Kelsee stared at the animated dancing wolf on the TV screen. Its broad mouth was cranked into a grin. Its eyes--wide, cartoonish and silly blue--begged Kelsee to come join her and the line of flouncing children in their parade of cheer. As the jolly music transitioned into an obnoxious trumpet blast, the screen exploded with color and shoved a bowl sparkly cereal onto the center stage.
"EAT SPARKLEY PUFFS! THEY'RE NUTRICOUS, NEVER VISCOUS!"
The grinning wolf popped up in front of the cereal bowl. He gave a bashful shrug before he was whisked off the screen to make way for the next commercial.
Kelsee's fist tightened on her spoon. She wanted to kill that wolf.
Rays of mangled happiness manufactured to sell products had always been a reliable source of irritation for Kelsee; animated salescartoons were no exception. She had always been able to look past them--however she found this particular one had left a lasting impression. Perhaps it was the singing. Perhaps it was the nauseating slogan. Perhaps it was the mindless child slaves dancing along to the beat.
Either way, Kelsee did not feel particularly cheery. Any attempts to swindle her out of her conviction made her dig her heels in deeper. Of course, it could also do with the fact that she was holding a bowl of sparkly puffs and had become an unwilling contributor to their advertising mechanics.
She closed her eyes and shifted her legs so blood could flow into the one that had fallen asleep. How long had she been sitting here? The meaningless babble emanating from the TV had lost its charm on her throughout the day. She had become slowly numbed to it, her mind robotically processing the pictures and words until that stupid wolf had shown up. Now, that little hiccup had shattered her bubble, and she found herself unhappily crashed back on reality.
Bracing herself, she glanced at the clock above the little table in the corner of the living room. 5:34. Terrific.
So much for passing out resumes. Kelsee stuffed another spoonful of sparkly puffs into her mouth. They tasted more nauseatingly sweet now, but she stubbornly swallowed them anyways.
Kelsee was hiding. Hiding from what exactly, she wasn't sure. Two weeks ago she had left her job. It had been one of those dead-end minimum wage jobs that typically made everyone miserable; customer and co-worker included.
Everyone else seemed to have killed whatever happiness resided in their souls so they could endure such a miserable environment, but no matter how much Kelsee had tried to copy them, she hadn't been quite able to pull it off. And then the incident had happened, and Kelsee didn't like to thinking about that.
So here she was--watching TV, eating a terrible cereal that made her tastebuds shrivel, and despising dancing wolf cartoons. Her parents, though sympathetic towards her circumstances, had slowly begun applying pressure for her to begin searching for another job. But the very thought of jumping into another job with new people, new training, and new stressors, only made her want to bury herself into the couch and live as a couch hermit for the rest of her life.
Well, maybe not a couch hermit, Kelsee thought, casting a glance at the curtained window. Though she hadn't had any energy to look for jobs, she had had more time to tend to her garden in the backyard. It was one of her favorite hobbies. She had been taught at a young age how to properly plant, maintain, and sow. Back before her family had moved, she used to live closer to her Grandma Veronica, who taught her all the gardening essentials.
There was something so unexplainably satisfying about seeing a little sprout blossom into something breathtaking--something that had been brought about by Kelsee's hands. It was one of the few things in life Kelsee actually enjoyed.
Kelsee looked back at the jabbering TV. Perhaps one day she might be able to find job that brought her as much joy as gardening. But for now, she wanted nothing to do with job hunting. In fact, she would prefer watching a dozen dancing wolves for hours on end over job hunting. The very thought sent a shiver down Kelsee's spine, but she held firm in her convictions.