Dinner’s Ready: A short story about depression
By Austin T. Craig
Copyright © 2017 by Austin T. Craig.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Cover © 2017 by Austin T. Craig.
Definition of Depression from: Google Search. Google. 15 April 2017. Web. 15 April 2017.
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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“Dinner’s ready!” crooned the voice from downstairs for the third time. Silence. Not wanting the food to go to waste, the owner of the voice decided to investigate. The staircase is tucked away in the back corner of the house, out of the way of the normal flow of traffic. You would never know a teenager resided upstairs, save for the drawings that frequented the windows of the second floor.
The woman, hunched over from the effects of Osteoporosis, opened the door to the stairway and sluggishly made her way up, her ageing bones and the wooden stairs creating a call-and-response as each took turns trying to out-creak the other.
The woman made it to the top of the stairs, pausing for breath and wishing she had brought her oxygen. She often regretted having smoked for all those years, her limited mobility was a tax she didn’t realize she would have to pay some day.
A few moments passed and she gathered herself, she drudged down the hall toward the still-silent door.
She reached for the knob, and, remembering the last fight, opted to knock on the door first.
“Honey, dinner’s ready. I made mac and cheese and there’s a Dr. Pepper in the fridge. I know they’re your favorite.” No answer.
The woman knocked again. “Are you awake?”
She tried the doorknob, but was met with resistance immediately. She knew the medications had hindered his appetite and sometimes gave him insomnia, but it was unusual that he was asleep at 5 in the afternoon.
She raised her fist to the door and again rapped out a pattern. Then another. Not even so much as a rustling of the sheets escaped from behind the door.
Now she was worried. She reached into her pocket for her phone and retrieved her credit card from the case. She slid the card between the door and the frame. She had learned this trick after the last incident.
She fumbled trying to unlock the door and dropped the card. The old woman’s bones popped as she bent over to retrieve the card. A few moments later, the door was unlocked.
On the bed, a figure lay curled up in a ball, hugging his knees. There was an empty Dr. Pepper bottle on the nightstand, half a glass of water next to it.
The woman approached the bed and saw what could only be drying tears on the pillow. The phone on the nightstand vibrated. The woman read the message.
“I’m sorry that things aren’t going to work out. I wish you would talk to me though :(”.
She knew that he was talking to someone new to take his mind off his last relationship that ended a few months ago. She put the phone back on the table and stretched out her hand to shake him awake.
His muscles had relaxed and he moved as if he were a puppet without a controller. She whispered his name. Then again, her voice cracking and streaks forming on her cheeks.
The bottle slipped out of his grasp and fell to the floor, empty.
Depression had claimed another victim.
Thank you to all my English teachers who encouraged me to write. This is my first published work. I would appreciate any feedback on how effective my word choice was or anything along that matter. You can find more information about me and future works at my and at my . This was a trail publishing run for publishing my novel, 2073, that is in progress and will be released sometime in 2073. Stay updated on my progress and subscribe to my blog for release dates and teasers.