Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: UP IN FLAMES
By Kevin Rodgers
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Collecting his words, Chad stood silently with an empty plate in one hand and a fork in his other. Wiping the stinging sweat from his burning eyes, he cast his penetrating stare to the opposite end of the patio at Coleman.
“I have had enough,” Chad said through clenched teeth.
Coleman said nothing. No expression…nothing.
“Are you listening to me? I have had enough.”
Still no response.
Waving the fork sporadically at Coleman, Chad’s voice escalated into a full blown tirade. “YOU’RE WORTHLESS! YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!” Chad yelled as he sent a flowerpot crashing across his lawn with a single football style kick. He was furious.
His shouting voice echoed throughout the neighborhood causing quite a commotion next door.
“Carol, what is he doing over there?” Sandra asked curiously.
“It sounds like he’s pretty angry at someone, doesn’t it?” Carol responded as a look of shock appeared across her face.
“Yea, but at who?”
“I’m not sure, but it doesn’t sound like the Chad we’re used to hearing at church, does it?” Carol asked. “Wait till the girls hear about this,” she added with a mischievous smirk.
With curiosity getting the better of her, Sandra silently motioned for Carol to follow her to the wooden privacy fence that separated Carol’s yard from Chad’s.
Standing on tip-toes, the women peered over the fence to catch the Second Act of the show. Trying not to attract Chad’s attention, they remained silent, as they watched him continue to vent his anger.
Now seated in a patio chair, nursing a sore foot, Chad began again. “Now you’ve crossed the line. I told you last time, you had one more chance. AND YOU BLEW IT!” Chad screamed, as he rose to his feet.
Carol and Sandra each stopped staring at Chad long enough to glance at each other. Both women were astonished, as well as a little confused, at what they were seeing. Something wasn’t quite right. They both knew that Chad wasn’t the violent type, but today, the man had been pushed to his limits. But why? They had no idea.
“You’re out of here,” Chad ranted. “I’m finished with…”
“Chad,” a voice called from the doorway.
Turning his attention to the call, Chad saw his wife, Rose, holding the patio door open with one hand, the other attached to her hip. Her expression clearly showed that she wasn’t pleased.
“Chad, will you cool it. You’re attracting a crowd,” Rose said in a reprimanding tone, as she nodded towards Carol and Sandra, who still stood spying from beyond the fence.
Slightly embarrassed, Chad waved. “Ummm, hi ladies.”
Realizing that they had been spotted eaves-dropping, Carol and Sandra, though embarrassed themselves, waved back. “Everything okay?” Carol asked.
“No, not really,” Chad responded. “The grill’s broken,” he added in an irate tone.
Walking towards Coleman with the empty plate and fork still in hand, Chad raised the lid and was nearly blinded by the smoke that barreled out. After fanning the smoke from his eyes, he scraped the charred T-bones from Coleman’s scorching rack and plopped them onto the plate.
Surprised that the ‘bricks’ didn’t shatter the plate, Chad kicked Coleman with his already hurt foot. “YOU PIECE OF JUNK!” he yelled, as he made his way back inside.
Carol and Sandra, now in a state of shock, remained standing at the fence a second longer. After realizing the show had ended, the women sulked back to their seats with humility in their strides.
“Rose, you may want to order out,” Chad called.
“Already ahead of you,” Rose replied. “Dominoes should be here in ten to fifteen minutes.”
“Twenty-five dollars down the drain,” Chad muttered to himself, as he dumped the steaks in the trash. “I’m buying a new grill first thing tomorrow.”
“Yeah sure, like I haven’t heard that one before,” Rose laughed
“This time I mean it,” Chad said emphatically.
“Yeah, Yeah,” Rose said under her breath.
“This time I’ll buy a ‘Char-Broil’, or maybe a ‘Brinkmann’,” Chad thought, “anything but another ‘Coleman’!”
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