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The Sob Story
Alchohol does not equate responsibility.
I write as often as I can make myself. Hopefully, it will lead me somewhere someday.
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (13)
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Midnight Ride (Poetry) - [52 words]
Samantha Jane (Short Stories) - [465 words]
The Christmas Present (Short Stories) - [926 words]
The Literary Cold War (Non-Fiction) - [714 words]
The Little Fisherman (Short Stories) - [652 words]
The Old Woman, The Little Girl (Poetry) - [80 words]
The Teen Girl Suicide Story (Short Stories) This is satire. Keep that in mind. [575 words]
Travels (Non-Fiction) - [257 words]
Zestfully Clean (Poetry) - [47 words]
The Sob Story
If it weren’t for a slightly inebriated Uncle Mort, poor Emily might not have been found until morning, and by then her tiny body would have been frozen solid, lost beneath the callous layer of snow collecting around the house.
The guests had started to arrive for the Christmas party around eight o’clock, daring the howling wind and the blinding snow to stop them. Those too young to partake in the festivities were safely tucked away in a bedroom upstairs, their virgin ears at a safe distance from the adult humour and alcoholic influence. Four-year-old Emily was nestled among them as the children occupied themselves with Nintendo and waited for Christmas morning to arrive.
Michael sat near the door, studying the people as they made their way to his front door. As they knocked---or rang, if their preferences demanded it---he watched, amused, as his mother snaked around furniture and toys left on the floor to greet the new arrivals. She favored him with an annoyed look as she opened the door for the guests. More than half of whom were related to Michael and his mother.
By midnight, the house teemed with amiability. Conversations overlapped one another, most of which unintelligible unless you paid cloes attention. As was practically custom for such an occasion, a boastful amount of alcohol had made an appearance and, consequently, half of the guests were more than a little buzzed. Those who were not flat out drunk, at any rate. Of those who were the most plastered, Michael’s uncle Mort was the archetype of the boozehound. He stumbled around the people-filled room, reeking of beer that he didn’t have to pay for. He found Michael and erupted into peals of hoarse laughter. He redirected himself toward the kitchen table at which Michael and his invitees sat. As he approached, they eyed him as a hiker might a rattlesnake.
“How boys doin’?” Mort slurred. He loomed over them, the smell of cheap beer permeating the air around the table. Michael offered his uncle a humoring smile.
“We’re doing fine, Uncle Mort,” he said. “Just talking. How’re you?”
“I’m drunk’s a dog, Mikey! Wontchoo have a drink er somethin’.” Mort jabbed the half empty can he held in his hand at Michael, a few drops escaping and landing on the table in front of Michael. “You’re eighteen, righ?”
“I don’t drink, Uncle Mort. But thanks, though.” Michael looked at his friends and their eyes said the same thing of the drunk man who’d invaded their conversation. Get rid of him, Michael.
“Hey, Mort,” said Michael, motioning toward a random direction behind his uncle with a nod. “I think Aunt Matti wants to talk to you.” After a moment’s confusion, Mort glanced behind him and laughed.
“That’s what I know!” Mort exclaimed, giving no indication as to whether or not he actually saw the woman. “She always wants me, can’t getta break ‘round here for nothing. You boys be good, hear?” Without waiting for further response from Michael or his friends, he lumbered away, leaving the air behind him breathable once again.
A silence lingered for a moment after Mort made his departure, and then the group at the table broke into laughter at the drunken man’s expense. Snickering, Michael followed his progress through the living room for a moment before ultimately losing interest.
The party stretched into the early morning and eventually spent itself, and those who were not planning on staying for Christmas began to leave. They filed from the house, deciding who among them was the least drunk and thus most capable of piloting their vehicles back home without incident; Michael’s aunt Rena and her husband had offered their services as designated drivers and would return later that night. Once the majority of people had cleared out, Michael’s mother came over to him where he now sat alone.
“Do me a favor, Michael,” she said. She gathered up the empty cups and paper plates scattered across the kitchen table.
“Okay, why not,” Michael said. “Shoot.”
Michael’s mother regarded him over the stack of garbage in her arms. “Go check on the kids upstairs. They should all be asleep, but go make sure for me. Oh, and make sure that they all have a blanket; it’s cold tonight.”
Once upstairs, Michael headed to the room where the kids were crashed. He inched open the door and poked his head inside, whereupon he was greeted by a face full of icy air. He felt the goose bumps rippling down his arms, and he noticed the open window opposite him. He crossed the room, carefully stepping over the sleeping children on the floor, and closed it absent-mindedly, stifling the flow of the biting night air into the room. He turned his attention to the children, counting heads silently. His uncle Tyler and aunt Rena’s kids, Ashley and Devon, were there, crammed together on the floor beneath a thick blanket. That was two. His own little Brother, Mark, was curled up on the bed by himself, a comforter up to his neck. Three. Megan and Chad, two of his uncle Mort’s kids, were on the loveseat in the far corner of the room. That made five. Number six, he saw, wasn’t among them.
He padded down the stairs and found his mother in the kitchen, scrubbing dishes like it mattered.
“All the kids okay?” she asked.
“Michael, that’s not funny.”
“I’m serious. She’s not up there.” His mother sighed and dropped her dishrag into the sink. Michael followed her into the kids’ room, where she saw for herself that Emily wasn’t there. She woke the children present and asked them if they’d seen her. They were little help, however; they didn’t remember where they were, let alone where little Emily was.
Panicking now, Michael’s mother checked every other room upstairs. Nothing. A quick sweep of downstairs told her the same. She shook awake Matti, who’d fallen asleep in front of an old Bewitched rerun. She was about to tell her that she didn’t know where Emily was when there came a yelp from the back door. Michael, who had returned to his place at the kitchen table, convinced that they could find the kid without his help, made it to Mort a split second before his mother did.
Michael found his uncle on the back porch, a look of surprised disgust on his face.
“Whazzat, Mikey?” he said. His voice cracked. He jabbed an unsteady finger at the ground. “What izzat?”
A stream of urine, presumably Mort’s, had melted away a patch of snow on the ground about five feet from the two of them. Two glassy eyes peered from it. Michael’s heart stopped when he realized what it was he had found.
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© 2005 Riot
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