Chuck Wendig has asked, over on his blog terribleminds.com for us to create a character in 250 words or less. Here is my donation:
My kitchen is always cluttered, even after I clean it. Maybe it’s too small, or maybe I’m just overly negative. Sure, there are some dirty dishes in the sink, but just a few coffee cups and glasses. The groceries are put away, the chairs pushed under the table. I don’t know, nothing looks right anymore. Not like this, anyway.
There’s a simple nightly routine now. Get in from work, fill the little ice bucket. In my pocket is a fresh bottle of bourbon. I leave it on the table with the ice while I look for a clean glass.
I spend evenings with my bottles now, laughing about past victories and defeats, wondering how things could be different. I’m alone. Sometimes, I wonder where they are. Other times I just wish I had her back, and the kids would come home. Every night is a replay of the Life that Was. Eventually, everyone gets a turn, their memories playing in my head like video.
As the bottle empties I notice my reflection at its corner. I see my face, bloated and distorted, the edges of my head pulled away into horns as the image follows the curve of the bottle to the open cap. I turn my head slightly, and the horns blend back into my head, my reflection looking suddenly normal. But I saw them, and I know that the horns belong to me.