Written for OLWG# 243
When Peggy came back, she found herself sitting in a chrome-tubed vinyl chair pulled up next to the round Formica kitchen table that had belonged to her mother. It took some time to recover her senses, and when she did, she was staring at the tabletop. The radio played Johnny Cash softly in the background, and the back door stood open. The screen door stood shut, but the screen, itself, was torn from top to bottom.
The scars and stains of the table stared back at her. She knew them as well as they knew her. There were chared spots around the edge of the table, from where her mother had set cigarettes and forgotten to pick them back up. There were gouges put into the top by knives and forks over the years. There were patches where the charcoal boomerangs and spots were almost entirely worn off from years of cleaning, wiping with hand towels and sponges. There was the chip at the edge for which no one had ever claimed responsibility.
The music faded and, Deacon Smith, the radio host, began spouting the inane monologue for which he was well known. Thankfully he didn’t tie up the airwaves too long before Johnny Cash started singing again. This time a cover version of a Nine Inch Nails hit.
Peggy thought about the ghosts on the radio, were they like the spirits in the house? What was the purpose of a ghost, anyway? Was there a meaning to what was happening to her? If so, she couldn’t figure it out. Maybe she wasn’t meant to understand. Perhaps she was incapable of understanding. She hoped that it might all become clear after she had endured all that she could stand. Should she be more frightened of the ghosts than she was? Should she take comfort in their presence? She reached for the half-full bottle sitting at the centre of the table. Reaching for the comfort that she could understand. Comfort that she desired more than anything in the world, right now.
How long had she been gone? Where had she been?
This week’s prompts were:
- old country love songs
- you brought this on yourself
- ghosts on the radio