I haven’t written in years. That changed last night. Tonight I wrote a submission to Chuck Wendig‘s writing challenge. The stipulations were that it could not be more than 1000 words, I had to click a link to a random drink recipe generator, and the name of that drink was to become the name of my short story. Those were the only two guidelines. Here is that submission.
Green Cookie Monster
“Did you check the cables?”
An irritated look crossed Matt’s face. He was pretty sure this was the third time his wife had asked that in as many minutes. “Yes. Yes, I checked the cables. They’re fine.” He said, staring at the remote.
Their television had been on the blink for the last month or so. At first it wasn’t that big a deal, just an occasional moment of blue where there should be red, or red where there should be green. But tonight was the first night in some time he and Jen had off together, and he’d be damned if they weren’t going to take advantage of that. Cartoons for the kids, some alone time for the adults… It was supposed to be perfect.
It wouldn’t have mattered if this had been the shitty Olevia in the back room the kids usually watched. That piece of crap could go die in a fire as far as Matt was concerned. But he had paid two thousand dollars for this piece of shit, and he wasn’t letting it go without a fight.
He glanced into the den surreptitiously to make sure Jen wasn’t looking, then swiveled the TV around to take another look at the back. “Yeah, uh huh. Check the cables my ass. She asks that one more time she’s the one getting spanked later.” he thought as he wiggled them. Yeah, fuck that. Still red.
“Okay, let’s see… Menu, then system, then picture, then… Okay, no, go back. Okay, Display, THEN picture, then what, tint? No, apparently not tint. Okay, go back. Guide? Jesus, no. Okay, okay. Aspect, then… Nope. Go back. Fuck. Okay. Fuck. Uh… Lighting then NOPE go back. Fuck. Jesus shit come on. Go back to menu, then…”
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jen standing there, amusement playing across her face. Matt sighed, lowered the remote and said, “What.” She laughed. “Matt, come on. Just call someone. Call those Best Buy guys, Nerd Squad or whatever. You’ve been at this for two hours.”
“Jen, this thing cost me more than that damn dog of yours cost and I don’t see you trading THAT in when it breaks.”
She walked towards him, still chuckling. “Honey, it’s okay. It’s just a TV. TV’s break. We can get a new one.” She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him towards her. “Besides, you seem to have forgotten why we put a show on for them in the first place…” she whispered in his ear.
Matt took a breath. “Okay. Okay. I’m fine. It’s fine. It’s just a TV.” He untangled himself from her arms and set the remote down on the stand. Turning towards their kids, he tried to reassure them.
“All right guys, don’t worry. You can watch your Sesame Street or whatever very soon, okay? I’m gonna go get a new- No, Jeremy, it’s okay, it’s- No, what? Don’t cry dude, seriously, are you- No, hey, you guys. YOU GUYS. HEY. Hey. Seriously, I will be back in like, ten fucking minutes, it’s- *Sigh* Yes, Sarah, that was a bad word, I’m sorry I used it. I’m just frustrated right now. No! Sarah, not with you two, I- Oh, shit, don’t you start crying. Okay, yes, I know. I’m sorry for that one too, I’m- Jesus! Jen, can you just…”
“Matt, just go, it’s fine. They will be okay!” She said, shooing the kids away. “Just hurry back, I’m not sure how much longer I’LL be okay.” She gave him a look to let him know she was teasing him and led the kids towards the kitchen table. “Alright kiddos, why don’t we work on our coloring books while we wait for Dada to get back?”
Matt hopped into his car, started it up, and pulled away. He was grateful for Jen and her ability to distract the kids. She had always been better at that than he was. Now that he had a moment to himself he took some deep breaths and tried to calm down. The TV really wasn’t all that important, he told himself. He shouldn’t have let himself get so worked up over it. He had just been impatient. There was this new thing Jen had wanted to try in the bedroom, and…
He finally pulled up. This was never a very fun experience for Matt. The salespeople here all seemed to have an agenda, like… He couldn’t just go in and get one thing and go. They all seemed to want to ping pong him around to different departments to try to sell him as much as they could. That wasn’t what really upset him though. It’s that it usually worked. He looked around for someone apathetic enough to just sell him a TV so he could get back to Jen.
“Hey, I was looking at that TV and I- Oh, no, this one. Yeah, this one. No, this one. No I know. But I don’t care about the extra six inches. Ha. Yes, that’s very funny. Six inches. I get it. But could you just help me get it- *Sigh* No, look, the sound will be fine without- No I don’t need that. Uh huh. No I get it. No I have my own cables. No. No really, I don’t need $200 Monster whatever, I…”
Two hours and three grand later, Matt closed the door to their bedroom. Jen lay there, covers up to her neck. “I’m glad to see you made it. I’ve been waiting for you…” Her voice was full of suggestion, and Matt started removing his clothes as fast as he could. He hopped on one foot, removing his pants. “I don’t know where you got this idea, babe, but this is gonna make that whole fucking ordeal worth it.”
He climbed under the covers, moving in close. As he pressed his lips against hers, he heard a knock on their door.
“Dada! The cookie monster is green!”