“Bill, Bill, Bill,” Carter said as he sorted through the day’s mail. “Ah, finally some real mail.”
He tossed the junk mail into the trash can and sat down in the living room reading his new magazine. Carter loved getting things in the mail, so he subscribed to every free catalog and inexpensive magazine he could. Every Wednesday was like Christmas when the grocery store ads slid through the mail slot.
When he lived at home with his parents, they never let him collect or read so many magazines, which made moving out three months earlier a momentous occasion. One night, after a long night shift at the local pizza joint, Carter relaxed in the living room with a new fall garden catalog and his free pizza for working his shift.
“Stupid light,” he said after the overhead light turned off while browsing through the berry bushes section.
He clicked the floor lamp’s switch, but nothing happened. “Stupid lamp.”
Carter stumbled through the living room and into the kitchen, but that light didn’t turn on either. He wiped the sweat from his face, tapped the thermostat, and turned the air conditioner on. Nothing happened. “Stupid AC.”
He glanced out the window and it looked like everyone else had power, so he picked up the phone to call his parents and find out what he should do, but there was no dial tone. “Stupid phone.”
Grumbling filled the kitchen as he poured himself a glass of water until a knock on the door drew his attention. Grumbling filled the apartment as he walked through to answer the door. There was no one there, but someone had left a note taped to the door.
“Three day eviction. Past due rent.” He read the note several times and shook his head. “Rent? What’s rent?”
In the morning, he started complaining to everyone at work about the lack of power and the note. Everyone looked dumbfounded. There was no way that an eighteen year old would not know to pay his bills, right? By the end of the day, everyone knew that yes, there was at least one who truly thought everything in life was free. Especially after the police arrested Carter for shoplifting from the local grocery store.
This short was inspired by the FOWC prompt: due