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Reality surprise

Main Ingredients:
pumpkin seeds

Spice Pack:
1 whisper of pensiveness
1/8 tablespoon of loathing

I sat on the bench, equal parts enraged and terrified, with a whisper of pensiveness as to the nature of my mom's relationship with the her formerly deceased tycoon "emplover."

My skin was tacky with beef broth, shallots in my shoes, a layer of sesame oil on my face and hands. I sniffed my armpits, they smelled like pickled okra and Old Spice. The red wine stain down the front of my pants had mostly dried, though my underwear were damp and this made me itch. The fanny pack held a drained sack of red wine, which alerted me to the headache that had nearly displaced my loathing. My pay-as-you-go phone needed a charge, but I had no charger. My pockets were empty, save for some scraps of paper that were now pink and unreadable. At the bottom was a shard of something stuck in the seam of the pocket. A fingernail? I wriggled it free, it looked like the shell of a pumpkin seed in the light. I never ate them. It must have belonged to the previous owner. That's the funny thing about rummage sale clothes.

Nobody had followed me here. Nobody had come to arrest me. It felt, oddly enough, like the end of a vacation. Maybe like the car ride home from Disneyland. But there was nothing fun about the day. More like I had awoken from a nightmare with only uncertainty to look forward to...

I removed the shallots from my shoes and began the walk home. It was only three miles, but it felt like thirty in my head. My stomach felt sharp knots, maybe I was still sick. Maybe I was hungry and hungover.

People were getting up to go to work. Pulling out of driveways, cups of coffee ready for the morning commute. I saw a crow picking part of a squirrel or cat off the road. It waited until the last second, then flew out of a car's way, and then back again to pick the flesh and sinew off the dried, flat carcass. It made my stomach turn. I watched it for a minute, watching it fly away and back again and away and back again.

At home, finally, I found the key that my mom kept under the rock. I plugged my phone in and took a shower. When I returned, I could see that I had missed a call. Should I spend the 2 bucks and check the message? I did.

There was a voicemail. My mom? It was from out of the country. But not a voice I recognized.

"Brutus Corbin? I hope I have the right number. My name is Seymour RockeHearst, I guess your my step-brother, now..."
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