Stories for a Gloomy Day
Published by Nicole Terrigno at Shakespir
Dishtributed by Shakespir
Copyright 2016 Nicole Terrigno
Stories for a Gloomy Day is a short collection of 3 different fiction pieces.
These pieces include The Secret, Free and One Long Day.
Davis pressed his face into his damp palms. He let out a deep sigh and felt the hot tears gather in his grasp. This sucks, it just sucks. He’d been repeating that phrase all day. Davis slid forward to examine the box his late Aunt Maggie had left for him. He felt the cold and smoothness of the heavy metallic box. There were deep grooves imprinted throughout the boxes design kissed in bronze. He didn’t know what to do with this damn thing. It was a gift from his Aunt Maggie. Left especially for her favorite nephew. This sucks.
Frustrated with everything Davis tossed the box on the coffee table. A blinding blue light exploded. He shielded his eyes as the light intensified, and the box started to rumble. It flipped and flopped all over the hard wood with a high-pitched hum coming from it. Suddenly the box opened. White clouds of smoke slowly puffed out mixing with a thick orange color as it continued to billow up. The creamsicle mixture filled the tiny office. Davis couldn’t see in front of him. Frantically he jumped to his feet and blindly felt around trying to find the door.
“Where are you going boy?” a deep voice echoed in his ears.
“I said WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” it repeated.
Davis glared through the thick smoke. Who’s there? A cool touch sent shivers down his spine.
“Don’t be afraid boy. I am here to serve you.”
“Who’s there? Who are you?” Davis shuddered.
“I am DiDi. I am here to make you an offer.”
“An offer? What kind of offer? Where are you?”
“I am all around boy. I am in every molecules of smoke that fills this room. You will not leave until you’ve made a decision.”
“You can’t tell me what to do. This isn’t even real. I’m stressed. This is all in my head.”
Davis slammed the box shut and sunk back into the deep couch. Tears fell from his eyes.
He sat studying the box. It was unique, something he’d never seen before. He ran his fingers along the cold frame. He was so tempted…so, so tempted to open it.
I shouldn’t… but… but…. he argued with himself. He slowly lifted the top of it. The bright light exploded again. Davis lunged for the door handle. He grabbed on tightly and jerked the door open. A strong wind swept the room and slammed it closed before Davis could even step foot outside the threshold.
“You will not leave until I have a decision” the burley voice boomed again.
“Are you ready for the question Davis?”
“How do you know my name?”
“I ask the questions. You merely answer.”
Davis couldn’t swallow. A bolder sat in his throat.
“What is your question DiDi?”
The thick smoked began to settle and dissipate. It left a strange sour odor in its wake.
“Davis. What would you do to see your aunt again?”
“Anything sir! ANYTHING!”
There was no hesitation to this question.
“You must give me something of yours. In return I will give you your aunt.”
Davis pulled his t-shirt off right then and there.
“Here take it! Take it please.”
“Silly boy. I do not want your shirt. I want something that’s meaningful to you. You must give something meaningful in order to get something meaningful in return.”
He scrounged through his pockets and pulled out a few crumpled bills.
“Here DiDi. It’s not much it’s only $27.”
The thick smoked reappeared and circled around him.
“Money is not meaningful. It can not buy things of real value.”
Davis fell to the ground. His voice shrieked as he yelled.
“What? What do you want from me?”
He felt the voice wrap around him tight. It squeezed him like a python. His arms were locked at his sides and he couldn’t move.
“Then tell me DiDi… what do you want?” the boy cried out.
“Your eyes. I want your eyes.”
“Yes boy. They are something meaningful.”
“How will I see my aunt again if you have my eyes?”
“You will see her boy. Seeing is not always physical. Seeing can be spiritual as well.”
Davis’ brain was filled to the max. His mind was racing. It this worth it? Flashbacks of him and Aunt Maggie flooded his mind. He remembered her smell- warm cinnamon and vanilla. He remembered the trips they’d take. Aunt Maggie bought out the adventurous side of Davis. They’d go hiking or she’d take him to a super secrete fishing spot. She was the first to spoil him with gifts when she’d return home from Exotic Island and far away destinations.
“Okay DiDi I’ll do it. You can have my eyes.”
And just like that everything went black. It was painless. Davis felt around.
“When do I get to see my aunt, DiDi? It’s been months. She was backpacking out if Thailand when she passed. I didn’t get to see goodbye. That’s all I want. To see her again.” Davis’ voice was filled with hope.
“You will not be seeing her Davis.”
“You will not see your aunt. The deal is done. I am done here.”
“YOU TOOK MY EYESIGHT.”
“Yes I know, and it now belongs to a girl named Whitney. She is 6 years old. The same age your cousin Josh was when he died. You remember him and what you did to him…”
The flames grew massive and consumed the entire house. Davis sat on the damp grass as he watched the structure burst and crumble. He’d buried this dark memory deep inside his mind. It was the night he accidently set his house on fire with his cousin Josh still inside. Josh was the only son of his Aunt Maggie.
“They say an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, but I am no longer part of this world, so I don’t care whose blind” the sweet angelic voice of Aunt Maggie paraded around the room.
“You took something irreplaceable from me so many years ago Davis and now I have something irreplaceable of yours.” She added.
“Goodbye Davis. May life bring you challenges an hardships. I hope the worlds a cruel and cold place to you.”
Davis collapsed struggling to catch his breath. It was all a lie; it was a trap, designed and played out as revenge.
Mia’s head is full of words she dares not let slip out of her mouth. They are evil, vial, and disgusting words. She crosses her arms tightly against her chest. The more she wants to say the tighter she presses.
“You done yet Danny?” she sneaks her question between his verbal lashes.
“Am I done yet? Am I done yet? You’ll know when I’m done cause I won’t be talking anymore!”
Their tiny apartment, above the 5 & Dime Convenience Store, was notorious through out the borough of Queens for Mia and Danny’s brutal arguments. Those two were like oil and water. No one knew how the marriage had survived this long. They’d argue about 2+2 being 4 if given the chance.
“And when I say I don’t wanna go somewhere, I ain’t going!” Danny declares.
“YOUR mother invited us. I don’t care if you don’t like your sister you’re going to your nephews birthday.”
Mia and Danny were in love at on point. They enjoyed each others company, they laughed, they talked like adults, but somewhere down the line they lost it all. What remained was the mere shell of a love long perished.
“How olds the kid anyway? He’s like 18 what 18 year old still gets a birthday part?!”
Danny wasn’t particularly found of his sister or her children. He thought they were spoiled brats.
“J.R. is 9 years old you idiot. Get dressed. I ironed your green polo it’s hanging up.”
Mia gazes over at her husband. His beer belly was thick with tiny black hairs. His potbelly hangs over his pajama pants that are already a size to small. The few wispy black hairs he has left go north, south, east and west. Danny’s face is weathered from years of cheap whiskey.
“You’re a mess,” she adds.
“Hey you ain’t no beauty queen yourself.”
Mia rolls her eyes. That is all the energy she can muster up to react to Danny’s lackluster taunts. She catches sight of her reflection passing a hallway mirror and studies her face in the incandescent light. The bags under her eyes are thick and dark. Mia’s nails are unpolished; make-up undone and her pajamas are too big. Mia’s hair is 50 shades of grey. She barley recognizes the woman looking back at her. What the hell happened to you? She drags her fingers across her wrinkles feeling the depth in each and every one. She takes her hair out of its tight bun and tosses it around gently. Mia pinches her cheeks to add some color and life to her pasty skin. That’s a little better. You look 6 months younger. Her thoughts are the only one she can have a civil conversation with.
“You know I hate this stupid shirt but that’s the one you iron so I have to wear it. You’re always tryin’ to get me even if it’s just a little something…”
Leave him! Her blood violently boils.
“Just like how you bought 1% milk even though you know I hate it! It’s thick water!”
Leave him! She clenches her fists tightly to her sides.
“Or how last week you asked Gino’s to put extra tomato sauce on my chicken parm even though you know it gives me heartburn!”
Leave him! Her chin quivers with every word she’s holding back.
“You’re always doing shit to annoy me what’s the matter with you?”
Mia’s head is full of words she dares not let slip out of her mouth. They are evil, vial, and disgusting words. She crosses her arms tightly against her chest. The more she wants to spew her hate the tighter she presses.
“I hate this stupid shirt and you know that.”
The damn broke. Words flood everywhere. F-bombs, curses in English, Italian, curses that haven’t been invented yet all come flying out of Mia’s mouth. These words play dirty. The cut, jab and rip through every inch of Danny’s plump body and dull mind.
“…Get your ugly shirt and whatever other shit you can carry and get the hell out you NO good, pig headed, in denial your BALDING, fat old man!”
Danny feels the few strands of hair left on his head bewildered head. Mia’s fangs are showing. They’re sharp and waiting.
“JUST SHAVE IT ALREADY GOD DAMNIT YOU LOOK LIKE YOU’RE DESPERATELY HOLDING ON TO YOUR YOUTH. IT’S RIDICULOUS.”
Danny eyes engulf his face. He puts on a dingy white t-shirt, grabs his beat up sneakers and takes his coat without a second thought as he leaves their grim apartment. He slams the door for dramatic effect, and because Mia’s biggest pet peeve is door slamming. He needs to one up his wife one final time. For him it’s a rather cathartic slam. Danny strolls to the elevator feeling happy for the first time in forever. Finally. He can’t help but smile.
Mia twitches as she hears the door slam. She runs towards it but stops, she hesitates for a moment wanting to get one last word in, but takes a deep breath instead. She returns to her spot in front of the hallway mirror. This time the woman looking back at her is smiling; it’s a faint twisted smile, but a smile at that. Finally.
One Long Day
Dudley’s hands were bright red and on fire, but he gripped the rope tighter. He clung to the thick hairs of the rope for dear life. With all his might he pulled his upper body without moving an inch. The fat boy with rosy cheeks and messy black hair felt the sweat dripping down his back and temple. Dudley’s eyes darted around in terror. The floor was a million miles away and the most evil sets of eyes peering back at him.
“You’re mine,” the eyes whispered.
Dudley tightened his grip strangling the rope between his chubby fingers. He was short of breath and gasping for air as he tried to inch his way up away from the monsters. Suddenly he felt it. A cool breeze eerily crept across his lower back. His shorts started to slide down as he tried to climb up.
Oh no oh no oh no! I can’t do this pants-less!
He jerked the rope again but this time the rope loosened. The fibers were giving out.
Oh no oh no oh no!
Dudley looked up to see the rope starting to give way. It was fraying under the weight of his gut.
Oh no oh no oh no!
He could feel those evil eyes burning holes right through him. His skin was a blaze. They were waiting for him. Waiting for the rope to break and for Dudley to plumed right into their torment. His hands and arms were exhausted and violently shaking. He could feel the pale blue t-shirt rising up his back as he tried to scramble to continue climbing.
Oh no oh no oh on!
The eyes grew fangs and they were out waiting for blood.
Oh no oh no oh no!
“Dudley…” the voices called.
“Dudley…” they wanted him as a sacrifice.
He could feel the rope growing looser and less sturdy with every passing second. He gave one final attempt with all his strength, but it was not enough. The old frayed rope, which he dreaded from day one, won. It split and dislodged sending Dudley straight to his own personal hell. Dudley squeezed his eyes tight as the voices called his name.
Dudley opened his eyes slowly. He was unsure of what he’d find here in hell. Murders? Bank Robbers? Hitler, Satan and Saddam Hussein in a love triangle? No it was worse. There were 20 pairs of eyes looking back. He couldn’t hear anything. There was a loud buzzing splashing around his head, bouncing off his skull and a heaviness bearing down on his chest.
Oh no! It happened! It really happened!
Dudley scrambled to get up his the heaviness sitting on his chest was to much. A long skinny finger slowly came into focus. It jabbed him in the chest over and over.
Dudley’s face was scorching
“Dudley! Boy you alright?” Mr. Peter’s asked him pulling the ancient rope off the boy.
“Dudley, I sent Cal to get the nurse, it’s okay buddy!”
Dudley looked up to see his entire gym class pointing and laughing at him. The split caused the rope to dislodge from the ceiling. It sent the chubby boy with his gym shorts at his ankles into his own personal hell. Dudley dropped his head and it made a soft thud on the thick blue wrestling mat.
“Boy you didn’t make it anymore then three feet up there.” Mr. Peter’s said.
Mr. Peter’s was an ex-marine turned Phys Ed teacher who expected all the boys of Dudley’s 5th grade class to climb the rope just as he did in basic training. From that day on Dudley was no longer just the chubby boy with messy black hair, he was the chubby boy with messy black hair who still wore tighty whiteys.
Stories for a Gloomy Day is compilation of short pieces written by Nicole Terrigno. The Secret, Free, and One Long Day all center around one character faced with a problem they must over come. The Secret focuses on a young man whose childhood secret comes back to haunt him. Free is a short story about a woman who has hit the tipping point in her lackluster marriage. One Long Day is a tale about a young boy who at the hands of an evil gym teacher, experiences the worst day of this life.