Fathom Mag

Published on:
May 26, 2020
Read time:
3 min.
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Jacob (Part III)

Jacob is a series of flash fiction that takes place in 2005, when we were still trying to figure out if Jack and Meg White were siblings or exes.

No one made a better breakfast than Kenny’s mom. She purchased real maple syrup to go with her pancakes, and her refrigerator never seemed to run out of whole milk. Mrs. Jeffers has been divorced from Kenny’s dad for a few years now, and seemed to enjoy the company of her son and his friends. She was always asking if they wanted anything else: more orange juice, or more bacon. Jacob figured she liked to feel needed. 

“I think we should practice today,” Becket said, rolling his last pancake into the shape of a taquito, “we haven’t practiced in forever.” “Yeah maybe,” John replied, looking down with wide eyes at his plate, which had just been refilled by Mrs. Jeffers. 

Most of their practices ended in a debate over whether or not Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers was really the best bassist of all time.
Rachel Joy Welcher

“Okay, but we gotta stop covering Weezer. I want to do some older stuff, like The Ramones or Bowie,” Kenny said.

“Agreed,” Jacob said, downing a glass of milk.

They went down to Kenny’s garage where they plugged in chords and turned on amps. Kenny ran back upstairs to get a pillow to put inside the bass drum. They had never once played a show, but they had designed three different t-shirts and had three different band names, so they were pretty legit. 

Their current name was “The Assassinations” which, admittedly, had way too many syllables. Jacob was the bassist, with Kenny on drums, Becket on guitar and vocals, and John on electric guitar. 

“Erin’s coming over by the way…” Becket said, straightening his mic stand. 

“You called her?” Jacob asked, with more volume than he intended.

“She wants to watch us rehearse,” Becket said, opening a case filled with guitar picks. He never seemed to notice how Jacob felt about things, which in this case was a good thing. Because Jacob felt angry. He was baffled that Becket could so easily call Erin up and get her to come over. Like it was nothing! 

“Jacob, don’t you wanna go fix your hair?” John teased. Becket was oblivious and Kenny smirked behind his drum set. 

“Maybe Sarah will come with her...,” Kenny mumbled, forgetting for a moment that the others could hear him. John laughed and shook his head. Kenny began a quick beat on the drums, to drown out his transparency. 

“I hope she brings the whole swim team with her,” Becket said. “Now, let’s rock!”

Most of their practices ended in a debate over whether or not Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers was really the best bassist of all time. This time, however, there were girls watching. 

Erin not only brought Sarah, but Jamie, Kelsey, and Andi, to watch them practice. They sat on some boxes marked for Goodwill, and whispered back and forth repeatedly. Jacob noticed Erin’s hair, which fell over one shoulder in a two-toned braid. They made eye contact and Jacob quickly looked away, hoping she didn’t think he was staring. Erin was the kindest person he had ever met. She helped people with their homework, even when they didn’t thank her. She was the only junior who still walked her little sister to school every morning. 

“Do you know any Avril Lavigne?” Jamie asked, startling Jacob from his thoughts. Kenny moaned. 

Thankfully, the band was rescued from playing “Sk8er Boi” when Mrs. Jeffers came down the stairs, holding a plate of steaming pizza rolls and the telephone. “John, it’s your mom for you,” she said. The girls gathered around the tray of food, and John took the call upstairs. 

“John,” his mom said, “I need you to come home.” 

“Why? What’s up?”

“It’s about your dad.”

“What about dad? Can’t you tell me now?”

“Come home and we’ll talk.”

Please, mom. What is it?” John pleaded.

“They can’t find him,” she said, “He’s gone.” 

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine and an Acquisitions Editor for Lexham Press. She earned her MLitt. from The University of St. Andrews. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Two Funerals, Then Easter and Blue Tarp, and the book, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality (InterVarsity Press, 2020). You can follow her on Twitter @racheljwelcher.

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