Julie Writes “Jerk” Like Nobody Else: A Short Story
TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut, as much as I can get.
This is just a quickie I wrote, that may or may not be the very early stages of a prologue. It is the bastardizing of an idea my husband had, that I twisted and made mine. A jerk vampire, bored with “life,” who makes a habit of invading funerals to taunt the mourners. I like this guy.
“It’s so tragic…” She sniffled and sobbed into a mess of filthy kleenex, blubbering in a tangle of over-hairsprayed curls and too-tight clothes that she had probably worn to the last wake. I think I was there. The food sucked afterwards. Crying makes people taste soggy, but mourners are just too much fun not to kill.
My eyes hurt from rolling them. I honked loudly into a tissue, pointing at Miss Hairspray. I smiled at an old man staring at me with horrified eyes. He should not be afraid of me. He should be too worried about his own fast-approaching demise. He already had on the right suit.
I got up to pace the rows of folding chairs again. I bumped into a douchebag in suspenders. I scratched my cheek subtly giving him the finger. I couldn’t help it. It had a life of its own. More than could be said for…”Travis Carter II, age 19.” I didn’t have to squint at the name on the plaque, but I did for emphasis. I was whistling, hands in my pockets, but took one out to run a finger across the satin lining around Trav’s head. I threw a charming smile at the pretty girl knelt at the casket right next to me. “Nice casket! Mahogany.”
She cried harder. Typical.
“You’re ruining that perfectly nice blouse,” I said, handing her my balled up tissue.
She looked at me, from her knees, with her bloodshot blues. “Who the fuck are you?! I want some time alone with my brother!”
“Well, baby, you aren’t gonna get it here! I mean, look at all these fuckers!” I motioned behind me with a sweeping arm. She gaped, exposing a mouth full of fillings.
Unable to even want to stop myself, I trembled as I looked behind me at the masses of cheap flowers, the podium, the photo board that nobody had bothered to make when Travis Carter II doled out his humanity amidst high school dropouts and wannabe construction moguls. I stared, grinning at the faces staring back at me, bloated and lined, sad and selfish. “Maybe I shouldn’t be up here,” I whispered to Travis’s sister, “but you shouldn’t be making a scene, young lady. This is about Travis, isn’t it?” I blew her a kiss.
I swaggered away with purpose, all eyes on me, the way I said I didn’t like it.
“…so young…” gray-dressed Auntie whined into Uncle’s shoulder.
“Awww, was he?” I taunted, popping gum into my mouth.
I moved on toward the ushers at the door, the familiar scent of funeral parlor mints and hand soap waving me goodbye.
“Yeah, poor Travis Carter II,” I comforted, patting ex-girlfriend on skinny shoulder.
You and I both know, the real tragedy is when you can’t die fast enough.