Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Entry #23

"Hard Day's Night"
by Anne Erre


Walk in the door, head straight to the bar and pour a stiff drink, maybe even drink the whole day into oblivion — that was the plan.

When he turned on the hallway lights, one of them was flickering. Would the hassle ever stop? Why did he need two lights in the hallway anyway?

The plan held. He would take care of the lamp after the first drink.

He kept the first sip of bourbon on his tongue a while, anticipating the rush of alcohol, looking forward to the light-headedness that would come with the second drink. No food all day would help ensure that.

Second drink down. Nice.

He poured himself a third one and went to have a look at the lamp.

He screwed the bulb tighter and turned the light back on. Still flickering.

For crying out loud.

He set his drink on the table, and under he went, fiddling with the outlet. No good. Maybe a wire was loose in the cord. He couldn’t be bothered with it now though. He felt nice and cozy under the table, like a child’s comfort place. And comfort was exactly what the doctor had ordered just now.

Startled by the phone, he jumped up and knocked himself cold against the sharp angle of the table, spilling his drink in the process. When the dripping bourbon touched the outlet, a spark flared up, and the flickering briefly worsened. The fire was quick to spread.

His last day could have been better.

7 comments:

Bernita said...

Nice story,nice twist, but - verbs - here and there, slow the pace.
"was flickering" - "flickered."
"Maybe a wire was loose." -
"Maybe a loose wire."

Robin said...

Very nice and I, too, liked the twist!

JP said...

That last line is the clincher.

Lyn said...

First, good plot. Excellent execution (pun intended). "For crying out loud." Love it. I'm assuming he was fired and so when I reread the first paragraph wondered if he should drink the rest of the day into oblivion. Just a thought. Like B said, tighten up the verbs. Nice first and third person juxtaposition - punch line was classically understated. Good job. Lyndon

desiderata said...

wow -- good plot, steady pace. ending with a low twist. Well done, definitely not into oblivion!

Bhaswati said...

Neatly done, for it's completeness within the word limit. The ending jolted me a bit, but was a great twist!

jason evans said...

Anne, you have such a strong writing voice. It blended well with your theme--the folly of an impossibly bad day. Loved the line "Second drink down. Nice."

High marks on voice and pacing.