Snapshots from Eldredge

The life and writings of TJ Alexian

Soaked.

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old lady

“You aren’t REALLY going to put that bowl in the sink with all that milk left, are you?”

I stopped my forward movement to the kitchen and glanced down at my ceral bowl. Then over at Corb, sitting on his favorite green cushiony chair in the living room.

Hmmm. Did I plan to place my cereal bowl into the sink? Yes, in fact, I was. All the cereally goodness had been removed and what was left were a few random soggy flakes, along with milk that had gone through the cereal cycle. Hell no, I had no intention of finishing off the rest of THAT.

“Would it be a problem if I did?”

Corb made his most stern, serious face. “Yes. I know how much milk you have left in that bowl. That’s a total waste. You get right back here and drink down that milk.”

Well, that’s nothing short of amazing. “How do you know how much milk is left in this bowl?”

“I saw how much milk you wasted yesterday.”

What? How could…? And then, in a second, it dawned on me. A memory from childhood. I turned to Corb, a look of horror on my face.

“You’re turning into my Nana Hall!”

It’s true. She was on old cranky Yankee, her descendants came over on the Mayflower. Her great-grandfather was a Fairbanks. A Fairbanks, dammit! She detested waste, in any shape and form. And one of the things I vividly remember her freaking out about: cereal bowls and milk.

I’ll never forget that day. I was six years old. It was a total Mommie Dearest moment. She was looking after me at my parent’s Brady-style raised ranch. As I left the kitchen table in my mini midnight blue velour leisure suit (that’s what all kids wore in the early seventies, you see), I could hear a voice behind me say,

“You’re not done with those Cheerios yet, Teddy.”

What? I turned around. She stood there with a very very stern look on her face, arms crossed.

I glanced down at the bowl. “But the Cheerios are all soggy, Nana.”

“WE DO NOT WASTE FOOD LIKE THAT!” she snapped. “YOU WILL SIT THERE AND FINISH YOUR CEREAL OR I WILL SAVE IT AND YOU WILL EAT IT FOR LUNCH!”

(At least, in my mind she said it that way. All in caps, that is.)

Well, we struggled for hours over that. At lunchtime, sure enough, that offensive bowl of Cheerio crud was sitting there at my lunch plate. I couldn’t wait for my parents to get home that night.

And now, after all these years, she’s back again. Corb has become my Nana Hall. A ghost of Christmas past, exhorting me to drink my cereal milk. A specter from all those years ago.

And that’s when I snapped, your honor. He brought back memories of a childhood trauma and I had no choice but to kill him, don’t you see? Oh, I know some people will tell me I may have gone a little overboard. That the punishment didn’t fit the crime/ But it was either that or be forced to drink that god-damn sloggy bowl of cereal! And after all these years, I couldn’t let my Nana Hall win. IT WAS EITHER HIM OR ME!

Transcript ends at this point. We hope Ted is quite content in the asylum for the criminal insane he has been taken to. Details on the funeral arrangements for Corb, his beloved but cereal-soaked partner, will be announced forthwith.

Author: TJ Alexian

T.J. Alexian lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts in a renovated green Victorian, along with seven ghosts and his long-time (and long-suffering) partner. He also has three kids and one spiritual kid, and their stories and their spirit form the heart and soul of his novel, Pictures of You. A profiled author in the Writer's Digest book Writer with a Day Job and an award-winning communications specialist, Pictures of You is Alexian's first novel, although he has two more being prepared for distribution: The Late Night Show and Confessions of a Diva Rotundo. Pictures of You is a young adult thriller that combines Alexian's love for social media with the macabre. A ghost story for the dispossessed, the novel tells the story of a young girl haunted by events in her past that never seem to die. But more than that, the novel is about being heard, about giving voice to voices that don't fit the norm. Some that lack the courage...and some, that hide in the shadows.

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