TEMARQUIS BROWN - FLASH FICTION
On a bone-chilling and rainy Valentine's Day, Gwen lied helplessly across her bed
conversing on the phone with her friend, Gail, while Gwen desperately awaited a call from her husband,Pig Lawrence, who fled after a heated argument with her the night before. While they discussed Pig, the doorbell rang at Gwen's.
"Gail, hold on a minute,” said Gwen. “Someone rang my doorbell!" she shouted.
"Okay," replied Gail.
Gwen flung herself from her bed with a tight grip on her phone and hurried down stairs, her face covered with uncertainty, hoping to discover information about Pig's whereabouts. As she reached the front door, she raised to the tip of her toes, squinched her eyes and peaked through the peephole, as so to see what was on the other side of the door. Nothing.
Whomever had rung the doorbell was gone.
"Who's there?!" asked Gwen, crying out.
Gwen then raised the phone to her ear. "Nobody's there," she told Gail. "But let's see."
"Be careful!" yelled Gail.
Gwen reached for the doorknob, grabbed it tightly, and as her heart pounded with anxiety, yanked it back swiftly to reveal a mysterious four-foot by two-foot wooden box. The box, made of rusty plywood, had a misty fog escaping its surface.
"Ah," said Gwen, gasping.
"What is it?!" asked Gail, frantically.
"A nice sized box," she answered. "A very nice sized box," she repeated.
"Box? What kind of box?" Gail asked, panicky. "How does it look?" she continued.
"Wooden," answered Gwen.
"Maybe it's from the post office. Does it have a postal label on it?"
"No," answered Gwen. "No label."
The mysterious wooden box had suddenly come to seem familiar to Gwen. Very similar to the box she last saw her father in. The box she last saw her mother in. Her uncle Johnny and Aunt Vivian. A miniature casket.
"It has words written on it," said Gwen. She peered closely, "It says, "'Pig's remains," she said, as tears began forming in her eyes.
"Holy cow," said Gail. "Get in the house and call the police!" she yelled.
"Gail," said Gwen. "But I feel sleepy. Just let me call you right back after a quick nap."
"Okay," said Gail. “But if you don’t call me in thirty minutes, I’m calling The National
Guard!” she exclaimed.
Gwen quickly hang the phone up and began staggering upstairs, eyes heavy and face drooping. She finally reached the top of the stairs and set her weighed down eyes on her bedroom, she entered, then collapsed onto her king size bed, and fell quickly asleep. After a dream-filled nap, Gwen awoke, drenched in sweat, to her husband Pig tugging at her toes.
"Wake up, Honey," said Pig.
"What happened?" asked Gwen, rising from the bed despairingly.
"Well, after our argument, I went down to the old Juke Box and had a few drinks. I did some soul searching, as well. And, well, Honey, I have been quite snobbish lately. I think now you should get out and have some fun with your friends. Heck, we should all get out and have some fun. Call Gail and Paul up and, oh, let's have some fun tomorrow. But, today, it's you and me. Happy Valentine's Day, Honey," said Pig.
Gwen looked on doubtingly. "But the box had your remains. I read it. It said, 'Pig's remains.'
It was a nightmare," she said.
"Oh, Honey, you mean the box on the porch?" asked Pig. "That was definitely real. But, they are not my remains. I thought I told you that the slaughterhouse ships the remains of our slaughtered livestock now. It's the remains of the pig, Bethanney. You forget we have a farm?"
As Pig and Gwen began to embrace each other, the howling sound of sirens could be heard approaching. The two disengaged their clutch as Pig sprang to the window, flung the curtains back to the sight of the police and fire department rushing onto their property.
"Oh, my," said Gwen. "I forgot to tell Gail everything is okay now.”