Thursday, April 27, 2006

Entry #33

"Every Hope and Dream"
by SF Johnston

My wife Rebecca is down the hall behind that door. Her best friend Heather came over tonight, and they were going to drink Chardonnay and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s and talk all the way through it. She’ll be singing Moon River to herself.

But there’s blood on the front of my Jag, and a startled face burning itself onto my retinas. I have to go in there and–

And all I can do is stare at the two table lamps that Heather gave us at our wedding. My God, I never meant to hurt anybody.

Every hope and dream I ever had came true tonight. I made partner. Haute Medoc with dinner, single malt in the bar, and then she stepped out in front of me. I was going too fast, especially for our neighborhood. But it’s a Jag.

And what did I do? I sped away like a rabbit from a wolf. Like a coward.

Anyway, forensics. There aren’t any other cars like mine around here, and they’ll be coming for me with broken headlight glass in their little bags.

So I’ll go in and shatter Rebecca’s world. Then she’ll hold my hand and we’ll go down to the police station and I’ll end up in prison. I’ll last about a minute.

But I can’t stop staring at our beautiful yellow lamps, and thinking about the very last thing Heather saw before I hit her. Two yellow lamps racing through the black to snuff out every hope and dream.


Bernita said...

Very well done!

For The Trees said...

Holy Shit! Talk about a whammo-dammo climax!!

Primo Quality Prose! Thanks!

Jeff said...

Good story. :)

Lyn said...

Nice foreshadowing. Knew Heather had been the one, but well plotted to keep the suspense going. As I reread though, the opening paragraph assumes Heather is with his wife. Might want to rework it a bit to imply she would normally be there, every Tuesday or something, without giving too much away. Whew, powerful scene. The pathos is there and you do want them to get through this tragedy in time. Drew me in. Lyndon

Lyn said...

Well, I'm sorta dumb. I assumed the first person perspective was thinking his wife and friend were still together (but watching a movie, wouldn't they be?). So I retract a bit of my comments above - more my reading than your writing. Sorry. Just got a little confused. lgp

jason evans said...

SF, such a hard moment expertly portrayed. The protagonist is hanging on to the last moments of his old life. He knows everything will change, but wants to savor the last moments.

Excellent marks all around earning an honorable mention!

SF Johnston said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody.

I think I could have been clearer about the fact that Heather was gone.

Also, if I could do it over, I would change "staring at our" to "staring at those.."

I think that might have created more impact.

But then again, I am known to obsess about a single word for hours...

Great contest Jason, flawlessly run.

SF Johnston