Pawn Takes King Part 14

The cord reached. Donnie felt calm as he stepped into the tub once more. His breathing was slow. This was the right thing to do. Fuck God. Donnie would deal with the deity when they met face to face. If he, she, or it, existed in the first place. And Jesus? JC better just get the fuck out of Donnie's way. Turn the other cheek, Christ, and let him do this, alright? Let him receive his reward, for all the thieving, drugs, and heartache.
    Donnie stared downward into the slots of the toaster. He could see the zig-zagging metal that made up the heating coils. Donnie pressed down on both of the vertical switches, and all four slots lit up the dark room. Donnie's face resembled a harsh jack-o-lantern in that bright orangeish glow.
    He felt his hands relaxing, preparing to drop the electrified box into the water. He paused. With an awkward tilt, he pulled his wallet out and placed it on the counter. Donnie only had the one picture of Ronald, and didn't want it to get ruined in the water. Donnie's eyes shown bright specks of tangerine shade in his pupils. With haste, he opened the wallet and took out Ronald's picture. Suddenly, it was decidedly important that Ronald's visage be in his hand when the end came.
    Donnie looked at the picture of his father. He was the best man Donnie ever knew. There was no living up to that caliber of character. As Donnie examined Ronald in the picture, it's as if he's seeing it for the first time. Ronald has the bushy fro, but it is well-maintained. Ronald was a child of the '70s, and he never really updated his style from that. The fro was gone though, even before the chemo made the rest of his 'do fall out. Donnie had a vivid memory as his dad was recuperating from the doses of chemicals traveling through his stricken form.
    "Whatever happens, Donnie," Ronald said, with a weak tremor, "you've gotta go the whole distance. Don't take yourself out. Even if you get sick, like me. You've gotta ride it out, whatever comes. Ok???" Ronald had been at the threshold of death then. And still, he gave Donnie those words to ponder. Donnie hesitates.
    The toaster's trays pop up as the time-hold releases the switch. Donnie jumps in surprise. The toaster drops from his grip. His eyes flare with sunspots in the sudden absence of light. On impulse, Donnie's leg shoots out from the water. His upper thigh connects with the toaster. It totters over the side, glancing off the porcelain lip of the bathtub.
    Donny sits in stunned amazement, one leg raised on the edge of the bath like Captain Morgan. The only sound is the dripping of water from his pant cuffs. Slowly, he steps out of the bath water. The hand that holds Ronald's picture is trembling. He almost died.
    The gravity of Donnie's actions takes hold. He stares at the cold metal case of the toaster, his method of choice. He sinks to his knees and wishes for death again, not by his hand, but some other way. May God strike him down, and put him out of his misery. One lightning bolt, special delivery.
    No end comes. Donnie thinks this is proper punishment. What was more torturous than being compelled to keep living a horrible life? Donnie left the room 15 minutes early. He wanted as much distance as possible between him and the manager when it was discovered the toaster was missing. The toaster Donnie put under his hoodie again. There was more risk in returning it than just making off with it outright.
    Donnie marched through the slushy snow. He was no longer warm. The bathtub was a distant memory now. Maybe Donnie could find other means to heat himself. Removing the lattice required some slight digging, which froze Donnie's fingers. An inch had already piled up. It was near white-out conditions on the highways.
    "Jack Frost can go eat a dick." Donnie mutters aloud.
    Donnie plugged the toaster into one of the outlets above him. It reached, but just barely. Donnie put the appliance on its side and pushed the two switches again. Immediately, he felt the amazing warmth of the coils again. It only lasted about a minute though. Donnie turned the knob from light toast all the way over to the darkest setting. This made the trays stay down longer, but it still popped back up with the timer. Donnie jammed a piece of metal wire on top of the switch, forcing it down so it couldn't come back up. It was like a real space heater. The narrow nook kept the heat nicely. Donnie laid on the cardboard, pulling the blanket around him. The howling wind would reach his shoulder sometimes, but it only served to remind him of how cozy he was. Even when mists of snow would hit him full-on, Donnie was not disturbed. He only hoped the toaster he kiped would last the next few days. With little else to do, Donnie went to sleep.


Uploaded 10/17/2012
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