Monday, August 28, 2006

Entry #66

Heads or Tales
by forgottenmachine


It began with the toss of a coin. Not just any coin, but a silver dollar that hung for what seemed an age at its arc, and lit by the lanterned streets glistened as big as the moon in a moonless sky. All things revert to their true nature, and so the dollar tumbled back into a gloved palm.

"Heads."

It should be impossible to guess at the decision made, but the lilting voice and roguish appearance suggested tomfoolery was the essence of it.

Hours later, Hellion stood in the alley behind the hotel bar, warmed by three brandies, none of which seemed to take the edge off. A few yards away, a gun was supported in midair by the arm of a man. Anonymous, because his name has no relevance to this tale, only that his ears still rang with the laughter of his fellow dipsomaniacs, his embarrassment still flushed pale cheeks. He'd feel much improved as soon as he lodged a bullet into the forehead of this trickster. Trigger clicked, physics performed its role with aplomb, yet the satisfying trickle of blood he was hoping for was, disastrously, missing.

Hellion stepped over the now crumpled figure, and felt a tingle as his body absorbed the lead in his skull. If they'd told him that after millennia, immortality was only useful for the occasional cheap thrill, he’d not have been so eager.

He drew his coat tighter around him, whilst in its pocket, two silver faces broke into grins.


[One might guess that impending fatherhood might have affected forgottenmachine's penchant for the darkly funny side of life, but this does not seem to be the case. He blames the birthing videos in antenatal class for this.]

12 comments:

robert rohloff said...

Well written. A good read.

Jim said...

That was a satisfying read. I especially liked that last line.

Joni said...

This is very good. Tight flow, tied together very nicely. A favorite. Kudos.

nicholas abbot said...

"It begam with a toss of a coin." is a great beginning. Hooks you right in.

anne frasier said...

ah, very nice, forgottenmachine!!
loved the masculine, self-deprecating humor.

you have a great voice!

just wait until the baby actually arrives. then it'll be all unicorns and sprites. ;)

sandra seamans said...

I like the flow of this story and the old world lanuage of it. You draw us in and take us on a great ride.

klgilbert said...

This was truly unique....

Liked the way the coin toss started it off. That was a great hook. Then tied it back to beginning with at the end with the two-headed coin smiling. Very creative story.

Linda Fort-Bolton said...

immortality was only usefol for the occasional cheap thrill- hey that is good.
I enjoyed reading this.

forgottenmachine said...

Wow! Thank you all for those most unexpected comments!

(insert sheepish smile)

Luke said...

Pregnant or not, you still manage to deliver :)
Way cool story this one.

Kelly Parra said...

FM, another awesome entry! Best of luck with your soon-to-be newborn!

jason evans said...

I like the exploration of boredom in immortality. Something so simple as a double-headed coin could give him a glimmer of excitement. Good marks overall.