Once upon a time there was a girl named…Annabelle, who lived in a small, but not at all redneck community we’ll call Silk. Annabelle was a nice girl. She had two lovely daughters and worked hard to be nice to everyone, even if everyone didn’t deserve her kindness. Often she said many things in her head, but spared these idiots the reality of their assholeness by nodding and smiling at whatever nonsense came from their mouths.
Annabelle lived at the bottom of a hill on a quiet street full of mostly nice people. There were a few jerks, but she had little to do with them. Every year the town of Silk tore up the road in front of her house. She endured months of gaping holes in front of her driveway, water shut-offs and strange men tossing garbage in her lawn which she would shred with the lawnmower, earning a stern lecture about proper mower care from her significant other…Kip. She often pretends to listen to him, knowing full well that Clive will someday come and rescue her. He just isn’t aware that his soul mate exists yet.
This year, Annabelle waited for the dreaded roadwork to begin. March passed and they laid sod instead of trenches. April waned slowly away and they removed the gas and phone line markers instead of spray painting the areas they would dig up. As May began, Annabelle believed maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t dig. And they didn’t. Life was good.
But Karma is a bitch. She knows it, and Annabelle was a horrible person in her past life. It is believed she may have been Satan or the person that invented the thong bathing suit, because Karma really had it out for Annabelle.
All Annabelle ever wanted to do was write. Fiction, nonfiction, it didn’t matter. She liked creating shit with words. And she was good at it too. She queried agent after agent with her work, amassing a large collection of rejections. That was okay. She could handle rejection. All part of the process, right? After all, the nonfiction work she produced did get published and did earn a decent wage with which to feed and cloth her children.
But then her Internet provider…Assholes Online decided Annabelle should not be able to rely on such niceties as connectivity and paychecks. Assholes began cutting out, freezing up and all kinds of other annoying things that Annabelle calmly endured, making few phone calls and uttering a mere shit and damn on occasion. Not once did she drop the F-bomb on them. True, she said it quite loudly in private, but never to the poor soul on the phone.
When Annabelle thought she’d licked that battle, disaster struck. Well, all right, a storm. But it knocked out power in Annabelle’s town for several days. No, that’s not right. It knocked out power to the rest of the town for about 24 hours. Annabelle’s street remained in the dark for three days. The only damn street in the entire town.
Karma thought that Annabelle’s internet and electricity woes were a paltry price to pay for her earlier crimes, so she gave Annabelle’s beautiful daughters lice on the very day the power went out. Annabelle cried. She broke things. She cursed whoever would dare give her such a thing to battle as the purposeless insects whose only task in life was to dole out mental breakdowns. She dosed the children with natural insecticides, pulled nits and whatnot from their hair and dutifully cleaned her entire fucking house from top to bottom once power was restored. (a task Annabelle usually saves for the maid she doesn’t yet have) Thinking the epidemic over, Annabelle sent the girls to school.
Three days later…the lice returned. Annabelle cried again. Brought out the big guns, treating with actual kickass chemicals. Cleaned. Picked. Cursed. And when the girls were clean, she sent them back to school again.
Several days later…you guessed it. Annabelle wondered just which dirtbag in her child’s class might be the gift that keeps on giving. She had a few suspects, but couldn’t be sure. And really, Annabelle, children can’t be called dirtbags. Their parents, perhaps, but children are merely products of their environment. But I’ve gone on a tangent. Back to Annabelle.
Whilst fighting the dreadful scourge that is head lice, Annabelle’s computer went on a little vacation. Distressed because she needed that computer, and decent Internet service, in order to earn money to feed her bug-infested daughters, she went out and found a newer, better, prettier computer. Really, it’s very fancy and she quite likes it. However, Assholes Online seemed to have trouble with such a fancy device and her connectivity woes worsened.
Annabelle also had two dogs. A pretty, but rather dim, black lab who chews obsessively causing his hind end to be completely bals, and an ugly, but far too smart Boston terrier. The terrier developed clogged anal glands while Annabelle was busy going crazy. Anal glands, you see, are little pockets in a dog’s ass which enable the animal to “mark” their scent on a given area. The terrier marked a lot and overused his glands. The glands said “Screw you, we’re tired” and refused to expel whatever it is they’re supposed to expel, causing a bulbous tomato-like growth to develop just below his stubby tail. Annabelle stared at this, knowing what she must do but hating the idea of her finger, gloved or not, in any creature’s ass, and promptly called the vet. “Only $15,” the girl on the phone said. So she took the terrier to the vet an emerged $200 poorer and with a dog whose ass was still clogged. Not only did she have to pick bugs, but now Annabelle had to wipe the dog’s ass hourly, apply Polysporin to the busted growth (which oozed a yellowish-white creamy substance that smelled of fart and death) and dose the dog with meds twice daily for ten days.
Alone in her office/garage, Annabelle ranted and railed against Karma’s unfair treatment. Surely whatever she’d done in the past was paid in full, and then some. What else could she possibly have to endure?
“Let’s see,” Karma answered. “Another dose of lice, $100 more to the vet, and oh, let’s have the Internet completely blow the fuck up. Yes, that will do nicely.”
Annabelle sits, teeth grinding, head itching, and contemplates how one might get even with Karma.
I wish this story had a happy ending, but I never was very good at fairy tales.