Delay

By Sam Jarvis

The flight had already been delayed 6 hours, but he was finally getting close to his boarding time. They’d pushed it back twice, once for bad weather and a second time because the incoming flight got rerouted, but Josh had a good feeling about this. They’d be on their way soon.

“Ladies and gentlemen patiently awaiting the boarding of flight 3775 nonstop service to New York’s La Guardia, I’m sorry to inform you there has been another delay.” The speaker system was muffled but the message clear. “We will now begin boarding at 11:15 instead of 9:05. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Josh slammed his ten-dollar Chilis To Go turkey Panini onto his lap. He then gathered all of his belongings, his roller carry-on, his suit bag, and headed to the gate desk.

“Excuse me, but what in the hell is going on here?” he asked a meek but adorable airline employee. She chuckled, lipstick on her teeth.

“Well this is pretty typical of hell, sir,” she answered, continuing to type on her outdated keyboard.

“What’s the hold up?”

“Hmm, help me decide. Should it be de-icing? That we have to de-ice the plane?” Her eyes were filled with excitement at the thought. Josh looked outside.

“It’s 85 degrees out,” he responded. She laughed hysterically.

“Oh my God you’re right. I can’t say that! How about like, a bird got caught in the engine? That’s a scary one.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

“You asked what in the hell is going on. This is always what’s going on in hell.” Seeing that he still didn’t follow, she glanced at his ticket. “Mr. Hartnett?” she said, now sweeter. “You do know you’re in hell, right?”

“Hell?”

“Yep! All the books had it wrong with that fire and brimstone business. Hell is just an airport where your flight gets delayed every few hours for eternity.” With this Josh Hartnett gasped, taking a few steps back.

“Wait, I’m dead? Why didn’t I get into heaven?!” She looked at him, very serious now.

“You know what you did.”

He was horrified, until a smile broke from her face. “I’m just kidding, I say that to everybody! I don’t know why you’re here. I mean sure, murderers are all over this airport, we all know that’s bad. But beyond that it could’ve been anything. Did you pay all of your parking tickets?” She laughed and touched his arm. “I loved you in Lucky Number Slevin, by the way.”

“Yeah, thanks. So my flight will he delayed forever?”

“Yep! But there’s complimentary shoe shining at gate B14, so that’s kind of cool. Although remember to tip.” Josh scratched his head. “Also I would buy a neck pillow if you ever want to get any rest.”

“There are only like, four places to eat here.”

“I know, right? Couldn’t Satan have made it an international terminal? Those are so nice.”

“So it’s just Chilis To Go forever,” he started, now losing hope.

“Afraid so. And don’t try to get a discount because of who you are. This place is teeming with celebrities.”

“And murderers.”

“Yes! And murderers. And people hogging the charging stations!” She looked at him warmly now. “Anyway, what should your next delay be? I’m thinking storms over Tulsa. An oldie but a goodie.”

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Heartbreak: A Vampire and a Mosquito

By Sam Jarvis

The vampire stood in front of the mosquito, trying to keep his eyes on her as she hovered.

“Please, Leonard,” the mosquito begged. “Don’t do this.”

“You’re great, but I just think we’re moving in different directions.”

“But we have so much in common! Drinking blood? That’s a big one.” The mosquito looked helpless. She tried to flutter her eyes, be sexy, but the vampire shook his head.

“I’m dead and you’re a very small bug. I just don’t think it’s going to work.”

“But we BOTH drink blood! That is like, super bonding.” She argued, flying slightly closer.

“Yeah, I get it, we both drink blood. But that isn’t enough to sustain a relationship.” Now the mosquito was getting annoyed. She sighed with gusto.

“What about all of our plans? Our travel dreams?”

“I don’t remember making any specific plans,” he started, now kicking the dirt at his graying, crusty feet. “I thought this was more casual.”

“Casual? You thought this was CASUAL?” Her little arms were now crossed. The vampire sighed.

“Look I like you, but you’re coming off as clingy.”

“I thought we were in love.” Her eyes darted around, tears streamed from her tiny face.

“I’m sorry, but I’m done. You gave my sister four bites and she was itching so badly she needed to go to the dermatologist to get prescription cortisone cream.”

“I thought she was some floosy trying to date my man!”

“I’m not your man, Veronica. And if you don’t leave me alone I’ll have to buy bug spray.”

The mosquito shook her head in disgust.

“You are not the vampire I thought you were, Leonard Van Hausen. Not that vampire at all.”

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Life of a Haasler

By Sam Jarvis

It’s weird being one of the hottest foods of 2015. It’s been a real transition for us over the past few years. Everybody talks about the “guacamole days” and how depressing they were, but slowly we’ve made an epic return (thanks Obama!). My friend Dave was put on a turkey burger. Eleanor was laid over an omelette. Those would both be good ways to go, I suppose. We’ve lost good men sitting on kitchen counters for a day too long, the brilliant green of their insides turning brown and gray. To be mushy and thrown away is every avocado’s nightmare. Even thinking about it gives me a pit in my stomach, although it’s probably just the actual pit in my stomach.

Going out with glory is important to me. To all of us. That’s why the second you get put in a grocery store you need to pray for a good home. A 20-year-old, new to living on their own, could come and scoop you up and the next thing you know you’re in the garbage can. Young people don’t have the patience or knowledge to appropriately deal with ripening. They get distracted and by the time they remember they even have an avocado, it’s too late.

I want more for my short life, you know? It’s easy to be complacent and end up in a cobb salad. Which is fine, it’s just not for me. I want to be special. Go out with a bang! So every night as I drift to sleep, snuggling with the rest of the gang in produce, the hum of the freezer section droning on, I picture it. The best way to go.

I can see her now. A woman, 30 or 35, in a t-shirt and jeans (yoga pants would be fine also), picks me up. As she squeezes me gently I hold my breath. She is the perfect person to appreciate what I am and more importantly who I am. I make it into her basket, meeting new friends Greek yogurt and flax seed bread. I’m liking this crowd already. We don’t get into a car, we walk home. It’s been so long since I’ve felt the breeze on the face I don’t have.

Her kitchen is lovely. Simple, but homey. She is in the prime of her life and career, having yet to settle into children and everything that comes with them. She’s independent. Alive. I spend a day in a large bowl on the counter and I have to say, it’s really nice. Calm.

The next morning I watch her make coffee, effortless in her work blouse. She puts a piece of the flax seed bread into the toaster and I am moments away from everything I’ve always wanted. Please be for me, I think to myself. The toaster dings and she takes me into her arms. I am so happy I could die. I am dying, really. As she slices me, adds pepper and a hint of sriracha salt, I have somehow made it to the nirvana of my kind, the highest honor bestowed on an individual Haas. I have become avocado toast.

When I open my eyes I’m still in Trader Joe’s, sad to be ripped away from my dreams once more. But then, there she is. The woman I’ve always pictured, sipping on a green juice. She walks over, feels some of us. This is it. Hold your breath.

Read more of my short stories here.