|Note: This story is a part of a larger series of short stories and flash fiction. You can find these stories on the Oubliette home page.
Warning: There are elevated levels of profanity.
The door swung open and Griswold walked into the apartment. There was not much light but there was enough to see his roommate, Grease, sat on the couch. He held a small white cigarette-like stick that he had just lit. Small wisps of smoke rose from it. Grease looked at him wide eyed and froze as if he was a child who had just been got caught raiding the cookie jar. Griswold closed the door and walked across the room. He sat a case of beer and a green bottle of Huntsman next to some dark brown bottles and a small metal tin on the coffee table.
-He is not supposed to be doing that. –
Griswold glared at Grease, “I thought we agreed that you would stop smoking that shit in the apartment after old lady Adams bitched us out. Now, it smells like a skunk shat itself in here.”
Grease continued to stare at Griswold like he was a deer caught in headlights of an oncoming car. Griswold did not talk like that but he was fed up with being treated like garbage. Finally, Grease mustered the nerve to say something.
He stammered, “Rough night dude?”
Griswold snapped at him, “Yeah, you can say that.”
Griswold eyed the bottles of beer on the coffee table, “Are those Stewart’s latest batch?”
-Take one, you need it. –
Before Grease could respond, Griswold grabbed one and popped the rubber cork. He took a long draw from it and swished it in his mouth before swallowing. He contemplated the flavors as he examined the bottle.
“It has a bit of citrus flavor.”
“Yeah, Stew calls it ‘blood of the innocent.’ It uses blood oranges.”
Griswold hesitated as he was about to take his second drink. He glanced at Grease then back at the bottle. He put it back on the table, grabbed his bottle of Huntsman, and sat down on the recliner on the other side of the room.
Grease shrugged, “I liked it… and the name is catchy.”
Griswold drank from his bottle and stared into space. He did not want to think of anything and worked on trying to forget what happened in that house. Suddenly Pink Floyd filled the room as Griswold’s cell phone played Brain Damage. Griswold rolled his eyes and reached into his pocket. It concluded its tune just as he wrestled it out. He turned it off and tossed it on a side table.
“Is there something going on with SHIPS?”
-He certainly likes to meddle-
“You can mind your own fucking business.”
“Dude, why are you being an asshole?”
-Punch him! –
“Why can’t anybody just leave me alone? My life is shitty enough as it is. I am some lard ass loser that does not really have any friends. Those people who I thought were my friends just left me to die; to be torn apart by only God knows what it was. My roommate is a nosy drug addled busy body who doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone. Does that answer your question?”
Somewhere during his rant, Griswold rose from the chair. He stood there, red faced and frothing at the mouth. Grease was clearly unsure of himself as he sat there with his mouth agape.
In the best comforting tone, he could manage, Grease said, “Do you need a hug?”
-Kill him now! –
Griswold gave Grease a fiery gaze. His face was a scrunched up in a terrifying scowl and his hands were clenched in fists. As earlier, his emotions ignited as if his mind was tissue paper and someone lit it on fire. He did his best to keep control and took several long deep breaths before responding.
He shouted, “Oh my fucking God!”
-You need a smoke to calm down and relax your mind. –
Griswold marched to the coffee table and Grease shifted defensively on the couch. He reached down and took the metal tin from its spot on the table. As Griswold turned to walk out the room, Grease panicked.
“Hey! Those are my stogies.”
“I don’t give a shit. Good night.”
Griswold slammed the door to his room and acquired a lighter from one of his drawers. He took one of the Grease’s “stogies” from the tin and lit it. He laid back on his bed and tried to explore the negative thoughts that he has been having while he drifted to sleep.