The Mac is back: Mac Eagan may well be Marcus.

Mac Eagan's frank interpretation of our contest

(get it? Marcus Welby, MD?) Literati! Mac Eagan has oiled his Olivetti, smithed his corona or powered up his…well…Mac, to give us a peek of what goes on beneath the surface in Georgia. You sly devil!… Oh? Fiction? …oops!

Marcus

By Mac Eagan

The taxi dropped Marcus off in front of his typical home on a typical street in a typical Louisville neighborhood. He opened the front door, then called out those words that once typified family life.

“Hi, honey, I’m home!”

“Daddy!” Eight-year-old Sarah burst from the living room.

“You’re early,” said a voice from the kitchen.

“Both of yesterday’s meetings finished quickly, so I called today’s client and asked him to . . .”

Melissa walked up and put a finger on his lips.

“You know I don’t care about the details. How long will you be here?”

“Today, the weekend and Monday, then I’ll be in Arizona, Colorado . . .”

The finger returned.

“Details,” she warned. Marcus watched her go back to the kitchen. Average height, average weight, average cute. He wondered if they would have stayed together if she hadn’t gotten pregnant.

“I don’t have supper started yet.”

“How about hot dogs from Nathan’s?”

“Yippee!” said Sarah and danced in the hall.

Saturday morning meant Pop’s Drops, a pancake tradition Marcus started as soon as Sarah was eating solid food, for the weekends he wasn’t away. He was glad school was out for summer break and Monday the three of them hiked a nature trail.

Tuesday morning a cab took him to the airport.

A bus dropped him off in front of his typical apartment building on a typical street in a typical block of Boulder. He opened the front door, then called out those words that once typified family life.

“Hi, honey, I’m home!”

A startled Michelle spun around in front of her workout video, her hand in front of her chest.

“I swear, Marcus, wake the baby and I will kill you.”

Her steam and rumble amused Marcus although he often suspected she kept one finger on the button, able to go nuclear without notice.

She turned back around and started moving in sync with her video, paying no attention to him. She was tall, athletic and often all business. She had absolutely nothing in common with Melissa except she, too, didn’t care about the details.

"All I did was poke a little hole beneath the surface, and all this red stuff came out" Mac Eagan
“All I did was poke a little hole beneath the surface, and all this red stuff came out” Mac Eagan

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Why Charles Kuralt could not wait to get on the road again:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1998-06-01/features/1998152070_1_charles-kuralt-kuralt-america-kuralt-america

 

 

14 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Masterful story telling with natural, smooth and slow crescendo to the beneath the surface cause of disruption in the “typical” and “average” leaving the reader with the mystery of the “details”. The question is asked in one of my favorite movies, “Moonstruck”, “Why does a man need two women?”. The answer was, “May be he fears death.” May be Marcus just welcomes life without the details.

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    I’ve often wondered how one man can keep up the pace with two women and not fall apart or get confused at times about who he is with. Mac in his inimitable way has given us the answer… it’s in the details!!! Love it Mac. Particularly the Nathan’s hotdogs.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      I’m sure it doesn’t hurt Marcus that he doesn’t have to divulge the details to either woman. And as for Nathan’s, what can I say? I had just had lunch at the Sam’s Club cafe’. Seemed a natural choice. Thank you, Diane.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      With your mastery of flash fiction, being able to surprise you is really quite the compliment. Thank you very much, Sal.

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Life seems breathy, no one seems to give a shit what this guy does, so, he does what he wants. Typical. Everything flows in that Mac way and I get to the end. Okay, I get the contest thing (great twist on it) but something else nags me. This is too easy. You usually don’t give it away like this. What is beneath the surface, the sub-surface if you will … that’s it, easy. How simple a man in society can achieve duality to suite himself. No backstory of pain and abuse, no excuses, no, well … nothing.
    Beautiful!

    • Mac Eagan says:

      You lost me somewhere, Mike. You said ‘something nags you’ and ‘too easy’ but end on ‘Beautiful.’ Did you like it? Not? Mixed emotions?
      I will say I deliberately did not focus on a single character but moved toward how many people keep things tucked away.
      Marcus told neither woman about the other.
      Melissa stays with Marcus, but does she love him? Or just go through the motions for the sake of their daughter?
      Michelle is “steam and rumble” – seemingly harmless noise. But what is causing that commotion?
      And all the people we will meet and interact with today and in the future – what are they keeping to themselves, for whatever reason?
      Love your feedback, Professor. Let me know what I need to know.

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