Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Prompt: Sick day interrupted by unexpected visitors

Roger tossed back a trio of ibuprofen and gulped the glass of tap water, then closed his eyes and groaned as he pressed palms against his eyelids. He tapped his phone’s voice control. “Call Banes at work…

“Joe, I’m not gonna make it in today. My head is trying to explode. Yeah, I’ve never had a migraine, but it feels like what people describe. Okay, thanks, man. Yeah, I’ll check on email after I get a few more hours’ sleep. Thanks. Bye.”

Bed? Or couch? Couch was closer. Roger fell asleep with a pillow shielding his eyes from the morning sun.

He jerked awake to a series of pops and soft scuffling noises. Was someone in his apartment? He lay still on the couch and listened closely, but didn’t hear anything more. Slowly ducking his head from under the pillow, he pried his eyes open and looked around the living room and into the kitchen. No sign of movement.

Sitting slowly, he considered his aching head. The ibuprofen must have kicked in, because the pain had receded to a memory. He reached over the arm of the couch and picked up his grandfather’s bat, signed by Jimmie Foxx and handed down as a great family heirloom. Hefting the bat, he stood quietly and walked across the room to the hall leading to the bathroom and two bedrooms.

As he neared the bathroom door, he heard another muffled sound. A metallic clank and a thud, maybe a smack on skin? Roger inhaled and squared his shoulders, then pushed the door open. The bat dropped in his suddenly nerveless fingers, and he snatched it before it fell. A green, wart-covered giant—a troll?—crowded next to a—a—a gnome? The short guy wore a blue tunic, and honest-to-god, a red cap exactly like the garden gnome in those goofy travel commercials a few years ago.

They stared at him with equally shocked expressions. The—troll—smacked the gnome on the back. “I told you I heard something,” he grumbled in a voice that sounded like rocks tumbling.

The gnome looked Roger up and down. With raised eyebrows, he asked, “You got plans for that bat, there? Cause he,” gesturing to his companion, “doesn’t like being threatened.”

The bat clattered to the floor.

“Crap!” The gnome snapped. “The old lady in 16E will hear that for sure!”

Dogs in house:

Pippin soundtrack

Time writing
About 35 minutes

July word count

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