Warming by Michael Webb

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I sat on the floor, my back warm from the radiated heat of the stove, and looked at the paper disc that came from the package, with its unreal red meats and creamy, hyperwhite cheese. The smell of it cooking was spreading through the room. My stomach lurched at the thought of eating.

“TOMBSTONE”, it said. “Pepperoni and Cheese”. I stared at the plastic wrap on the floor next to me, torn and wasted and useless. I looked at the paper disk, cheerful with images that suggest communal eating. I should get up and throw it away.

She was gone, and I felt lost. I drifted, going to work, coming home, sleeping, eating out of habit more than anything. I didn’t watch TV, stopped reading, and hardly listened to the radio anymore. Since she left, it hardly seemed worth the effort.

“I can’t live with you,” she had said, 4 weeks ago, her face aflame with fury, throwing her clothes into a large duffel bag. “I can’t stand it, all this negative energy. I’m exhausted from dealing with you. You’re draining me. ” I didn’t disagree with her, letting her leave me alone in the silence.

The oven buzzed, interrupting the moment with the jagged sound of the world going on without me. Tombstone, I thought, gathering and crumpling the trash in my fist – a reminder of who and what used to be.

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8 Comments

Filed under Michael Webb

8 responses to “Warming by Michael Webb

  1. I’d completely forgotten about Tombstone Pizza. LOL

    really like what you’ve done here. Of course, at first I thought she was dead, but think how you handled it is much better.

  2. Two different takes on the theme, the pizza (which I’d also forgotten) and then the girl hadn’t died! Nicely crafted story.

  3. The use of Tombstone here was very effective. I like the way you show his life disintegrating in all the small ways that equal big, since she left. I like how she told him she couldn’t live with his negative (tombstone) energy. Very good story!

  4. Layers of story within this one, and so real how it comes down to the memories, the scents. Nice.

  5. I am so glad someone found a way to include the frozen pizza!

  6. Very clever, and bittersweet. Lots of layers here, and I don’t just mean cheese. Peace…

  7. So, now I know there’s a brand of pizza in the States called ‘Tombstone’. Funny. Sad story, though, but I like the resignation.

  8. Pingback: Week #24 – Tombstones « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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