1KDay – Mattress Falling


Did 809 for the serial series, definitely a first draft on that, as I’m writing it, the plot I want to write is coming out. Will have to redo that.

But today… Golden Buddha writing challenge. The first line in the story is preset and you take it from there. Think this one would be good to develop into audio short story. Lots of dialogue and back and forth. Talon the main character is turning into my favorite ‘everyman’, lost artist wanderer who has more musical talent than I ever will.

I just learned how to play the stereo last week.

Basically I had to explain how a small town came to be in that situation. There’s a lot more here, can definitely smell the influences of King with the weird little small towns.

Tomorrow, I will try and get strictly plotting for the serial series.

***

They had been waiting, umbrellas up, for the falling mattresses.

Talon had seen some truly bizarre sights in his time, but this scored an 11 on the weird-ometer. The entire town had come out into the fresh cold air left behind from the vicious storm. He thought it was the equivalent of taking the town through a refreshing ice cold shower. People smiled looking up at the sky, pointing here and there, laughing. Others laughed and wept openly in joy.

It was a hairy three days previous. A series of storms were pacing him ever pushing him further west. They finally caught up with him in the small town of Clover. Nothing much to the town, the only saving grace was that it had the largest mattress manufacturer in the Mid-west, and apparently the cartoonist who designed fast food icons got married here. Usually places like this didn’t like strangers or drifters. Talon assured him that he wasn’t strange, just his life was. The local bar needed an extra hand, just enough to put food in his stomach, roof over his head, and during the silent tense time huddled downstairs with other patrons, he found a grateful audience. Somehow his guitar managed to pierce through the rumbling and whistling sounds that shook the building above them.

There was cheering as well, and countdowns as each of the mattresses sproinged, bounced, thwapped and impacted into cars, buildings and in one case toppling over a tree.

Talon decided that they were all insane, and moved back into the doorway just as a king size mattress bounced off the pavement four feet away from where he once stood.

“Okay, they’ve all gone nuts.”

“No buddy, they haven’t. What you hear, is freedom.” Frank the bartender spoke as he grinned at the sight. “You don’t know their stories is all. Each and every one of them, this whole town, has been hooked into that factory for generations now.”

Talon looked again outside, “I don’t get it, that’s the main source of money coming into the town-”

“Nevermind that, there, take a look at Harry. Blue ballcap, eye patch? He lost his eye at the factory. Father died of heart attack on the line, grandfather died on the way into the factory, slipped and broke open his skull.”

Talon looked over to the lanky man that slapped his knees and pointed with his own umbrella to the one double sized mattress that arced on slow leaf parabolas into mainstreet and skidded for thirty feet before coming to a perfect stop into a vacant parking spot.

“Glenelda over there, her daughter said no, but the bastards son had other plans. Kid died two years later, overdose, suicide.” The dirty yellow haired woman in the bright red sweater cried out loud, her hands smearing the mascara over her cheeks. Talon was reminded of the mourners of the middle east, a very large white trash version.

“Charlie can finally go get his boyfriend now from Chicago. There was a no-gays rule-”

“Wait, a what?”

“Owner was also the mayor. No homo’s in our pure town. Can’t have any of them, no sir. Bad voters, and child molestors.”

“Wow, bigot, and a racist?”

“Yep, Margarette can finally bring her brothers from Los Angeles. Just barely made it past his evaluation.” Frank drawled then chuckled at the woman as she danced to the sounds around her.

Talon began to understand, there was so much pain held up in this town. All concentrated in that one spot. Every hard working man, woman, and probably child in some circumstances was slaving to that machine. There was a few worried faces, but underneath, nothing but relief. Old resentments were lifted as easily as the factory was turned into billions of toothpicks. But somehow, managed to lift up every single mattress out of the factory and shoot them into the upper atmosphere.

This wasn’t a rain of frogs, it was all shapes and sizes. Kings fell with Queens, while the twins and double foamed corpses bounced putting small dents in the newer cars.

“So where is the owner?”

“Lived out in that factory. Don’t know how, but he was there, day and night. There was no home for him. Just the dollars. He’s fourth generation. Each time the factory was supposed to be moved to the town, last minute the son comes forward and challenges it.”

“Four generations of making mattresses?”

“Yep, and the small amount of hope and cheer happened about a month ago. He sold the factory to another company, took in a tidy bundle, then put himself back in the same spot. There was supposed to be a change of management, but somehow it didn’t take. Rumor had it, he had investigators dig up dirt on the new manager. Must have been something bad, or believable.” Frank took another look outside. “Still raining.”

“Yeah. Should get the taps going, people are going to be thirsty.” Talon moved inside, putting on an apron and got behind the counter.

“You kidding me? They aren’t going to come in with all of this happening. Lookit those people, they will go home after this.”

“But it’s the evening rush.”

“Talon, you really don’t get it. They don’t need any liquid cheer. They are going to go home, to their own beds. They’ll finally get a decent nights sleep.”

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