TOO MANY IDEAS...NOT ENOUGH COFFEE...

Rants, raves, fiction, and laughs

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cautionary Tale

This is based on conversation I've had with other moms.



“I can’t be sick, I have too much stuff to do,” I muttered as forced my sweating coughing carcass out of bed. I’d used my kids’ talking Spongebob thermometer only to confirm what I already knew. I was still sick as a dog. The pain in my chest and my stiff neck told me this wasn’t going to be pretty either, but I couldn’t sleep it off. I had to get the kids on the bus and then I had to scan and send all those forms. The cupcakes had to be done for the church bake sale and I had no ingredients. Heck, we didn’t even have milk or canned spaghetti. Then I had to get my dress fitted for Marnie’s wedding on Tuesday!

I was downstairs. I wasn’t sure how I’d gotten there. I only remembered chugging cough sryrup like it was Gatorade. I was making lunches as fast as I could – which took a while considering that I first had to remember what bread looked like. My hands were covered in Skippy and grape jelly as I shoved the sandwiches into paper bags. Lisa couldn’t find her shoes, I had to help with that. Oliver suddenly remembered that he needed an example of art from the impressionist period. I jumped on the internet and shoved the damp page fresh from the printer into his hand as the bus pulled up.

No time for a breather, I had too much to do. I found myself in the bathroom with no memory of when I’d decided to go upstairs, or when I’d done it. I had a coffee mug in my hand. I took a decongestant, using my coffee to wash it down. I forced myself back on the computer downstairs as I signed and scanned every form for my boss. I had to email her twice. The first time I forgot the attachment and I almost forgot it in the second email that was apologizing for not sending the attachment. The computer freezing up saved me that embarrassment.

I shoved my damp head through my old grey sweatsuit¬–I was getting chills again. I did a load of socks and underwear before grabbing my car keys. Had I taken my antibiotic? I couldn’t’ remember. I ran up to the bedroom and emptied the pills out on the bathroom sink… then I did it again. I had no clue. I tried to count how many days I’d been on the pills but then I couldn’t remember how many there’d been in the first place. I decided that if I didn’t remember I probably hadn’t taken it yet. I downed the pill as my head spun so hard I had to sit on the tile floor again. Was this chest cold ever going to get better? I didn’t need this! I had too much to do.

When the spinning stopped I grabbed my car keys and headed to the car. I’d finish my errands and then take a nap. I promised myself. Let me just get through this day, and then I could rest.

*******

“Will?”
“Yeah, Sasha?” came Will’s voice from the hall.
“Did you lay all these pills out on the sink like this?” asked Sasha. She stood in her underwear in the bathroom. Every jar of pills and supplements that she owned had been opened and every pill had been placed in a straight line.

Will joined her and turned pale. “No. But the same thing happened to me about a week ago.”
“First the peanut butter all over the kitchen, then the car keys… now what is that about?” asked Sasha in a high voice.
“I’m starting to think this house was going cheap for a reason,” said Will shivering. “How did that lady die?”
“They said it was an overdose of cold medicine,” said Sasha. She noticed her breath forming in clouds. It had suddenly gotten very cold in the bathroom and just on the edge of hearing, Sasha thought she heard a woman’s voice, sighing. It said:

“I can’t be sick! I have too much to do!”

14 comments:

G.P. Ching said...

My life resembles this story -well except for the sixth sense style ending. Great twist. I really loved this one. She's still going, doing the mommy bit beyond the grave. I bet they wonder who cuts up their meat before they eat it too. Well done.

Monica Marier said...

It was based on a comment I made that I might end my days as a restless spirit.

Gracie said...

Eeee! Bless all the sick mommies' hearts! Poor thing, she was a train wreck in slow motion.

Great story. You really pulled us right into her confusion.

...Get some rest, 'kay? O.O

John Wiswell said...

Poor good moms get overworked when they're healthy, let alone when they're sick. Is this inspired by another bout of sickness, Monica? I hope not.

Sam said...

Great story! I love the ending, and the way you wrote her confusion. Typical of Mum's everywhere - nothing slows them down, even death.

Adam B said...

This is so true of any family, but especially mums. And a clever twist for the ending.
Adam B @revhappiness

Monica Marier said...

@Gracie Thanks. I'm glad the disorientation was reading right. (I will)

@John Yes, sadly. But I'm getting better (I think I'll go for a walk!)

@Sam That's it exactly. I thought that with that kind of single-minded determination, she wouldn't take death lying down.

@Adam B It's true of my family anyway. Glad you liked it.

Valerie said...

AAAH now I'm scared. BRB, drinking orange juice and possibly some kind of fizzy vitamin...

Icy Sedgwick said...

Mothers have too much to do, yet fathers have the luxury of being able to be sick. We've even got an advert on TV in the UK for cold medicine along those lines!

A cautionary tale indeed.

alisonwells said...

Oh no! This is so true to life (and death!) brilliant, well done!

Cecilia Dominic said...

Poor lady! I chuckled at the pills and supplements being laid out in a straight line. Even to the end, she's obsessively neat, well, except for the peanut butter...

CD

educlaytion.com said...

Cool story! I'm just discovering Flash Friday and really enjoying the work, especially pieces like this with the supernatural element. Congrats.

Tony Noland said...

I loved the story, and can appreciate just how hard it is to get the little darlings dressed, fed, bookbagged, lunchboxed and out the door when you feel like shit.

Eric J. Krause said...

Good story. Creepy, but with a good touch of humor.