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Storymatic

May 14, 2015
Jeffrey Lash

Jeffrey Lash

This week I took my trusty Storymatic into class. My cards were:

Forgot to pass on information
Last night before leaving town
Spelling bee contestant
Retiree

Abe Querty sat on the edge of his motel bed, staring out into the rain-slicked Pennsylvania parking lot. With any luck, he thought, this would be his last such night. No one told him, when his young son won that first spelling bee contest all those years ago, that it would lead to long hours on the road, greasy hamburgers for dinner in a hundred truck stops, and nights spent between cheap nylon sheets – always chasing that next competition, that next prize. But after tomorrow it would all be over, and Abe would get his life back.

The toilet flushed. Zach emerged from the bathroom, solemnly removed his glasses, took a hit off his asthma puffer and climbed into bed. Abe stood and headed for the bathroom.

“Quiz me, Dad?” Zach called as Abe squeezed toothpaste onto his brush.

“Really? All day in the car wasn’t enough?”

“Please.”

Abe suppressed a sigh. “Vociferous,” he called through a mouthful of foam.

There was a pause. “You have to use it in a sentence.”

“He wash voshiferous in his dishapproval.” The mirror was spattered with white flecks. In the fluorescent light his face looked jowly and grey.

“V, O, C, I, F…”

Abe rinsed, spat, rinsed again. His back twinged as he straightened up; it was always a mess at the end of these days of driving. He wondered what his girlfriend was doing right now. He wondered where Zach’s mother was living these days, whether she ever thought about them at all.

“O… R, O, U, S.”

He shuffled back into their shared room and crawled into bed. The mattress springs twanged ominously.

“Did I get it right, Dad?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, very good,” Abe mumbled, already falling asleep. “G’night.”

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