Bad Wrap Jack

Just another brief, I-have-to-use-my-iPad-for-something-useful story for you reading pleasure. I always felt to me like Jack got bad press, so here’s a modern take on the story

It was ridiculous, this heavy weight bearing down from the heavens. The day had changed in an instant, as storm clouds pregnant with the promise of rain had swept over the horizon, shading the streets below. It had seemed a relief from the monotonous sunlight that had been baking them for what felt like an age, but as the day passed the pressure grew; raising both the temperature and their temperaments.

She had tried to explain to him how they had run out of money, already. She explained herself and their finances as calmly and as steadily as she could; his mind, already frayed by the overwhelming heat, just couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. “What the hell are you going on about?” he was yelling, it was hard not to. “How could you have spent all $600 in just two days?” He wasn’t really talking to her anymore, his arms flailing, as though he were trying to force his way through the fog of misunderstanding that had thickened between them. His eyes darted wildly across the room, over the potted palm that stood dying in the shadow of the bookshelf, like a wild beast cornered and desperate to find his escape. She reached out to him, grabbing his shoulders as she tried in vain to calm him. “How the hell did you spend it all? It was all we had.”
She smiles at him. He could see there was food enough in the cupboard to last them out the week, knew that they were on top of the rent, that they were more than two weeks in advance.

“Jack, you have to listen to me,” she too was crying as she held his head to her chest, “everything’s going to turn out ok.” She pulls him away from her breasts like a woman scolding a suckling child who has bitten the nipple that feeds him.

“I went to the market just to get some beer and a couple of pizzas so we could just relax tonight, so we could enjoy watching this storm finally break.” He nods at her, with clenched teeth. He is trying to stay angry as she starts to break him down. He tries to speak, but she cuts him off with one delicate finger on his lips. “Just you let me finish now, Jack.”

She takes a step away from him, trying to put some distance between them, “There was a woman at the market,” he has heard this part before, struggles to contain himself, “and she had lowered her price so I could afford to buy them,” here she opens her palm, staring devotedly down into it like a mother smiling at a newborn child, “and they are MAGIC beans Jack! Magic beans!”

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One thought on “Bad Wrap Jack

  1. Brilliant Chris. 🙂

    You said “Jack” and my mind jumped to so many possibilities. Jack and Jill? Little Jack Horner? Jack Frost? Jack Be Nimble? Jack Sprat? o.O

    I love your modern Jack and the Beanstalk. Great stuff! 😀

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