Chapter 1:

The First Chapter

Rat Traps


Ten thousand hundred million something something raindrops hit the ground and the floor and the trees, shaved, and the grass, shaved, and the asphalt that leads and always will lead to the garage (also being hit by rain). It--rain--continues... its start, unknown, its end, to be announced. The garage door remains closed in light of that born of no light at all (rain clouds are dark--also, wet, but unrelated to light). The garage door will not open for the rain nor for the shaved trees and shaved grass and neither for you nor me (the remote is broken).
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Actually, it may just be batteries (the remote). And so, I rifle through the trash can closest (dad throws them away prematurely, always). I feel paper wads, paper clips, paper envelopes... no batteries. The search continues into the next trash can and into the next, the next, the next. No batteries, no charge, only paper products and items related to such. I transition the search from trash to couch covers and under chairs: neither is fruitful. I search in all the ways that come to mind: beneath the toilet, in my pockets, within the shoe basket, behind the toilet, near the rat traps, atop the toilet, behind the peeled wallpaper, inside the toilet... nothing.Bookmark here

Hunger pulls my attention away from the hunt, so I travel to the kitchen. The kitchen possesses many qualities found in other parts of the home--wallpaper and rat traps--but these too produce no battery. The pantry holds a jar of peanut butter, the fridge: jelly. I hate both of these things so I look for anything else and it is not five or thirty or two hundred seconds that pass before I notice a package of batteries resting on top of the counter with a bow-tie atop that. Red, too, like the wallpaper, the jelly, the Something '07 inside the garage. There's a note, too: "Love, Dad." Thanks.Bookmark here

Batteries: popped out of the packaging. Hands: holding the batteries. Mind: wondering why dad gift wrapped batteries. They're placed into the garage remote, and the vibrating of the entire house affirms the remote having been pressed successfully. Mind: "I need an umbrella." Why: it's raining a dickload outside. Why 2: I don't want to be wet. Why 3: the other garage door (clarification: the garage door so far mentioned is the big one, the one that curls up and into itself to allow vehicles safe passage and safe harbor. The second door I've just now mentioned is the one connecting the inside of the house to the garage to allow a person to travel from the garage to the inside of the house, and this specific door is) welded shut. Dad's handiwork--"It's the rats. The damned rodents."Bookmark here

Umbrella. Umbrella. Umbrella. Do I own one? A search of my bedroom reveals: no. A search of the kitchen reveals: no. A search of other rooms except for one last one reveals: no. A search of one last one does not happen because I don't want to enter it, so I just step outside into the ten thousand hundred million something something bullshit slapping the ground and the top of my head and shoulders and into the garage. And there it is: a Something '07 and some other dad tools and evidences of hobbies and also rat traps (none of them have been sprung).
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I'm not even sure why I'm here, actually. I drop to the floor and enter a zone of reflection to retrace my steps. Analyzing. Recalibrating. Hmm. It's all suddenly clear: it was just fun to follow a very specific directive--finding the batteries--because I was able to focus intently on one (1) obstacle and not have to worry about anything else in the world for the brief moment between needing something and attaining something. Satisfied, I stand back up and decide on a next objective. The evidences of hobbies are not interesting, and neither are the rat traps. Something '07 it is.Bookmark here

Car keys: in. Foot: pedal. Hand: mirror. Showtime. I slam the Something '07 into the back of the garage, sending corkboards dotted with thumbtacks to the ground, scattering thumbtacks to the ground, setting off a dozen (estimate) rat traps. Fuck. And shit. I shift the gear stick (right?) out of reverse (oops) and into drive. Out the garage I go, clicked the garage button is, and the asphalt that dresses up the garage door's entrance now holds me. What controls the windshield wipers, again? The wheel is self explanatory: I know what this does. I just learned what the gear stick (right...?) does, too--had a crash course in it. But everything else remains a mystery, challenging me, egging me on. Okay, this one's gas, clearly. Another looks like speed. I'm learning. I still can't figure out how to use the windshield wiper, so I grab a towel off of the passenger seat and lean out the window to wipe the windshield. It gets wet fast, so I wipe it off again. By the third attempt, I realize the fruitlessness in my actions, so I just leave the towel onto the windshield. I then realize I can't drive like this (obscured vision: there is a fucking towel in the way).
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Teeth: grit. Eyes: angry. Hands: on my hair. I burst out from the car door and dash through the million million million million million raindrop bullshit and back into the garage, then dropping to the floor in a similar location to where I did earlier (this is satisfying in a way but is not enough to quench the bubbling anger and confusion rising within me). How do you use windshield wipers, seriously, what the hell? This is bullshit. Anyone my age should know how to use windshield wipers. They never taught this in school (my father since day one). They also did not teach math (he doesn't know how to do it) or science (he thinks it's bullshit). The only thing here that is bullshit is the lack of windshield wiping knowledge.Bookmark here

Angry, I dash back into the million whatever rain and tear my shirt off to wipe the windshield with, vigorously. Knowingly, I engage in a battle I have little chance of winning--I fight anyway, because there isn't much else to do. I start yelling, screaming, teeth bared: I will win. I will in. I'm the one with the fucking shirt, I AM THE ONE WHO WINS HERE.Bookmark here

I am not the one who wins here: there's so much fucking rain. I retreat back to the garage (defeated). I slump back down to the ground (defeated). I feel cold (shirtless). I wonder where dad is (?). I start shivering. Cold, cold, bullshit. But an idea flashes across my mind, and so I rush through the rain once more and back into the car, moving then to switch the heat on, and in the jumble of hand motions required to switch from AC to heat, a jutting thing is brushed against, and the windshield wipers awaken: two goals achieved in seconds, I think to myself, as I feel the heat return me to normalcy. And with a freshly brandished weapon to fight against the million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million tons of fucking falling water, I feel prepared for what's next.Bookmark here

I slam my foot against the pedal.Bookmark here

Golden Boy
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Pearlyn.M
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Taylor Victoria
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Rat Traps


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