A teaser

zara's picture

The following is a brief, unedited portion of something that I've been working on. It's shit, I know it's shit, but it's shit that I can show you so that you know that I actually started working on something.

"So is it Phoebe like from Friends or Phoebe like from Charmed?" the cashier giggled as she handed back the driver's license after writing the pertinent information down on the check.

It's Phoebe as in whatever the fuck will get you to take the check that I don't have the funds to cover until Friday, Phoebe thought glumly but instead smiled that fake grin used for dealing with grocery store clerks. "Oh, I'm older than both of those shows," she answered.

The clerk frowned. Phoebe watched as she looked down at the check again, as if her gaze could burn through the paper and figure out that it was going to bounce. "But..." Phoebe quickly added, "If I had to pick one, it would definitely be from Charmed. I'd rather look like Alyssa Milano than Lisa Kudrow any day."

The petite blonde with the wispy ponytail and green apron affixed with a name tag reading "April," smiled. Phoebe sighed internally. She'd managed to pick the right pop culture princess.

"Yeah. I mean, Friends was funny and all, but Phoebe on that show was such a ditz," April slid the slip of paper through the register and the magical sound of the imprinting started to click away. "I'd much rather show little girls that you can kick ass, you know?"

April glanced over at the freckled face of Phoebe's daughter Sophie, now smudged with remnants of the candy bar that Phoebe didn't even have the change to cover the cost of if the check had been denied. Sophie, true to her precocious 5 year old self, beamed. "I can kick ass!" she punctuated the clerk's statement with her own loud declaration.

"I bet you can!" April shot back at her. "She is so cute!"

Phoebe tucked Sophie into the crook of her arm and began to guide both her daughter and the shopping cart towards the exit of the store. She always marveled at how people would raise the octave of their speaking voice when referring to her daughter. That if they didn't talk in a level just below what dogs could hear, somehow what they were saying wouldn't register. Sophie heard it all. Every compliment on her wide blue eyes, framed with lengthy, curled eyelashes. Every coo over the glowing color of her naturally red hair.

If there ever was a 5 year old who was more aware of how cute she was, Phoebe had yet to meet her. Aside from her mother constantly reminding her of how much her daughter was like herself as a child, it was a daily bemusement for her, this attention getting child.

As they made their way out to the car, Sophie chimed in her predictable two cents. "They didn't catch you, Mommy! We gets to keep the food!" She hopped up on the metal bar running the length of the bottom of the shopping cart and wrapped her skinny arms around the handle. Phoebe stood behind the cart and pushed it along. They'd figured out this trick some time back, a way for mother and daughter to more safely traverse the lengthy of a busy parking lot with a cart full of food that they couldn't afford to buy without mom walking awkwardly around her child's feet.

"Yeah, they did. Car," Phoebe announced their arrival at the family car, a 10 year old grey Ford with more dings than a bowling pin. Sophie hopped down and opened her door, sliding gracefully into the back seat.

"Seatbelt." Phoebe instructed in her typical one word grunt as she unlocked the trunk of the car and started piling in plastic grocery bags. She realized that she could never bring herself to maxing out a bad check, something that dawned on her as she unloaded less bags than she'd initially thought she'd racked up. Phoebe rubbed her temples hard before slamming the trunk closed. It was Wednesday evening and if she could manage to pick up her paycheck early enough in the day on Friday and deliver it into the bank on her lunch break, she might avoid the overdraft charges this time.

Maybe. If I'm lucky, she thought. She pushed the cart into the metal stall two spaces over and then walked the handful of steps back to her car where Sophie was bopping about to music that hadn't even been turned on yet. "Can we have Slop-sloppy Joes, yeah?" she asked, mimicking the way that she'd heard Phoebe sing the Adam Sandler song without ever having heard the song herself.

Phoebe smiled into the rear view mirror, marveling at her hyper kid. "Sure. That actually sounds pretty good right about now," she replied. She smiled as she watched Sophie bounce on in her seat, clapping her hands.

Crazy kid, she thought, then turned the key in the ignition and pulled out of their parking stall, headed for home.


mistylou69's picture

Sophie sounds awefully familiar...

*wink wink* I really enjoyed it...and I can relate. Only when I "had to" write bad checks it for an addiction to a man instead of something more noble, like food for my family. Awesome beginning, Miss Zara! I loves it...take your time...don't burn yourself out. And I know that you are your own worst critic, but it's seriously NOT shit. :) Love youz!


jomadd's picture

Aaaahhh memories

I can remember being a kid and feeling the stress of those hopes. The hopes that the check didnt bounce, the landlord didnt knock on the door, that the neighbors didnt know....
I am not a mother or a daughter, but I can relate on the stress level. I enjoyed reading it and cant wait to see where it goes.
I am hoping for a happy ending.....
I know life isnt that simple, but one can hope....now get to it...

It's good!

Haven't we all been there before? Hoping that the check we just wrote doesn't bounce before the paycheck comes in?
Good writing, Zara, I hope to see more!

sole's picture

Yay! A new work of fiction!

I'm hooked already. Will you be posting regular installments and making crackheads out of all of us? I'm looking forward to fiending (is that even a word?) for every new chapter and going through withdrawals on the weekends when you don't post. But it's all worth it.



I was driving through Austin a few weeks ago and whistling to my self because Momo was asleep in the back seat, or so I thought. "Sing that song Daddy!" she exclaimed out of no where. "What song, baby doll?" I answered. "You know, *sings* Strangers in the night, exchanging glances, wonderin in the night...., what was the rest dad?" I was so shocked and tickled that I began to giggle which made her scowl at me. "What?! You don't sing any better!" she defended needlessly. " I know baby, it's just that sometimes you make daddy so happy that all he can do is laugh so that he dosen't cry."

AnneGwish's picture

if that's shit....

...well, I guess I like me some scat.

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