Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Entry #4

The Heights
by Peter Davidson


"So you made it?" she said, with studied indifference.

The escalator carrying me towards her faltered. Beyond redemption, its fate like mine, assured.

"Surprised?"

She shrugged. I wanted to brush the hair from her face, hidden behind wind-blown golden strands. Instead she did it for me, removing her sunglasses. Blue, ice-cold eyes appraised me.

"As if I cared, Joe."

"My name's Stephos."

"You're just a Joe, get used to it."

"Yeah, dead man walking, right?"

Those blues rolled. Thirty years my junior, she treats me like some petulant kid.

"Skip the drama, you'll be protected."

"And what about Brandy?"

"Your girlfriend?"

"Yeah."

"Right. She's seventeen and you're what? 60?"

"59, and it don't mean nothin."

"Sure, Joe. She's got ambition. She's an actress. We both know she's just trying to climb out of the sewer, into the gutter."

"Like you, you mean."

Those blues never blinked.

"Just like me. Except I'm aiming for the heights. Listen, you're just a stepping stone, Joe. One I can easily skip. Forget Brandy if you want to live. Your choice."

I wanted to live.

"Protection and immunity; you get the books."

She smiled that famous cover-girl smile for the first time.

"You got it, Joe."

Ten years later, she's the State's youngest female Senator; favors need re-paying. The 'mob' never forgets a traitor.

Now the protection's removed, they'll come for me. Will my death eventually prove as fatal for her ambition, as that stone left unskipped proved for me?

26 comments:

Aggie said...

We have to hope so ... she'll deserve it.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

A very different take.Amazing what conversations can take place on an escalator :)

JaneyV said...

Lovely and stark - I like the way you stripped it back to reveal the lack of options. The inevitability of "Joe's" fate perfectly mirrored in the relentless upward motion of the escalator,
The escalator carrying me towards her faltered. Beyond redemption, its fate like mine, assured.

BernardL said...

This story has tentacles far reaching past the escalator. Well done.

Geraldine said...

Excellent! I love this unique take on the prompt, well done.

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Sarah Hina said...

Gritty, vivid take on the prompt. I love the natural dialogue, and this line--"We both know she's just trying to climb out of the sewer, into the gutter."--really popped for me.

Love how you were able to weave a full-bodied narrative from this one episode. They're both nasty characters, but delicious. ;) Excellent!

wrath999 said...

Great job. We can visualize both characters in such a short amount of words.

Peter said...

Thanks everyone for your comments, it's very much appreciated - and unexpected. If you have your own pieces posted, please put the story name here so I can be sure I return the compliment.

laughingwolf said...

very good job, pete :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Great characterization. Lots of story here for the brevity.

J.C. Montgomery said...

You already know how I feel about this piece Peter. And as you can see, many others feel the same.

Well done my friend, well done!

Ruinwen said...

Strong piece. You really captured the essence of a tragic life changing moment. I hope she gets hers. :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Super. The harder they fall...

sawan said...

beautiful narration!

peggy said...

Excellent, she'll get hers! Good stuff, very discriptive.

Aerin said...

I always love good dialogue. Nice.

one more believer said...

nasty and sharp... the cool side of humanity..

JR's Thumbprints said...

Nice use of foreshadowing. It's not easy to do in so few words.

Patsy said...

You've given us a good insight into the characters - I hope they get what's coming to them!

Chris Eldin said...

The dialogue in this one is rich with detail!
Very nice. I wish I could read the next episode of this story.

Vesper said...

A whole story waiting to be written lies behind this one. Very interesting characters! Well written!

September said...

Nicely written.
Good dialogue. Definitely interesting characters and you brought that across easily.

Catvibe said...

Well written, seedy character and interesting dialogue, very intriguing.

bluesugarpoet said...

Rising up to the gutter indeed - where they both are! Great take on the prompt. Nicely done!

Rebecca Livesey said...

Hey Peter, Miri from RB here :)
Great take on the prompt, and love the story & style! Nicely done

jason evans said...

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest!