Craig J. Clark: April 2008 Archives

“Man, are my feet killing me.”

That’s what Ronald Dayton said as he sat down on a handy bench to take a load off. He had no way of knowing it, but his feet really were trying to kill him. They were out for revenge, pure and simple, and the grudge went all the way back to Ronald’s early childhood.

Back then he went by Ronnie and little Ronnie was given to stamping his feet when he didn’t get his way. This amused his parents to no end and they made a big show of not giving them what he wanted so they could see him stamp his little feet in anger. His feet, ignorant of the machinations of Ronnie’s guardians, bore the abuse, figuring he would quickly grow out of it. This was not to be the case.

As Ronnie grew he grew more and more willful and his tantrums became more and more violent. Instead of merely stamping his feet, he started kicking things – toys, walls, doors, table legs, and finally people’s legs. This was when his parents put their feet down, since theirs were the legs he most frequently took out his aggression on. It’s amazing how a few well-placed kicks in the shin will change amusement to annoyance.

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“Stop! What do you think you’re doing?”

The guilty party was frozen, the spoonful of ice cream halfway to his lips.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Is this yours?” He guiltily held out the pint container.

“Yes, but that’s not the point,” she said, snatching it from him. “Can’t you read?”

“Oh, did you have your name on it?” he asked, the spoon still held in place inches from his lips.

“No, I didn’t. I wrote this instead.”

She showed him the lid, which was sitting on the counter. Scrawled on it in black magic marker was the legend “YOU WILL DIE!”

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Two weeks. Two weeks and the dead kitten was still there. Or maybe it was closer to three now. Nick hadn’t made a mental note of when he had first spotted it, but he knew he’d drawn somebody’s attention to it the first day that he did.

“Hey, did you know there’s a dead kitten out on the lawn in front of the building?” he had asked the first person he saw.

“Yes” came the reply, and that had been the end of it. Or it would have been if something had ever been done about it, but day in, day out, on his way into the office in the morning and on his way home at night, he saw the kitten still out there on the lawn, dead.

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Peter was in one of his moods; Roger could tell. The best thing he could do was hang in there and roll with it.

“I’m no good to anybody,” Peter said. “I’m pessimistic, fatalistic and a total bummer to be around."

Tell me about it, Roger thought. He took a swig of his drink. “You forgot self-loathing.”

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Craig J. Clark in April 2008.

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