This flash piece was written for, wait for it, both the Daily Prompt:Blogger of Repute and Zero to Hero. Please note there is a spattering of cusswords so if that’s not your thing this post is not for you. Enjoy!
Not An Italian Leather Sofa
Reputation defined by Merriam Webster: the common opinion that people have about someone or something: the way in which people think of someone or something.
The smell of Kona coffee brewing at 6am was intoxicating. Joel was standing in the kitchen swaying back and forth to the scent in nothing but his red boxer briefs. In his mind he was standing on the beach in Maui with Sara watching the sunset, the sound of waves lapping and palms swaying in the breeze.
Tomas, Sara’s grey Bengal, stalked into the kitchen. He surveyed his food bowl on the windowsill and realized Joel had forgotten his breakfast. He silently jumped off the windowsill, pawed his way up to Joel, and swatted his ankles hard.
“Ouch!” Joel exclaimed, looking down to see pinpricks of blood. Cussing his wife’s cat he walked into the bathroom to rummage for a band aid. The only ones he could find were Disney. Joel sighed as he placed Tinker Bell gingerly over his wounds. Suddenly he heard a loud splintering.
Walking back into the kitchen Joel saw a shattered pot of coffee on his white tile. Tomas was sitting on the counter, neatly swinging his tail back and forth in the direction of a white coffee cup. Joel placed his hands on his hips and surveyed the kitchen. Something out the window caught his eye.
“What on earth?” Joel muttered.
Completely forgetting about the cat and the coffee he went out the side door. This confirmed his suspicions. In the middle of his front lawn was a sofa. And not just any sofa, a very large, very orange sofa. A sofa that had bowling balls for feet, Ionic columns for arms, glass slabs for armrests, and was upholstered in a combination of orange shag and orange leather cow print.
Just then Joel’s neighbor Tom poked his head over the spikes of the porcupine topiary he was trimming. “Redecorating?” He pointed his shears in the direction of the sofa.
“Not that I know of.” Joel replied. “Did you see it delivered?”
“Yeah. Some gentlemen from Shipley’s Fine Furniture dropped it off about ten last night. I thought it odd they were delivering that late.” Tom replied.
“Damn it! I bet it’s Sara’s mother’s idea.” Joel sighed and rubbed his head mushing his hair in the process.
“Yes. She doesn’t like the dove grey I choose for the living room. Or the minimalist white sofas that Sara picked out. Or the fact that we didn’t buy them at Shipley’s. I mean does she really think we’ll fill our home with the outrageous tacky shit they sell. Fine Furniture my ass.” Joel let out a deep breath as he finished.
“Oh.” Tom stared at Joel for a moment the shears held in midair. “Why would Sara’s mother care if you shop at Shipley’s?”
“Because Sara was Sara Shipley.” Joel replied.
“Oh I didn’t realize. So that’s why you can afford this area.” Tom looked Joel up and down, taking in the red boxer breifs, the Tinker Bell band aid, the muffled hair, and Joel’s naked hairy beer belly.
“No. You know that you have to provide proof of income to the HOA when you move in here and that I’m a lawyer. Come to think of it I always wondered why they let you carry on with your bushes the way you do.” Joel retorted and threw a menacing look at the swan Tom had finished shaping the other night.
Just then Sara came outside, wrapping her gray nightgown around her small waist. “What is going on?” she asked staring from the sofa to Tom to Joel.
“Apparently your mother left us a present about ten last night. And Tom here not only saw the men delivering it, and not only failed to tell us, he also thinksan HOA approved lawyer isn’t good enough for this neighborhood. Do you know why the HOA lets him trim those bushes into animals?” Joel was talking loudly enough for Tom to hear him behind the hedgehog topiary where he had retreated.
“Do you know that when I was five mother carpeted the kitchen floor in brown and green shag to match the vegetables.” Sara stated calmly. “And darling you are outside in nothing but red boxer briefs, a Tinker Bell band aid and your hair is muffled. I mean really if I wasn’t married to you I would think you were bringing down property values too.”
“Also why is there a broken pot of coffee in the kitchen and way wasn’t Tomas fed this morning?” Sara added, tossing her blonde curls.
“That damn cat hates me. Did you see what he did to my ankle?” Joel did an awkward twist so that Sara could see the back of his ankle, during which she also got a good view up his red boxer breifs. “Not to mention that was the last of the Kona from Peter.”
“Tomas does not hate you. If I were a cat and you didn’t feed me breakfast I would break your coffee pot too.” Sara glared at Joel and flounced backed into the kitchen.
Joel regarded the sofa again. “Tom do you think you might be able to come over later and help me move this to the dump?”
“Sure Joel.” Tom said, poking his head above the lion topiary he was snipping leaves off. “And look I’m sorry about what I said. I mean if I saw that on my lawn I would walk out of the house in my boxers too. It’s hideous.” Tom shivered.
“Yeah well I’m sorry too. It’s just Sara she gets under my skin, you know. Makes it out that I’m the bad guy here. I mean I am not responsible for the coffee pot, or the sofa, or the fact that the only band aid in the house was a Tinker Bell one, or the fact that somebody only buys not white boxers.”
“I know what you mean” Tom nodded, nimbly snipping the lion’s mane. “Laura doesn’t like me being in the house at all, says I just make everything too neat, says it gives her panic attacks. Why do you think I spend all my time with my topiaries?”
Joel and Tom’s eyes meet briefly and equally briefly they looked away. “You want to set this up in Peter’s basement and use it for game nights? Wouldn’t matter if we spilled beer on it.”
“Yeah that sounds like a good plan” Tom replied.
“You did a good job with that mane Tom. I’ll go call Peter.” Joel walked back into the kitchen adjusting his red boxer briefs as he did so.
Just then Tomas stalked into the front yard. He promptly sat on the orange cow print leather, dug his claws in and began to knead it wildly.
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