Penultimate

It struck me as odd that the prompt for the next to last day of April’s Poem a Day challenge was, write a The Last Blank poem. I sat at the dinner table with mom discussing the prompt and, perhaps because I was eating, came up with cake. I told her the story, put a funny end on it and made her laugh. But now that I’m in the wee hours of April 30th, I decided A. it worked better as a story then a poem, and 2. it needed a different ending.

The Last Slice of Cake

Most of the guests had gone home. Two were passed out, snoring, on opposite ends of the couch. A few diehards were still drinking but heads were nodding more than elbows were bending. The living room was littered with wrapping paper, confetti, and empty solo cups; but that was nothing compared to the wreckage of the food table. Empty bottles, dip smears, and scraps of food covered it all. A bitter odor from the carpet under the table didn’t bode well for tomorrow’s clean-up efforts. The party had been a complete success.

One piece of cake sat, leaning and lonely in the frosting and crumb coated bakery box. Our eyes locked and moved as one to the cake and back to each other.

“I got one bite before I set my plate down and you confiscated it.”

“Yeah, then Kyle tackled me, and that was the end of my favorite shirt. Besides, I’m the birthday boy.”

“Well I’m the birthday girl and I ordered it so I deserve it.”

“This is the last time we do one party for both of us.”

“You are such a child.”

In an angry rush, we broke eye contact and lunged for the cake, stabbing it with plastic forks. I still didn’t get more than a bite, and he ended up shirtless, again.

Happy Birthday indeed.

23 thoughts on “Penultimate

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