We would like to congratulate Christopher Dinnan on his Love Stinks winning short story, entitled “Real Life Romance!”
Real Life Romance
As I turn the key, I sigh. My breath mimics the engine as it dies. I die, but only a little. I’m home. The car, and I, share a groan, as I get out. Well, at least there’s that. Goodnight, old friend. Maybe tomorrow… sunshine… open road… My mind is wandering. Time to go inside, I guess. Man, this key is heavy!
“I’m home”, I say, with all the dry, cool wit of Al Bundy. She stares at me with that you-forgot-the-milk look.
“You forgot the milk”, she says.
“Whatever. Dinner is on the table.”
In disgust, she leaves the room. I turn. Dinner is on the table. So is the cat. I resign myself to the reality that this will be the only “tail” I get, tonight. Whatever. I’m going to bed.
As I step in front of the dresser, a cold chill hits me. It did not hit my spine, as it usually would. It hit my foot. I look up, incredulous that once again she has left her drink on the dresser. And, this time, it no longer remains in the glass.
“Tail” twice in one night? How lucky am I? Oh, joy! What fortune! This spill has miraculously brought forth life!… It’s ants. We have ants! YOU HEAR THAT, SUSAN! WE. HAVE. ANTS! YOU WANTED ANOTHER PET? WELL, HERE YA GO! THERE’S A FRICKIN’ MILLION IF THEM! TAKE YOUR PICK!…… bitch.
I head to the kitchen for a dishrag and bug spray. I say nothing as I pass by. There’s still hope I can get lucky tomorrow night.