Negative Relection by John Kujawski

February 13, 2012 Comments Off on Negative Relection by John Kujawski

I knew Sheila was trouble even before she started wearing the mask. I think things were pretty much doomed by our third date. I was driving us around that night, and we were headed to dinner. I started to get tired of talking, so I turned on the radio, and then before I knew it, an old song by The Motels came on. Sheila blurted out right away that she loved the song and made me turn the volume up. I wished I could have turned it off.

I didn’t care for the fact that she loved The Motels. I figured I was the only one around that liked them, and I was happy with leaving it at that. It was hard to be totally annoyed though because Sheila looked so pretty in her green dress, and she was the kind of redhead that I always loved.

I had a hard time loving her in weeks to come, though. She would order the same thing I did every time we’d go out to eat. The other problem was that she seemed to have gotten rid of her green dress in favor of a black one. I suppose she wanted us to match because I always wore black, but I just did that because I didn’t know what else to wear.

Sheila understood fashion and was very visual. Mostly, she did artwork, and I was relieved when she decided to spend one weekend just working on a project while I went off and found a few music stores I had never been to. The problem was, I didn’t like what Sheila created over the two day period.

The damn thing bothered me the minute I saw it.  She’d made a papier-mâché mask of my face. I hated it. I didn’t even like it the first time she showed me it in her apartment. The damn thing sure looked like me and it was horrible when she put it on and started laughing. I just stood there looking at her with her black dress and the mask and the poster of The Motels she had on her wall behind her.

Imitation may be a form of flattery. My friends kept saying I didn’t get the joke. They also said if she took the mask off, she was a pretty girl and that I should just get used to it. That was impossible though because things got weirder and weirder with her.

The strangest outing we had was when I tried taking her to see a movie and she insisted on wearing the mask in the car. I was so upset that I couldn’t stand it. Plus, every time I looked at her, she’d just start cracking up.

I wasn’t laughing the next day when I heard a knock at the door. I had a package delivery, a gift from Sheila I just wanted to break. It was a giant mirror for my apartment.

© 2011 John Kujawski

John has interests that range from guitars to the Incredible Hulk. You can find some of his other stories on websites such as Flashes in the Dark and The Fringe Magazine. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and still lives there to this day. You can hear him on the weekly podcast at www.comicbookshowdown.com

Burned by John Kujawski

November 24, 2011 Comments Off on Burned by John Kujawski

I have always been afraid of fire. I’ve never once enjoyed lighting matches or playing with sparklers. I always feared that I’d end up being burned. Plus, I’m a guy who had a short fuse growing up and the last thing I needed was something in my hand that could do damage.

In my first year of college, I met a girl who did plenty of damage. Her name was Donna and she was truly a bad girl. She had a love for vandalism and vicious pranks but mostly she just loved fire. Donna told me she was a pyromaniac.

Donna tried everything to help me with my fear. Once, she took me to a field to shoot fireworks. Another time, she convinced me to burn some newspapers in a back alley. Eventually, she’d have me light candles in her dorm room before we’d make out.

Donna was a fiery redhead and she always wore black. She stood out in the crowd. Still, I had my eye on a blonde girl.

Her name was Melissa. She mostly wore a lot of flower dresses with sandals and people said she was boring but she seemed to be a true beauty. I could have sworn one day that she had smiled at me when I was on my way to class. I should have said something but I hesitated. I don’t think I was afraid of Melissa, though. She just made me want to melt.

Donna made all sorts of things melt. She burned everything she could. She took me to some fenced in area on campus one night and lit sparklers with me. As I played with the colorful sticks I could have sworn I saw Melissa walking not too far from where we were. I wondered what it would be like to be on her side of the fence. Melissa was truly a hot woman. She didn’t seem so boring to me.

Not long after that, Donna had plans for excitement. She drove us into the woods late at night to where a small log cabin had been built. I wasn’t familiar with that part of Missouri and we were pretty far from campus. The cabin was off by itself and Donna parked right in front of it. She had an idea that would truly free me from my fears.

I must admit, my memories of that night are more like quick flashes than anything else because what we did was insane. Donna brought the gasoline and I lit the matches and together we torched the cabin. The site of the smoke and flames was a like a strange dream but the real nightmare actually came at school the next night.

I was leaning against the cafeteria building playing with a cigarette lighter. I actually set a piece of paper on fire and watched it turn to ash when Melissa walked by. She didn’t smile, this time. I could tell by her eyes that she seemed terrified.

© 2011 John Kujawski

John has interests that range from guitars to the Incredible Hulk. You can find some of his other stories on websites such as Flashes in the Dark and The Fringe Magazine. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and still lives there to this day. You can hear him on the weekly podcast at www.comicbookshowdown.com

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