Cement and Chuckles

Flash fiction!

I am a chuckler. You know, one of those guys who just randomly lets out a chuckle on the bus, in the park, in bed.
I was helping out a friend of mine (who is not a chuckler, but more of a giggler, but only when aggravated) put up a brick wall in his basement when I let out a chuckle.
"What's up, Mal?" The beautiful thing about Smitty (not his real name) is that he hasn't gotten tired of asking me why I chuckle.
I, clearing my throat, "have you ever read 'The Cask of Amontillado?'" I layered in another brick to the top of the wall.
"Really? Not even in high school?" I put some more mortar on the brick I just laid.
"Nope. I didn't go to a fancy school like you. Public education right here."
"Huh." I chuckled again.
"Why do you ask?" He was working the bottom, checking the mortar with his finger.
"Well," I said as I laid down the next brick. "There are these two friends in a basement, or vault, or something. It's Poe, so you know it has to be a dark basement. Which it is." I scooped some more mortar onto my trowel. "No surpises there, right?"
He grunted assention.
"So these two friends, I don't think they're really friends I think one of them is wanting revenge, are chit-chatting it up, talking about a drink, or something I don't remember, it has been since high school, and the torch starts to fizzle and spit, right? It's running out of juice."
"Yeah, yeah. All the while they're chit-chatting, their building this wall between them. Very meta, right? It's supposed to symbolize the death of friendship and how after years and years and years of seeing your friends at their lowest points, eventually you just shut them out."
"Except in this case, they actually did."
"Right. So, this torch fizzles and spits, and the guy who wants revenge walks the other guy into this tomb." I laid the last brick and stood back to examine my good work. "But this other guy is like 'nuh -uh' and they get into a fight."
"Rightfully so."
"Yeah. So they get into this fight and the guy who wants revenge gets it. He accidentally pushes the other guy into the vault and he dies."
"Right there. I mean, he was drunk, so it couldn't have been that hard. And the other guy's like, 'shit, I just killed a man. But... I'm in the catacombs. I can just mortar up my fuck-up."
"And he did."
"Yeah." I looked down at Smitty, who looked up at me. "Where's the door to this thing?"
"There ain't one."
"So, only one exit?"
"Yep." I sighed an 'I'm done' sigh, and smiled. "Beer?"
I walked to the basement door and opened it. On the other side was a brick wall. "Um, Smitts?"
"There's a brick wall here too."
"Yeah, I know."
I turned around. Smitty was leaning against the wall we just built. He was cleaning his nails with a rather large blade. "Smitts?"
"Where's your chuckle now?"
And he started to giggle.


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