Death by Preparation H

Flash Fiction

John and Lenny stand outside the church drawing in on the butts of their cigarettes lamenting and gossiping about their friend Parker’s death. How does a fifty-five-year-old man manage to make his wife poison him? The two of them shoot the shit, unfazed by the crowd thickening in the pews for the viewing. The church bells ring and the small choir begins their rendition of ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ They ignore the cues to be seated.

“You heard what happened to him, right?”

“No, I haven’t, just that he was in the hospital for three days before he died. You know what happened?”

“She’d been poisoning him . . . Preparation H in the cake icing every weekend for two years.”

“He did love cake.”

“He did . . . That’s a bad way to go, though. A hemorrhoid cream death. How do you explain that to your kids?”

“You think they’re gonna tell’em? The family?”

“I sure as hell hope not. I wouldn’t want my kids knowing I died a hemorrhoid cream death. Jesus! I ain’t going to the funeral. It’s sure to be a nesting ground for the media. Half the neighborhood’s here and it’s just the viewing.”

“Are you gonna send flowers to his family?”

“Think I’ll send them an edible arrangement and have Edith bake them a pie.”

“Good. I thought you were gonna say ‘cake’. So glad you didn’t.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure they don’t want any cake any time soon. Damn. Just, damn. Word on the street is that Janie caught him cheating with Elaine. Elaine of all people, Lenny! Can you believe that?”

“Well, Elaine could bake a mean cake. Wait a minute . . . Do we really know if it was Janie and not Elaine who’d been poisoning him?”

“Aw hell, man. Let’s go inside before folks get to questioning what we’re doing.”

“God. That’s still such a bad way to go.”

The two friends stroll inside the building, each of them finding their own wives, and seating themselves quietly. Neither of them mentions the words ‘cake’ or ‘Preparation H’ ever again.


Here lies Parker T. Overton. Loyal Husband. Loving Father. Faithful Servant of the Lord. June 12, 1964 — July 12, 2019. Death by Preparation H.


Originally published via The Weekly Knob on Medium.

Damaged

Flash Fiction

In the waking hours of a gloomy morning, Daniel finds himself searching for the hands of a wife who — just the night before, told him that she was leaving him for his older brother. It was during dinner at Giovanni’s, their favorite restaurant. The reason for such a celebration? Their 10th wedding anniversary.

He lies in bed, caressing the space next to him designated for his wife, his fingers running over the hollowed area of her body’s curves buried into the mattress. His brother Robert coyly mentioned the keys to keeping a woman satisfied to him millions of times before but Daniel found the sound of his older brother’s voice repugnant.

The moment a word flew from his mouth, Daniel would process every other word into the function of selective hearing then slowly tune his brother out. This was a practice he perfected years ago when they were just teenagers.

“Robert, though?! Any other man in my family the bitch could’ve had and I’d be okay. I’m sure, I would. But this numbnuts, Godforsaken, know-it-all, doted on, Teacher’s Pet of an asshole, Robert?! Why!?”

Funny that Daniel would mention, numbnuts as a description of his brother, for he was surely the one with numb nuts. Recently diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, Daniel has been battling the changes to his manhood and trying to relearn how to release pressure and relax when you’re married to a part-time nymphomaniac is an impossible feat, but he would do anything for Sarah.

He turns away from glancing at her side of the bed, rubs his chest lightly, and rolls out of the comfort he has known for the last hour and shuffles his way to the record player. Hall & Oates, the vinyl medicine of choice rests on the turntable. He gently picks up the needle, sets it down on the vinyl, and the crooning guitar riff of the opening melody for “Sarah Smile” fills the room. This, his morning ritual for the last two weeks.

“When this shit gets out, I’m gonna be the laughing stock of Seaside Drive. Robert?! I mean, Robert?!”

Daniel opens the blinds, yawns, places his right hand down his pajama bottoms and over his penis, and calmly says, “It’s just you and me, buddy.” The music coats every corner of the bedroom, drips from the ceiling fan, down to the floor, and bounces off the walls.

Baby hair, with a woman’s eyes. I can feel you watching in the night.


Erectile Dysfunction occurs when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.” As a woman who had a brief stint with a past lover who could not perform sexually, I witnessed someone all but shut down because he — we could not understand what was happening. A shift in his job that created more work, more responsibility, longer hours, and the same pay was just one of the many stressors weighing on him.

At the time, I was not as supportive as I should have, could have been. But, I learned to be. I had to. He needed that even if he did not vocalize it. Thank you for reading.


Originally published in The Junction via Medium.

Bad Karma

When one of the biggest Creatives on WordPress asks you if you would like to collaborate with him, you do it. Not to mention the fact that you’ve been a fan of their unique work for years and you had a slight heart-attack watching your work come to life in his hands. Below, you’ll find the collaboration between Peter of Little Fears and me.


Story by Tre

Karma opened the blinds to her dorm room, signaling the sun’s rays to drape her in its warmth. Classes had resumed. Summer break was now a thing of the past. She had her assignments, her books, other supplies, and her boyfriend’s heart.

What would he do without her at home now that she’s traveled back to finish her last year of college? Under his mattress was a letter. In it, she’d written:

“I told you not to fall for me. I only wanted your heart. Now, that I have it, you have nothing.”

Poor Jesse, his life was full of bad karma.


*View the piece in its entirety, including the incredible audio-visual formatting from Peter by clicking the link below. 

https://littlefears.co.uk/2019/03/31/bad-karma

Peter, thank you very much for the opportunity, man. I’m still quite over-the-moon about it!

The First Time

Courtesy of Sacred Margins/Maria Makki

Damon has his hands full. Last night consisted of tossing and turning uncontrollably. Linda refused him their bed. Another heated argument landed him a night on the couch. A common theme in their home. He has lost his sense of self. He doesn’t know who he is and cannot remember who he was. Since the voices entered his head, he was changing. 

He carries a bowl of cereal, a mug of coffee, and the weight of his unforgiving heart on his shoulders. He struggles as he makes his way to the family room. Today, he will apologize.  

Linda is combing her dully colored hair. Damon said the highlights looked like they were torturing her scalp. She’d spent three hours and $85.00 at the salon, yearning for perfection. 

“Everything I do, I do for him.”

She mumbles excuses for her reactionary behavior while glancing at her tired reflection in the mirror.  She belittled Damon for his momentary outbursts, unwilling to see his progress. Today, she will end the suffering.  

The hardwood floors of their Victorian home creak under the pressure of heavy feet. Both of them pace in place, struggling to keep their anger sealed. Their therapist advised in the last session, “Let go of what does not matter. Embrace what does.” The walls whisper sound advice, in the frozen foyer, Damon hears them:

“Love or lose. Win no more.”

He races up the stairs, bursts into their bedroom, and lunges towards his wife. He catches her moments before she kills herself.  

This is the first time the voices in his head are right. 

The Glory of the Forgotten

Courtesy of Pinterest

She is sitting in a pale, dust-ridden chair, rocking herself to obtain a deeper sense of calm. Her Primary Care Physician believes she is showing signs of Bipolar Disorder. She wants to refer her to a therapist, someone she trusts. The air in the room is thick with guilt. A faulty door swings open and a nurse in tattered scrubs alerts the doctor to her next patient who has been waiting for fifteen minutes. 

“Danielle, I have to go. I have another patient waiting. I will call Dr. Dominguez myself and schedule a consultation for you. Are Fridays still best?”

But, Danielle is drowning.  The rocking chair is now a carousel and she cannot halt the spinning. There is no sound. The muffled words of Dr. Norman attack her ears but leave no depth. She is trapped within herself, bracing for glory that does not come. 

“Danielle?! Are Fridays still best for you?”

“Yes.  I’m sorry, Dr. Norman. I didn’t hear you. I was…”

“I know, you were not here. *sighs* We will get you better in due time. I will call Dr. Dominguez this evening. Make a follow up appointment with Clara at  the checkout desk for three months. I want to check your iron and ferritin levels at that time. And… your weight.”

Danielle shifts on the plastic bed in the paper thin gown. She gathers her things one by one and returns her outfit to her body. Facing the world is never easy. At least today, someone listened. 

Someone finally listened.