The aptly named Murphy


The Daily Prompt has me intrigued, once again.  And knowing that this can be a fictitious post made me even happier.


Murphy had always thought his parents had named him poorly.  He wasn’t Irish, he certainly didn’t have a cool accent nor did not own a Claddagh ring.  He was sure his name had once been Jonathan, but he had too many accidents as a child to remember anything with any clarity.  He laid in bed pondering this inane moniker and realized the morning sun shone much brighter than it normally did at 6:00 am.  He glanced at his alarm clock the numbers burned into his eyes.  It was 8:46 am and he was already late for work.  He reached for his cell phone to call his boss, but the battery was dead.

He jumped out of bed, tripping over haphazardly strewn clothing and shoes and planted his face into the window sill.  He heard the crack and immediately tasted the coppery tang of his own blood.  His tooth lay on the ground surrounded by drops of his life’s essence.  He picked it up, put the tooth on the nightstand and made his way to the bathroom.

While spending his usual time on the throne, he balled up some gauze and compacted the hole where his tooth used to be.  He wondered if he should leave it there for the company photos they were having taken later that afternoon.  After wasting countless minutes reading his ATV magazine on the john, Murphy finally got up and toggled the lever on the toilet.  It wouldn’t flush.  His mother was going to be disgusted, but he didn’t have time to fix it.

He cranked the shower on and while he waited for the water to warm up he rummaged through the closet for his suit and lay it on the bed.  Returning to the bathroom, he opened the glass door of the shower and it slipped from its hinges shattering into millions of tiny shards of glass.  He could feel the tiny pin pricks in his feet with each step he took to reach the shower.

Once he had crossed the threshold of the stall, he screamed in agony.  He had forgotten to turn on the cold faucet as well as the hot and had given himself second degree burns.  He adjusted the temperature and lathered his hair with shampoo.  The bubbles trickled down his forehead and directly into his eyes.  He was momentarily blinded and fell through the open door of the shower onto the glass covered floor.

Ten minutes later, when his vision had somewhat returned, Murphy picked the remaining pieces of glass from the soles of his feet and his extremities and covered his burns with Polysporin.  His suit was still where he had left it on the bed and was now being used as a cushion by his two long-haired cats.  He shooed them from his attire and stared at the hairball that was once his clothing.   He dressed anyway, did his best to brush the hair from the cloth and headed down the hallway.  He was still getting the last of the big clumps of hair when he missed the top stair and fell head first, tumbling down the stairs like a rag doll in a clothes dryer.

He didn’t hear the sirens or realize the searing pain of his dislocated elbow until he was in the ambulance and they were en route to the hospital.  The ride was bumpy and each time the ambulance met with a pothole, daggers of pain shot through Murphy’s arm.   The ambulance sped along the road approaching a train track.  The track was clear and no lights signaled the approach of any oncoming trains.  The ambulance driver never heard the sound of the train’s horn over their sirens.

Murphy’s funeral is on Friday.

38 thoughts on “The aptly named Murphy

  1. What an interesting look at the craziness of a day in the life of Murphy. I loved: “He heard the crack and immediately tasted the coppery tang of his own blood.” Neat writing!

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