Short Story Wednesday: A High School Sophomore’s Book Report on “The Metamorphosis”

Short Story Prompt: “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

I have a report to do on a book by this Franz Kafka guy. It’s called “The Metamorphosis”. But I just can’t focus. My mind’s bouncing off the wall, running hither and thither, and from here to there. Every time I try to concentrate on this story, my mind goes off and does its own thing.

Here this Kafka guy has his main man, waking up and finding himself a stinkbug. I’m thinking what stinkbug worth his salt as a stinkbug would want to wake up as a character in a story like this. None, I’m sure. Not that I know any stinkbugs personally.

Now I have to admit my Uncle Griffin looks like a stinkbug. Smells like one too. When he came over the other day. Mom said he hadn’t bathed in a week. All I know was that he was p.u.-ing all over the place. So she made him take a good long shower. I googled stinkbug in Google Images. Yep, there was Uncle Griff.

Back to the story. Guess this stinkbug guy’s like the Penguin in Batman. It ain’t Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot’s fault he’s got flippers. He just does. Clark Kent doesn’t have normal guy underwear either. You ever see him in his Fruit of the Looms?

I’m thinking maybe Kafka’s stinkbug is not a stinkbug at all. Maybe he is a fellow with the DTs. That would explain his strange behavior. I looked it up and yep, that’s what my uncle has alright. It’s short for something called delirium tremens. Mom’s got Uncle Griff locked in our guest bedroom and he’s calling out for help. Actually he’s not calling, he’s screaming, “Marge, Marge.” That’s my mom’s name. Griff is her younger brother.

I have to say that his screaming sounds pretty good. I been getting into the scream scene myself, grooving to a band called the Screaming Marbles. Uncle Griff could be the lead singer. Come to think of it all five guys in the band look like stinkbugs, so my uncle would fit right in.

Seems all this DT stuff started with something my mom calls “An Intervention”. Mom says it’s where a bunch of people get together and tell a drunk what-for and he’d better get “the cure”. They did that day before yesterday at the house after Uncle Griff’s shower and clean-up. Before they started intervening, they sent me off to the movies. I wanted to see that new X-Men movie but this intervening sounded like a lot more fun. But I did what I was told.

“Your uncle will be staying with us for a while,” my mom said when I got home from the movies. Then she explained, “Your uncle is sick, and we’re going to make him well.”

I smarted off, “You mean he’s a drunk.” My mom slapped my face for saying that like she never slapped my face before. Think it’s ’cause she’s all stressed out about Uncle Griff being an alcoholic. That’s what mom calls his sickness. I ain’t saying he’s a drunk anymore ’cause I don’t want to be slapped no more. But he is. Still a drunk, that is.

Anyway things been getting a little Kafkaesque around my house these days as you can see. One thing I sure hope. That my Uncle Griff don’t croak the way the stinkbug did in that Kafka story. He’s a really nice guy when he ain’t drinking. My favorite time with him was when he taught me how to ride a bicycle. He sure had a lot of patience. Every time I fell on my keister, we laughed. Once I rode my bike a whole block, he ran up side the bike and told me we were getting an ice cream as a reward for all the hard work. So you can see why I hope Uncle Griff don’t die.

By the way, Mrs. Hastings, I hope you don’t ever get them DTs. They ain’t nice.

Next Wednesday’s Short Story Prompt: “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs.

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