A Peanut Butter Sandwich Story

So you think it’s easy making a peanut butter sandwich? Think again. The other night Dagwood couldn’t sleep. It was around midnight. He knows the time because he checked the clock beside his bed. He turned to see his wife, Helen, slightly snoring next to him.

Lying in bed under the sheets, he realized he was hungry for a snack. He thought about what would relieve that desire. Finally enough was enough and his  feet touched the floor. He pulled his slippers onto his feet. Felt good. He headed for the door.

Wham! Caught the small toe of his left foot on a chair and almost let out one yell of a yell as he jumped around on his right foot. Man, that hurt. Looked back at the bed. He saw the dark shadow of his wife, still asleep. Thank God she was a sound sleeper. She’d had such a hard day at work and another long one was coming up the next day. She needed her sleep.

He hopped into the hall and finally set his left foot down onto the carpet. Better be more careful, he thought. He walked slowly toward the kitchen, letting his toes do the thinking for him as they felt their way down the hall. He stepped into the kitchen and pulled the door closed behind him. Turned on the light and walked over to the cupboard.

Yep, a peanut butter sandwich, maybe two, sure would taste good. He opened the cupboard and there was an unopened loaf of bread. Whole wheat, just like he liked. But where was the peanut butter?

He checked the cabinet above the bread. Not there. Where was it? The more he searched the greater his craving. He would have even settled for crunchy, not his favorite. He was like an alcoholic after a bottle, looking for that peanut butter. Looked in the bottom cabinet. Nope. Checked behind the pasta, the salt, the rice, the maple syrup, the seasonings. Helen had let them run out of Peter Pan Creamy.

There was one last hope. He went over to the refrigerator, its friendly invitation calling out to him, “C’mon in, the food’s fine.” He searched and he searched but no peanut butter. He pushed the refrigerator door closed with a finality.

He had to have that peanut butter sandwich. He just had to have it. There was only one thing to do. He turned off the kitchen light and sneaked back into the bedroom. He pulled a pair of jeans out of the closet and put them on, trying to be as quiet as he could. Helen slept deeply on the bed. He slipped on his sneakers, left the bedroom, went out the front door.

The Seven-Eleven was only two blocks away. He was there in no time. In and out, and he was on his way back home, the Peter Pan Creamy snug in its plastic bag on the passenger seat. Pulled into the driveway and got out of the car, grabbing the bag with the p.b. in it. He walked toward the front door of his house with purpose. He put the key in the lock and turned it and opened the door.

That’s when it hit me. The bullet.

Next thing he knew he woke up in the hospital and heard a sobbing near his bed. It was Helen. She looked up at him and her face turned into the biggest smile.

“Thank, God,” she said, leaning over to kiss him.

“What happened?”

“I shot you,” she said. “I woke up and you were gone. Where were you anyway?”

He choked out the words, “I went to the store.”

“Then I heard a sound. Somebody was trying to break into the house. I grabbed the gun from the closet and tippy-toed into the living room. I saw him go out the front door. Evidently I scared him. I must’ve waited in the dark for five, ten minutes. Heard the door knob turn and I was so afraid…..I…I…I thought it was him coming back….So I pulled the trigger and shot. It was you I hit. I told you we shouldn’t have a gun in the house. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay.” he said, realizing his craving for peanut butter was gone.

Near 500 words: TW and His Friend

Episode #25 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) left Christine Baxter’s office late. He looked at his watch. It said 6 p.m. As he got into his car, he realized that he was starving. When had that happened?

The time he had spent in Dr. Baxter’s office had passed way too fast. As they discussed the postcard and what it revealed, the two of them came to the conclusion that they had to get together the next day in the library to continue their research. Where it would lead neither knew. But they knew it would lead somewhere unbelievable. They were on the edge of a major discovery. All because of a postcard.

There was a steak in the freezer. He’d thaw it out and throw it on the grill. This was the first time he’d wanted to eat since Cat died. What had she gotten herself into and what had happened to the postcards?

He veered to the right, barely missing a pedestrian. Get your mind on your driving. You can think about Cat and the postcards and Dr. Baxter’s information after you get home, he told himself.

He turned into his street and saw Buddy’s car parked in his driveway. Good. He would have a chance to discuss the recent events with Buddy. He pulled over and parked on the side of the road because there was no room in the driveway behind Buddy’s car.

Then he saw the body. It was Buddy.

He jumped out of his car and ran over to see Buddy lying on the grass. Buddy was shaking his head.

TW kneeled down to see if Buddy was okay.

“Give me a hand,” Buddy said.

As TW lifted Buddy off the grass, he asked, “What happened?”

“Damned if I know.”

TW waited till Buddy cleared his head, then he helped his friend inside. Buddy sat down on one of the dining room chairs. TW went into the kitchen and poured water onto a washcloth and took a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.

Sitting across from Buddy at the table, he listened as his friend gave him the story. “I had some papers to give you. They’re from Dr. Hollings. As I got out of my car, I saw two men leaving your house. I dialed 9-1-1. When the dispatcher picked up, one of the s.o.b.s slugged me. Where’s my phone anyway?”

“I’ll get it.”

A minute or so later, TW laid the pieces of Buddy’s phone onto the table.

“Shit,” Buddy said. “I just got that phone too.”

“Why don’t I take you to the hospital, then I can call the cops.”

“Guess that’s best. I sure have one hell of a headache.”

A half hour later, TW was talking to the doctor. “Is he going to be all right?”

“I think so. But it’s best he stay overnight, and we do some x-rays in the morning.”

“Can I see him?”

TW walked into Buddy’s room. “You’re going to be alright. I just saw the nurse who’ll be taking care of you. Maybe I could get hit over the head and she’d take care of me.”

“You’re not going to steal–Damn this head.”

Buddy’s chin dropped to his chest.

TW rushed out into the hall, yelling, “Nurse, nurse. Someone.”