Monday, June 26, 2006

Entry #28

"Out With the Old… "
by J. Scott Ellis

Jonah popped a camel from the pack and snatched it with his teeth. He snapped open his Zippo and inhaled a waft of butane from the wick, then thumbed the striker once, twice. Oh for fucks sake.

“I need a light,” he said. An approaching semi flashed bleaching light through the windshield. Hollow steel-grey eyes scrutinized him from the rear view mirror.

“You should quit,” his father said through a swirling flume of smoke, “that shit will kill you.”

“Leave him alone you big bully,” Sherry said from the passenger seat in a playful tone. She was barely older than Jonah. Her breasts brushed his knees as she leaned into the back seat. Rubbing delicately against him like a cat, she kissed the end of her cigarette to his.

His father jerked her back by the hair and tossed her into a heap on her seat. “Asshole!” she screamed.

“Leave her alone!”

“Shut the fuck up boy.”

“You shut the fuck up old man.”

Brakes squealed. “Out of the car--now!”

They squared off on rough, pock-marked pavement. Electricity sizzled and hummed through wires draping overhead from a wooden telephone pole like clothesline.

“You don’t have the balls Jo--”

A lifetime of fear and resentment balled into Jonah’s fist, caving his fathers face like a cudgel through ripe melon. Death was instant.

Jonah whirled to the muffled cry behind him as she stumbled backward onto the car hood. Steel-grey eyes of the conqueror bore down on her.


Jaye Wells said...

“You should quit,” his father said through a swirling flume of smoke, “that shit will kill you.”

Great line. And portentious. Again very nice job with setting a scene here.

Flood said...

How many sons haven't fantasized about the same situation?

You're definately maintaining a voice for yourself, Scott. Good job.

K. Lawson Gilbert said...

utterly chilling

mr. schprock said...

I like how Shelly's relationship with the two men is ambiguous. And lots of good lines, like: "Rubbing delicately against him like a cat, she kissed the end of her cigarette to his," and "…caving his fathers face like a cudgel through ripe melon."

Strong, disturbing imagery. Good writing.

Scott said...

Jaye - Funny that you picked out that line. I massaged that one for just the intent you described, so you can imagine that I'm excited that you picked it out.

Flood - Thanks. I'm using the same character when he was younger.

Lawson - I appreciate that.

Mr. Schprock - I guess she likes playing with fire. Thanks. I'll have to tell you about those lines later. Let's just say they didn't always read that way.

Toni Anderson said...

Very nice writing, Scott. Good job.

Shesawriter said...

I think this one is my new favorite! Great writing, Scott!!!

Bailey Stewart said...

Very intense and emotional. Hard to do with such limited space but you managed it superbly. Good job.

Bhaswati said...

Strong, disturbing, good-paced. Enjoyed reading this, Scott.

Scott said...

Toni - Thanks for the kudos and for stopping by!

Tanya - I like the sound of that.

Bailey - Yes, it is a challenge to cram so much into so little a space. Thanks.

Bhaswati - Thanks. By the way, the check's in the mail.

fringes said...

After the final line, the story continues in the mind of the reader. Well done.

JLB said...

I really enjoyed this one - the emotions and imagery are both strong... in fact, so well written was the scene that I found myself longing for a cig (and I'm two years' a nonsmoker)

anna said...

Nice tension throughout
interesting interaction between
the brother and sister
bang up ending!

desiderata said...

nice smoking out; no smoker has to quit, only some passive smokers have to die. ooch, I'm a non-S.

Elisha Bridges said...

Your first sentence grabbed me and you had me reading transfixed to the end. Wonderful!

Scott said...

Erica - Thanks. I like that for sure.

JLB - Wow. Not bad then!

Anna - Thanks. The girl was the father's young girlfriend, but that wasn't said explicitly. Interesting. Gives it an even more twisted feel.

Desiderata - I grew up with smoking parents. I can't stand it! All my fictional smokers will meet an untimely demise.

Elisha - That was very nice to say. Thanks.

jason evans said...

Scott, the dialog is strong. Loved the immediacy and power of the argument. "Brakes squealed. 'Out of the car--now!" My heart was pounding!