The Siskiyou is happy to announce that we are starting a new column solely featuring content published by our student readers. If you’ve written a short story and would like to share it with the community, this is a great opportunity to do so. To submit a story, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your story as an attachment. Make sure to indicate how you’d like to be accredited for your work if The Siskiyou prints your story (full name, pen name, anonymous). Please keep in mind that The Siskiyou maintains the right to refuse printing stories that are deemed inappropriate or offensive.
Our first story, “Match Trick”, comes from an SOU student who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Dad?” Melody knocked on the door again. No response. The roofing above the door provided little shelter, and the rain was beginning to soak her. Melody stayed patient and knocked again, a little bit louder. As a girl she would have kicked the door down by now and stormed inside. Melody reached for the doorknob and took hold of it. It wasn’t even locked. She opened the door and walked inside, slowly shutting it behind her.
Her father was sitting in his favorite chair, watching TV in the dim-lit living room. Melody looked at the white paper bag in her hand. There were two just like it next to his chair that hadn’t even been opened. He hadn’t noticed her yet.
“Dad, you know Frilzer told you to take your medicine.”
“Huh? What?” He looked around the room, seeming scared and confused. He spotted his daughter and relaxed. “Oh, hello Melody! I didn’t see you come in.” He tried to stand up from his chair but ultimately sank back into it. “What brings you here?” His eyes were glazed over. He was smiling, but he seemed to be looking at something in the distance.
Melody held up the white paper bag.
His smile vanished. “Bah! That doctor’s a quack. I’m fine.”
Melody sighed. She looked at the kitchen behind her father and saw several broken plates on the floor. “Dad I,” she stumbled with her words. “I want you to stay healthy, that’s all.”
He had already turned his attention back to the television. He was watching Lawrence of Arabia. It was all he ever watched.
“Your mother would have never stood for it,” he mumbled, sifting in his seat. “Not ever.”
“So, watching Lawrence of Arabia, huh?” Melody desperately wanted to change the topic.
Her father stared into empty space, mumbling something incomprehensible. He suddenly gasped and smiled, turning back to his daughter.
“Did you see Ron’s new play? It’s really good.”
“Yes Dad, it’s very good.”
“His best acting yet.”
“I think so.”
“He stopped by yesterday, you know. He’s doing very well.”
“ …yes, he is.”
“Is something wrong, dear? You look pale.”
“Nothing’s wrong, I’m okay.”
“You’re not still seeing that Michael fellow, are you?” he accused.
“No, of course not,” she assured him. “Listen, Dad, I have to go. Do you need anything? Like, DVDs or some more plates?”
“Why would I need more plates?” he laughed. “I’m fine. You take care of yourself.”
“I’ll see you later Dad. Please take your medicine, okay?”
Melody kissed his forehead as he grumbled about the medicine. She left the white paper bag next to the other two and walked out the door, making sure to lock it on her way out. Dave was waiting in the car. She hurried from the rainy doorstep and opened the passenger door, slamming it shut once she was in. Dave started the engine and began driving.
“How’s he doing?” Dave asked.
“How do you f*cking think?”
Melody pressed the side of her face against the window. There was silence for several seconds.
“Did he hear about your brother?”
“No. He still thinks Ron’s visiting him.”
“We really should put him in a home,” Dave said.
“I’m not doing it.”
“Hear me out, what if he hurts himself again? What then?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“The home’s not bad. I was talking to Bailey the other day and h-”
“I just,” Melody interrupted. “I just want him to live his last few years in blissful ignorance, okay?”
“I wish we all could,” Dave muttered as he drove down the rainy street.