STORY – Killing the Furniture



When people come knocking on my front door, the first thing I do is ignore them. I didn’t ask them to come.

If they insist by knock and knocking again, then I creep over to stand on the other side of the shut and locked door and wait a long second…then I knock on the door from my side.

Now I believe they stand there on the other side of the door no longer knowing whether they are knocking to come in, or I am knocking to get out.

So we stand there together on either side of the shut door, silent and thoughtful and hesitant, until, for some strange reason, they knock on my door, again. This time oh so lighter, gentler, with a certain healthy trepidation.

Since they are insisting, I unlock and rip open the door: “What do you want?”

“We—“
“Hurry up. Say what you have to say. I’m busy killing my furniture.”
“You’re what…?”
“Give me a moment.”

I nearly close the door, enough so they can’t see. I grab a nearby chair and toss it across the room. It smacks against the opposite wall, cracks a leg, takes a chunk of plaster from the wall, then I open the door a bit. “What were you saying?”

“Did you just do what I think you did?”
“Oh crap. It’s started again. One sec.”

Once more I almost close the door. I reach for a nearby picture and Frisbee it down the hallway. “Die!” I yell after it.

I return to the door. “Make it snappy, there’s a lot of death I have to handle in here.”
“Maybe it would be better if I returned—”
“Watch out!” I shout and spin around and catch the blurred sight of the cactus in a vase that is hurtling itself toward me while my back was turned. I barely have time to jerk my head out of the way as some of its needles tear across my cheek. The cactus and its pot bust up against the rear of the door, falling to the floor and rolling around as though in pain. I kick it away. I touch my cheek and my fingertips come away with some bright blood that seconds ago was safe within my body traveling around, taking cells for their one minute trip all around my body. A telephone receiver smacks hard against my shin.

I go “Ouch!” before stomping my right heel hard into its mouthpiece, cracking it open.

It’s a tough business, killing your furniture, but I’ve learned, over time, it’s me or them.

I feel bits and pieces of costume jewelery pelting my back.
A throw rug tries to hug my ankles to trip me up.
Postcards people sent me and I forgot to throw away slice through the air and toward my neck.
My stereo’s loud speakers have mouths with teeth.
The tissue paper in the box comes out used with snot embedded around bits of blood and they float determinedly toward me like huge stained butterflies.
The pens on the desk are lined up and furious, their hard points out.

The guy’s still at the door. Why, I don’t know and care even less.
“Excuse me for being blunt, but how can I help you because I’m a little occupied in here.” I feel little nudges at my feet and look down. There’s three of my favorite CD music cases trying to bite me. Three quick heel ‘n’ twist movements in the middle of each jewel case takes care of them.

I look to see the guy’s now halfway down the path from my house, glancing over his shoulder as if there’s something wrong with me.

“Thanks for nothing!” I scream at his retreating back and I hear something heavy and turn around just in time to see the television set rolling straight for my crotch. I leap over it and it smacks against the side of the door with a little crunch sound and halts in pain.

Okay, okay, time for a little breather before battle is truly engaged. I glance toward the doorway to the kitchen and there’s the refrigerator and the washing machine already getting traction, preparing to have a go at me. I straighten, roll my head back and forth on my shoulders to snap my bones back in place, getting combat ready, because the next part of this was about to get real, real nasty.

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6 Responses to “STORY – Killing the Furniture”

  1. Gilly says:

    wow. rough day on the ranch Vincent? Fun and provocative piece and…Sounds like a very scary acid trip. Have you read the play “Les Meubles” (Ionesco, I think, studied it in high school) where man gets submerged and suffocated by his furniture?

  2. Thanks, Gilly. Once saw a production of Ionesco’s Les Chairs in London (Theatre de Complicite) where, at the end, chairs come flying in from all directions until the stage and half the audience space was crisscrossed with chairs. Like kids and primitives, I still invest inanimate objects with life, though perhaps not souls. Yet.

  3. Steve Green says:

    Well this had me laughing, I don’t think I’ve read anything in this vein before, and that is one house where I certainly wouldn’t want to live.

  4. Fun piece. I was grinning the whole way through. Sort of a cross between humor and horror.

    I think I’d move.

    Welcome to #FridayFlash.
    ~jon

  5. Aidan Fritz says:

    Amusing, really enjoyed the premise. Nice juxtaposition of someone trying to sell something and the unreality of attacked by furniture. His first line “I’m busy killing my furniture” is great.

  6. tiffany says:

    This guy sounds a little unhinged. Very funny and wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. I also liked the “killing my furniture line”. Great job!

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