Welcome to my latest Tuesday's Tales! The word prompt this week is "yellow". Bet you never would have guessed. LOL. To read the rest of the stories by some fine authors, go to the Tuesday's Tales Web Site.
The Queen Of Sulk
By Elizabeth Black
I hate the color yellow because it's so damned sunny and cheerful. That's what it looks like outside - so fucking happy I just want to crawl under my blankets and die. I'd rather sulk and pout than admit the world can be a comforting place. Here I am, sick and miserable with a head cold, and I won't even log into Facebook because all the political griping is driving me nuts. The TV is full of bombings, fires, ambulance-chaser commercials, and cats. I can't stand it.
While I'm making my third cup of chamomile tea, there's a knock at the door. It's the usual three loud raps and two quiet ones - Eric's signal he's arrived to brighten my day.
I could kill him, but instead I answered the door.
"My sweetie!" He cried in that irritating, sing-songy voice he used when he's trying to cheer me up, and I walked away, heading back to my kitchen. "How's my little baby girl doing with her little head cold?"
"I see you're just as happy as ever!" He plopped a paper bag down on my kitchen counter. "I brought provisions. I know you need them since you haven't left the house yet this morning." He rifled through the bag. "Here you go - Nyquil, Dayquil, matzo ball soup, some kind of antihistamine, and a surprise!"
'Thank you," I mumble, picking up the Nyquil. "I'll take about six of these and wake up next week."
"Nonsense!" He grabbed the Nyquil from my hands before I could protest. When I opened my mouth to complain, he held up one finger. "Uh uh uh! You're getting out of the house today. Take this instead." He held up two Dayquil tablets. I felt so miserable I didn't notice he had torn open the box to retrieve them. He filled a glass with water and forced me to take my medicine. "Drink up! Trust me, you'll feel better in no time. It's just a head cold. It's not like you're dying from pneumonia."
"Don't be so sure of yourself. I feel miserable." I popped the pills and swallowed them with the water.
"That's why you need your surprise." He reached into that paper bag and pulled out a bottle. "Your favorite!"
I couldn't believe what I saw. A bottle of Strega stared at me, daring me to drink it. I love Strega. It's an Italian liqueur whose name means "witch", which was appropriate since I was the one drinking it. I felt like I could leap on a broom any second and curse the day until sundown, but Eric, in his infinite and irritating wisdom, would not allow me to do.
I smiled. I couldn't help it.
"See? I knew it would make you feel better." Eric opened the bottle and poured a small amount into the same glass. "Here, drink this. It'll take the edge off your cold."
I wasn't about to argue with him because he was right. The liqueur was as bright as the sun; a neon yellow caused by the presence of saffron. I liked herbal liqueurs and Strega was one of the best in my opinion. The liquid heated my throat as it burned its way to my stomach. It was strong. I knew I'd feel no pain in no time.
"Now, you get a shower."
"Yes. You're not cooping yourself up in this sardine box all day. Here, let me open the windows. It's stuffy in here. No wonder you're sick."
"Yes!" Before I could protest, he opened the living room windows. "Ah, fresh air. Doesn't that feel better?"
I wasn't about to admit he was right.
"You aren't speaking, so I know I'm right. Now let's get you cleaned up, dressed, and out the door. And no complaining!"
He sat on the toilet while I took a quick, hot shower. The steam cleared my sinuses. Suddenly, I could breathe! I inhaled deeply, enjoying the rush of air into my lungs. I really should listen to Eric and do what he says more often. He's usually right.
By the time I was dressed and my short hair had air-dried within minutes, the Dayquil had already taken effect. He handed me another small glass of Strega. Everything was so yellow and cheerful. The Strega. My yellow t-shirt with sunflowers all over it Eric had chosen. Too bad the Dayquil wasn't yellow. It was orange, which has yellow in it so I guess that counted.
"We're going for a ride to cheer you up. It's 80 degrees and beautiful outside. You're not staying indoors. A head cold isn't that bad. I have another surprise for you."
"What is it?"
"If I tell you it won't be a surprise."
I followed him to his VW Bug - there was that color yellow again - and I stretched in the bucket seat. The shower really did help, and I was beginning to feel better already. Tired and a bit achy with a scorching case of post-nasal drip, but better. I looked around as we drove the back roads by the beaches. Forsythia bloomed yellow in the afternoon breeze. The bright golden sun beamed in the sky. Sunlight refracted in amber shards against the waves. Everything was so bright I slipped on my sunglasses. Even the yellow line in the middle of the road had been freshly painted since the town had enough money in its coffers to pave the roads.
By the time Eric parked in front of my favorite seafood restaurant, I felt immensely better. If I had remained home, I would have spent my entire day sulking in front of a cold pizza and whimpering in bed. As usual, Eric appeared and rescued me from myself. No wonder I love him.