Monday, August 28, 2006

Entry #79

The Sign of the Burning Moon
by Frank Zafiro

"Hell of a sight," Jess said. He gazed from the front porch at the rising moon. Grey clouds filled the sky like dirty cotton.

Darryl took a pull of his Coors and grunted.

“Looks like the moon is on fire,” Jess said. “All them clouds is smoke rolling off the flames.”

“Ain’t you just the poet,” said Darryl. He chuckled into his beer bottle. “An Indian poet.”

Jess ignored the jibe. Darryl was mean, but mostly just ignorant. If it didn’t involve a woman, a truck or beer, Darryl couldn’t find the beauty in anything. And nothing made him feel guilty.

Jess saw the beauty in almost everything and correspondingly, pretty much everything wracked him with guilt.

“Moonrise like that,” Jess whispered, “it’s like God trying to tell the world something.”

“Hell with the world. God wants to tell me something, start with the lottery numbers.”

Jess took a sip of his beer and wondered why he drank the foul stuff. Why he hung out with Darryl. Why he never told Darryl no, not even that night when they’d passed that girl hitch-hiking, and Darryl flashed his trademark grin at Jess and picked her up.

“Maybe it is a sign,” Jess whispered.

Darryl heard him. “A sign I need another beer,” he said, hurling his empty out into the yard.

“I’ll get one.” Jess walked inside the trailer. He passed by the scarred white fridge and lifted the phone. His hands did not shake as he dialed 911.


Bernita said...

Good twist!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Frank! This one didn't go anywhere I thought it would. Excellent!!

anne frasier said...

frank, that was excellent!!!

very, very nice!

Anonymous said...

I actually heard Darryl chuckle into his bottle. Nice twist at the end!

Joni said...

The dialogue is perfect. I love the scene, the twist. So much about the relationship that is unsaid yet understood. Well crafted.

Anonymous said...

This story is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I really like how the plot was based on Jess's decision, not Darryl's deed. Well done. :)

Anonymous said...

Everything comes out in the subtlety of good writing.

Robert Ball said...

Nice plot twist for one twisted dude.

Bhaswati said...

Jess saw the beauty in almost everything and correspondingly, pretty much everything wracked him with guilt.

What an insight there! Great story all around.

Fran Piper said...

Excellent writing, as ever. I particularly liked the pairing of contrasting characters and the great dialog.

Great job, Frank!

Anonymous said...

That was powerful. The unstated guilt. Very subtle and expert to show that struggle. Highest marks overall.