a bad, bad feeling

Paulie was a small ugly kid with fat red lips and ginger hair and pimples. He lived with his mother in a shabby little house on the wrong side of the tracks. His father had died in an industrial accident soon after Paulie was born. The kids at school didn't like him and teased him a lot. They called him a "poor little mommy boy" because his mother waited outside school every afternoon to walk home with him, or take the bus together if they didn’t feel up to the walk.

Paulie loved his mother, but he also hated her. She was always doing things for him, looking after him. Every year on his birthday she would bake him a cake and give him a birthday present (even though they didn't have a lot of money) and sing "Happy Birthday" to him so that he could forget his troubles at least for one day each year.

But Paulie never remembered his mother's birthday, and she never reminded him. Sometimes he felt really bad about that, guilty, but only for a short while and then the bad feeling would go away.

One day at school, an unusual thing happened. It suddenly came into his head that that day was his mother's birthday. He felt really proud of himself for remembering, and he could hardly wait for school to end so he could hug his mom and wish her happy birthday.

When the bell rang to signal the end of school for the day, Paulie ran out to the bus stop expecting to see his mother. But she wasn't there. He waited a while and then started walking home by himself. "That's OK" he thought to himself, "I'll get home and give her nice surprise a big hug and kiss and sing her happy birthday."

But when he got home he found his mother lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood and vomit. There was a broken whiskey bottle on the floor, and the whole place stank. Paulie was very scared. He didn't know what to do.

"Are you OK mom?" he asked.

"Uururghahhaargh!" she moaned in reply.

Paulie ran out of the house to get some help because they didn't have a phone. He ran into the street and called out to the PostPerson: "Help, help, mommy's sick, I think she's dying!"

But the PostPerson said, "Sorry Paulie, your mom still owes me $100."

Then Paulie saw the PolicePerson walking slowly up and down the pavement. Paulie called out to the Policeperson: "Help, help, mommy's sick, I think she's dying!"

But the Policeperson said, "Sorry Paulie, your Mom's got a hundred unpaid parking fines to her name."

A firetruck was parked on the street outside a house with a small kitten up a tall tree. Paulie called out to the Firepeople: "Help, help, mommy's sick, I think she's dying!"

But a Fireperson said, "Sorry Paulie, if your mother can't stand the heat, she should get out of the kitchen."

Paulie ran back into the house, but his mother was already dead. He followed her into a tunnel of light crying, "Mommy, mommy, don't go, please don't go!"

His Mother turned and smiled wistfully and said, "I'm sorry Paulie, I almost forgot: Happy deathday to me, happy deathday to me, happy deathday dear Mommie, happy deathday to me!"

And then she was gone, and Paulie was all alone in the shabby little house on the wrong side of the tracks.

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

wicked and sick (refresh/home)