Friday, July 10, 2009

Entry #31

Vintage
by JimmieVee


Tripp lifted the Merlot at arm’s length into the late afternoon sun stream for closer inspection. The swirling nectar burned with burgundy intensity, deep and luxurious. He was wholly delighted by it. The contoured bottle felt good in his hands – comfortable. He enjoyed the balance and heft of it. Only a superior quality wine would allow itself to be captured in a sleek vessel like this, he reasoned. He placed it prominently on the table beside him. Vivian would be home soon and he wanted her to see it.

She arrived shortly after and found him there on the veranda, grinning.

“Drinking again?” she sniped. At least she was acknowledging him now.

“I’ve got something for you,” he calmly countered. He displayed the wine for her review.

“Merlot?” She locked onto his gaze with her bad smell face. “Just so I expected. You know I like Pinot.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Well then…, can’t you do anything right?”

“You’ll see.”

Before she could feign interest, Tripp smacked her square between her battle-wearied eyes with the bottle. The strike rang true, and she crumpled in a lifeless heap to the patio tile. This time, her response was a trickle of blood trailing from her left nostril. He settled into the Adirondack chaise and coaxed the cork from the thin neck, filling the fermented liquid generously into the wineglass. He sipped it lightly then poured the contents onto the ground. His smile returned.

“Vinegar,” was all he said.

Silence offered the only reply.

20 comments:

Karen said...

Ooh! Wickedly unexpected.

laughingwolf said...

bad blood from bad wine? ;) lol

Laurel said...

She had it comin'. I'd raise a glass with Tripp.

Cheers!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I must admit, the way your main character was examining the bottle, I had a feeling it would be used as a weapon. Still, the descriptions were very well done.

JimmieVee said...

JR,

I'm sorry to hear that working in a prison environment all these years has traumatized you to the point that you expect anything taken up in hand will likely be used as a weapon (although it is certainly understandable). I don't feel the climax was so obviously laid out for the "general population" reader. Nonetheless, I do appreciate your and everyone else's comments.

Best of Luck, Jim

Catvibe said...

I, a general population reader, didn't see it coming. Nicely done! But dude! These guys with their anger problems, OMG! Nothing like a bottle of wine to release the darkness. Yikes!

Chris Eldin said...

People can be so attached to their wines...
Nice twist at the end!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Nah, I'm not traumatized. Just an observation. Here's the tip-off that triggered it for me: "He enjoyed the balance and heft of it." That set my thoughts in motion. Also, the subtle actions of Vivian -- you could tell he was annoyed by her. One last thing: YOU MADE EVERY WORD COUNT! She got to see it alright! (Nice Foreshadowing btw). Really enjoyed this piece (more than once).

Bebo said...

Haha! I agree with JR - great foreshadowing & character development. Very much enjoyed it!

BernardL said...

What's in a name... apparently not much until it's the wrong one. I guess beer does make you dumb. :) I liked the humor very much.

BernardL said...

An unusually satisfying bottle apparently. :)

pjd said...

I think this is well written, but why did he have to kill her just for being selfish? Couldn't he just leave her? A lot less messy.

aditi said...

Yup i agree with pjd, but then again who am I to judge?
Loved the Vinegar twist

the walking man said...

"The contoured bottle felt good in his hands – comfortable. He enjoyed the balance and heft of it"

It was at this point where you telegraphed your punch in this paean to on going spousal abuse and murder.

"...square between her battle-wearied eyes with..." (bold added)

and here where you confirmed it


"His smile returned."

and here where you let the reader know he was a sadist in thought as well as a murderer in deed.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

What an unexpected turn of events! Mind you, she kinda had it coming...
Good job!

JimmieVee said...

PJD and Aditi,

I agree that leaving would have been the right thing to do in this situation, however that scenario probably would not have gotten your attention. The point I was trying to make with this story was that people cannot expect to solve their problems by taking the easy way out instead of dealing with them. The killing was used to exaggerate the cowardice, and the subesequent drinking of his "reward" was to confirm that he realized this point at the end - for he was aware that his actions did not leave him gratified (that's why his fine wine tasted to him like vinegar).

P.S. walkingman - I appreciate your comments, but I still can't tell if you liked it or not.

JimmieVee said...

walkingman,

Actually, per my previous post, the reason his smile returned was because he realized his folly - an acknowledgment that his plans turned around and bit him in the ass, leaving him incapable of enjoying his actions.
Sadist - yes. Murderer - yes, Conscience - yes.

JaneyV said...

The choice of the word 'heft' foreshadowed what was to come. I was waiting for an assault. The juxtaposition of the violence with the idyllic setting was quite chilling. I love the idea of revenge with a good view.

Jade L Blackwater said...

I enjoy the way your writing establishes the boldness of the main character and his distaste for Vivian. Like other readers, I feel you do a good job with the weaving of subtle clues to the main character's violent plans - I think your words are even more effective and revealing that you originally anticipated. I especially like the final added bitterness of vinegar - a nice touch.

jason evans said...

That's a hard way to take wine. I guess he wanted the silence, though.