Flash Fiction Friday: Umbrella
by Andrew Wayne Adams
A hairless man wearing aviator sunglasses dives into a swimming pool full of submarine sandwiches. He swims from one end of the pool to the other, doing the breaststroke through meat and veggies. A piece of rotten cheese clings to his shaved head.
After thirty minutes he emerges from the pool and stretches out on a bear-skin rug. A large-breasted woman wearing a barbed-wire bikini brings him a drink. The drink has an umbrella in it.
“Darling,” says the woman, and she rubs his tan.
He lifts his aviator sunglasses. He smiles at her. He lowers the sunglasses back over his eyes and sips his drink.
There is a palm tree nearby. The sunshine is like something out of a music video. The man has music videos playing on the inside of his sunglasses, a different video on each lens. One of the music videos is highly pornographic.
“Son,” says the woman, and she begins to knit.
The man lifts his sunglasses. He didn’t notice before, but the large-breasted woman in the barbed-wire bikini is his mother.
His mother reaches over and peels the piece of cheese from his head.
He screams, jumps up from the bear-skin rug. He dives back into the pool full of submarine sandwiches and swims furiously to the other end, covering the entire distance of the pool in two seconds. He is still holding his drink with the umbrella in it.
His mother is waiting for him at the other end. She teleported there somehow. Perhaps knowing how to teleport is part of her maternal instinct. She stares down at him from poolside as he swims in place. He gazes up at her and wonders what to do.
An umbilical cord unravels from his mother’s abdomen. It snakes through the air and lashes his chest like an alien tail. Then it coils itself around his neck and squeezes.
“No,” the man gasps. His hands flail (the right hand still casually grips his drink). He tears open submarine sandwiches, looking for a weapon. In one sandwich he finds a long kitchen knife.
He swings the knife at the umbilical cord, severing it.
His first girlfriend steps out from behind his mother and approaches the edge of the pool. Her face has morphed into that of a cat.
“You stay away,” the man shouts, wiggling the kitchen knife at her. The man is crying now. Every inch of him is greasy. He suddenly feels old.
His first girlfriend extends a booted foot. She plants the foot on his head. He hacks at the foot with his knife. She presses down. He struggles to stay afloat but is still unwilling to relinquish his drink. His first girlfriend meows.
She pushes him beneath the surface. Her foot holds him there. He can’t breathe. The foot pushes him deeper. And deeper. He sinks through fathoms of meat and cheese.
Things become different. The sandwiches disappear, giving way to something dark and blue and cold. There are bubbles, tiny and everywhere.
It is raining fish.
The man removes the umbrella from his drink and holds it above him. Fish thud off the umbrella and he wonders when he’ll reach the bottom.
Andrew Wayne Adams is an American writer/artist. He does strange things in public toilets at 2:00 a.m. He currently lives nowhere.