Round 9 Challenges (Word limit – 444 words)
1) Incorporate a hoax
2) Incorporate a revelation
3) Incorporate the number four
4) Incorporate Stephen Colbert.
Read OLAF 8 here (see “Similar Posts” at the bottom of this post for any earlier entries)
Ron couldn’t get the image of Annikki from his head the entire way home. The sleepless nights weren’t going to end. He drove back twenty over the limit. He hated drivers like that.
He spent the rest of the day shingling the roof of his shop. He stayed on the easterly side, which wasn’t visible from the road. He skipped lunch and worked on into dark until he smashed his thumb.
After a long shower, he brought an ice tray, a jug of rum, and mixer to the couch and flicked through the channels. American’s Next Top Model. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. NASCAR. Colbert Report. The usual trash. Nothing even to distract him. He shut the television off and stared at the blank screen and drank.
Ron had left Hagan Harbor Lodge before Olga’s husband and son returned to the apartment. But not before Olga asked if he would take Annikki and her brother out tuna fishing. He said he would. Tomorrow.
None of it made sense to him. Not how Annikki had been so warm with him. Not how Olga had been giving him the eyes of a single woman. And sure as hell not how in a single glance he’d managed to forget about the woman he’d dreamt about for decades and discover he was an old lecher.
Everything he’d believed in all these years had proven a hoax. Olga wasn’t the Olga he remembered. Instead Annikki was. For decades he’d been in love with a memory, a mirage from the past. Only now, upon nearing the oasis, could he see the illusion for what it was.
Ron went to his bar and unscrewed the cap off the Spiced Rum. It smelled like crap. He looked at his black thumbnail and laughed. He drank straight from the bottle. He poured it down his throat until he sputtered up a spray of rum.
He put his fist through the drywall before passing out on the couch. Letters and photos were scattered around him. A Shakespeare passage torn from a book lay in a puddle of rum:
Away treacherous love!
Puff me up never again with your deceits,
Your youthful vows of eternal bonds,
Your scorn and spurn of the inexplicable
Disappearing act performed by the
Slippery duo, Time and Absence.
Away with you!
Back in Apt. 4, Olga was lying on her side in bed with her back to Pellervo. She hadn’t had time to tell Ron. Or she hadn’t mustered the strength. The same reason she hadn’t told Annikki yet. When they returned from fishing she would reveal the truth. She could no longer hide it from them. Ron was Annikki’s uncle.