A Story by Julia

Penelope has a secret.


Penelope: Your cookies? I don’t know what happened to your cookies, I think Jason might have taken them…you know, Jason always steals things. I think it’s right to talk about people behind their backs, you know I really don’t, but I feel like you need to know what’s going on. He’s a great kid, but someone needs to speak to him about his inconsiderate behavior. I think it has to do with that mother of his. She’s a lovely woman, but she’s working so much these days that I don’t think she has enough time to spend with her children. And you know her affair with the pool boy has got to be taking a toll on her home life, I’m sure that her kids have noticed. They’re such smart kids, it really is a shame. I heard that her other son, Seth, just got accepted in to the University of Phoenix! What a smart boy. I’m sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, right, Jason. Last week, he stole all of his coworker’s staplers out of their cubicles. Just took them all. He didn’t take them home, but he put them all in a pile on George’s desk. He thinks that just because he works the night shift alone he can frame poor George for his own shenanigans! George is still getting dirty looks at work, and I don’t blame them. If I thought George had stolen my stapler, I would be angry too! I have to use staplers all the time in my line of work. But then again, I don’t know how much you really need a stapler in his line of work. Those IT guys, they don’t often use physical paper anymore, do they? Too old-school for those computer guys, I suppose. Personally, I like physical paper, it just seems more real to me. But then I have to use a stapler more often. I guess I could just use a paperclip, but they don’t hold things together quite as well and it doesn’t change the principal of the matter which is that you shouldn’t take people’s things. That’s why everyone’s mad at George when they should be mad at Jason. With the way things are going these days, you can’t afford to mess around at work so much. People are getting fired left and right, and this is just the sort of thing that people are getting fired for. And in this economy? It would be a nightmare to try to get a new job, especially if you’re already labeled as a stapler-thief. I don’t think Jason takes this sort of into consideration when he pulls these kinds of things. With his track record, he wouldn’t get fired--he’s a fantastic worker, he really is. But George? The poor man’s work performance has been struggling lately. I think it’s because he’s still grieving. His pet bird Tilly flew away last month. I feel bad for him, I really do, but you know you can’t really blame the bird. I would fly away, too, if I was forced to live in that house. Not to say anything bad about George, of course, because you know I really don’t like to gossip, but that house of his is a real pigsty. That poor bird probably couldn’t stand the smell anymore! And really, if you have a pet bird, you shouldn’t leave the window open. Not to say it’s George’s fault his bird left, I’m just throwing this out there--what? Oh right, your cookies. You know, it’s a real shame that they’re gone, I should see if my aunt Rosemary can make you some more. She’s a fantastic baker, even after she lost her thumb in that accident. Did you hear? Her husband Will got her these great new knifes for Christmas, which is kind of an odd gift but I guess it makes sense if your wife cooks a lot. Still, knifes? Not the most romantic present if you ask me. I guess it’s better than that awful coupon book he got her last year. They weren’t even real coupons! They were those stupid, “this gets you one hug from Will” kind. Because suddenly she now needs an official coupon to hug her own husband. I would absolutely kill my husband if he gave me that for Christmas. How inconsiderate. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, Rosemary’s accident. So she got these knives for Christmas, and they were the really good kind, too. They were those ones from the late-night infomercials, remember? They can cut though cans like a tomato? I don’t know why you would need to cut a can, but I don’t think that was the point…anyway, she’s cutting up carrots for Christmas dinner and she looks away for one second and BAM! There goes her finger! The poor woman, on Christmas day! Apparently you can’t just put it back into place the way you do in movies--like that one we saw last night, remember? Robert Downy Jr. lost his finger in a door? All he had to do was put it on ice for a little while and he was able to get it put back on. Apparently it isn’t that easy in real life, and she lost her finger forever. She considered getting a fake one, but she wouldn’t have been able to bend it or anything because it would be made of plastic or something so she decided she might as well just go fingerless. Now she only has nine fingers. Haha, I think that might make it harder for her to count on her fingers! I’m sorry, that’s a rude joke. But the woman really isn’t the--ha!--sharpest knife in the drawer. But I guess she might have been had she stayed in school. I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t say this, and I really don’t like to gossip, but it’s a really bad example to set for your children. She managed to make it through life without a high school diploma, which is great for her, but what message does that send to her children? “Well, mom did just fine without school! Why should I do any better? I can just marry a rich man like she did and everything will be golden!” It’s simply awful, those poor children. It’s no wonder their grades are so bad. But I think that might just be bad genes, if your mother can barely read, chances are you aren’t going to be much better. What? Cookie crumbs? On my clothes? I doubt it. I’m an incredibly tidy person. You know, my mother used to say that I should be a maid--you know, because I’m so clean and tidy! I think that was a jab at me, though. As if being a maid is the best I could aspire to. Not that there’s any shame in being a maid, they’re such hardworking people…I’m just saying, my mother can be such a nasty person when she wants to be. I love her to pieces, but I can’t stomach listening to her sometimes. She’s always badmouthing people! Just the other day, she was going on and on about poor Greg. You know Greg, right? The guy down the street? He lives next to the old lady with all the cats? You know, she thinks that those cats love her, but I swear when she dies they’re going to eat her body. Anyway, she was going on and on about how ugly Greg’s sweaters are. And they really are hideous, you know, but you shouldn’t say so. The poor man made these things with his own two hands. It isn’t his fault that he isn’t creative. At least he’s trying! And he gave her those sweaters out of the goodness of his heart. Do you have any idea how long it takes to make a sweater? Especially for someone as big as my mother. I don’t want to be mean, but the woman really ought to lose some weight. It’s really not good for her to be so fat. Sorry, overweight. Whatever, the point is the same. She’s a vicious person when she wants to be, and frankly Greg doesn’t deserve that sort of judgment. I would feel honored to get one of his ugly sweaters, he had to take time out of his busy day of cheating on his wife to knit that for me! What? Cookies? What do cookies have to do with anything?

© 2014 Julia

Author's Note

Done for a class: how do you show what someone doesn't want to talk about?

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Added on January 30, 2014
Last Updated on January 30, 2014
Tags: denial, secret, cookies, thief, rambling



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