The Cookie Company by Melissa McEwen

Before Scotty got laid off, he used to give Cookie money every day –leaving a couple of bills on the dresser before he left for work. She used to have to ask him for it; she’d say, “Scotty, gimme twenty dollars,” and he’d ask her what she wants it for. She’d say, in her head, “None of your god damn business,” but out loud she’d say, “Just need to pick up a few things.” And Scotty would mumble something about never being able to save, while reaching down in his back pocket for his wallet. Soon it got to a point where she didn’t even have to ask; she’d just put out her hand like a cashier.

“I gotta hand over my money to the ‘lectric comp’ny, the phone comp’ny, the oil comp’ny, the Cookie comp’ny,” he’d say, half-laughing at his own half-joke. But Cookie would suck her teeth and say, “I don’t find nothing funny. Now gimme my money.” And he did.

She never bought things for the house (light bulbs or toilet paper or orange juice) like Scotty told her to. Instead she’d come back with “women soap,” stockings, and pound cake. But she can’t do that anymore since Scotty’s been laid off.

“All he does is lay up in bed plucking my nerves,” Cookie told her friend on the phone one day before hanging up and going upstairs to ask Scotty for a couple of ones to buy lottery tickets.

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16 Comments

Filed under Melissa McEwen

16 responses to “The Cookie Company by Melissa McEwen

  1. “All he does is lay up in bed plucking my nerves,” — Love that line. Things do change, don’t they, with income changes.

  2. Melissa

    Thanks Susan!

  3. Michael

    Yep, another example of good, strong woman narrator with her own mind. (Please read my comment on Michelle’s because I speak about this there.) I loved the light-heartedness in this piece, and especially the twist of the couple’s fate at the end. Your ending made me smile and chuckle. Your an excellent story-teller; it feels so natural, as if you were telling me about your day. But this piece, in another aspect, is poignant because it deals with the reality of our times — the lack of jobs in this struggling economy — and the stress that puts on relationships and the ability to enjoy basic needs and secret and innocent pleasures, such as buying pound cake. Great story, Melissa.

    • Melissa

      Thanks Michael. I always enjoy your comments. You have such good insight and I love the way you break the story down. I always look forward to your comments.

  4. Kim Hutchinson

    Love this voice and this relationship. Both ring very true and touch my heart. Well done.

  5. love it. loved the title, too.

  6. Good pure and honest writing. Love the voice, the character. Peace…

  7. Kelly

    I believe these people, I believe the way things have come to pass between them. well done! the line that Susan mentioned – yes, because it hints at all the things they don’t, or don’t want to, know about themselves or each other.

  8. Great title and details and voice drew me right into the piece. The last line really hit home for me. Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Week #40 – The money’s gone | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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