Tainted…A short story.

“Why are you so mean? Would it kill you to be nicer to people?”

I haven’t been up long, and already, I am being lectured by a 16-year old. Angie, my niece, sits across from me and watches me drink coffee. My preference is to start the morning with coffee and quiet. It appears, I am not going to get any quiet.

Yesterday, Angie introduced me to her new ‘boyfriend.’ Jody Nelson, the local football star, is a bit of a diva. Jody is 6’2, 225 lbs, and has movie star good looks. He is  the richest kid in the neighborhood. Daddy and Mommy buy him whatever he wants. Jody loves to show off his sensitive side. 

Yesterday, he asked me about a lost tribe of pygmies and their increasing death toll. Apparently, they are dying from consuming hogs which are being poisoned by algae growing in their wells. I cracked wise about tainted meat.

You get it? Tainted meat? Pygmies worried about pork?

Anyway, cue the hysterics. Angie switches gears, while I sip my coffee. Apparently, yelling isn’t working. I must be immune to the screams or the hearing loss working to my advantage.

“You could’ve said you weren’t aware of the pygmy situation, but no, you gotta be a smartie. Now, he probably thinks I’m a loser like my uncle.”

“Are you going to cry all day?”

“See, that’s exactly what I mean!”

“You would be the luckiest girl in the world if Jody brushed you off today. His family is a stain on the soul of this town.”

“He loves me.”

“Un-huh. I’m sure.”

I walk over to my coffee machine and insert a donut flavored coffee K-cup. “Just let her win.” 

“You will apologize to Jody. Here are a couple of articles on the death of the pygmies.” The black liquid pours into my steel Yeti coffee cup. Angie stands from the island in the kitchen and puts her hands on her hips. 

“Sweetie, there is no way I’m going to apologize for having a sense of humor.”

“We’ll see.”

Angie spins around and walks out. The front door slams shut and I add sugar to my coffee. “Maybe I should apologize. NAH, the kid needs to toughen up.” Sipping my coffee, I walk to my computer to work on my blog post.

Yearning for inspiration, I stare at my pencil drawings of two samurai warriors and their wives and crack my knuckles. “Well, it’s time to get to writing. Maybe Angie will calm down while in school. I would hate for her to be angry with me.”

My day passes without incident. Well, somewhat without incident, I am having a difficult time writing about non-lethal techniques used to incapacitate rowdy hillbillies. I walk into my library but it appears I don’t have anything on the subject. “Fine, I will Google it.” As I walk into the kitchen, the front door bangs shut.

“Hey unc, Jody and I stopped by before heading to his house to study. What are you doing?” Both Jody and Angie sit at my island, a smug grin stretches across their faces. I grin back. “Out of the frying pan and into the fire, here I go!”

“Hey, kiddo. Jody was it? You’re the great pygmy savior, right? I’m sorry Angie, but I haven’t had time to read the articles you left. I’ve been researching non-lethal ways to stop people.”

Her eyes narrow and nostrils flare, as she glares at me. Jody nods his head and decides to speak. Running his hand through his thick black hair, he smiles. 

“Yep, just doing my part to make the world a better place.”

This kid irks me. I put another coffee into the machine and press the button to make the magical formula which helps me deal with idiots of such magnitude.

“Un-huh. Well, the homeless population of our town has increased by 400%, the crime rate has increased by 600%. When you pick up your cape from the cleaners, why don’t you work on a local issue before trying to change the world?”

“You just can’t be nice can you? Come on, Jody. We are out of here.”

Angie leaps to her feet and grabs Jody by the arm. They storm out of my house and I walk to the door and watch them stride to his Corvette.

“Don’t be mad, it’s just something to think about!”

Jody slams the car into reverse and peels out of my driveway. I am beginning to sense a bit of hostility between the three of us. 

“Great, now who’s gonna save the pygmies?”

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