A Three Whiskey Night

Submitted into Contest #7 in response to: Write a story infused with dark humor.... view prompt



Cody pulled into the driveway. The front porch light was off, but that didn’t mean Anne was asleep. She usually waited for him in the living room so she could tell him about her day. It was after eleven, and he wanted to go straight to bed and avoid her incessant chatter.

He stood at the front door but chose instead to go around back and enter through the kitchen. If Ann was in the living room, he might be able to sneak in through the kitchen. He slowly opened the door, wishing he had oiled the hinges.

Anne stood at the kitchen counter, preparing a cup of tea.  She heard the door and turned to face Cody. “Hi, babe. I’ve been waiting for you – long day, huh?”

He couldn’t believe his luck. Why hadn’t he come in through the front door? “Yeah, I’m exhausted. I’m going straight to bed.”

“Don’t go,” Anne said, “I want to tell you about my day. You won’t believe what happened?”

Cody rolled his eyes. “What now?”

“My, we’re a widdle guwmpy tonight,” Anne said, “why don’t you pour yourself a drink, and I’ll tell you all about it.”

Cody walked to the living room and, poured himself a glass of whiskey. Ann walked in with her cup of tea and curled up on the couch. “I was on my ten-mile run today,” Anne said, “you know I like to run ten miles every day, or I just don’t feel good about myself.”

“Yeah,” Cody said, wanting to get away. “What about it?”

"Well, I was about three miles into my run when a squirrel ran in front of me. I stepped on his tail, and he bit me. I tried chasing him, but squirrels can run pretty fast. Anyway, I ran to the emergency room as a precaution. I didn’t call you because I didn’t want you to worry while you were at work.”

A fricking squirrel, was she kidding. Cody poured himself a second glass. “What did the doctor say?”

       “She has me on rabies watch.”

       “So, you stepped on a squirrel’s tail and then instead of running away, he turned around and bit you?” he said, “Do I have that about right?”

        “No, silly. Squirrels don’t attack people unless they feel their lives are in danger. He bit me as soon as I stepped on his tail. It all happened so fast; it’s mostly a blur.”         

“Did you run straight home or did you finish your ten-mile run?”

        “I already told you. Weren’t you listening?  I ran to the emergency room. It’s only a couple of miles from here, so, truth be told, I only ran five and a half miles today.”

        “How the hell did you get home?”

        “The Taylors happened to be at the hospital. They offered to give me a ride.”

        “The Taylors just happened to be at the hospital. How convenient,” Cody knew better than to pursue a line of questioning. No matter how fantastic the tale, Anne always had an answer at her fingertips. “Let me see where he bit you?”

        “He didn’t break the skin,” she said, “so there’s nothing to see, but the doctors are concerned the rabies virus might penetrate the epidermis and work its way to the dermis where it could infect me.”

        “I’ve never heard of such a thing. So, what you’re telling me is that the squirrel didn’t bite you."

        “I felt his teeth on my ankle, and I figured I’d better have it checked out. It’s rare for the virus to penetrate the dermis, but if it turns out I do have rabies, they’ll have to give me seven shots in the abdomen. I hear it’s excruciating.”

         “One can only hope,” he said.

“What was that? I didn’t hear you.”

“I said, I’m glad you’re okay.” Cody bottomed out his glass. “Look, I’m exhausted. I’m going to bed.”

       “But.” Anne jumped in, “I haven’t told you about my day.”

       “I thought you just did.”

“Don’t you want to know why the Taylors were at the hospital?”

Fricking unbelievable, Cody thought. “Can we do this tomorrow?”

“This is important, Babe.”

He felt pressure build on his chest. He poured himself a third glass.

"Mr. Taylor – Jim, has pulmonary edema and is suffering from congestive heart failure. His wife, Marion is having a double mastectomy because she has necrotic skin around her nipples, and they’re afraid she might be suffering from pulmonary edema too. They’re both eighty-five, and I’m worried about them. You should come with me one of these days and visit them.”

“Blah, blah, blah. Are you done?”

“Yeah, I’m done.” She was shocked at his callous response. “What is it with you tonight?”

“I already told you, I’m exhausted. Look, I’m going to bed.”

“Do you even know what pulmonary edema is?”

“Yeah, it has something to do with the lungs.”

“It’s fluid in the lungs, and it can lead to fluid around the heart. You can die from it.”

Cody downed his drink and ran upstairs before Anne could remember anything else about her day.

At 2:00 am, he sat up in bed.

“What’s wrong?” Anne asked.

“I’m feeling pressure on my chest. It feels like someone is sitting on me.”

“You’re having a heart attack!” she yelled, “I’m calling 9-1-1.”

“Don’t call anybody. My left arm feels fine.”

He watched as she placed the phone on speaker. “Yes, operator, my name is Anne Hernandez, and my husband is having a heart attack. I used to be a trauma nurse, and I considered buying a defibrillator just in case this ever happened, but I never got around to it. This is all my fault.”

“Ma’am,” the woman interrupted, “tell me what symptoms your husband is experiencing.”

“Get off the damn phone,” Cody said.

        “Shortness of breath and severe pressure on his chest. I’m going to start chest compressions immediately.”

        “Ma’am, don’t do anything. Paramedics are on the way. I want you to stay on the line with me until they get there. Ma’am, what is that noise I hear in the background.”

      “My husband is yelling at me. He’s telling me to get off the phone. He thinks it’s gas, but you and I know better. I’m going to call his heart surgeon when I get off the phone with you.”

      “I don’t have a heart surgeon you, crazy bitch!”

      “So,” the operator said, “your husband has a history of heart problems?”

        “Not exactly. The heart surgeon is actually my doctor. Years ago, they diagnosed me with ASD, atrial septal defect; it’s when you have a hole in your heart. He gave me six months to live and then called my healing a medical miracle. He gave me his home phone number and told me to call if I ever needed anything. Oh, wait; I hear sirens coming.”

      Cody struggled to get out of bed and grab the phone from her hand, but she moved away from him.

       “How is your husband doing?” the operator asked.

        “He’s pissed.”

Cody watched as Anne ran downstairs. He heard her open the front door. The paramedics ran upstairs and placed Cody on a gurney despite his protests.

“There is nothing wrong with me that a vacation away from my wife can’t cure,” he said.

The technician monitored his pulse and blood pressure. “BP is 142 over 95, pulse is 92,” the paramedic said, “transporting now.”

        Anne followed the gurney down the stairs and into the waiting ambulance. “Babe, you’re going to be okay," she said. "I’ll be with you all the way to the operating room. Don’t worry; open heart surgery is commonplace these days.”

“I won’t forgive you for this,” Cody said.

“I know it’s not you talking. I know it’s the pain, so I will be the bigger person, and I will forgive you.”

When Anne tried to climb in through the back of the ambulance, the paramedics stopped her. “I’m sorry, Ma’am, but you can’t ride with us.”

         “But I used to be a trauma nurse. I know how to land a helicopter just in case the pilot has a heart attack during a medevac. I also know how to drive an ambulance if something should happen to your driver on the way to the hospital.”

          “Ma’am, please get out of the vehicle. You can’t come with us. You can follow us in your car.”

          “My car is in the shop. I’ll follow you in my husband’s monster truck.”

          Cody yelled an unintelligible obscenity through his oxygen mask.

          The paramedic pointed. “That green monstrosity in the driveway?”


          “Ma’am, what are you, five-foot-even? You’ll never be able to get in that truck.”

          “I’m four-foot-ten inches tall. Technically, I’m a midget. I know it’s politically incorrect to call us that. Little person is the PC term, but I won’t be offended if you call me a midget.”

         “Ma’am, I’m not going to call you a midget,” the paramedic said.

         “I’m just saying it’s okay if you do. It won’t offend me.”

         “Mrs. Hernandez, we need to act quickly. Let me help you into the truck.”

          Cody removed his oxygen mask. “Don’t let her drive my damn truck. She can’t even reach the pedals.”

         “Don’t pay any attention to him,” Anne said, “he hates doctors and will do anything not to go to the hospital. He’s not in a proper state of mind – he’s not getting enough oxygen to the brain. He won’t remember this tomorrow.”

         “That’s what you think,” Cody yelled.

“Mr. Hernandez,” the paramedic said, “you need to relax. You’re having a heart attack.”

        "I’m not having a damn, heart attack,” he yelled, “It’s my crazy wife who’s going to need a doctor when I’m done with her.”

         Cody watched as the paramedic escorted Anne to the truck and interlocked his fingers. The firefighter lowered his hands in a makeshift stirrup. The commotion had settled down, and Cody could overhear their conversation. “Mrs. Hernandez put your foot in my hands, and I’ll lift you into the cab.”

          “I have a size three children’s foot so it shouldn’t hurt when I step in your hands,” she said.  The paramedic lifted her into the driver’s seat. Anne reached for the steering wheel, her legs dangling.

“Mrs. Hernandez,” the paramedic said, “Your husband is right, you can’t reach the pedals.”

“I told you she’s crazy,” Cody yelled from the ambulance. “Get her out of my truck.”

“Just get me a stick or a cane,” she said, “and I can operate the pedals that way. Why is my husband getting out of the ambulance?”

Cody walked in her direction, “Because, I’m not going anywhere, you nut. I’m refusing treatment,” he said. “My vitals are normal for this household, and I’m quite lucid. Now, I want to thank you for your help, but I’d like you all to go.”  He turned to Anne, “get out of my damn truck.”

The paramedic looked at Anne. “Mrs. Hernandez, if you jump down, I’ll catch you. What do you weigh? A hundred pounds?”

“Ninety-seven,” she said, “I recently lost a hundred pounds on the keto diet. I had so much extra skin hanging off me they had to do an entire body lift. They tied a rope around my legs and hung me from the ceiling like a slab of meat. That put me at eye level with the surgeons, and it also allowed gravity to pull the skin down so they could cut it. They had to put an oxygen mask on me, or the excess skin could have covered my face and suffocated me.

“Oh, my God would you please, shut up,” Cody said.

Anne continued, “They removed thirty pounds of skin and sent me home in a wet suit so the stitches wouldn’t come apart. I run ten miles a day to keep the weight off. I had a squirrel bite me yesterday, and the doctors have me on rabies watch just in case. Anyway,” she said, “ready or not here I come.” She slipped as she jumped and landed clumsily on her back. The paramedic had no chance of catching her. The other medics ran to her side. “Mrs. Hernandez, are you in any pain?”

“I suffer from spinal canal stenosis. The doctors recently performed back surgery on me. This isn’t good.”

“Don’t move,” one of the technicians said, “we’re going to put you in a neck brace, and see if we can immobilize you.”

Cody spoke to one of the medics. “I can’t catch a break. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“No, sir. There’s nothing you can do. We’ll transport her, and see what the doctors say.”

Anne turned to Cody, “Babe, don’t worry about me. I’ve been through this before. They’ll probably give me some oxycodone and valium so I can sleep. They’re not going to want me to move until they’ve had a chance to do a full examination. I could be in the hospital for several days. Get some sleep and you can visit me in the morning.”

Cody smiled. “If you insist.” He kissed her on the forehead and walked back to the house.

As he walked away, he heard Anne say, “I didn’t think you’d take me up on it. My back might be broken. I might have rabies. Aren’t you going to come with me?”

Cody closed the front door behind him, climbed into his warm empty bed, and enjoyed the best sleep of his life.

September 16, 2019 01:01

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Tommy Goround
05:01 Sep 11, 2022

Hahahaha First story that hit the macabre button out of 6 so far. Awesome.


Rudy Uribe
03:36 Sep 12, 2022

Thanks, Tommy, believe it or not it’s based on actual Events. My family is nuts. If you’d like to hear a few more listen to my podcast, murders, mysteries, and more. On most platforms. Every crazy story is mostly true.


Tommy Goround
20:24 Sep 12, 2022

This one is better writing than storytelling. The way you release details about the wife slowly. A true "show not tell" style that appears effortless. Thanks for invite.


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Ari Berri
16:06 Oct 26, 2020

This is hilarious.


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