Dark And Stormy
by Doug Hawley
It was 10:11PM
and the wind was raging and the rain was
frightful. The house was shaking and
creaking. I could have tolerated it if I
had felt better. My stomach was rumbling
and I could barely keep my food down. My
intestines were as water and sweat poured down my
face, even as I was chilled. My head
throbbed, though I hadnt had a headache in
years before this night.
Even though it
was taking my health both mental and physical, I
must complete my task before midnight. As
much as I had tried to finish earlier and avoid
the torture that would attend an incomplete job,
I was thwarted by those who were supposed to
support me in my quest. Those that I had
counted on were late and inadequate in their
portion of the complex riddle that I faced.
the horrors of being late, I had to lose the
torment caused by the contents of my stomach, but
even that didnt help. My stomach
continued to roil and now my discomfort was
doubled by the taste of bile in my mouth and its
foul stench in my nose. Combined with the
aura of my fear and horror, I was in every way a
At 10:35 I
thought that I would succeed, only to be plagued
by diarrhea. After an abbreviated cleanup,
I smelled the wretched odor of my latest calamity.
By the time I could return to my task the clock
By 11:14 I
felt short term triumph as I had succeeded.
Oh, but the results would ruin my life, even if I
could deliver them by midnight.
At 11:57 this
broken man delivered his tax return to the post
office, just in time to avoid late penalties.
In the process of finishing, I rediscovered
capital gains that I had already spent. I
owed $5,678 to the Feds, and $2,897 to the state.
Why hadnt my accountant warned me and why
was my investment firm Grubber & Grubber so
late with my tax forms?
There would be
no upgrade to my three year old Mercedes, no
dates at fine restaurants, and Starbucks visits
would be cut back to four a week. Has any
man ever been as miserable?
in the defunct Nugget Tales, this is only