Regrouping From Horror

(Max enters the kitchen)

Cassie: Oh Good. Do me a favor?

Max: What?

Cassie: Go down to the storage room, the little one, and bring up a few rolls of paper towels for me….okey dokes?

Max: No can do.

Cassie: Huh? Immediately. Go get ’em!

Max: Not possible at this time.

Cassie: What on earth are you talking about?! Got my hands gunked-up here with chicken gross-ness. No more spare rolls anywhere in the cabinets. I need more paper towels this instant!

Max: (quietly) Just watched an episode of “American Horror Story.”

Cassie: So?! What?!

Max: I’m regrouping.

Cassie: What do you mean? You’re scared?

Max: Hell yes! Totally wrecked.

Cassie: Why do you watch that shit?

Max: Cuz it’s awesome. You seen that show?

Cassie: No. I don’t do horror. You know that. Remember that time when we went to see “Planet of the Apes” and they showed that one movie preview–

Max: Yea. That was very embarrassing….when you started whimpering.

Cassie: They shouldn’t show previews like that in a PG-13 crowd. (Pause) Like with the “Exorcist.” Just saying the name, gives me palpitations and hives.

Max: Not me. “Exorcist” wasn’t that scary.

Cassie: Oh yeah? But now, from “American Horror Story,” you have to regroup?

Max: Yea. Takes about an hour…if it’s a totally freakish episode. This one was.

Cassie: So, is that why you’re down here? Milling about? Chatting me up?

Max: (quietly) Yea. Touching base with humanity.

(Scott enters the kitchen.)

Cassie: (toward Scott) Go get me some more paper towel rolls will ya?

Scott: Big Boy, go get your mother some paper towel rolls.

Cassie: He can’t. He’s regrouping.

Scott: What?

Cassie: “American Horror Story.”

Scott: (to Max) I told you not to watch that crap.

Max: I can’t help it.

Scott: Watch it in the day so you’re not so freaked.

Max: Not scary enough. Dad, this one episode, the kid is the killer…the evil one…it’s hard to explain, but the whole thing of figuring out who’s evil and who’s not blows your mind… and he goes down into the basement and he gets clawed up by this beast of evil kind of thing.

Cassie: I still need the paper towels.

Scott: I don’t watch that shit. I watched “Exorcist” when I was in sixth grade or something. Everyone else at the sleepover had seen it like a hundred times, but it was my first time.

Max: (chuckling) You were a “Horror Virgin.”

Scott: (Scott shoots him a look) Pfffft. Yea. Anyway, after that I couldn’t sleep for a month. I could feel my bed moving every time I’d try to drift off…..

Max: So you understand why I can’t go down into a storage area in the dead of night.

Cassie: It’s 9:30 at night. Not quite the dead of night. Jesus.

Max: The storage area is ruined for me until tomorrow morning…when it’s a new day and I’ve had ample time to regroup.

Scott: (smirking) “Ample time to regroup.” That’s funny, Max.

Cassie: Until the next time when you become “horror traumatized” watching a new episode and you have regroup all over again.

Max: Exactly. I can’t wait.

Scott: Ridiculous.

(I’ve washed my hands of chicken carcass remains, shaken them vigorously in the sink and then swiped them across my pants. I head out the kitchen door and down the stairs to the outside storage area to get the freaking paper towels. I flip on the storage room light and quickly gather four rolls of paper towels. I flip off the light, shut the door as well as I can with the towel rolls in my arms and rush back up the stairs. I’m worried that my husband and son are going to play a trick on me and lock the kitchen door, turn off the outside lights or something. My trip has taken less than thirty seconds start to finish. I’m breathing heavily as I come back in the door.)

Scott: You okay?

Cassie: It was horrifying. Why didn’t you get the towels for me?! Huh?!

Scott: I was thinking back to those days of “Exorcist.” (whistling) Scary times.

Max: He was regrouping.

Cassie: Pffft.

(Max leaves the kitchen to touch base with humanity elsewhere in the house.)

Scott: Probably won’t sleep tonight.

Cassie: Stupid horror movies.

Scott: Yep.