Fiction · Scene

Unlucky Stan

Stan stairs at the basement door, in horror. Through the door, the weak steps plunged deep into darkness. Stan flicks the flashlight to reveal a pool of floating slippers, clear containers containing various arts and crafts from Emily’s childhood, and a couple of unpaired socks floating in dark filthy water. Barbra must have left the washing machine overflow again.  Stan knows what will happen if Barbra comes back and see the ocean developing in the basement. This fight seems worth avoiding even though it is her fault. Not going to tell her that.

Without his floaty, Stan ventures into the sea of forgotten. Empty Gain containers and fabric softeners floated across the current Stan was creating. Flashlight reveals the drowning aging sweatpants and old pair of tennis shoes being weighed down by a dung bell. More unpaired socks floating past Stan looking for their long lost love. Cotton fuzzes turning into dark clouds lost, without an exit. Family albums Barbra’s mother had given her last Christmas. The albums are filled with family members like her cousin Margaret, uncle Gregory, and great grandfather Tyler the Navy Seal. Stan remembers Tyler’s picture in full attire receiving a medal of honor from the Vietnam war. A bicycle with a frail basket and a flock of pink ribbons that Emily use to ride up and down the street when she was little. Emily use to take the bike to her friend, Tiffany, house down the block for sleep overs.

The water, up to Stan’s naval, and Stan is six feet high. The washing machine, spewing water, was indeed left open and continuously over flowing. Stan, subconsciously, searches and found the overhead electrical outlet far above the forming basement pond. Reaching for the knobs without moving underneath the water is unsuccessful. Twisting the knobs had no effect on the water and soon the entire basement will be submerged.  Stan takes a deep breath and plunges under the water. Flashlight leading the way, looking for an alternate way to end this flushing nightmare. The Dyson is still under warranty and would need to be taken in, that’s for sure. Everything seemed to be plugged in, Stan wouldn’t know if something was in the wrong spot. Stan began adjusting the washing machine hose, loosening, and removing. The hole is small, but Stan figures something might be caught in the hole and be the reason the machine isn’t jumping to the next cycle. Stan burrows the top and takes another deep breath and heads back down. Placing his hand into the hole, the sensation of oil taking hold of his hand made Stan feel uneasy and pushed his arm in deep enough to cover his forearm. Stan notices the sudden shake in the washing machine. Spin cycle? Excited Stan jerked his arm out. The second attempt proved even less successful. Panic over takes and began flopping around like a circus gold fish. Air bubbles escape Stan a few at a time. His arm was stuck. Stan looks around, looking for anything that could help him escape. Nothing but the family album staring back at him. Stan felt heavy, cold, and alone. I wish I was you Seal. 


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