Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Entry #45

Furniture and Betty
by John McAuley

So far I've scavenged a coffee table, two plastic chairs and a small lamp.

See, most people don't leave these apartments voluntarily, so, when they get booted-out, they dump their stuff because they've got nowhere to take it. I try to pick up what I can without looking like a vulture.

My own apartment doesn't have much of a view, but it's better than what I had before.

The old guy next door drinks vodka and milk. Says it soothes his stomach and doesn't give him a hangover. He talks a lot, especially about Sweaty Betty. She lives over in number twelve and supposedly gives a helluva ride for twenty bucks.

Tough times.

I read about a man my age robbing a bank for forty dollars. He gave the cash to a security guard then waited for the cops.

He asked the judge to give him just enough time in prison to where he'd be old enough to collect Social Security--he'd lost his job and just couldn't hold on for another year.

The judge obliged.

Tough times.

Ten months until my Social Security kicks in. Until then I'll keep flipping burgers.

But I'm thinking about dipping in to my retirement fund.

Thirty grand.

It cost me fifteen years without parole because I'd never tell them where the money was.

I'll be careful.

I'll buy some cheap furniture.

And if Sweaty Betty hasn't been evicted I may pay her a call.


RG said...

That's funny :-)

Fran Piper said...

Good voice, and a nice twist. Good job!

Jeff said...

Nice pacing. Good story!

Joni said...

Yeah, yeah, very well crafted. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Good story, well written and nicely crafted.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I love that last line and the vein of humour throughout!

Bernita said...


Anonymous said...

The true story of the bank robbery recently in the news worked in there was brilliant. Fiction inspired by real life is some of the best.

Amish Handcrafted Furniture said...

Pretty tough life eh? All the best with the next 10 months.

caveblogem said...

Nice voice here, somehow very believable and realistic.

Dafath said...

god, retrograde: 20 bucks 20 years ago or more

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh, nice! You totally got me with this. Twists rock! And you even pulled it off in 250 words. :-)

John McAuley said...

Thanks for the kind words!
And Waveman... good on ya' for noticing my use of a real life incident. I thought it would be a good fit for the moral/legal shades of grey in my little story.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this one John,

Nice pacing, a bit of comedy mixed in, and the 'real fiction' aspect as well.

Good work


Anonymous said...

Expertly done. Great sense of balance and pacing. You give the reader little rests right where they're needed.

Highest marks overall!

Congratulations on 3rd Place!!