The “Ss” Words

Noted in Nashville Short Stories & FictionThe Ss Words

There are entire pages of words in the Ss section of my dictionary that tickle me. :

Scab, scabbard, scabby, scabies, scabrous, scads, scaffold, scalawag . . . schlemiel (isn’t that in the opening of Lavern & Shirley?), schlep, schmaltz, schnapps, schnauzer . . . spigot . . . spoonbill, spoonerism . . . spume . . . squat, squaw, squawk, squeak, squeal, squeamish, squeegee . . . stickler, stick shift, and sticktoitiveness.

You thought I was going to talk about the “s” word.  Yeah, I like that one too.  Just for fun, how many of these can I use in a short story?  Here goes . . . : Noted in Nashville Short Stories & FictionTim’s dream featured a comely, nearly angelic version of his wife Teresa.  They reached the highest point of the Ferris wheel at the state fair; overlooking all of Dallas.  She grabbed his left thigh and closed her eyes.

“Don’t be squeamish” he whispered.  He slid down in the passenger car and squeezed his thighs together, trapping her hand.

“Don’t be a scalawag” she answered, wiggling her hand back and forth.

She opened her eyes to a squint, giving him that look he loved so much.  Playful.  Suggestive.

Not wasting the cue, he rolled on top of her.  The security bar in front of them disappeared.  The back of their seat reclined like a La-Z-Boy.  The cage rocked, squeaking softly in rhythm; like the belt-and-chain seats of a rusty swing set blown by the wind.

The squeaks became louder and longer.  Squeak.  Squeeak.  Squeeeak.  Bang! The capsule disconnected from the rim, throwing the lovers from their seat.  The bar reappeared and they flew over it in slow motion.  Tim removed his right hand from under Teresa’s bra and reached for the bar.  His left arm remained gripped around her waist.  He held her like she weighed no more than a giant, stuffed bear he’d won from a ring toss game on the Texas SkyWay.

Tim dangled from the passenger car, his right hand slipping, slipping. . . .  He heard a woman squeal from one of the cars.  Squeeeak.  Bang.  Squeeeak.  . . . Slipped.

Tim’s body jerked awake, his eyes opened – and focused immediately on a water mark on the ceiling above his bed.  Squeeeak.  Moan.  Bang.  Bang, bang.  Squeal.  Bang.

“I hate you!  Can I just make some freakin’ coffee?  Would that be alright with you?”  Teresa was squawking at the spigot in the kitchen.  “You’re gonna squeal when I take a baseball bat to you!”

Tim schlepped his left leg over the edge of the bed, knocking his schnauzer off with it.  “Porry Sinkie.”  Tim’s mouth woke up last every morning.  His spoonerisms were family legend; the kind of running gags and inside jokes parents and siblings like to tell and tell and tell.  “Sorry Pinkie” he corrected.

He sat upright, half flesh, half fantasy – replaying his dream.  His body tingled from the excitement of it, and he didn’t want to rush the transformation to waking life.

“Oh, come on!” Teresa pleaded.

Transformation complete, he thought.  He stood up and shuffled to the kitchen – the bottom of his feet prickly with each step on the uneven wood floors.  “What’s all the bubhub . . . what’s the problem Babe?  You woke up Pinkie.”

“There’s spume in this coffee pot.  Disgusting.”

“That’s new.  Morning, my squaw.”  He walked to her, kissed and then blew a raspberry on her neck.  She wrinkled her nose a little.  Her morning mood was generally scabrous, and Tim challenged himself to get a smile by breakfast.

“I’ll get some water from the bathroom” she said, walking away.

“I’ll get it” he offered.

“No, you look under the sink Scabby” she said from the dining room.

“You might as well grab the squeegee while you’re in there.  It’s probably gonna flood.  Again.”  He rubbed his scabbed knees, squatted with a groan, opened the cabinet, and reached toward the pipes.

Teresa reentered the kitchen with a coffee pot full of water.  “You’re not serious.  Do you need a bucket?”

Tim stood up.  “Nah.  I don’t think so.  I need a dermatologist.  This house is trying to kill me.  And I used to have such pretty skin.  Well, prom is ruined!”

She walked to the coffee maker and poured the water.  “What’s the matter with it this time?”

“I have no idea.  I’ll call Robin” he said.

“Just great.”  Teresa slammed the lid to the coffee maker.  “I really wanted to get tile for the bathroom this month.”

Tim changed the subject.  “I had a dream about you this morning.”

“Did it involve new tile?”

“You know it Babe.”  Tim stood behind Teresa at the counter and put his hands on her shoulders.

“The pretty white ones with the raindrop pattern?” she asked.

“And the light blue trim.  Are we calling that a raindrop?  Really more lantern-shaped isn’t it?  I was . . . laying it down for you” he said.

Then it happened.  Teresa smiled.  She was turned away, and he couldn’t see it.  He didn’t have to.  He looked at the clock – 7:13.  Two minutes later than yesterday.

– Anita, Noted in Nashville


One thought on “The “Ss” Words

  1. Pingback: Homemade Chicken Broth | noted in nashville

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