Charles

By J. W. Wright

Charles groaned and looked up at the alarm clock. It was already two in the afternoon. After already hitting the snooze button more times than he can remember, he sighed deeply and forced his way out of bed. Charles was regarded by those who knew him for sleeping in, or at least he would have been if anyone had ever taken the time to get to know him. To put it bluntly, Charles had no friends, and didn’t intend to make any. Instead, he spent his days locked in the solitary confinement that was his existence.


Nearly tripping over the mountain of assorted trash piled amongst his bed, he clambered over to the closet and threw on a tattered robe. He was hungry, and regarded that evidently the moths had been hungry too, noting the odd pattern of holes in the robe, giving it the appearance of Swiss cheese. He walked over to the mirror, stared intently as if searching for something, then muttered “What happened to you?”, almost as if expecting some sort of an answer. “Forget this, I am not wearing this piece of crap anymore.” said Charles, as he threw the robe in a crumbled heap on the floor. “The moths have had their meal, I suppose I should do the same.”


Slowly walking into the disaster zone that was the kitchen, Charles flicked on the light and peered into the now dimly lit area. The smell was horrid, and God only knows the last time any dishes were washed, even the cockroaches would agree that it could use a little cleaning. Wading through a “path” of sorts through the sea of garbage, he made his way over to the refrigerator, which was purring like some sort of crazy robotic kitten. “Do I even want anything from this?” thought Charles to himself, “I guess I’ll make myself a sandwich.”


Leaving the door open, which added a stale light to the already terribly lit room, he walked over to the pantry, and retrieved a severely outdated package of wheat bread. Opening it up, and feeling the cardboard like texture, he smiled to himself, as he regarded the blue and green molds growing on the bread as his only friends in this world.


Laying two pieces of the moldy bread on the dust and rotten food covered counter, he went back to the still open fridge and uncovered what to him was the ultimate delicacy. Processed Cheese Food. Not the real kind of cheese made from milk, although this cheese had milk in it, this “cheese” was by no way the real thing. Removing two of these glorious pre-sliced pieces of cheese from the wrapper, he placed them down onto the disgusting blue bread. With his creation complete, the gourmet “Blue Cheese Sandwich”, he anxiously thought of how good it was going to taste. Charles began to salivate at the thought of eating his moldy processed cheese sandwich. Not wasting any time, he just dug into the sandwich akin to what a hungry dog would do on finding a nice T-bone steak to eat.


Far off in the distance, a small piece of his metallic toaster remained unmarred by the filth surrounding it. It was in this small piece of chrome, that Charles could see the reflection of himself digging into this terrible meal. Now faced with the horrible image reflected upon him, Charles made eye contact with himself. “What happened to you?” Charles screamed, “What in God’s name happened to you?”

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