Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Story-Time Tuesday - Writing Fiction

Jenny Matlock
If you missed where this story started just click here to read it or simply click on the Story-Time Tuesday link at the top of my blog to take you to previous chapters.

Writing Fiction - Chapter 25B

Here's where Chapter 25A left you.

“Dear?” her raspy voice inquired, “Are you done crying yet?”

I slowly poked up my head quite possibly resembling a swollen-eyed turtle, and Millie immediately thrust a cold can into my hand. “Drink up!” she said and following her instructions I took a giant swig. It was beer. I sputtered. I gagged. I almost spit it out.

I’ve never been much of a drinker. My husband had always teased me and told me I was a ‘cheap date’, and he was probably right. The only drinks that had every appealled to me were the ones that were all fruity and sweet and tasted exactly NOT like alcohol. Beer, most definitely, was not on that list.

“Good, isn’t it?” Millie asked happily, “I told you I knew what you needed. We have the rest of the six pack here, your casserole is heating up AND Myron is babysitting Princess so we can just have a big, old henfest until you feel better.” I was startled to realize that the chuckle she shared after that statement DID sound like a hen cackling.


I kind of gagged down the rest of my Bud Light, sip by slow sip. Millie was chugging away and had already finished a second can by the time I got to the bottom of my first.

I was fascinated watching an unlit cigarette dangle on the corner of Millie’s fluorescent pink lips as she drank. I wondered what particular law of physics made that even possible.

Half way through the second can she had shoved into my hand, I realized that the liquid was getting less disgusting.

I drank another can…or two…or possibly three. It was hard to keep an accurate count because by then everything had gotten kind of blurred.

At one point my new buddy left and came back with more beautiful cans of beer. I was surprised to realize how pretty the cans looked sparkling in the overhead lights of my kitchen.

We raised a few cans in toasts to each other and as we did, Millie and I bonded. We laughed. I cried. She cried. I laughed. That scalloped potato casserole was the best thing I’d ever eaten. In my entire life.

I made a little pyramid of my beer cans. Gosh, they were shiny.

After a particularly long giggling session, I realized that Millie was my best friend. Or actually my BFF! Did you know that means best friends forever? It’s true!

“Millie,” I told her sincerely, “I can hardly believe I used to hide from you inside my house. Seriously. I can’t understand why I used to make fun of you to my husband?”

“That’s OK, Pearl,” she confessed to me in return, “I used to tell Myron I thought you were a tight-ass! You aren’t a tight-ass at all! In fact,” she giggled, “You’re not really even a butt!”

See? See why Millie is my BFF? Have you ever heard anything so adorable? We giggled together for a while after those little confessions.

After we wiped our eyes from laughing until we cried, Millie leaned across the table with a serious, caring look on her face, “Pearl. So what’s up with your son anyway? He’s not on one of those crab fishing boats, is he?”

I sighed. “Oh Millie, let me tell you. The whole mess with my son is really a tough thing for me. After my husband… ummm…. ummm…”

“Kicked the bucket?” Millie supplied helpfully.

“Yeah, kicked the bucket, that boy just went crazy. You know how he got suspended in high-school for drinking?”

Millie nodded in empathy.

I continued, “Well… after the whole bucket kicking thing, that boy started acting really crazy, blaming me and all…”

I paused. Even with two or four or possibly six beers in me, this was still a hard story to tell.

Millie patted my hand.

“Where was I? Oh yeah, blaming me and all. Saying that it was my fault that his Dad had …ummmm…yeah, kicked the bucket, and then he made that horrible scene at the funeral home. Can you even believe that happened?”

Millie continued to pat my hand and nod sympathetically.

“Everyone at the funeral home said he was drunk on his butt with grief, but still, how could he have acted that way and said those things to me. I’m his mother. Why would anyone be so nasty to their mother? I swear, Millie, that boy has always hated me.”

Millie’s eyes teared up, “Oh Pearl, I don’t think he hates you, I think he was just lashing out, you know?”

My eyes teared up in BFF harmony. “It’s just, Millie, I don’t get it? His Dad and I never drank excessively around him, and…” I glanced at the growing pyramid of beer cans on the table in front of me in dismay, “Well, I mean, I never drank excessively before tonight with you and… What was I saying?”

“Pearl, you were just telling me how your son has always hated you and…”

“Oh yeah, yeah. Thanks, Millie. So, yeah, after he went crazy at the funeral home and tried to get into the casket with his Dad…”

Millie interrupted me. “What? What?!? He tried to get in the casket with his Dad? Wow. That is crazy. Maybe he is nutso after all.”

For some reason this annoyed me. I mean even if Millie was my BFF, what right did she have to criticize my son? The poor guy had been crazy with grief, right? It wasn’t really his fault that he came to the funeral home drunk on his butt with grief. It wasn’t really his fault that he said all those horrible things to me. It wasn’t really his fault that he tried to drive home and…

Millie interrupted my thoughts. “Pearl? Are you OK? You look kind of white. And we’re not even drinking pale ale! Get it? Pale ale? White?” Millie started cackling like a demented hen.

I looked at they pyramid of beer cans in dismay. Darn. Darn, darn, darn. I realized I had been sitting here for who knows how long spilling my guts to Millie! Darn! I’d told Millie my son was expelled from high school for drinking. I’d told her about his craziness at his Dad’s funeral and that he really wasn’t on a crab fishing boat in Alaska. Oh my darn! What else had I told her? How long had we been sitting here drinking Bud Light together?

I tried to think of a tactful way to shoo Millie out of my house so I could think this through but my stomach decided that tact was over-rated. The vomit I spewed all over the kitchen table persuaded Millie more quickly than any argument I could think up, that it was time to flee!

And so she did.

To be continued, Tuesday, March 8.

(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
This publication is the exclusive property of Jennifer R. Matlock and is protected
under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Jennifer R. Matlock. All rights reserved.

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La Petite Gallery said...

Wow! This sounds like a story I have heard from a friend. Life is stranger than You can dream. I wonder what caused the hate to the Mother, is it a passing fad with these kids?


Donnie said...

Reading in awe as I have my coffee. Can' wait for the next installment. Glad I wasn't having any food with it though.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Can't wait to read more! Love your storytelling.

Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler said...


Anonymous said...

Poor Pearl I am feeling sorry for her at this point. I will be anxious to see how she feels about the time spent with Millie when all that beer is out of her system. Another good read sweet Jenny, waiting anxiously for the next chapter. Hugs

Willoughby said...

I think Millie is a pretty good friend, I hope Pearl doesn't go back to avoiding her when she's sober.

Another great chapter, Jenny!

Susan Anderson said...


And this is why I no longer drink beer in large quantities.

(or at all, for that matter...)


Amy said...

The whole time I was praying that she wouldn't tell, and yet, she nearly did! How very sad. I am glad she stopped herself and figured things out, though.

Can't wait to read the next!

H said...

Awwwww, poor Pearl. She does have such a lot to cope with!

(I'm skipping quickly over the puking bit because that's what one of my sons was doing last night. Gross. I don't envy her having to clear that lot up!!)

Ames said...

Guhross! Ok that was one mental image I didn't see coming!
There's nothing like a little surprise vomiting to make you sit up and pay attention. I'd run home too if I were Millie! Hey, I thought we were going to find out about Jay today? ~Ames

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

"A swollen eyed turtle"...now that's a good one! Heeehehehe!!!

What's a great story without some body fluids!

Yet another wonderful read sweetie!

God bless and have a super day!

Giveaway...my place!

Jocelyn said...

Poor Pearl...I feel so bad for her....

I can't wait for the next chapter!!!

Judie said...

Well, that's one way to get rid of unwanted guests! I'd hate to have to clean that up, though. I'm sure Millie didn't offer to! HAHAHAHAHA!

The Words Crafter said...

I'm glad you didn't have sound effects! I can't do throw-up.

And I totally didn't see that coming!

You're awesome, btw. I can't wait till next week!

Mrs. M said...

Yep, vomit will clear a room anytime!

Ooooh shiny!! :)

Lourie said...

I have been gone a long time. But wow, I tell ya it' been great to sit here and just watch her story unfold...err read! ;)