Mr. Slack

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a general conception of the damned that are poised to do desperate measures to survive.

There is a fire in the sky but that fire is dead and gone from long ago. Where the fire came from in the early morning hours from the cosmos is where Mr. Slack is now residing at in the house that never existed either. No one remembers where Mr. Slack came from when Mr. Slack just showed up with a sly smile and an old Piano that sits in his living room. Mr. Slack is a supposed man that came from the Appalachian Hills when he only has little money in his pocket before he took a supervising job in Conorodo. Now Conorodo is a smaller town than the town he resides in when he Mr. Slack did not keep to himself at all when he put together the Legion Hall and amassed a big breakfast that makes the old timers come together on Saturday mornings before the pandemic of 2020 happened that put everything in the dormant stages.

Mr. Slack is now residing at home most of the time, doing these odd experiments behind closed doors when Ronald Peters helped him after school for some kick back money to buy some candy and sodas. His mother did not know what is going on in Mr. Slack’s place when Mr. Slack kept his priorities only to Ronald Peters and himself. Mr. Slack asked and Ronald got when he sat in the living room in Mr. Slack’s place with a bottle of Orange Crush in his hand. Now Orange Crush is the significance in Ronald Peter’s life when he loved the sugary taste that went down his gullet. He looked at the television in the corner and marveled at the cartoons that are on the network when Mr. Slack is behind closed doors. Ronald smelled the odd smells that are coming from behind the door in a whiff that smells of antifreeze and kerosene. Ronald did not know what those smells are really when he is only 12 years old. He never worked on an automobile when his mother told him to stay away from those typical life lessons for those tasks are not for a boy to be learning.

Those are messy jobs, Ronny. Those messy jobs will rot your brain and make you drink beer and look at women like property when you grow up. Those are momma’s words when Ronald’s house is spotless and clean with nothing out of place and no stains in the microwave or on top of the stove. If that happened then Ronald cleaned up the mess immediately. If he did not clean up the mess when momma would get upset and then put him in time out by locking him in the food pantry all night, telling him he is a bad boy, a really bad boy for upsetting mother like this. Ronald did his chores and combed his hair when his mother was a little set off for him having a job. She did not like it for a while before she learned the job and then agreed immediately. Ronald smiled at this when it is the time to get away from his mother when he can sit in Mr. Slack’s place and watch all the television he wants when Mr. Slack asked him things and Ronald Peters did those things. He did not want to question it when Ronald Peters heard the door open and close when Mr. Slack came into the room, rubbing something off his latex gloves when he asked where is the ammonia that Ronald was supposed to set down next to the door.

“It is behind the door now, Mr. Slack.” Ronald pointed to the door that is open of where he came from.

“You sure are a peach. You know that, don’t you?” Mr. Slack smiled when he went to get the ammonia from behind the open door when Mr. Slack asked Ronald if he cleaned up the dishes that are in the sink.

“Yes, earlier this afternoon; Mr. Slack.”

“Good boy. You can stay for another thirty minutes then you run on home for supper. Momma should be cooking up something nice for you.” Mr. Slack went through the door and closed it from behind when Ronald looked at him, fixing the cowlick that is upon his head when he watched the television some more before he scoffed, turning off the television and getting up when he wanted to get one of those small pizzas before he heads on home.

His mother’s cooking is atrocious. He knew that when he nuked it in the microwave and ate it greedily before going home with the color of the leaves in the trees.

It is going to be winter again soon. Ronald can think of Christmas Vacation that is coming up at school when he thought of the two weeks that he is going to get off, not thinking about anything but to sit at home and play some video games in front of his television, day and night when he thought that is nice to beat all…heck. Have to watch your language Ronald or mother will put you in the linen closet again all night. Ronald thought of the number ten and counted backwards when he counted from 10…9…8…7…6 and his mind started to feel better when he walked on the sidewalk home when he got home before the sun went down. He hung his jacket up on the nub that is screwed into the wall and then placed his backpack that is next to the door. The only homework that he has is Math and History tonight so he will have to get that done before he goes to sleep. He came to the dinner table and sat down when mother is in the living room, watching her daytime shows. She got off from work two hours ago and she is not in the mood to talk.

She is never in the mood to talk. Ronald scoffed in his mind when he got up, making a PB&J sandwich from the conveniences that are in the cupboard. He ate in silence when mother started to curse up a storm at the unknown stuff that is happening on the television.

Probably watch Dr. Phil or something. Ronald Peters continued to eat the PB&J sandwich when the sun came down when Ronald got up and turned on the light in the kitchen area where the kitchen table is. He sat down, thinking about going his school work before she started to make dinner when Mother came into the kitchen as he finished.

“Did you get everything done at Mr. Slack’s Place?” Mother asked him with a sincere interest that sounded conceivable to be close to a lie.

“Yes, mother. He paid me a little extra this time with all of the deliveries I had to do.”

“Oh really; did you do them on your bike?”

“Yup and he told me that I am going to get two hundred and fifty bucks by the end of the week.”

She came close and crossed her arms around his neck, planting a kiss on his chubby cheek.

“That is my boy.” Her smile faltered a little, knowing that Ronald Peters is growing up when he will turn 13 this year. It is hard to believe that he is 13 this year when she brushed that convincing thought of the truth behind her, believing that her boy cannot grow up and will not grow up. Ronald will always be her boy and if someone tries to take her boy away from her then there will be hell to pay.

“I just want to know how long you will be working for Mr. Slack. Is that cutting into your work studies?” Mom tries to make another excuse when Ronald did not want to hear of this, not one bit. He thought about getting up from the chair and running towards his room, locking the door and banging his head on the door.

That will cost him a night in the linen closet if he does when he kept that thought at bay.

“I will be working for him until this winter. He will be leaving town for Georgia.” Ronald replied with no smile upon his face. He knew that Mr. Slack will be going out of town for good to change the world in his own image when Ronald smiled at the thought of him or IT perfecting his master plan. He felt like he wanted to laugh at the thought when he finished up his PB&J, wiping the crumbs with the napkin that is balled into his hand.

“Then I have no idea what I am going to do.” I need to invite mother over to give Mr. Slack a shot so she can go to sleep for an eternity. I do not have to deal with her anymore when I am finally free from her wretched clutches.

“Mr. Slack asked her over for dinner on Sunday if that is okay.” Ronald looked out from the corners of his eyes when mother did not say anything for a couple of seconds when she cocked her head to the side, thinking of her own schedule when she rolled her eyes.

“Okay. I do like to talk to him more. He does make the best Spanish Rice that I had ever tasted.”

Or you ever made for that matter. Ronald tried not to smile when he kept the truth of Mr. Slack behind his eyes. It is the truth of all the people that are missing in town with posters tacked up at the local stores, bus stops, and the local library. It is the conversations that are happening in bars when Ronald is busy getting scragged at school, being forced to eat his shit every day by the people that he has to go to school with upon unnatural thoughts that are growing in his head.

I want to beat them.

I want to mistreat them.

I want to throttle them.

I want to berate them until the berating is done.

Ronald never felt hungrier in his life before when what is behind Mr. Slack’s door in his studies are equations, physic quadratics that blows Ronald’s mind, diagrams of star systems that he has no idea when he looks at the night sky of where they are at, images of species that he had never seen before with that of the exception off seeing them in horror graphic novels that his mother does not like for him to see, and numbers that do not look like numbers at all. For what they look like for Ronald are numbers that belong to a civilization that have died a very long time ago. Ronald asked what all of this mean when Mr. Slack smiled and did not say anything when he only said this one sentence, again and again:

“It is the reboot of the world and of a world that is reliving again and again.” Mr. Slack looked at all of this mess that is upon the chalkboard when Ronald did not look at the missing people and their parts that are in glass jars. Ronald did not like to see the sights of human tissue that are in glass containers. He looked back at the back or Mr. Slack when he knew that there is something wrong with Mr. Slack.

But Mr. Slack is his friend and he would never betray him. Mr. Slack had never done him wrong when Ronald went into his plans of doing something to the world which is what Ronald cannot understand. He likes Mr. Slack and it is hard for him to see him go when Ronald felt bad by just thinking about it. He looked at the napkin that is within his hands when he clenched it and unclenched it. Then he thought of his mother coming over for a visit at Mr. Slack’s place when Ronald smiled for something to happen to his mother. That would be a grand notion for all of this to pass when he thought about Mr. Slack and thought about him with convincing interest.

What if I can go with Mr. Slack after mother is disposed? I am learning more than school where there is nothing but hate and hate is supreme in school. Even the teachers hate me and I do not belong there. So what is there to lose when you are the bastard of the world when the world pushed you to be just?

“Okay, mother. We will make it a date.” Ronald Peters smiled when mother went back into the living room to watch more of her trashy, shitty programs, leaving Ronald Peters alone when he thought about cracking open the homework assignments and writing out, “FUCK YOU” in bed, red letters on the handouts they gave him. That would show Mr. Gregson and his prissy ass coffee mug that he has in the classroom. He thought about poisoning his coffee that he brings in but with what? Can he poison a person with paint thinner? It can eat the hell out of someone’s guts from what he read on the internet when he sat in the seat with all these ominous thoughts that are running through his head. In an hour mother will make some more meatloaf in the oven which he hated the smell of meatloaf. That is the only good thing she can make is meatloaf when he smiled just the same

He waited for Sunday when Mr. Slack will take care of her when he ate his meatloaf in silence. He is almost 13 after all, too young to think of responsibilities and too old to be playing with baby toys on a sunny afternoon. Then he will ask Mr. Slack if he can go along with him when he sat there and said nothing, just waited for the meal to be set on the table when he started to eat with fledging of dark wonders on the mind. It is the wonders that never ceased for a man who is not a man but a dead race that came back to earth to shape it anew again. He is the last of his kind from a star that is no longer burning in the night sky when he cannot go back home. There is no home left when he continued to work with no sleep for he does not sleep and dream of dark wonders himself. He works on the board and thinks with the lights that are burning in his studies in time and time is all Mr. Slack has in the dark wonders of his house in a street that has a name which is forgotten. It is time and time is divine for the brim of sins.

Submitted: February 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Adam Steele. All rights reserved.

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