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This is a more recent story, written after taking a flash fiction course. There are some autobiographical elements in it. It was intended to be part of a bigger collection, but that’s still up in the air.

 

Rattle

   by Ronald Cypress

Lewis tried to block out his parents’ voices as he continued to lie on his bed with the feeling that he wasn’t ready for the day start. Even without checking his phone for the time he could tell that it was starting to get late into the morning. He would eventually have to get up on his own or his mom would come bothering him. Lewis arose from his bed and prepared to leave his room. There were a few things he had to do before going out to meet his parents, one of them being to take a pill that he usually took in the mornings, before he ate breakfast. After taking the pill, he retrieved a few more from different bottles so that he could take them during breakfast.

Both of his parents were in the kitchen. The first person that spoke to Lewis was his father.

“There he is,” Lewis’ dad said. “I thought I heard some rattling coming down the hall. How are you doing this morning?”

“Fine,” Lewis said.

“Good morning,” his mom said.

Lewis picked up his pace as he prepared a simple breakfast of cereal and grape juice. He sat down at the kitchen table and began to quickly eat.

“You got anything planned for today?” his dad asked.

“Not at this moment.” Lewis took a brief break from cramming cereal into his mouth. “I’m hoping that Mike will call me for job. That would be nice.”

“Yeah. It would.”

Lewis looked up at his dad and saw that he was doing something on his phone. He went back to eating. As he got closer to the end of his meal, Lewis began to take the pills he had brought out from his room, quickly throwing them into his mouth when he was certain that neither one of his parents were looking at him. After taking the last pill, Lewis got up from the table and put his bowl in the sink.

“Aunt May and Uncle Ron are coming over,” his mom told him as he was leaving the kitchen.

“Yeah,” Lewis said, walking down the hall. “You told me that yesterday.”

Lewis slowly moved on with the rest of his day. After brushing his teeth and showering, he sat in his room and waited for something to happen. He picked up a book that he had been reading and tried to continue getting through it. His eyes went over the words, but his mind had difficulty actually putting the story together. All he was doing was looking over words; it was all his mind would allow to do.

Lewis got on his laptop and checked his email. Most of the mail in his inbox went into the trash. He had been hoping to hear back from someone about a job, but it hadn’t happened yet. Lewis put his earphones on, turned on some music, and randomly searched a few subjects and people for nearly an hour. He was just letting time pass.

When he was done listening to music, Lewis sat on his bed and watched the local news. A feeling that caused him discomfort and concern had started coming over him. He wasn’t sure if it was more of a mental thing or a physical one. It was something to complain about, but Lewis didn’t want to complain anymore. The only thing that would happen is that there would be another change in his medication. It was always like going right back down the hole.

Lewis remained in his room for most of the day until his aunt and uncle arrived. He allowed them to get settled down in the living room before coming out of his own room to greet them.

“Good to see you,” Uncle Ron said.

“You’re looking well,” Aunt May said.

They both gave smiles and hugs before he sat down with them in the living room. He stayed seated with them for almost twenty minutes before he got up to move around the house. At one point Lewis went into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water, and when he returned to the living room his dad started to talk about him; it was the type of talk that Lewis had heard before.

“There he goes rattling around,” his dad said to Uncle Ron. “You can always hear him coming because of the rattling. All that medication they’re giving him is just clattering around in there. You wouldn’t believe how much medicine they’ve pumped into this kid. One pill doesn’t work, here’s another. Oh, that pill makes you dizzy. Keep taking it, but here’s one to stop the dizziness. But this pill might make you sad again, so here’s another pill to stop that from happening. Wait, none of them are working. We got other pills to try. All those damn pills. They’re a big racket. That’s what I keep telling him. Any little problem you can come up with, they’re ready to throw pills at you for it.”

Lewis didn’t respond. Instead, he listened as his father and uncle started up a conversation about prescription medications and the possibility that they were all scams. Once he grew tired of listening to them, Lewis returned to his room and checked his phone. There was one missed call from Mike. Lewis returned to call.

“Hey,” Mike said. “I know it’s kind of late but I got a job that I could use you on. These people have a pretty big yard, and I could use the help if you’re available.”

“I am,” Lewis said. “I’m free right now.”

“Cool. I should be over there in about an forty minutes.”

“Okay.”

Lewis began to get ready to go to work. He could still hear his dad going on about things that were wrong with society, but it wasn’t so bad. The day wasn’t so bad at all.