Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Entry #50

Carry that Weight
by emeraldcite and emdashpoet

She spent the night in a dumpster; that wasn’t what she deserved.

John didn’t discover the body. That honor went to the gangly kid from the fast food place across the street with eyes red from crying, or maybe from the cigarette he breathed through.

The kid said she had a pretty face, at least until someone made it so she couldn’t have an open casket.

The kid’s hands shook; ash fell to the ground. He took another drag, coughed acrid smoke, kept talking.

John’s detective badge, the monkey on his back, felt a hundred years old. He wanted to duck to the next alley, away from the flashing lights and murmuring crowd, take a drag himself—let all those years melt away.

He needed to focus.

Everyone in this town was broken; now here was another kid broken by memories, smoking years off his life.

John nodded his head in all the right places, but noticed his notes were now gibberish. There was a disconnect somewhere. Like bad wiring.

John had the sudden urge to call his daughter. He’d met the guy she’d run off with once. They exchanged some words, then she’d left at just eighteen. They should catch up. He wasn’t that bad anymore.

“Did you get that?” the kid said.

“Yeah, I got it all.”

“Sherry. Sherry Stipes. That’s the name I remember. The name her friend said.”

Then it all faded to static for John.

That was the day Detective John Stipes decided to retire.


anne frasier said...

very nice!

Anonymous said...

This gives the impression of being a really bad town to live in. Good idea.

Anonymous said...

oooohh... cold shivers! nice!

Jeff said...

Good story!

Anonymous said...

"He wasn't that bad anymore".
Enough said.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh. As a parent, this one broke my heart... well done!

Jim said...

Well played. I liked the last line on this one.

Anonymous said...

Good and gripping piece of writing which really draws the reader in. Well done.

emeraldcite said...

Thanks everyone!

My wife and I had a great time working on this piece.

We shaved it down from 400 words and are really happy with it.

It was tough to kill some of the darlings, but found that, in the end, the piece was better off.

Anonymous said...

Such an effective way of showing his inability to concentrate. His wandering thoughts were well done.

High marks for entertainment and voice.