My alarm clock goes off. My heart matches it beat for beat in my ears. Good grief! I hadn’t realized that this alarm was set for heart attack!
I almost fall on my face as I untangle myself from my blankets. I can’t find my alarm clock and my body is in panic mode. Whose idea was it to hide my alarm clock on the other side of the room? Oh, yeah, that would be me. I trip over my clothes from yesterday that I left in the middle of the floor. That’ll teach me! And whack. I stub my toe on my desk leg. The pain wakes me up but only aggregates my murderous lust and after slamming my hand into the alarm clock, I pick it up and chuck it against the wall. I hear the sound of shattering plastic. I lean against the desk and squeeze my throbbing toe in sympathy. My heart has slid down from my ears and is in my chest pounding on my rib cage like it wants out.
“Holy Hell!” I mutter as I try to find a clear path in the dark towards the light switch. There doesn’t seem to be one. I clear a path with my foot hoping to keep from tripping over more stuff. I make it to the door and open it to a flood of eye piercing light. Nausea rolls down to my stomach. “I’ll be glad I got up early later. I promise.” I went to bed really early last night with a migraine and I’m hoping it’s gone. I haven’t had time to self-eval yet. I turn off the light and open my eyes. Gray light streams in through the windows. I wait until my eyes adjust and turn on a lamp that I’ve put in the corner just for this. I must have forgotten to turn the overhead light off before I shut my door into my cave of darkness last night.
I have homework to get done and a test. I hope I have time. I really can’t afford another day off from school. I’ll probably get another headache in a couple of days and then another the next week. It goes like that this time of year. If I make it out of this day headache free that will be the good option, otherwise I could be down for three days at a time.
I smell something sharp with a funky tang waft up the stairs as I descend. “Oh my frijoles! What has mom been cooking up now?” The light is on over the stove. There’s a crockpot plugged in next to the stove top. The kitchen tiles feel cold and refreshing on my sore toe. A note instructs me to drink one cup before I breakfast. I look down at the cup left on the counter. It’s not big but it looks like more than I want to drink of the swamp water potion that my mom is sure will cure my headaches.
I stuff the note into the cup and head towards my backpack I left on the couch. I’m not up to drinking or eating anything. I’m drained but pain free for the moment. I hear mom’s alarm go off in the back of the house. Great! She’s going to force that pig’s slop on me.
“Ginger!” Mom calls sleepily from her bed. “Are you up?”
“Yes. I’ve got homework.”
Mom stumbles down the hallway wrapping a purple fuzzy bathrobe around her. She has a rude shade of pink socks on her feet. One of them is nearly falling off.
“Did you take your medicine?”
“The vomit in a pot? No thanks.”
Her eyes fly open at this. “Ginger, you have to take that stuff or you’ll have worse than a headache today.”
“Worse than one of my headaches would be death and I think that might be more appetizing than what you’ve been slow cooking all night.” I pull out my history book and binder. “Some moms make delicious soups or oatmeal in their crock pots, you know.”
“Well, I’m sure they’d make potions if they knew better.”
I roll my eyes at this. Some kids think their moms are crazy, but mine actually is.
“I didn’t want to say this, but if you don’t take the potion, things could go very bad today.”
“Like I won’t be well enough to take my test?” That would be the worst-case scenario in my head. I can’t imagine what my mom’s would be.
“No. You could tap into your power immaturely and slip into eternal darkness.” Her face is set firmly. “You’re at about the age I was when I was first visited by the devil. That will keep him away.”
I look at my mom and then at the crockpot of sludge. “Yeah, I bet it will keep away a lot more than that.”
My mom groans in frustration and ladles out a cup for me and pulls out a soda from the fridge. “You can chase it down with a cherry cola. I think that masks the flavor the best.”
“We have a Cherry Cola in our house?” I look at her eyes. This crazy woman is serious. She really believes what she’s saying. “There’s not dead kittens in there is there? The Kelly twins said they just had a litter of kittens.”
My mom rolls her eyes at this. “There is nothing animal in this. No poisons just herbs and a spell or two.”
The cola gets me. Nothing prepackaged and manufactured outside our house is allowed in here.
“It’s granny’s recipe. No one has been killed by it yet.”
I close my eyes and guzzle and immediately start gagging. Mom cracks the can of cherry cola open and nearly pours it down my throat for me. “It’s really important you keep this down.”
I gag a few times but it stays down. I must be my own brand of crazy for humoring her. This is why I don’t bring friends home. “I’m doing homework.” I hand the cola back to my mom who sets it down on the table where I do my homework. She goes back to bed.
I get about 5 minutes into my homework before I bolt for the bathroom and throw all of it up. Oh, well, I can say that I tried. Feeling better, I go over the chapter on reconstruction.
I used “stubbed” as my writing prompt today. Pick a prompt and write.
Photo Credit: Mizrak