A Dying Newspaper Promise by Terveen Gill

Tutu licked his index finger twice, not just the tip but the entire length of it.

He then pressed it down on the paper and turned the page of the newspaper.

His eyes barely read the words, but his tongue clicked its disapproval.

Tchh! Tchh!

That was the sound it made. More than a few times.

Tutu disliked the news and the interest people showed in it.

He knew the world was going to hell and so did everyone else.

Then why did they have to be reminded of it?

Tchh! Tchh! Tchh!

Tutu done with the second page, licked his finger twice and proceeded to page three.

His eyes ran left to right, top to bottom, and even scanned the page diagonally.

It was his promise to his dying mother that had made him persist at this boring habit.

Struggling for her last breaths, the woman had said to him –

Tutu, my favorite son, turn the pages of life and move on.

Unsure of why she had said favorite, Tutu was the only child, the man had thought long and hard about the pages his mother might have been referring to.

His uninspired mind presumed that it could only be the newspaper. It had pages and life was splattered all over it.

Tchh! Tchh! Tchh! Tchh! Tchh! Tchh!

The sixth page sent Tutu’s tongue into a frenzy

He wanted to banish the evil that lay in front of him. Either tear it to pieces or set it on fire.

But his mother’s soul would pay for it. She would languish in the abyss of broken promises.

So Tutu turned page after page, his tongue licking his blackened finger, clicking against the insides of his clenched teeth.

When the last page emerged, Tutu slammed the newspaper on the floor and stomped on it.

Having vented his frustration, he lay down and drifted off to sleep.

The man’s dying mother had also made him promise to find a decent job, marry a pretty wife, and quit ruining his already pathetic life.

But Tutu wasn’t sure if he had heard this correctly.

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