Artistic License

October 3, 2009

Conflict

Filed under: Side Stories — Joana @ 2:22 am

Another short story from a prompt, this time a conflict between two people. As always, it centers around Michael and Miranda 😀

My birthday is June 30’th, and of course Miranda’s is too since we’re twins. Our parents had only been divorced for about a month so it seemed that our father was still insistent on seeing us for our birthday even though he had pretty much dropped out of our lives otherwise.

“I don’t want to go out with Dad alone, Michael,” Miranda mumbled as we sat there at the kitchen table, staring at the phone. It had been ringing on and off for the last hour, and each time the Caller ID had been our father’s cell phone. After the divorce, when they split everything down the middle, Dad didn’t get any of us kids, the house, either of the cars, or even a single landline phone. I’d almost say he was jipped, but I can’t say I care.

“Just because Dad is inevitably going to get you whatever you want doesn’t mean you should go,” I said, looking to the side. I could still see my sister out of the corner of my eye, though, and she was frowning.

“Mike, it isn’t about the gifts or whatever,” she said. “He’s our dad.” She whispered that last part, like she was afraid I might do something violent if I could be sure I heard that. I’m not a violent person, though, and she knows it.

Miranda was looking uncomfortable now. She hadn’t bothered braiding her hair today so it just hung loose over her shoulders, and she raised a hand up to brush a piece of it behind her ear. She was staring down at her lap and not saying anything else. My sister was the chattier of us two, so this seemed just kind of weird.

The phone suddenly started ringing for the millionth time since we had been sitting there, but like every other time, Miranda still jumped in surprise. We both stared at it with looks that I’m sure, to anyone that would happen to pass by, made it look like we had strong suspicions that the phone was actually a bomb.

“Michael, if you don’t answer I will,” Miranda said, sounding a lot braver than before. I frowned as it rung twice, three times. And then we both dove for the phone at the same time. Like in some kind of bad comedy, we met in the middle and it slipped out of our hands, flying through the air and landing on the floor, skidding a little before hitting the divider where the tiled kitchen floor changed to the living room rug. The phone stopped ringing, but unlike the numerous other times Dad had called, the answering machine picked up.

“Hello, Michael, Miranda. It’s June 30’th, so I just thought I’d wish you two a happy birthday. I don’t know if you’re actually not home or you’re avoiding me, but either way…” The machine suddenly cut-off at that, probably because he had hung up considering there was plenty of room on the answering machine to leave a longer message.

“I’m hoping this isn’t an indication of how the summer’s going to go,” Miranda said, dusting off her front like she had been in some kind of fight.

“Just… shut up.”

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