Words will keep us together

Fiction, musings and all things writing by Gregory T. Janetka

Johnny’s Perfect Day

Finally, it was done.

“Perfection!”  The joy rang out from Johnny’s voice.

He had been trying all summer long to do something perfect, and now he could finally rest easy, knowing he had done it, and all by himself.

As he stood back and admired his creation he felt an entirely new sensation sweep over him – he was proud.

It was big, real big.  Why, it stretched the whole length of his bedroom, neatly bisecting it.  Certainly this was a thing of beauty.  With just a hint of vanity, he thought, “Gee, I bet no one has EVER done anything like this before.”  And to be sure, he was correct.

To get a better view he stood way back in the far corner and admired his diligent handiwork.  He added up everything it took to make it – 2 corkboards, a bottle and a half of glue, eighty toothpicks, and eighty large beetles.

Just then there was a knock on the door.  Johnny unlocked it, it was his mom.  “Dinner will be in five minutes young man,” she cheerfully declared, and promptly disappeared.

He thought back to that day he had passed by the high school and found the perfectly good corkboards in the trash.  They certainly weren’t trash anymore!  And it was pure inspiration when he impaled that squirrel on a sharpened stick during the campout.  Why, everything just fell into place after that.  His favorite part had been putting the beetles on the toothpicks.  They made two slight popping noises – once when the point entered the exoskeleton, and a second when it exited.  It was his favorite part….and now it was done.

Johnny spent a minute looking at his first shot at perfection that summer – his door.  While pretty good, he just knew it wasn’t perfect.
On the outside he had painted the full-size outline of a man, just like the one from the medical book his mother had given him for his birthday.  Then, he marked all of the lethal spots on the body and carefully dug holes through them with a pushpin.  It was neat when the sun shined in behind it, for he got to know what time of day it was by the direction of the beams penetrating the deadly areas.

In the hallway, on the wall opposite his door, he placed a large mirror.  Then, when he closed his door and stood behind it on a stool, he could look through the eyeholes and see himself as this man.  Each day he chose another lethal spot to study and squirted fake blood through the hole, watching in the mirror to see what it would be like if he ever got that particular wound.  This had kept his occupied most of the summer, but it just wasn’t perfect enough – the toothpick chain, however, was.


Mmmm!  Mmmm!  It was one of his favorites – steak with mashed potatoes.  And it was perfect.  He mother certainly belonged in the kitchen, because this was delicious!

As he felt his teeth tear the flesh apart, he was glad he could help the cows out.  “Without humans, cows really wouldn’t have a purpose, would they mom?”

“Not really honey.”

“I’m glad we can at least give them that then.”  It was good that their flesh nourished his body and their milk his bones, but he was glad they weren’t as smart as humans, or they would try to take his mother’s milk and feed it to their babies – which wouldn’t be so good.  He was glad that humans had a purpose and didn’t need any other creatures to make it for them.

Finishing his milk, he declared, “It certainly is good to be above all the animals.”  Just then, he hoped he never died, and excused himself from the table.

With a contented air, he sauntered into a small room, locked himself in, and proceeded to defecate into a ceramic bowl.  Johnny said “goodbye” to that piece of himself and pushed the lever.  He hoped he never died.

It had gotten to be much later than he thought, and so he prepared himself for bed.  With teeth brushed and pajamas on, he climbed under the covers.  Once comfortable he reached over to his bedside lamp and turned it off.  As he laid in the dark, he made a series of hand gestures and spoke to his ceiling.  He knew it understood.  With some more gestures he was finally prepared to rest.  Closing his eyes and folding his arms over his chest, he fell asleep with a smile on his face.  Tomorrow he was going to begin 4th grade, and with perfection in tow, he knew he was gonna do it right.

-June 2007


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