick and always sends over holiday cards ever since we moved on her street a few years ago.
Before I could continue the niceties she interrupted me by saying. “There is someone in your house.”
A worry floated to the surface of my mind which made me unable to speak. Deedee continued, “the lights are turned on and I can hear them moving things. I also saw someone in your garden about five minutes ago. I thought I’d tell you before I call the police.”
“No, no Deedee. No need for that.” She may have detected the urgency of my voice so I’d better explain myself. “I’m sitting in the house. I left work early because I’m not feeling well. And silly me, I managed to lock myself out so got the spare from the garden.”
“Should I come over? I’ll bring some soup over, dear.”
“No, it’s fine. I’m going to take a nap, Deedee.”
“Well, dear, you tell me if you need anything.”
“Thank you. Good night.”
It’s useful to have neighbours like her because only a lady like that would believe a lie like that because I was really still in the office, a really shitty day at the office. I hate my colleagues, boss and job. I packed up my things and was ready to walk away scot free until a few colleagues came into my cubicle.
“Hey, Marvin. We’re off to the pub. Join us for a drink or two?” The blonde man in HR whose name I could never remember offered me to come, backed with a few others. I recognised some from my department, as well as accountancy and international relations. “Sorry, people. Not tonight.” I began to wrap my scarf around my neck.
“Come on, mate. The kids are at your sister-in-laws tonight. So you are a free man.”
“Exactly, so I have the house to myself. I’m feeling a quiet night in.” I slowly put on my gloves.
The young woman with glasses emerged from the back to say, “Alright Marvin. But we will get you next time.”
My boss popped his head out of his office and piped up. “What do you mean that you are not coming to the pub? It’s a Friday night.”
“I’m just tired,” I said as I grabbed my bag.
“We’ll let it slide this one time. Good job today mate.”
“Cheers, mate. Have a good night guys.” I waved goodbye to them as I leave the office.
I could hear an encore of “take care, Mar.”
I hated all of them. I would never go on a night out with them again. They are all idiots so I’m constantly surrounded by morons. At least I can go home.
I would not be surprised when I get home, but that person is as good as dead. I would do what I always do, check my card at the exact time and get the same train at the same time with the same shoes and scarf and jacket. This is me. My life has been stationary for a long time. But not today.
Something will happen. Something is going to change.
I arrived outside my house the same time as always. Not long after Deedee called me. I knew it was no robber. Firstly because I have nothing worth stealing. The few bank cards I own are always in my wallet with me. I have no extra cash, my savings are all locked up safely. I have no car, no valuables such as gold. My television is standard not worth the trouble to steal. I own no computer, just a laptop which gets me by for my commute home.
The second hint is that if it was, indeed, a robber he would know this by now and left; but instead the intruder is still in my house.
I entered the house quietly. Only to hear the TV on the sports channel and the radio blasting to obnoxious rap music. The intruder had his feet up on my table shouting at the telly. “You always did have shitty taste,” I shouted referring to the music.
“Yeah, that counts for women too.” He said smugly, not turning his head from the tv.
“You’re still a dick.”
This time he did face me, “Come on. We are buddies right, Marvin. Best buddies in fact.”
“I fucking hate you.”
“Oh, you are still upset about your wife aren’t you.”
“Don’t talk about her.”
“Come on Marvin, she was a bitch.”
“Go fuck yourself.”
“Oh, so touchy. Have a pint and take a seat. I have 200 pounds on the next horse.”
I looked around and realised how at home he made himself. Empty alcohol bottles. His hands in pack of doritos and a bowl of popcorn on his lap. There was also popcorn on the floor which he had obviously hurled at the television in anger.
“Seriously, why are you here?”
“To see if we could reconcile, obviously.”
That means he needed money. “I’m not giving you money. You are going to reimburse me for all this food and then you are going to leave.”
“Has this coldness arised because i slept with your wife? Because even though she begged for it, she was kind of a disappointing fuck.”
“Don’t talk about Ellie like that.” She may have slept with this vile thing but she was still my wife.
“Oh yeah. It’s not socially acceptable to speak ill mannered of the dead.”
“Disgusting. Truly a picture of a pathetic man.” Looking at him, my former best friend from childhood. A man of many words and names but none were good. He was slimy, motivated only by money in a stained t shirt and tracksuit bottoms. He looked older than he was, with his greasy hair and sparse stubble. He was a pretty attractive fellow but not as the man he was now. He sat with his feet up with his torn trainers and had his hands in his pants. I spoke up as he was in a trance to the TV. “Look at you, you’re disgusting.” I started to laugh a bitter laugh but it grew weaker until my voice started to shake. “But she still loved you and she chose you over me.”
“You know I’m a ladies man,” she said, clearly full of pride about his appearance.
“If you’re not going to leave, then answer a few questions.”
“No can do, buddy boy. Not with out a price at least.”
“You have go to be fucking with me.”
“Well, you want answers. I want money. It’s a decent exchange. One question for 50 pounds.”
“Mates rates. 20 quid.”
I stood there in shock, not of his despicable offer but in shock of myself. His despicable offer appealed to me.
“How long were you guys, you know?” I couldn’t even bring myself to say sleeping together because then it means I’ve acknowledged it and that just brings it to close to my reality.
“Fucking?” He thought for a while before asking, “how long were you married for?”
“In that case, 11 and a half years. I told you that your kid never looked like you.”
“Keep my kids out of this.”
“Ah, it’s cute you still think they’re yours. I love your naivety. But I guess that’s what Elle loved too, when she was sneaking around all those years.”
“Why did you do it? We were like family.”
“It’s simple: why not? She was easy. She was always around. And I’m a dirtbag.”
“Why was she gonna leave then?”
“Well, that’s kind of a funny story. She was getting clingy so I tried to break it off. I told her to make a choice between us. And she chose me. Isn’t that just the most hilariously pathetic thing you have ever heard? I treated her like shit for years, where you treated her like a queen and yet she chose me. Even after 12 years you were still blindly in love with her.”
“I don’t get paid unless I tell the truth.”
“You say you broke up with her, she meant nothing. She wasn’t stupid.”
“Love makes you stupid.”
“Is that your excuse too?”
He flinched. I had definitely struck a nerve. “You did love her. You wanted her to choose me because if Ellie chose you then you would have ran away with her. You loved her which made it difficult.”
“Stop saying that. She was a bitch. She cheated on you with me. She was a whore.” I had never seen this look on him, or anyone. It was a mixture of pure sadness and disgust. Disgust in himself or in her. Maybe both.
That’s all I needed. “I will have the paternity test results soon and even if all of them turn out to be your kids, I will keep them and love them. You will never ever be a part of their lives.”
“Then why aren’t they living with you now? Isn’t it because you didn’t want anything of my bloodline near you?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. It’s because I’ve been expecting you. You are too predictable. I didn’t want you near them. Hey, I thought I might even beat you half to death but seeing this look on your face. I can’t kill something this beautiful. I need to remember when I’m feeling down that you will be somewhere in a gutter with that look, whilst I’m surrounded by my beautiful kids. Even my coworkers seem beautiful now. I should thank you.”
“Thank me? After everything I did to you?”
There was a long pause.
“Fine, whatever helps you sleep at night. Where’s my money?”
“Well, you answered four questions. So that’s 80 pounds. Minus the damages. So 50 for food and drink. The damage of my tv is 750. Damages to the house is 125. The mess all over my walls and carpet would be 65 to get it cleaned. And let’s round that up to a nice even number 1000 minus your 80. You owe me 920 pounds.”
“Maybe someone as broke as you can see a good offer. Never bother me or my family again. I don’t even want to see you near my colleagues. Then you owe me nothing.”
“But we are buds.”
“Take the offer and leave. Unless you have that 920.”
“Goodbye Mar. We really were brothers at one point. Maybe we can see each other again. When you are not angry.”
“I’m not angry. How can I be angry at a dead person. As far as I’m concerned, the day I came home from work and I found her dead on the bathroom floor is the day you died with her. I buried you in the ground along with the one you love.”
“So, this is goodbye for real.”
“It’s more like a fuck off, have a terrible life.”
“Imagine, if one kid was mine and looked for me.”
“My kids would never search for trash. If that were to ever happen you ignore them. They’re better off with out you.”
He left in the dark cold night. Limping of further and further in a distance until finally he was gone.
I dropped to the sofa and took a deep sigh. A sigh of contentment. I was almost floating.
It was in the middle of the night. My sister in law and kids will probably be asleep but now I could see them.
I rushed out the house with one focus on my mind. To see them.
I knocked on the door to act as nonchalant as possible. Sarah emerged moments later rubbing her eyes. “Marv? It’s late.”
“I just wanna see my kids.”
“They’re upstairs, fast asleep. Like you should be,” she yawned.
I ran upstairs knocking things over in my way. The two oldest boys slept in one room. I rammed open the door to discover one still awake on the phone. Where the other completely unaware as he slept in his bed. “He missed you. Took me ages to put him to sleep. You better not wake him up now.”
“Oh, just he missed me? ”
“Yep,;couldn’t shut up. Like I said too fucking annoying. ”
“Alright. Dad, don’t ever fucking leave us again.”
“Alright, I won’t you little shit.”
I checked the youngest ones room. I tried to be as quiet as possible to not wake her up. She always was a light sleeper. She fluttered her eyes open. “Papa, I missed you. Are you back for good?”
“I was always here. Looking over you guys.” I kissed her forehead as I rocked her to sleep. The light snores were an indication that it was okay to leave.
I tiptoed out of the room. Out the door into the door to the far right.
I walked into the room and she lay on the bed waiting for me, with a grin over her face. I got into the covers with the woman I loved and lingered my head over her just before she kisses me passionately. “Hey.”
“Did you sort him out?”
“It’s all sorted. He’s gone for good.”
“That’s great. I can’t believe she loved him. It’s kind of sick.”
“Yep. He thought that the kids might have been his. I tested them ages ago. The idiot was bluffing anyway, the years of damage he’s done to himself has made him infertile.”
She laughed. Wickedly yet almost innocently. As innocent as she could be with her legs draped around me and her body pressed against me. “So, he’s gone. She’s gone. We have the kids. Now what?”
“What we planned.” I wrapped my arms around her. “We get to be together. No one can stop us now.”
“That was a great plan.”
She embraced me as I place my lips on hers.
As Marvin coddled his dead wives’ sister, he was truly happy.
“Hey babe.” Sarah said.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”