August 22, 2005
Laz asked Will to toss him the salt, fully aware of what his request would invite.
A smile slid across Will’s thin cheeks. His fork clattered onto his plate. He snatched the hourglass salt/pepper shaker and lobbed it across the dining room table before his wife, Nell, could speak. Her impending protest disappeared in a gasp as she watched one of her prized knick-knacks arc end over end, glinting in the orange candlelight as it passed over the place settings.
Her fears were groundless. Without looking up from his soup, Laz caught the shaker in his free hand and used it.
Will pounded on the table with laughter. Nell closed her mouth, rolled her eyes, and then joined her husband’s mirth. Lazarus conceded a smile but allowed nothing else to mar his dry façade.
This stolid demeanor came easy to him. Will and Nell were his closest friends. Spending time with them brought his only joy over the last four years. But even this joy couldn’t touch the melancholy at his core. A painful vacuum that made keeping a dead, unresponsive manner during a joke as easy as screaming when you pound your thumb with a hammer.
Laz wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and pushed his plate away. He stared at the white tablecloth. Nell asked him how was it. He said it was okay.
Nell took a deep breath. She couldn't believe they kept inviting this ungrateful, miserable fucker over; it was like he wanted to get under their skin. She glared at Will. Will looked at Laz and offered him more Chateau Latour. "I want root beer," he said.
Nell jumped up, grabbed a bottle from the fridge and pitched it across the room. Laz didn't even try to catch it. It caught him right on the temple and he keeled over backwards. Suicide by pop.
Opening: Gareth Bendall.....Continuation: ril