Nick Grinups

Drunken Providence

    A thick veil of smoke covers the room. As he takes another long drag of his last cigarette, he continues to anxiously scan the newspaper. Dropping the cigarette butt into the ash tray, he nervously scratches his head. The silence is suddenly cut as his telephone begins ringing. As he lets it go to the answering machine, a worried voice comes on the machine. The man quickly hits erase. He chokes down the remainder of his glass of whiskey, and then with a heavy sigh, sets down the paper, closes his eyes and drifts away. He wakes up; breathing in the Florida breeze he walks off the patio on to the beach. He walks into the ocean and feels the cold water on his feet. The man is wearing his favorite hat, flowered cover flannel, and tan slacks. He is staring at the waves breaking and the boats far out at sea. Out of the corner of his eye he notices two little girls and their mother playing by the water. The mother, young, beautiful and happy, is wearing a long white t-shirt that goes down to her thighs. The kids, fearful of the large waves, are running out of the ocean calling for her. As they cry out “Mommy!” she comes running after them. The man watches them start to make sand castles, he is stricken with affection for this picture perfect little family. Their laughing, kissing and hugging forces him to crack an envious smile. The man sits down and lights another cigarette and starts running his hand through the golden colored sand.
     One of the little girls walks over to him, asking him to play with them, he can do nothing but notice how big and beautiful her blue eyes are. “Of course sweetie,” he says, as he puts out his cigarette and holds her hand as they walk towards her family. The man asks the girls if they would like to go to the board walk for some Ice cream and rides. The little girls’ eyes open wide with excitement. They go on the merry-go-round; the mom buys the girls some cotton candy. The man wins 3 stuffed animals in Whack-a-mole, and gives them to the mother and little daughters. They stop at local food vender and the man buys them each a hotdog, as they sit and get to know each other better. The man cannot help but laugh as he wipes the ketchup and mustard off the little girl cheeks. As the sun begins to go down, the man saddens at the thought of this wonderful day coming to an end. But “it’s time to go.” the mother says to her children, and so the family says their goodbyes. The two little girls run and give the man a hug, and the mother waves and whispers “thanks.” The man tries to say goodbye, but finds that he cannot. All he can hear is a sudden ringing. It’s getting louder and louder, nearly unbearable. Feeling as though his head will split open, the man runs off the board walk, onto the beach and into the ocean. He dives into the waves, but the ringing persists. All he can do is close his eyes and let out a gurgled scream under the ocean water, he blacks out. The man awakens with a shudder, dripping sweat. Looking down at the crumpled newspaper on his lap, he reads the headlines once more “Mother and Two daughters killed in hit and run accident, Driver still on the run”


All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Nick Grinups.
Published on on 08/12/2011.


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