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.


Mr. Charleston said...

most excellent

Beach Bum said...

Mr. C: Thanks! Just another of my stories where the evil rich guy gets it in the end.

I may go back to invading aliens for my next one. Staying this close to reality is a bummer.

Randal Graves said...

Why do you hate job creators?

Sue H said...

I like the fact that the wife, the son and the captain all got to see Theo get his just desserts! ;-p

You just knew he was asking for trouble with his pedantic behaviour - and I loved the title!

Another fine one, BB; well done!

Akelamalu said...

Oh he so deserved that!!

Suzie said...

Ah, what a fun short read! Very well done! I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved that the old man got his just reward! :)

Windsmoke. said...

I guessed the ending soon as the grumpy old fella walked over to the very edge of stern it was just a matter of who would push him over, all the same very well done indeed :-).

Life As I Know It Now said...

poetic justice!

Pixel Peeper said...

Karma is a bitch!

The only thing that surprised me was the lack of guns and/or explosives. Instead, just a gentle little push... Oh, the irony.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Old Theo got off easy, give me a couple of beers while I watch MSNBC and I could write a story where the Job Creators are given knives and told to fight to the death Hunger Games style.

Sue: I simply do not like American capitalists. Capitilism has become a religion here far stronger than the teachings of Jesus.

Akelamalu: Yes he did, too bad it can't happen in real life.

Suzie: Thanks! Ran over the word limit, could not help it.

Windsmoke: Wanted to go a little deeper but ran out of words.

Life As We Know It: It was fun to write.

Pixel: To bad Karma is taking a vacation on those types of people.

Ranch Chimp said...

That's "manslaughter" charge ground's Bum ... heh, heh, heh, heh, heh ... just kiddin Guy.

Thanx for the story ... basically another one of mankind's quest's since the beginning of civilisation to become the "God's" that they once wrote about : ) I wonder if he picked up his wife while she was curbside turning trick's? : )

Thomas Pluck said...

I loved it. You should continue to write about the capitalist religion in the US. Someone needs to!

Anonymous said...

Well done - I was already hoping half way through that the son would do his father in.

Robert the Skeptic said...

But now there are accessories to a murder - who can be trusted to keep quiet... and what, possibly, could such silence cost?

Joyce said...

Superb. People can only take so much abuse, and I believe his family/staff had already taken more than most. I have the feeling when they arrive at their destination, all three will have the exact same account of what happened. Certainly hope the sharks were good and hungry that day.