"Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works."
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
F3 (Cycle 80) "Practicing what you preach"
Flash Fiction Friday Genre: Open
Word Limit: 1000
Cue: Use the words “frenetic” “hobbit” and “cummerbund”
Deadline: Wednesday May 23rd 23:59PM EST
Theodore Watts stood at the foot of his king sized bed inside his multimillion-dollar luxury yacht feeling extremely frustrated and put upon. Looking at his reflection in the full-length mirror mounted on the real mahogany paneling of the cabin wall he saw a man wearing a fine tailored tuxedo. Everything looked and fitted perfect except for the cummerbund, which was the reason for his aggravation. Theodore turned around and looked at the blue and black plaid abomination lying on the bed instead of his trademark fiery red he wore to symbolize his personality. Another reason, only mentioned in fearful whispers among his workers, was that the cummerbund color was important to Theodore because it matched what his hair looked like in his youth.
The man standing in front of the mirror had long since passed his eightieth birthday and while keeping his health and frenetic energy level that had allowed him to build a financial empire his face and hair had long since succumbed to the ravages of time. Despite the best attempts by plastic surgeons all across the world, Theodore looked like a wicked wizard with a wrinkly and craggy face that had more in common with the bark of ancient oak tree than that of a person. Of his once bushy red mane, only patchy strands remained that had long since turned ghost white. Nevertheless, Theodore would spend hours along with his personal hairdresser arranging what hair he had left into, what was for him, a satisfactory placement. The trouble with styling his hair was of little concern to Theodore he had the money to satisfy his extreme vanity.
Minutes ticked on with Theodore’s patience, something thin and small in the best of times, dissolving away. “Just where in the hell is that worthless son of mine.” He said to his reflection. While he expected no real answer, one came after the door to the cabin bathroom opened up.
“Theodore,” his wife Eva said, “why don’t you just wear the stupid cummerbund you have? We have to leave for the dinner party just as soon as the helicopter touches down on the landing pad. Anyway, it’s not Simon’s fault the tailor put the wrong cummerbund with your tuxedo.”
The old man looked over towards his wife with a mixture of amazement and disgust. “It’s not about the goddamn cummerbund; it’s the principle of the matter. That little hobbit son of mine has never been able to do anything right his entire life, if I did not have him working as my assistant he would be living underneath a highway overpass. It’s a dog eat dog world out there with survival of the fittest the only real rule.”
“Fine have it your way Theo, except where I was raised….”
“WHERE YOU WERE RAISED!?” Theodore exploded at his wife with his face coming close to replicating the same color as his long lost red hair. “When I found you my dear you were a struggling actress a week away from turning tricks to pay the rent. You were nothing then and if I wanted, I could return you to that same position, all it would take would be a phone call. So do not even begin to think you can tell me anything you pathetic flea.”
Eva froze in place and just looked at her husband. Even with the advantages that came with being a very rich man’s wife deep down in her soul Eva wished she had never applied to work at the escort service that supplied female eye candy for important events. She had in fact been a struggling actress a week away from being homeless on the streets of Los Angeles when her sorry ass agent had called about a way to make some quick, easy money. Theodore hired her to escort him to a gathering of investment types and within the week she had become his latest mistress living in one of his mansions. It seemed an unbelievable miracle for the twenty-two year old girl who once had dreamed of being in movies. After five years of being his wife, Eva stared at the decrepit old man who loved to treat people like bugs and realized she was in fact a gloried hooker. Before she could say anything back to Theodore the cabin door opened with Simon charging in holding a red cummerbund.
“Here father,” he said in a mild panic, “I found this in storage and quickly cleaned it in my cabin.”
Theodore snatched the item from his son’s hands and quickly tied it behind his waist. After that, he left the cabin without saying a word knowing his wife and son would obediently follow. As the small group headed up to the helicopter pad on the stern of the yacht Simon struggled to control his breathing. He had long since come to the understanding that his father was an evil man who enjoyed making people squirm all the while spouting inane platitudes. After years of berating and emotional torture, Simon still had enough of a soul to know hating his father was wrong but it was something he could not help.
When the trio stepped out of the passageway door the yacht’s captain met them on the helicopter pad, from the look on his face Simon immediately knew something had gone wrong which would throw off his father’s schedule. “Mr. Watts,” the captain said in a very dignified voice, “we got a call from the pilot just a few minutes ago, the mechanics have found an issue with the helicopter’s engine, it will be down for three days at least.”
As Simon expected his father exploded again claiming he would destroy the captain, the pilot, and anyone else who got in his way. As egotistical rants go, Simon had to admit it was one of the best he had ever heard. Within a minute of receiving the news, Theodore had his personal cell phone out making all sorts of calls to get another helicopter to his yacht so he could make the important dinner in San Francisco.
The captain, Eva, and Simon watched as Theodore absentmindedly walked to the very edge of the stern while talking on his phone. Theodore raved on about how it was a dog eat dog world and how you had to sink or swim to be a success and if you didn’t, the sharks would eat you on the way down to the bottom. Simon could not help it but began to giggle hearing his father carelessly throw out metaphor after metaphor about sinking and being eaten by sharks because he knew he father could not swim.
Without saying anything to Eva or the captain, Simon walked over next his father, waited for him to finish his phone call, and then gently pushed him over the side of the yacht. The old man fell into the freezing waters off the coast of San Francisco and began a desperate struggle to keep from going under.
Both the captain and Eva joined Simon on the edge of the yacht but did nothing to save Theodore who was screaming at them as the ship continued to sail away. “Time to sink or swim father,” Simon yelled out. Whether Theodore enjoyed the irony as the ocean depths claimed him no one would ever know.
You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.