The World’s Worst Stores # 1: The Egg and Arnold

Sometimes I like to take weird pictures from the internet, then make up a story (in a half an hour or less). Now I can share these unpolished gems with the world.


The Egg and Arnold

It takes a lot of faith and determnation to hold your head up high when everyone else in the trailer park calls you “Hey! Doodlebrain! to your face or “that Philburn woman” or “ole crookedy head” or worse when they think you can’t hear. But Phylis has learned to ignore them. She has a dream in her heart and is going to hold onto it. She doesn’t discuss the dream with anyone because she doesn’t have many people to talk to.

There’s Tammy on the same shift as her on the Shop ‘n Pour convenience store slash gas station that she works at. But in their short breaks Tammy’s usually too busy screaming on the phone with her mother about her three kids or screaming at Larry, the father of kids one and three. She’s usually warning him not to mess up this job this time because being a letter carrier is a whole lot better than anyone in town ever figured he could get. He’s never been more stable but Tammy is just as sure as lighting striking a tall tree that he’s going to do something stupid and get himself fired.

The few times they have spoken the conversation quickly turned into a rambling monologue of the Universe vs Tammy and Phylis just tunes her out anymore. The few times she tried to make it a conversation didn’t really work out. Once Phylis asked about the father of Otis, child number two but Tammy started crying and ran into the bathroom for 35 minutes and Phylis had to handle the morning breakfast rush herself.

Phylis doesn’t have much family in town. There’s her mother but she knows better to tell her anything and actively blocks out all thought of her the second she pops up in her mind, trying to think of catchy songs that stay in her head to drive her mother away but then the song makes her think of her mother and that’s one more small pleasure off the list.  She hasn’t spoken to her mother in seven months and is not looking forward to breaking that silence.

Her daughter Eileen has reached the teenage stage and does her best to pretend Phylis doesn’t exist and Phylis can’t remember the last time she saw her without those damned earplugs.

Earl? She could almost imagine talking about it with her ex-husband Earl, but he’s back to living with his mother the last she heard. She’s not mad at him anymore and when she heard he waas back at his mother’s she felt sorry for him more than anything. But pity wasn’t a good foundation for a talk with an ex, especially about as important as her dream.

She supposed she could talk to the dog groomer she really can’t afford but can’t give up on. Arnold, her dog, has so little going on, no doggie friends, and he seems to genuinely like the groomer and he’s friendly enough to Phylis. But she doesn’t want to get to talking and end up with a bigger bill. She could almost tell Arnold, but he’s a dog and that would feel too much like a replay of the situation with her and Tammy and so she limits her talks with Arnold to ‘good boy’ and ‘who’s hungry’ and ‘don’t you even think about eating that!’

With all that Phylis is left alone with her dream. And that’s that the dragon egg will hatch soon. She knows people say it’s just a big zucchini that happened to grow under a corner of her tailer. But Phylis knows better. It’s a dragon egg and one day will hatch just like it did in her dream. So now she takes care of it until it’s ready to hatch and the dragon will be hers and when it gets big enough it’ll fly away with her on its back. She hopes the dragon will like Arnold too and so she tries to get Arnold to spend time with it, but he doesn’t seem that interested. If push comes to shove, she thinks she can leave Arnold with Earl. He’d take care of him even if his mother says she’s allergic. She’ll figure out something. She loves Arnold but there is no way she’s going to choose a dog over the opportunity to have a personal dragon.

She once saw on the TV how it took a big fire to hatch dragon eggs and so she’s starting to wonder if the cooking grill in the closet would be enough or if she would have to set the whole trailer on fire. She’d rather not, so she thinks if it ever comes to it she’d said the Shop ‘n Pour on fire instead. All that gas underground it would bound to make a big enough fire to hatch the egg. It’s a drastic step but she can’t wait around forever. She may have all the faith she needs, but she doesn’t have the time, or patience, to wait around forever.

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