Thursday, November 3, 2011

Indie Ink Challenge: Life of a Wannabe Couch Potato

“I like being a couch potato,” I stated.  I shoved a chip in my mouth and stretched out on the ugly-olive-but-oh-so-comfy sofa that my brother and I had found on Craigslist a couple of months ago. Our last one suffered a horrible demise during a run-in with a bitchy coven of witches, who overran the apartment with pestilence.  I cannot explain the levels of awful that was without shuddering.

My brother rolled his eyes and sat down next to me with a book in his hand.  He had the same light brown hair and blue eyes that I did, but even sitting down he towered over me in height.  Sean also looked much wiser and cooler than I did, which was never fair and I wondered if it was just because he was older.   The one thing I was sure of in that moment as he flipped the pages of his four hundred page novel…he would never make a good couch potato.

When Sean didn't say anything, I continued, “There’s something wonderfully normal about vegging out on a rainy day with some junk food and nowhere to go.”

“Yeah, it’s like Christmas,” Sean replied without even missing a beat in his book.

I glared at him and said, “This is the first Saturday in forever where there wasn't peril at the hand of jackasses that we had to handle or you weren't in annoying dictator mode.”

“I’m hardly a dictator.”

“ Isn't that what all dictators say?”

“No, they throw lazy bums like you in jail for insolent behavior and go on with their day.  I’m just not that lucky.”

I continued to glare at the side of his head.  Over the years, I've had to listen to a lot of girls go on about how handsome and great my brother was.  If only they could see him in all his snarky glory.  I yawned, stretched out again, and began the important task of flipping through the list of programming on the television.  It had taken years of whining, but I had finally convinced Sean of the wonders of cable.  Maybe in another ten years, he’ll be ready to try TIVO.

I glanced over the list of upcoming shows.  This was part of the trappings of cable. I already knew what I was going to watch, but I felt compelled to see what else was on.  It wouldn't have surprised me to learn that the cable companies were in league with a few demons on the invention.  It definitely screamed evil in that I-love-it-and-can’t-stop-myself way.  I popped another chip into my mouth as I scrolled through the long list of channels and upcoming programming.

And I gasped in horror.

Sean’s eyes snapped up from his book and focused on me.  “What’s wrong?”

“My day.”

“A minute ago life was grand.”

“That was before I was in the middle of a freaking television crisis of epic proportions.”

“Sounds awful.”

“Did you not hear the epic proportions part?”

Sean shrugged.  "I honestly don't know how to respond."

"This is serious, Sean.  I was planning to spend my afternoon catching up on Ghost Hunters International, but I just noticed there is a Teen Mom marathon on MTV.   I haven't seen the current season, but it's such an awesome train wreck - always makes me feel better about my own lame existence."

Sean dropped his book and snatched the remote out of my hand the same way he would a weapon - quick and efficient, leaving me to wonder if he was part ninja.  He put on the National Geographic channel, smirked at my groan, and said, "Problem solved and neither of us will be stupider afterward."

I crossed my arms.  "That was not one of the choices."

"I'm not watching Teen Mom."

"But Macy and Ryan are fighting again--"

"I am not watching Teen Mom, Cady.  I prefer not to partake in a sociological experiment gone completely awry, leaving me worried about the future of the human race if these are the people procreating."

I was not beyond a full-fledged pout-turned-tantrum if necessary.  I unfolded and refolded my arms in a very bratty manner and said, "That's what's so great about MTV shows."  His look was unflappable as he picked his book back up.  Sometimes I hated my brother.  A lot.

I grabbed the remote from his lap and said, "Ghost Hunters it is."

"That's not much better."

"You're ruining my happy lazy day."

"You know as well as I do that nothing on that show is accurate."

"It's a television show, not a dissertation on the proper techniques for dealing with ornery spirits and poltergeists."

Sean shrugged in the way that said I could do what I want but it wasn't the right thing to do.   It was a fixture in my childhood.  "Do what you want, but it seems like a waste of time."

"Seems like a waste of time," I mimicked in my best Sean-is-boring voice and I stuck out my tongue in his direction.  I flipped through the channels and settled in on Ghost Hunters as a new episode was starting.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Sean was back to reading his book.  We might not have the same ideas for how to spend a quiet day, but the lack of impending doom was a nice break.  I said, "Wouldn't it be great if the biggest decision of the day is whether to watch Teen Mom or Ghost Hunters International?"

"If you say so."

"I have nowhere to go and nothing to do and I'm going to enjoy it."


"I mean it," I replied.  I turned my attention to the show for a few minutes.  Not that I would tell him, but Sean was right about this show.  There really was a disturbing number of inaccuracies in how they dealt with ghosts.  
I tapped my foot against the coffee table and fanned myself.  It suddenly felt a bit hot in the living room, despite the wind billowing in from the open window.   I resisted the urge to get up and pace around the room.  It turned out being still and zoning out were not for me.

My brother glanced at me and said, "Let me guess, this is boring and you want to go do something."

"Yes please.  I'm not made for mindless television all day, just at night," I said.  I hopped up off the couch and slipped into my boots and jacket.  I bounced on the balls of my feet while I watched my brother amble around the room like an old man, gathering his keys and wallet and patting his jacket pockets.    Once he was ready, I flung open the door and hurried into the hall of our building.   "Sweet freedom!"

I wasn't looking at him, but I knew my brother was rolling his eyes in my direction as he locked the door. 

For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Stefan challenged me with "Two things happened at once, it was which one to act upon that I couldn't decide..." and I challenged Sarah Cass with "It was a case of mistaken identity." (Her response is here.)

Note:  My piece is pretty liberal with the prompt - but it's what came out, so I decided to go with it.  This is another piece that uses my character, Cady.


Amanda said...

This is such a fun, creative response to this prompt. Have you ever read Cassandra Clare? Your characters and their attitudes remind me of City of Bones. :)

muzzlediaries said...

Ryan is such a bitch. Go Team Kyle!!