Short Short Story: "Sprinkles"
"Yoshi is just Toad diluted for more moderate players," Jarrod tells me, "If you're looking for somebody light and, somebody fast...you need the real deal."
"The real deal..."
"Yeah, don't just settle for Toad-lite."
Jarrod and I sit on a big, ripped couch, gripping our N64 paddles. A trash bucket of ice water with a halved, two liter Pepsi bottle bobbing on top sits between us.
"Because Mario sucks, man. Balance sucks. You need purity."
"The real deal."
"Exactly. The real deal. Like one strength...one that's just absolutely top knotch, trail rated."
"But it's his game."
"Oh, I know."
We're quiet as the race begins and we're quiet all the way through. I take first and Jarrod, a bronze.
"In theory..." He trails off.
There is a silence as we read the stats and the next race--the Moo Moo one--begins. There is something about this nothingness that is so apealing to me. But I have to work tomorrow.
"So how was vacation?" He asks.
"...yeah. It rained a bit so the beach wasn't quite what we'd hoped for. Good to see the family though."
"Really. I mean, I don't mind the cousins and all that."
"Did you read?"
"Summer reading...I read 'Cat's Cradle'?"
The race ends and Jarrod trails with a close second.
"You've been practicing," He says.
"I swear, haven't played since I left."
"The least you could do was say you've been practicing."
"Well it's too late now man."
"I mean it."
"Every single day. Except Thursday when it was sunny."
A light corrupts the basement as someone opens the door upstairs and stumbles awkwardly down. Somepeople. It's Griffen and Dave.
"Hey buddy, how's it bee?" Asks a rather drunk Griffen.
"You missed out man," Dave informs me.
"Don't tell me."
He does. "The best oregano I have had the pleasure of sampling in my entire, nearly seventeen years of being."
"It's true." Says Jarrod apologetically.
"It was an honor, really."
"How does this always happen when I'm gone?"
"Looks like you guys started without us." Griffen says.
"Oh yeah, I forgot we were supposed to wait." Jarrod says, focusing back on Mario Kart. I pick my paddle up too and Griffen jumps for the third.
"You seriously need another controller." Says Dave.
"If I had some money..." Says Jarrod.
"You need a job," I offer.
"Where's Steve by the way?" I ask.
There's a long silence as we all stare into the television. As the race ends, Jarrod sets his paddle down quietly, walks into the bathroom and shuts the door."
"Steve's fucking dead."
"Fuck me...you haven't heard?"
"I haven't heard anything."
"He's dust, man. He's in a fucking urn."
We're quiet for a long time as the stupid fish spits out my first place trophy. The game goes back to the start screen but nobody presses anything. We stare into the TV, the carpet, the cat toy maybe.
Someone presses the start button and we look at each other accusingly.
"I have an idea," Griffen mumbles.
Nobody says anything for a long enough time that he continues, "We should fucking smoke Steve."
"It's what he would have wanted."
"That's a terrible idea," I say.
"I agree," Dave says solemnley.
"No, I think we should.
"You guys are fucking drunk."
"What about your parents? Won't they want to...won't they want to spread him or something?"
"Well we'd only use like a little pinch of sprinkles or so."
"You've got to be kidding."
Griffen gets up and stuffs his feet into his tied shoes.
"Now?" Asks Dave.
"Yeah man...I've got to for Steve."
"No. No, absolutely not."
"Because it's the worst idea I've ever heard."
"But for Steve?" Dave asks.
"It would be disrespectful not to."
"You guys aren't leaving."
"Fine." Griffen says, and collapse back on the couch.
We watch the screen again.
Griffen stands back up, "Hey man, I forgot I needed to pick up my sister."
"Dude, you're fucking right. I'm retarded. What the fuck was I thinking?"
"You're not leaving."
"You can't keep me from picking up my sister."
I don't say anything and finally he walks past me. Dave follows soon after.
I sit on the couch alone, looking into the television. A few minutes later, Jarrod come out of the bathroom and sits down beside me, disturbing the ice in the trash bucket.
"Yeah..." I agree.
We sit quiet on the big, torn couch.
"Do you want to pack another one?"