Morrissey Would Be Proud - Short Story


Introduction

Here is a Valentine's Day-themed piece. I know that we have been slow with that this year, but expect a few more related to the holiday.

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“You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought.”

- Arthur Conan Doyle


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Title - Wuthering Heights

Author - Emily Bronte

Description - One of English literature's classic masterpieces—a gripping novel of love, propriety, and tragedy. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read


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Write of an event with bad weather.

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Morrissey Would Be Proud - Short Story


On a cold February night, Dennis and Nina sat in the living of their small apartment bored of their never-ending streaming of videos of strangers performing random tasks that don’t enlighten or engage their minds and of checking updates on social media of “events and news” that seems neither to them. Who gets to decide what is to be streamed and what is news is a question that both have thought of for a split second, but as quickly as this thought appears, it disappears, covered by more information not addressing the question. As time went by, the rain came falling from outside. Although it was only 5 PM, it felt like much later in the evening than that. Dennis, in a Spiderman t-shirt and jeans, was lying down on the one end of the sofa as he listened to a playlist of Chuck Berry songs with his eyes closed. He was up to “No Particular Place To Go” by the founder of rock. Nina, in her sweats, was in the middle of reading Ms. Dalloway by her favorite author Virginia Woolf. She was at the part of the classic novel where nothing happened pertaining to the plot, which of course could be any part of the book. After a familiar line from the classic song, Dennis got up to get a snack, and when he opened the refrigerator in the kitchen, he noticed that they were out of milk. There are many foods, and beverages that a household can do without that are only optional when grocery shopping, but milk will never be on that list. I may check the fridge after telling this story to you, just in case. For if there is any vital part to this tale, it is the question, “Can you ever have too much milk?”

“We are out of milk. Want me to go get some?” Dennis asked his wife, missing the gallon that was behind the leftover food and cartons of juice.


“Really?” She asked.


“Yeah. I think I can tell if we have milk or not.”


“Sure. I’ll go with you then.” She put the book on the sofa and got up quickly, excited to be able to get out of the house for a change. She has been sick for the past week and only today was she feeling better. Unfortunately for her, the weather outside was causing minor flooding. A person shouldn’t go out in the rain after getting over a sickness unless that person doesn’t want to stay healthy for long. Nina’s health was fine to her, and that is really all that matters to a person sometimes.


“You sure? It’s pretty bad out.” Dennis acknowledged the awful weather that they would have to drive in.

adult rain woman beautiful brown hair fashion

“I’ll drive. You know I think we need a few things too. I have a list.” She went into the other room to get a notepad of groceries that she felt they needed and that Dennis thought they sort of needed. Men and women can never see shopping in the same way. If men had their way, shopping would be over before they got there. Get the milk and go. Women, on the other hand, view shopping as an event that they excel in. Get the milk and see what offers the store has and if I need anything else. She wrote the long list during her week off. The list began as only a few items but quickly grew to a page size worth of stuff.


“If I go by myself, I’ll just get milk. If I go with her, I’ll be stuck shopping for everything that we actually need.” He muttered to himself and walked to the front door.

Nina returned with her notepad that somehow was two pages long. She doesn’t know when to stop adding stuff, but she does have coupons for most of the items, so she is prepared on that front. No veteran shopper ever walks into a store without a notion or idea of the coupons that they are to use.

not in the mood quote pens and words

Dennis, not in the mood to drive, asked if the coupon collector wanted to drive to the store, which was a 10-minute ride.


The route to the store is straight with cement-filled roads that don’t have many holes, as compared to some other roads in town that have more holes than actual road. There is no red light or stop sign on this long road that leads right to the store. Trees are directly next to the street as the houses are covered behind them. There is a long winding turn right before the store that a driver must be cautious of, especially on a night with such a downfall of rain. There is a small sign that warns of the long turn, but if one sees that at close range, it means they are in an accident.

water raindrops raining wet liquid splashing

Nina and Dennis got into the car and were now soaking wet, and they drove off to the store to get milk that they didn’t need, along with other items that they could have gotten at a later date.

The ride was silent, with no radio on or dialogue between the couple at first. Nina focused on the wet road ahead of her as Dennis stared out of the passenger window, thinking a thought he should have kept to himself. “What if we died…? Like now… Fate turns it back on us. Shadows feel the air. Death decides our time has come. And that we will never go to the store to get milk.”


“Don’t say that. “His girl answered him. “Plus, we need more than milk.” She put her hand down by the cup holder where she put her now wet notepad.

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“You always make that the case.”


He continued to stare out the window at the storm as the driver tried to see through the rain. The roads were getting wetter and the view through the window harder to see, but neither ever thought that they shouldn’t be in the car. The bad weather didn’t make either hesitate of their own lives. Bad weather, like that of torrential rainfall, or heavy snow, is only bad for those who don’t know how to drive in it. With smart handling and mindful moves, a driver can handle any storm. Even on a night like tonight, the part of the road right before the store that everyone in town knows is dangerous is not more dangerous because of a storm. The accidents that took place there were because of high school kids going too fast and not paying attention; So basically, it was high school kids driving like they normally drive. The rain was not to blame for the crashes on the road, nor will they ever be.


“If we died, right now, because of some fateful accident this storm causes, well, then I would be alright with that. Dying by you is not that bad of a way to die. As a man once said, “The pleasure and privilege is mine.” Dennis continued his melancholic thoughts.

“We aren’t going to die.” Nina rejected her departure as her eyes stayed on the road.

“To die by the one you love is not really dying. But moving onto another world with the only one that I care for in this world. We die here, but we live on with our souls in another life. So as I breathe my last breath here, I begin my life with you there.” He paused. “I don’t want to die without you. I’d be lost like a pirate at sea with no compass.”


“Sure you would-be Romeo.”


“I’d take a knife to my chest once I heard that you died. Life without you is not life at all.”

“Romeo died of poison. Juliet stabbed herself.” Nina corrected her husband.

“What?”

girl umbrella rain park autumn blue rainy day

“If you are Romeo, you have to drink poison, not stab yourself.”


“Right. How could I make that mistake?” The romantic snapped back into reality.


“People do it all the time. Did you know that people get wrong what Juliet says in the balcony scene? It is ‘Wherefore art my Romeo.’ She isn’t asking where Romeo is; she is asking why does he have to be Romeo. People think that she is asking something very different because you know Shakespearean language is not like ours. It’s amazing how such a vital part of a story could be mistaken by so many.”


Dennis ignored the analysis of his wife and continued to ponder, “Death by a knife or death by poison, or a car going off the road, is still beautiful when your eyes are the last that I see. Our two cold bodies lying next to one another from the poison, or the blood spilling out from our sides from a wound, is not pain when your heart is next to mine.”


“Say that when we get home,” Nina said as the car got by the long winding turn, struggling to maintain the car.

The next morning was the clearest day of the year. The birds were out chirping songs. The sun was shining brighter than it had been in a while, and many in the town were out and about, walking and shopping and living happy and free as a sunny day permits.


A police officer stood at the side of a road observing the crashed vehicle. The senior officer deduced that the accident occurred the night before when a young person, most likely a high school kid, drove too fast in the bad weather. The vehicle was not reported until the store owner down the street spotted it on his way to work in the morning. The police officer had yet to see any bodies, but he doubts that the driver survived this, for the car was smashed up like a ball.

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“Say, ain’t there a song about this sort of thing?” Asked the neophyte officer who had just arrived on the scene.


“What? A dumbass driving in a storm dying in a car accident. Yeah. It’s a popular song topic. I hear it is after sex and drugs as choices for songwriters. I hear that kidnapping is becoming trendy now.

The senior officer had seen this scene too many times over his career. He knows how this went. It never got easier for him to see a high school kid under a crashed car. He is only grateful that his children never got into any accidents, probably because it was the one thing he told them more than brushing their teeth. Part of him accepts this crash as a reality of his situation, though, since no change is going to be made to the road anytime soon. There have been five deaths in his years on this road, and nothing had come yet. What is another collision? Nothing changed for the first five dead kids; why should this be different? The people in town will hear of the news, and then for a week, that will be all they talk about. Questions will arise of the situation – Who actually died? How did they do it? Did you know them? Once each person in the small town has answered each question by the end of the week, the townspeople move on with their lives, only bringing up the crash years later for random unexpected purposes. The officer finds another case to cover, and he too is forced to move on from the accident that should have never occurred.

“I haven’t heard the band in a while, but maybe I was wrong.” The younger officer second-guessed himself on the song reference.

The two stood there observing the mangled-up car, not sad enough to cry about it, but not so happy as to make a wisecrack about it either. They both learned the best way to solve this is to be efficient with their paperwork so that they don’t have to come back to it in the future, like everyone else.


“What type of band writes a song about a car accident?” The senior officer asked, ready to fill out a report.


“I don’t know. Bands write some weird stuff.”

Ending

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Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

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