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Flash Fiction Friday: Derek by Garrett Cook

Derek ate his cereal, and did his homework on the bus. The quality was not poor, nor was it fantastic. It would earn a sticker, although he cared little for stickers, even the scratch and sniff ones, many of which smelled like things he did care for, like ice cream and new cars. Someday, he might grow up to eat ice cream inside a new car and that would make everything worth it. He went to class and when called upon to answer who killed the Kennedys, he remembered the Rolling Stones and correctly answered that it was you and me. He received a sticker for this. It was Salisbury steak scented. Not his favorite. There were worse ones, though. Some of them smelled like sulphur or spray paint.

Lunch was his favorite part of the day. Today, he would get to enjoy a sandwich and fruit roll-up. There were four classes before lunch. It always felt like too many, but they weren’t that bad, although he did not like how often he was seated next to the bruised girl. The purpled topography of her face was too much to look at sometimes. He felt as adverse to pain as the next person and it made him extremely uncomfortable when she pulled up her skirts to reveal her blue-black thighs. He did not know what she meant by it. On this day, she did not pull up her skirt, she did nothing to provoke, frighten or annoy him.

At lunch, he was relieved to find that he had not been given a peach fruit roll-up. Peach was not his favorite. His sandwich was his favorite. It had all the meats and cheeses that he liked to eat. Every one of them, which made it a very large sandwich. He was a growing boy and his doctor said he could afford to gain a few pounds since he might like to play football. He wouldn’t like to play football, but he liked to eat gigantic sandwiches and was too young to worry about getting fat.

He finished his lunch and went outside, deciding not to join his friends at the swings. He didn’t want to swing today. They understood. He did not always want to swing. They always felt like swinging, enjoying the proximity to Heaven, which was something they liked to think about. Derek himself had been known to think about this, although he did not want to think about it this recess. He had something else to do.

He approached Gideon, a boy whose name annoyed him greatly, from behind and tapped him on the shoulder. Gideon turned around. Using martial arts skills that he had neither learned on television nor seen on videogames, Derek plucked Gideon’s eyes from their sockets. He tossed them over his shoulder, just in case it might have been possible for Gideon to reclaim them and return them to their sockets.

“W…” Gideon wailed. He was interrupted when Derek punched him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. Gideon hit the ground, gasping for air, which he could only waste on crying.

A tanned, muscular angel dressed in a black wife beater, a speedo and gold chains descended from Heaven accompanied by the sound of wild applause and presented Derek with a giant check for three million dollars. The entire playground gathered around the scene in an awed hush waiting to hear Derek praise God for presenting him with such a generous gift.

Derek waved away the check, turned his back on the angel and never returned to school again. It wasn’t about the money, and even if it was, there would be plenty more where that came from.


Garrett Cook is the author of Murderland part 1:h8, Murderland 2: Life During Wartime, Archelon Ranch and the upcoming Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective. Find out more about him here:

3 responses

  1. This reminds me of when I first started reading Bizarro stuff.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

  2. That was good. Too bad I’da been Gideon as a kid.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm

  3. Edmund Colell

    Sounds like an exercise in how inhumanly aloof and bestowed-on one must become for a violence-rewarding angel to become a shrug-worthy occurrence.

    Then again, maybe the angel was rewarding Derek for simply existing.

    June 4, 2011 at 1:29 am

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