A short story – Dementia


Thanks to Brian Robinson for giving me the creative word Dementia to help me exercise my writing muscles.  This is a short story, 1000 words, titled simply Dementia.

What a morning, pulling open dusty curtains so the sun can shine through and light up the stove. Was it left on? “I had better check” he said aloud to no one but himself.

The sun was indeed shining brightly on this day, Thursday, also known as Thor’s day, of Norwegian heritage he certainly was proud. The kitchen, gleaming and immaculate not a stain under the counter, it’s time to get the brush out again. Aimlessly he wanders, holding the brush in his hand, it shakes in rhythm with his palsy. He combs it through his wispy hair of the dog, perhaps he did have too much beer last night. A Saturday to remember. It was time for his morning ritual a nice cup of black java needed to be updated on the computer again. Times were much simpler when all one had to do was replace the ribbon.

Twenty years ago there was a fancy ribbon wrapped around the present to his late wife, always late he remembered, waiting, on a woman. What was it that he waiting for he wondered. Creaky bones dropped themselves on creaky wood, a rocker to keep him comfortable. Comfort similar to the full moon that now beamed down on his face, lacking the heat that the sun brought and replacing it with an insipid chill. Do. Not. Move. Mother reminded him in time out, he missed his mother though she spoke with a soft voice and carried a large stick. He would make his way to her house, just had to find the keys of the piano were begging him to sit before them and play. Arthritic fingers attempted to dissuade him through pain and yet sit and play is what he did.

Notes floating through the air and being swallowed by acoustic guitars, just like his favorite Country Western stars of the past. Oh what had he become, his sweetest friend, everyone he knows, goes away, in the end. Everyone should remember Cash is stored beneath the mattress, never in the bank, can’t trust their numbers the accountants will fool you every time. It isn’t difficult for them to take out their wallet, where exactly was his wallet? And what had happened to the time? Rewinding his clock did not rewind the day, bloodshot eyes staring back at him from a silver mirror. Pajama’s draped on his fragile body, he brushed his teeth and went back to the living dead were not something to be afraid of. A good man knew that when they came back only the wicked would be tormented by the wicked, he had saved his wife when they were younger now. She.

Thunder, but was it only in his head? Or was it accompanied by this rain falling upon him and soaking his very core. That moon had risen and fallen not unlike the sun, a deserts heat that brought peace to his old soul. Sloshing through the mud, with a one horse open sleigh, o’er the hills we go, laughing all the way, ha, ha, ha! Tears rolled down his cheeks like drops of rain, he was waiting. On. The stove, did he leave it on, he wasn’t sure but he knew that he needed to check. Dusty drapes split apart with hot rays of the sun, like the romance he once had. “Honey?” He cried out to an empty home.

Where did his family go? His heart was beating in his chest too quickly, thump, thump, thump, thump, his foot marched with the beat. He was a drummer in the band with new bruises on his chest. Stop. It hurts. Don’t you tell me what to do I am a grown man, able to make my own decisions, able to work my way through this world, able to have my own family Mother, you cannot take that away from me! There he is, laying on the bed again, he was a good dog loyal to the very end. He patted him on the head, its tongue drooping lazily. He needed to brush his teeth, and where was his wife? He would look for her again. Do. Not. Move. But why? His heart cries out in agony, pain, panic, pressure, pills, palace, popsicle, portly, prominent, pompous. That one boss was very pompous, its good he owned his own business now, nothing to be done but doing the nothing to be done but doing the nothing. Blood shot eyes stared back at him reflected off of a silver mirror. The shower poured upon him luke warm water though he had already run a bath. It was spilling. EVERYWHERE. “Don’t hurt me Mother, put away the spoon!” He begged defensively, shaking, the salt, on. His. Food. Gosh he was hungry.

Back to the kitchen he wanders, swearing that he had already turned that light off. You cannot turn out the sun it is much too powerful for the likes of pitiful fools like you. Like me? She did like me, at one point in time, she liked the family too, I liked her a lot, my wife, his wife. Wives tales that stretch beyond time and imagination, he stitches them across the night sky. Like his scars back when he was. The spot under the counter, where had he put that brush? He ran his fingers through his hair, happy to still have some of it left on his head, he was doing better than his father. He vaguely recalled the funeral, something about receiving salvation and forgiveness. His mother didn’t forgive, neither did his wife, he tapped his foot as he waited. For. A. Woman. “Honey?” He cried out into the dark. He could have sworn he had turned that light on.

Maybe it was time for bed, the day had been exhausting, every day felt like a battle. Dreams about being a soldier, being a husband, a son, a man. Dreams that defined him. Dreams that put him to rest. He was tired. A good dog. Dementia.