Long Stories Short

Excerpt:

Dragging my tired head and body back to the dorm, I grapple with keys, trying to unlock the door. Already, Miss Perky’s voice rings on the other side. Only, she doesn’t actually sound perky right now.

Great. All I want is a piece of toast and to sleep off my headache from exhaustion. Good luck with Gladys’s shrill piercing my head.

Dropping my backpack on the way in, I head to the fridge to make an evening snack and listen to Gladys’ unavoidable echo throughout the apartment.

“Well, sure, I want to go … But, I have a lot of studying to do right now, Mom … I’m falling behind … yeah, I guess it has been a while. Maybe I can come the week after that…”

I would’ve known Gladys was talking to her mom just by listening to the tone of her voice. It always drops a couple octaves – an actual level that won’t make my ears bleed. It’s almost pleasant somehow, listening to Gladys be unhappy and blatantly sarcastic.

“Duh, I know it’s for Grandma, which means all of her friends will be there. How do I fit in with that crowd? … I already made plans with my friends that weekend.”

So, is she too busy with homework, or does she have plans with friends? Gladys should really get her story straight before opening that pearly mouth of hers.

“I’m in college now. I have a life, and it gets busy!”

Uh oh, Gladys voice is rising to an annoyed screech. Surprisingly, it’s more tolerable than her happy screech.

“It’s not my fault … Why are you trying to make me feel bad? … You should’ve told me sooner … This is your fault… You break the news to Grandma, then.”

Hissing like a feral cat into the phone can’t be good for her image. And, I thought Gladys never lost her cool.

“It’s not like this is her only birthday. She’ll turn 71 next year and I’ll be there.”

I can practically hear Gladys’ eyes roll to the ceiling as her voice drips with annoyance.

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