|Make a Wish
Author: Malfunctioning Memory PM
Dove gives Jack a wish. She gives him a star, dead in his hands, and Jack unleashes a monster upon the world. But is it really Jack's fault? Or is it Dove's? Let's consult the stars.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,356 - Reviews: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-06-12 - Published: 09-03-12 - id: 3055563
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I groaned into my pillow as I heard my alarm clock go off. It was exactly six o' clock in the morning, and that was just way too early for me to be up on a Saturday. But when I had come home last night I had found my dad out like a light on the couch, the carpet stained with spilt beer. I'd have to take his shift today, as he'd be nursing a nasty hang-over.
The alarm clock went silent after I smacked at it a couple of times and I began working on disentangling my gangly legs from the sheets.
Outside my small room the city was awake and alive, though it had really never gone to sleep. I could hear a car alarm wailing in the distance. The smell of bacon drifted in from the diner across the street. I'd have to open the Laundromat soon or we'd be left behind in the hustle and bustle.
I sifted through my drawers for something to wear and tossed yesterday's clothes in the hamper. I hadn't bothered taking them off last night, only managing to drape my jacket over the back of a chair. I let myself have a quick shower then padded into the kitchen to make coffee and maybe some toast.
My dad was still passed out on the couch so I went around picking up empty bottles while I sipped at my coffee. Some of the bottles in my hand clicked together and I heard my dad moan.
"I made coffee," I said from the kitchen. I put the bottles aside, deciding to take trade them in after work.
"Best thing I've heard all night," He said, his voice cracked and dry. One of his scrawny hands ran over his balding head and dragged down his haggard face. He looked terrible.
"Morning, dad," I corrected and brought him a mug. He cursed into his coffee.
"Whose shift is it today?"
"Mine." I didn't look at him as I finished off the last of my coffee. "I've got to head down now. You think you can handle breakfast?"
"Don't mention food," he groaned and I shrugged, heading for the door. I saw him stretch back out on the couch and close his eyes.
"There's cereal in the cupboard if you change your mind."
I shut the door to our apartment and headed downstairs to the part of the building that was the Laundromat. My dad rented the building from some guy who apparently owed him a favor. We both ran the Laundromat six days a week to keep food on the table. I didn't mind so much, as long as my dad and I were alive. Still, it would have been nice to have a chance to go to college.
I shook my head a little, clearing thoughts of a higher education and any remainder of sleep away.
For the next couple hours I sat behind the counter, switching between a flimsy magazine and a water damaged paperback that I had found at the bottom of a box when we moved. A few people came in and sat in the plastic bucket seats while their clothes spun around in the big, white washing machines. Some brought laptops and made use of the free Wi-Fi I had convinced my dad to pay for.
It was a little past noon, and the place was empty, when Dillard came in.
"Hey there, cousin!" He said, sauntering in. I smiled a little at him and let my book flop shut on the table.
"I'm not technically your cousin, you know," I said as he leaned with his hands on the counter. We were related somehow, but neither of us could be bothered to remember how exactly.
"Yeah, and they technically don't have proof the Loch Ness Monster exists."
"What do you want? I'm working," I said, sighing. Dillard was nice, but dumb as a brick.
"It's noon on a Saturday," Dillard said, sounding offended on my behalf. "You should be sleeping, man"
"What is it like being you, Dillard? I bet it's fuckin' easy," I said and Dillard laughed. "Why aren't you sleeping then?"
"I've got a date," He said with a wink.
"And you're here because Laundromats are the epitome of romance," I said sarcastically.
"Nah, man!" He said and his grey eyes squinted with his wide smile. "I was going to invite you along."
I arched my brow. "You've already got the date, you don't need me to be your wingman."
"Okay, well it's not officially a date," He said. I should have known. "More of a gathering of friends."
"Look," I said, stopping Dillard in his tracks, "I'm not really interested in a girlfriend right now."
"There'll be guys there too. I'm not picky."
"Then you go and have fun."
"Oh come on," Dillard went on. I heard the bell above the door jingle as an elderly woman came in with a laundry basket tucked under her arm. She glanced at me and Dillard wearily, probably thought Dillard was some thug holding up the place, before moving to a washing machine and ignoring us.
"When's the last time you got out of the apartment for something besides work?"
"Last night actually," I said, turning my attention back to him and lowering my voice. "There aren't wolves in this area are there?"
He gave me a confused look, our previous conversation momentarily forgotten. "I don't think so," He said then laughed a little. "You see a wolf last night or somthin'?"
I shook my head and leaned over the counter a little, "I'm not sure what it was exactly but I flipped my bike right over it then some girl with a crow bar came and knocked it out." It sounded ridiculous even to my own ears but Dillard looked enthralled.
"You're shitting me!"
I smiled and shook my head again. "She was nuts though, and she gave me this weird-"
A cough ripped its way from my throat as the muscles in my neck constricted. My eyes bulged as I struggled to breathe and I felt sharp slaps of pain as Dillard pounded on my back with his palm.
"Hey, you okay?" Dillard asked, trying to look me in the eyes. I shoved him away, massaging my throat and sucking in air.
When I finally calmed down my tongue felt heavy and dry in my mouth. For some reason I couldn't get the image of my finger twined with the girl's out of my head.
"Well?" Dillard asked and I looked at him slightly confused. I glanced behind him to see the old woman looking straight at me, a magazine open in her lap. She gave me a glare then went back to reading.
"Well, what?" I managed to croak out.
"What did she give you?"
"Nothing," I said and felt my whole body throb in warning. "Forget it."
"Dude, you sure you're okay? You look freaked. " And I was freaked. It felt like something cold and hard had a hold of my stomach.
"When's this party or yours, Dillard?" I asked suddenly.
Dillard tilted his head and raised one eyebrow but answered, "Like I said, man, it's not really a party. We can go now if you want."
I stepped out from around the counter and headed for the door. The urge to leave was so strong I almost broke into a run.
"Hey, don't you want to tell your dad or something?" I heard Dillard ask as I passed the elderly woman. She gave me another glare that I returned full force.
"Let's just go, Dillard." And he followed me out the door.
Early the next morning I was letting the door to the apartment swing open slowly, my key still turned in the lock. The sun hadn't risen yet, so I had stumbled home by the light of the city. The inside of my head felt soft and numb, like cotton had filled every empty space. It was nice.
The lights flared on as I stumbled in. I winced and screwed my eyes shut, swaying in the middle of the living room.
"Where the hell were you?"
I turned and looked to the hall where my dad was standing. His hand was still just below the light switch and it looked like it was the only thing holding him up.
I sobered a little. "Hey, Dad," I heard myself say.
Anger danced in his eyes and seemed to give his thin frame more substance. He stalked forward, nostrils flaring. I backed up quickly, stumbling when the back of my knees hit the couch. I fell over the arm and landed ungracefully on the cushions. My head was spinning from the sudden shift but I could still make out the look of hurt behind the anger in my father's face.
"Do you know how worried I was?" He shouted, making me ears ring. "No phone call, no note."
My jaw dropped with disbelief. Was he really saying this? To me of all people? He had never left a note, never called.
"You're such a god damned hypocrite," I spat, fumbling my way off the couch. I tried to stand at full length so that my eyes were level with his.
"You watch your mouth, son," He shot back, "You've got no right to talk to me like that."
I felt my insides boil. Now he wanted to start acting like a father?
I shoved passed him, going down the hall to my room, but he followed close behind.
"We're not done here," He said, grabbing my shoulder. He couldn't talk to me like this anymore, like I was nine. Like Mom was still alive and he hadn't spent the second half of my life doing anything to numb the pain. He didn't have the right.
I knocked his hand away roughly and spun around. "You don't get to decide when we're done anymore, Dad."
"What the hell do you mean by that?" He asked.
"I mean you're a shit father and I'm done pulling your weight," I said, going into my room and slamming the door. It was childish and stupid, but I didn't care. I collected my jacket from its place on the back of a chair and unlatched the window, only pausing long enough to sling the jacket on.
I heard receding footsteps behind the door and knew my father was probably moving into the kitchen, reaching below the sink for his emergency stash. Guilt burned low in my stomach and at that moment I hated everything. I hated my dad, I hated this town, and I hated Dillard for taking me to that stupid party and getting me wasted. But more than that, I hated myself. My dad was drinking and that was on me.
Before I could stop myself I flung open the window and slid on to the fire escape.
The night was cold and it cleared some of the cotton still in my head. Bright electric light stung my eyes as I went down the fire escape, finally landing on the ground with an unsteady slap of my sneakers. I carded a hand through my hair, not glancing back as I walked quickly towards the light.
A/N: Another big thanks to my beta reader. I feel like I'm talking to myself here. Don't be afraid to review. If you you don't like it tell me.