Wednesday Write-in #21: Wretched Routine of a Wreck

Wednesday Write-in #21 @ CAKE.shortandsweet

Prompts: wreck  ::  chipped  ::  excuse  ::  sway


I’m particularly abstract after vomiting in the morning.

I’m not a cat person. I like them, sure. But I would never own one. They walk on your face at night.

I’m a wreck before I retch so I don’t think about much beforehand. The urge usually comes on right after breakfast when my tie is already knotted and my briefcase is flat on the mantle, ready to be whisked off into the city for a sometimes engaging, sometimes laughable eight-hour act.

Setting: cubicle. Genre: tragic comedy.

The urge to regurgitate starts like those hunger pangs that grow in your tummy like some extraterrestrial baby borne of interstellar contact, moving and kicking and longing for freedom. Coffee and toast only fuel the tumult taking place in the stomach acid. Some beast will pop out soon, I’m sure.

Outward, onto the table.

Damn you, Ash.

I sit still on the couch, use the morning radio as an excuse not to give in to the swaying mix in my belly, to the acidic tentacles crawling up my esophagus and into my salivating mouth. No, I’ll make it through this time around, will it such.

After walking the streets your whole life, you know not to roll stop signs once you finally get behind the wheel. I should write that one down.

I’m a pale green wreck by the time I give in, gripping my abdomen while I run to the bathroom to acquiesce in the pale yellow light.

Halogens are brighter. More efficient, too. I should switch. Bottom of the sink is chipped. Shower curtains need changing.

The moment of truth isn’t commensurate with the painstaking buildup, especially now that I’ve grown accustom to this morning routine. The reprieve afterward is comparable, perhaps—that insecurity about the movement’s finish.

What’s the antonym to replete?

It’s something like ‘sitting on the throne’, but in reverse.

Embracing the throne.

I smile as I wipe the back of my hand across my mouth.

Good morning.


Filed under Featured Content, Flash Fiction, Wednesday Write-In, Writing

8 responses to “Wednesday Write-in #21: Wretched Routine of a Wreck

  1. Patrick

    I’m really struggling with this. It’s far too esoteric for my untrained mind. But I like a lot of the descriptive stuff – I’ve been seasick before and you’ve just written about how I felt. And, the “laughable eight hour act” is spot on.


  2. Elaine Peters

    It sounds as if he is abstract before and during rather than just after vomiting in the morning judging by the thought asides. Poor guy. Small spelling error or typo – retch shouldn’t start with a ‘w’ when it’s about vomiting, unlike ‘a poor wretch’.


    • Damn! I always miss that one. Thank you.

      It’s an interesting point you make about the before/during as opposed to after. Perhaps a simple word change in the first sentence could alleviate any confusion, although I could make the argument (because this was my intention) that all of the italics occur after the retching.

      Thank you for your meticulous reading.



  3. Elaine McKay

    This is an interesting piece. I’m not always sure if I am fully aware of the references he is making in the italics…the stop sign one, is that from a film too?…But that did not detract me from appreciating what you have done and how it comes together.


    • The first sentence was intended to explain the italics throughout–abstract thoughts occurring after … well, you know. There is very little rhyme or reason to them and, no, the stop sign one is not from a film.



      • Elaine McKay

        I hadn’t realised that all the italics were meant to be after he has retched. Perhaps that first sentence could be in italics.


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