Snakes and Pills

109 - shine

A momentary lapse was all it took. When you're out hauling bread twelve hours a day, seven days a week, it's easy to let your concentration slip, and precisely such a thing had happened to Ryan.

He was trying to think of some way to broach the topic of their bedroom decorations with his wife. She had taken great care with every aspect of dressing up and designing the room, so he knew that he would have to be very careful. Maxine was sensitive about such things, and especially since she was cooped up in the house for pretty much the entire day, its presentation was her pride and joy.

Ryan had wanted to like it. Really, he tried. But everything about the room slightly bothered him. The floral print on the wallpaper, the wrought iron picture frames with photos of distant relatives on the dresser. The doilies on which said picture frames sat. Goddamn, how he hated those doilies.

Perhaps he could have looked past all of those things, after all, when he got home these days he had little energy left for anything at all, so he wasn't particularly in a mood for finding faults. He wasn't in a mood for anything beyond collapsing into bed and trying to give his aching frame some time to recover. Unfortunately, the bed was where Ryan found the final straw that broke the breadman's back.

Maxine had covered their bed in decorative pillows. Well, Ryan had to admit, not literally covered the bed. He was certain there were a few untarnished inches near the foot of the bed, but for all intents and purposes, the bed was hidden under a mountain of decorative pillows.

Ryan did not have anything in particular against pillows. He had tried to like these pillows, too. They were of so many shapes and sizes, though, and none of them were a good fit for his body when he just wanted to lay down. They were all so hard, too, and most of them had a slightly strange odor. It was the odor of age, Ryan realized. He wondered, is this proof that we're getting older?

Most of all, he hated the appearance of the pillows. Garish colors, more floral patterns, and the very worst: some of them even had little white fabric doilies sewn on to them. He shuddered just thinking of them.

These decorative pillows provided nothing but an obstacle to Ryan when he tried to get some rest. He tried to not simply shove them all off the bed, as he wished to do. Doing so would hurt poor Maxine's feelings, so he tried to carve out a spot on the bed nightly. Still, he usually woke up to a pile of pillows strewn about on the floor around the bed. His unconscious self was a little more honest about his feelings, it seemed. He would always try to carefully rearrange them on the bed after he got up, to show his wife that he didn't hate the pillows.

Even though he did.

Alas, while his head was absorbed in these thoughts, the fork in the road snuck up on him. By the time the wheel and the brakes were locked, it was all too late. The weight and momentum of the trailer behind him was even slower to react, and it violently yanked his cab sideways and end over end.

How a cargo of freshly-baked bread loaves could have so much potential energy, Ryan would never know. He heard the sound of metal bending, briefly, before breaking.

He didn't mind those doilies so much, Ryan decided, mere moments before the cab of his truck came crashing back down, inverted now, with a blast of broken glass and metallic sparks. He smelled sourdough, and then nothing.


first back home randomnext latest

get social: