Friday, March 26, 2010

NEVER BUY NEW (flash fiction)


There was a ton of shit to get before the baby arrived. Like most men, he started to stress and dread the arrival. If they were lucky, he thought they'd be able to snag some old baby crap from his brother. Big ticket items like car seats and carriers they'd acquire at the baby shower. Hopefully.

His wife said that while they could hedge on some items, they needed the baby monitor to be state-of-the-art. There wasn't gonna be any dicking around with craigslist bargains, ebay auctions or hand-me-downs. Recipe for disaster.

Like it was yesterday, he remembers trotting into Walmart to buy the Japanese brand that Consumer Reports suggested. No matter the price. And spiffy it was. The monitor was digital, wireless and even acted as an intercom. There was even a setting to detect if the kid stopped fucking breathing. He was amazed at how sensitive and intricate this little hunk of plastic was.

Well, the kid eventually came and the first couple of years were rough. Par for the course. Sleepless nights morphed into sleepless days and feeling tired was the new status quo. But they managed and eventually found a new groove.

One afternoon, he was watching the kid while she was out doing female things like nails or shopping. When she got home, he quickly handed the kid over and mommy took her baby upstairs for a nap.

When he heard talking, he thought it was the TV. It wasn't. He quickly turned towards the fucking sci-fi baby monitor and heard his wife whisper, "Your daddy says hello..." The final piece of a puzzle he didn't want solved was in place. And he shivered. He turned off the monitor, placed it on the base to recharge and went upstairs.

Entering the bedroom, he couldn't help but wish they had bargain hunted.

11 comments:

  1. Ain't that a gut punch?

    Taut writing, perfect voice, perfect delivery...

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  2. Ooooh. That hurts. Nicely delivered, like a quick left jab.

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  3. Ouch! What a kick in the b******s that was, Anthony. A father's worst nightmare superbly written.

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  4. This was fucking awesome, from the first sentence to the last. I even giggled.

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  5. man...that's just eerie and fucked up. a helluva story.

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  6. Fabu. Very tight. Love the way you build it so I don't like daddy-oh, then that last bit makes me want to hug him. Well, almost.

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  7. Fabu. Very tight. Love the way you build it so I don't like daddy-oh, then that last bit makes me want to hug him. Well, almost.

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  8. What a kick in the...
    Yeah, they shoulda gotten the cheap model. Great piece!

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  9. ohhhh ... nasty. The baby monitor I had use to pick up the neighbors on their telephone :-P.

    Good story ... right to the punch.

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  10. Excellent - this was one of those stories that stayed with me for a day or two after reading. Well written from beginning to end, with a nice blow to the gut at the end.

    Well done.
    KM

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