Friday, June 19, 2009
Keenan's Dilemma - Excerpt (Adult Language)
a paranormal romantic comedy
by Minnette Meador
Keenan’s eyes fluttered open fully expecting to be in his bed. Instead, he had his face buried in the porcelain altar, throwing up his guts, listening to Reggie cooing encouragements.
“There you go, old bugger. Get all of it out. That’s the lad.”
Coughing until he thought his lungs would come up, Keenan tried to figure out what had just happened. All he could focus on was the splattered white inside his toilet, his splitting head, and a persistent ringing in his ears. The sexual encounter was very fuzzy.
“What the fuck?” When he spoke, his throat turned to sandpaper.
He pulled his head out of the toilet and put as much air into his lungs as they would take. Sitting on his haunches, he glared at Reggie. The shining specter smiled down at him, floating nonchalantly by the sink. Everything else was black. A random thought flashed through Keenan’s addled brain. I wish I glowed in the dark.
“Are you better, my friend?”
“What the fuck?” Keenan repeated and lurched to his feet.
“You asked that already.”
Keenan stumbled to the sink. Turning on the tap lighted only by Reggie’s ghostly glow, he put his head under the water and tried to drown himself in it.
The cold made the ringing and the muddle go away, but his head still pounded like murder. Keenan grabbed the wet towel from the shower curtain rod and ran it violently over his head and face, hoping the weird sickness would saturate the towel instead of his brain.
He felt dirty, violated, like someone had pulled his pants down in front of cheerleaders. Yet, there was another part of him that was somehow fulfilled, satisfied, satiated. It was making him sick to his stomach.
Keenan threw the towel on the floor, stomped into his bedroom, and then stopped with a jolt. Reggie almost ran “into” him.
In the soft light from his window, he could see the bed was completely disheveled. The mattress was turned sideways and touching the ground. It stood there like a beached whale. Everything not otherwise tied down was on the floor. Three pictures looked like someone had smashed them against the wall. Worse, except for the window, there was not a single piece of glass in the room that had not been shattered including the screen to his rabbit-eared TV. There was glass everywhere.
“I think you need a drink, my friend.” Reggie pirouetted across his path and glided to the door, but Keenan only blinked at him.
“A drink. You know…ice, booze, perhaps soda or a wedge of lime.”
Keenan shook his head long enough to get the daze out of it and then gingerly crossed the mine field of glass to pull on his coat and step into his sneakers. He didn’t even bother to untie them.
Miraculously, the shoes were glass-free and the coat was right side out. In his state, it probably didn’t matter.
It dawned on Keenan as he followed Reggie out to the living room that the familiar disembodied noise was back. Arguments, low conversations, whispers, and even a little song flitted in and out of the air around him. It was somehow comforting.
The crowd of visible ghosts was light; three screamers Keenan couldn’t see very clearly, a Hindi named Nihar who was standing on his head amongst fake flowers on the window sill, and a crowd of coal miners dancing on the kitchen table. Three of them were swilling pale mugs of beer.
Keenan searched the crowd. “Constance?”
Reggie spun around and gave him a ghostly wink. “Sorry, old chap. Not here tonight. Besides…” He floated over to the door and made a grand gesture with his arm. “For this, you’ll need a gentleman’s perspective, I think.”
“What do you…?”
“I’ll explain all of it after you’ve had a drink or two. Off we go.”
Keenan’s head throbbed enough to make him not care where he was going. He lifted one numb leg after the other. When the front door slammed behind him, it sent a cartoon sound wave that should have caved in his skull. It must have been very cold outside…he could see his breath come out in solid clouds…but he was toasty enough. Thank God for small favors.
He stumbled after Reggie who was whistling a happy tune just to torture him.
The haze around Keenan brain didn’t get any better the further down the block Reggie led him. He wondered what time it was; would the bar be open this late?