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|Crosswords (standard:drama, 777 words)|
|Author: Paddy65||Added: Apr 25 2004||Views/Reads: 1779/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Gimmicky story about a crossword puzzle.|
Crosswords Fullerton, a sometimes affable-sometimes depressed, lazy neurotic, after a good 3-hour ritual of being jarred awake by a shrill alarm and smacking the snooze button every twenty minutes, shirtlessly smacked it once again and looked out the window. Leaves lightly fell, passing balding, November elms. Must be 38. . .39 degrees, he thought and put his head back down on his pillowless bead. He let out a loud, slow breath through his nose; the sound of which ornamented by a minute, high pitch whistle from partially stuffed nostrils. He tilted his head slightly to get a glance of the clock. 12:30?, he thought. Damn that's late. Again. Motionless for a good 5 minutes, he stared at the ceiling. He felt nasty. He knew he smelled bad even though his stuffed up nose forbade him from smelling. He had not showered in days, and was wearing the same socks for two days, pants for four, shirt for three days, and underwear for two days. Abruptly, Fullerton tore away his single blanket and sprang out of bed, simultaneously grunting a half-triumphant “Ha!” He then walked to the bathroom to shower. Throughout the shower, there were periods in which Fullerton did not wash. Instead, he mesmerized himself with the distorted reflection of the metal surface of the “Hot” handle. During these periods, as the hot water massaged his head and cascaded down his still body, he was able to get some very productive thinking done. He pondered many elements of his life, especially ones that were problematic and in the course of this quite lucid thinking, he gained a better understanding of these problems and possible solutions to them. Fullerton stepped out of the shower and grabbed his damp towel off of the hook. He dried himself with great proficiency, and with the dedication and care for detail of a brilliant scientist, whose technique and familiarity with his field was unparalleled. He stared into the mirror and rubbed his scruffy and dirty, yet pubescent-looking facial hair. He applied shaving cream and proceeded to shave with both vigor and meticulousness. He always felt good after shaving, but he did not do it with exceptional frequency. But, when he did, it made him feel like less of a scrub. After wiping the remnants of shaving cream from his face, he continued to stare into the mirror, now feeling a bit more attractive. This diminished some, however, when he noticed that he had cut right through a pimple on his cheek with his razorblade. A speck of blood the size of a small ant rested in his face. Fullerton properly stuck a corner of toilet paper onto it. Fullerton dressed and went downstairs. He proceeded to start a crossword puzzle while eating cereal. He had been recently evolving into a competent crossword enthusiast. Competent, not brilliant. He occasionally could complete his local paper's puzzle, but when he got his hands on a New York Times, he always became frustrated and gave up easily. On this one, he solved clues with proficiency. Not quite effortlessly, but better than normal. He bounced from word to word, filling in the missing letters, coming back to fill in unsolved ones revealed by letters from opposite clues; saying “Kremlin. Aha.” However, with 4/5 of the puzzle done, he came to a couple of stumpers and began to get discouraged, as he easily was. For a couple moments he pouted and pondered doing something else. He kept looking over the missing clues and began to think that it was hopeless. Man, he thought, it's always something, isn't it. But, after minutes of inertia, he trudged through and slowly got it down to one final clue. Well, five clues, I suppose: one full, four-letter word missing in the “across” section , and four four-letter words with their final letters missing in the “down” section, corresponding with the full missing word of the other axis. He decided to solve the “down” clues first to reveal the “across,” rather than to possibly finish the puzzle with one final, triumphant solve. With minor tribulation, he filled them in. 55 down: 50's NYC linebacker. Answer: Huff. 56 down: Ballet garment. Answer: Tutu. 57 down: Cable stocks net.. Answer: CNBC. And 58 down: Breakfast ----. Answer: Nook. Yes, to Fullerton's amazement, the answer to the final “across” clue was, indeed, “Fuck.” Fullerton looked at the clue: “Copulate.” He tossed his head and laughed loudly. The next day, Fullerton woke up at 7:00 AM, showered and grabbed the paper. He glanced at the headlines which included: “State To Vote On Tax Freeze,” “Bush Appoints Bach As Treasury Secretary,” and “Disgruntled Newspaper Editor Takes Own Life.” Tweet
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