Roll With It

by Miles Rost

The piano lid slammed down.


Such was Paul Picard’s day. Ever since he woke up in the morning, he was hitting one snag after another. The piano lid’s anger towards him finally drove Paul to break his streak of non-cursing. He waved his hands around like a maniac and cursed until he was blue in the face.

The door slammed, and a figure popped their head around the parlor’s doorframe.

“Dude! I can hear you from the other side of town!”

Paul looked at his  best friend, Mark Bieganek, as he lowered his voice to near nothing. He was still mouthing curses while waving his hands in anger and pain towards the piano.

“Yeah, I got it, Paul. But seriously, the pain’s not going to go away quickly no matter how much cursing you do.”

After another minute of trying to get the pain to go down, Paul swung his gaze straight towards Mark.

“If you knew the day I had, you’d probably be cursing, too. I have not done it for a year, and I know that I don’t have to do it, but there was no other option today.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, when I woke up, I reached for my alarm clock. The clock was too far away because my now ex-girlfriend moved it to the other side of the nightstand. So I ended up tumbling onto the floor with my face being planted into my smelly old sneakers, which I can say have now been sent to the recycling bin. Shall I go on?”

Mark looked at him, nodded his head, while mentally shaking it.

“Got to the shower, and lo and behold, it was all cold water, all the time! So I washed up and likely proceeded to get a cold starting tomorrow. But that’s not the worst of it.”

“Go on…”

“Next, I pick up the mail and there’s a letter from the IRS. It tells me that they think I haven’t been taking out the right deductions, so I’m going to get audited next week. They want 7 years of returns, and all of them are back at my dad’s place in Poughkeepsie. And it gets better!”

Mark waved his hands in front of his face and shook his head.

“Man, just hold up a bit. For just a moment, take a listen to yourself. What do you hear?”

“I hear a man who is not happy with the way things are going today, and who just got his fingers injured by a piano that hates him severely.”

Mark smirked, as he bore his eyes deep into Paul’s.

“What I hear is someone who isn’t able to let go.”

Paul looked at him, and his eyes started to flare up.

“Paul, you need to remember that when life is too much, you gotta roll with it.

“Roll with it?”

“Yeah, if you just take what’s happened and look at it as not a slight against you, but more like a challenge to make your day much better, you’ll just end up rolling with the punches.”

Paul walked out of the parlor, still shaking his hand out. He walked across the hall and into the kitchen, opening the freezer.

“Seriously? You’re giving me advice about rolling with it? When I feel like the world is against me?”

Mark chuckled.

“Are you hearing yourself, Paul? You sound like someone who is whining! You need to shake off the pain and get back out into the world. You can do it, just roll with it, baby!

Paul blinked, staring at Mark like he was an alien.

“As much as I want to punch you right now, Mark, you are absolutely right.”

“Great! So what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to go upstairs, get a bandage on my hand, get something nice to wear, go outside, and punch someone!”

Mark was about to respond, when he froze. Paul’s words sank into his mind like melted butter, and his eyes got wide.

Paul walked over to him, and put his mouth next to his ear.


Mark firmly planted his palm into his face, realizing that he just got himself played by his best friend.

“I guess that means we’re going out to the bar, right?”

Paul bounded towards the stairs, and jumped upon the first step.

“We’re going to the Starboard on this day. I think it’ll be better once I get an irish in me.”

Friday Fictioneers: Memories

By Miles Rost




I remember the day very well.

I was standing at my post, looking out at the rest of the city. It was a warm day, and I sometimes cursed the fact I had to wear such an unappealing uniform on such days.

It was the day when I could do nothing. I stood as a young man drove across the bridge I was facing, and ran over a child.

I wanted to help, I pleaded in my head to help. But I was sworn to a duty to protect this place.

That was the first day when I started to hate my job.


Straight Tequila Night

by Miles Rost

It was another one of those nights for Denise. The aggravations of the daytime bled into her nighttime, ruining the mood she was trying to pick up at the local canteen.

Starting with a note on her computer at work from her boss, telling her that she was responsible for the company losing a major contract, her day went downhill from there. Computer problems, cars that refused to start, at least four customers who tried to use bad credit cards. Working as a car rental agent was stressful, but it wasn’t supposed to be THAT stressful.

And that was all before lunchtime.

Just after lunch came part II of her bad day gone worse. That’s when her ex-boyfriend, someone who she never should have hooked up with in the first place, walked in and started going on about his life with the airhead of the counter clerks. Denise warned her many times about him, but she just didn’t seem to get it, and started flirting in a major way with him.

The day finally ended, and she was able to go home and switch her clothes. Putting on a nice pair of blue jeans, a red t-shirt, and putting her long reddish-brown hair up in a ponytail, she took herself to the canteen to unwind and let her troubles go. She was already into her second tequila shot, and had a whiskey shot ready to go within a half an hour of arriving. She was just about at the point where the vent would be able to be shut off and she’d be able to savor the day.

The door opened up, and Denise looked back. The smile that was building on her face suddenly shattered into a billion pieces. Her face went from the nearest thing anyone would call joy to shock and disgust at the culprit who opened the door.

Patrick walked in.

She dreaded what was about to happen. She knew that he was interested in her, and he knew that she wasn’t interested in him. He walked over to the bartender and smiled that same greasy smile that he always had when he was on the prowl. She quickly turned around and prayed that nothing would happen.

“Scotch on the rocks for myself,” Patrick ordered, “And what is she drinking down there?”

The bartender looked up at him and gave him a warning eye.

“You don’t want to approach her tonight.”

“Why not? I figure she’s probably game for anything.”

Don’t ask her on a straight tequila night. She’ll start thinking about him, and she’ll kick your ass.”

Patrick laughed at the bartender, in a haughty laugh that all but advertised his arrogance.

“A young woman like her? She’s small. She couldn’t hurt anyone. Get her another tequila shot and tell her it’s on me.”

The bartender merely raised his hands, signaling that he had given the advice and he was now ready to serve. And he did so. He gave her the notice that Patrick was sending her a tequila shot.

She slumped her head against the bar, knowing that she would be unable to resist it, and the consequences that would come as a result. With a sigh, she downed the shot in one gulp. She held herself steady at the bar for about 26 seconds. She quickly whipped her eyes towards Patrick.

He looked at her, keeping that sleazy grin on his face, hoping that his charm would win her over.

He closed his eyes and took a sip of his scotch, then opened his eyes again. And he was looking into the black eyes of the woman that he was trying to pick up.

“You ignored the bartender.”

He looked into her eyes, and realized that he made an incredibly bad mistake.

“You remind me of my ex. That makes me mad,” she said calmly, as she launched him into the back room with a swift punch to his sternum.

For the next 20 minutes, Denise did to Patrick things that no one would ever have mentioned or would ever have believed. For folks at the canteen, this was merely another straight tequila night with Denise. And as the pain-filled screams of Patrick filled the bar, the people just kept talking and enjoying their time there.

She left the back room and walked to the bartender. She still had a serious look, but her eyes were no longer the deep black that Patrick had gazed into. She paid the bartender and told him to call a bus for the man, with the bartender giving a knowing nod.

So a little warning to all of you out there. When dealing with Denise, just remember her heart is on the mend. If you ever decide to see her, even again, don’t ask her on a straight tequila night.