“I’m dying,” Jefferson said. “It’s something new. They don’t even have a name for it yet. But it’s killing me.”
His mother said, “The dishwasher needs to be cleaned.” She stuck her head into the washer and clicked her tongue in disapproval.
“Mom, I’m going to die. I have maybe a month to live. Maybe.”
Jefferson’s father banged his cane on the hardwood floor a couple times. That was his signal to keep quiet. He was sitting on his favourite leather recliner with a blanket over his lap and the dog on the blanket.
“Did you hear me, Dad?” Jefferson asked from the kitchen.
His father turned the volume up on the TV. Connor McDavid just scored a goal.
“At least I met a good woman,” said Jefferson. “She’s beautiful. A model, actually. Her name is–it’s Cora. Like the restaurant.” Cora’s restaurant was his mother’s favourite breakfast place.
“Honey, turn the TV town,” said Jefferson’s mother, head still inside the dishwasher. Jefferson’s father thumbed the volume down a couple ticks.
Jefferson found the dog’s ball. He squeezed it a couple times, making it squeak shrilly.
“Come here, Rufus,” he said. “Come on, boy. Come say hi. I’ve got a treat for you. I’ve got bacon. I’ve got steak. Here, boy.”
Rufus’s ears twitched up, but he stayed put. Jefferson’s dad stroked him.
“Does nobody care that I’m dying?” Jefferson asked, dropping the ball to the kitchen floor. Rufus rolled onto his back so Jefferson’s dad could rub his belly.
“I’ll need to pick up some cleaning equipment,” said Jefferson’s mom. “It just smells in there.”
“The dishwasher washes itself every day, Megan,” said his dad. “You don’t need to clean it.”
Jefferson sighed and left the house. His mom and dad didn’t notice. He was being punished. A thousand years ago, he would have been gobbled up by a wolf. But now, he was gobbled up by apathy. The world was his wolf. It didn’t care when he cried.
Today’s three prompts were, “An incurable disease with no name,” “Utterly ignored,” and, “A compulsive liar.”
Don’t tell lies, kids.