"It's time for bed, Lauralynn."
Lauralynn sluggishly crawled into her bed not wanting to, warm in her pajamas,
big eyes trying the wounded puppy shtick which wasn't working on him.
"Oh, sit right there, it's time for your medicine."
He began to walk out of the room and stopped.
"Do you remember what your medication is called?"
She tossed and turned, grunting and moaning.
"Noooo, mommy does. Do I have to take them?"
"Yes. You're mother would kill me if I didn't make you take your pill. You don't
remember at all?"
She stared at the ceiling.
"Uhhhh, it's a blue one."
"A blue one...sit right there."
Nebraska walked into the bathroom and rummaged through the medicine cabinet.
Half of these fucking pills are blue, he thought.
He picked up the phone and dialed the extension number Aledra had left on the
refrigerator door. It went straight to voicemail:
"This is Aledra. I'm not able to make it to the -"
It started with a C.
Clarvenex, Ciletricin, Cardimax, Cloridore, Clonidine...Jesus.
He took his chances with Clonidine. This entire family suffers from monstrous allergies, so if it's wrong then Lauralynn would be given a mild dose of allergy medicine at best. Nothing that would probably stop her heart or turn her organs into a black, tarry mess. This is not the safest way to conduct any kind of business.
Not even this one.
Nebraska returned to Lauralynn's bedroom with a blue Clonidine and a glass of water. She happily took the pill and laid back down into bed.
"Why do I have to take these, Nebs?"
"They're supposed to help straighten out your spine. You don't want to walk like
a belltower keeper do you?"
"It doesn't matter."
Nebraska pulled the covers over her and she slid them up past her nose, peering out with those big eyes that her mother had passed down to her.
"Did you have fun today?"
"What did you think of the animal house in the tree?"
She sprung to life, escaping her knit jail cell.
"It was neat! I fell into it and there were tiny little tea cups and plates and little chairs and couches everywhere!"
Nebraska smiled.
"Yep. Animals live just like we do. They cook food, go to work. Even the little animals have to go to school just like you do."
"Do they have to take pills to fix their bones?"
Nebraska tucked her back in.
"Animals don't have bones. They're made of magic, you know."
"Mhmm. Now you need to go to sleep, okay?"
Lauralynn turned over and closed her eyes.
Nebraska headed towards the door.
"Did you and mommy ever used to be boyfriend and girlfriend?"
He stopped in the doorway, running his hands up and down the frame, looking at his feet.
"Oh, you know, well...Mommy can explain that better than I can."
Aledra's hand fell on Nebraska's shoulder, scaring two shits out of him.
"Explain what?"
Lauralynn hopped back out of bed, ruining two attempts at trying to settle her in for the night.
"Mommy! Me and Nebs went to the park today and we played hide and seek and I found an animal house in a tree! That had little teacups and chairs and everything! And guess what? Guess what? Did you know that animals don't have bones? Nebs told me they were made of magic and didn't need bones! Do I need bones mommy? What do they even do?"
Aledra gave Nebraska a scornful look and took her hand off his shoulder.

Nebraska pulled his coat over himself and began to put his boots back on. Aledra the freelancer sat at the kitchen table in silence.
"Not even a thank you, Al?"
"Did you give Laura her Clonidine?"
God, what a relief. I was correct.
"Yes, Al, don't be so pissy with me."
Nebraska sat down at the table with her, avoiding eye contact and tapping his fingers onto the table. Grey had started to crop in his hair and at 34 he was developing a salt-and-pepper color to it, even in his beard, but it wasn't a graceful aging. Aledra had only gotten more stunning with the years, and having a child did nothing to ruin her body whatsoever.
"You need a girlfriend, Nebraska."
"No, I don't."
"Yes, you do. I sit here and worry about you. You might think I don't but I do."
"Anyone with a vagina is automatically out of my league. I had my only foray into a committed relationship and I think I'm done with it."
He rose to leave again.
She stood up with him.
"You can still watch her Thursday night?"
"Jesus, Al, do you have any idea what this does to me? Seeing all of this?"
He waved his hands about the apartment.
"All of what?"
He stopped himself, defeated.
"Yes, Aledra. I can watch her..."
He started for the door in a fevered hurry to finally leave as she stopped him one last time.
"Nebraska...she's a very sick girl. You know that. I would appreciate it if you didn't tell her that there was magic in the world and that she didn't have any fucking bones, okay?"
Nebraska bit his tongue.
They embraced for a hug and she half-heartily kissed him - a no-nonsense peck that combined the side of the lip and a portion of the cheek.
"See you Thursday, Nebs."
Nebraska opened the door and headed down the steps. As always he was making his way up them. Dressed in a form-fitting black suit jacket with a briefcase under his arms.
"Leaving already, Nebraska?"
"It's late, Mick. I need some sleep."
"You know, I really appreciate you taking the time to babysit Lauralynn for us. It means the world to me and Aledra."
"Yeah, well, she's a great kid. She's got her mother's eyes and her father's aloofness."
Mick smiled, confused, and continued up the steps and into the apartment. Before the door closed the excited sounds of a daily homecoming filled the hallway air for Nebraska to bathe in. He continued down the steps and out into the cold winds. He fished through his jacket for a half pack of American Spirits and pulled one out of the crumpled linoleum - His first smoke in six hours.
Poor advice.
Last edited by stellar_legs at Jul 19, 2009,
It was nice to read something from you that wasn't all out insane and depressive. I actually got so captured in this that I couldn't believe it had finished, even after I ran out of page. Maybe it just feels unfinished to me, but is there more coming?
man i wish things came to me like this.
you've got such a great style developed; i hope it never leaves you.
There's a road that leads to the end of all suffering. You should take it.

- Jericho Caine

secret, aaaaagent maaan.
secret, aaaaagent maaan.
You're an extremely talented writer. I don't know what that means to you, but I really believe it.
Anatomy Anatomy
Whale Blue Review

Park that car
Drop that phone
Sleep on the floor
Dream about me
It means a lot.

The reason I don't post as frequently as I used to is because I'm dividing my time and energy between my novel (which will be better than Matt's...harharhar) and also a mockumentary screenplay about a group of friends who brew their own beer and try to distribute it.

I haven't been depressed and reclusive.
I mean, I HAVE, but I've also been productive.
Poor advice.
Quote by kdownes
It was nice to read something from you that wasn't all out insane and depressive.

this was more subdued, but certainly not less depressive. this dripped with fucking salinger-esque levels of defeat. lovely.
You're a ****ing storyteller.

"Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear." - from Tao Te Ching