Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Entry #81

Best Ever
by Chemical Billy

Jen passed the joint to Stu, peeling paper from her lip. Stu shifted, jostling her against the gearshift.

“Hey,” said Jen.

Stu nosed up against her neck and breathed out, curling smoke down her blouse. She felt like she’d come from someplace far away, a whole other dimension.

Jen laughed out loud.

“What’re you laughing at?” Matt leaned back against the driver’s side door.

“I’m soooo high,” said Jen, taking her time with each word, “I just now realized it.”

Jen felt Stu’s laughter rumble around inside him. He put both arms around her, resting his chin on her shoulder.

“Look,” said Stu, pointing his chin out the window.

They could see the whole valley. Moonset over the lake on the far side of town, lighting up the clouds from behind, like a chiffon lampshade.

This is the best night of my life, thought Jen.

“Jen,” said Matt, from way over on the other side of the car, “When did you have to be back?”

“Oh, shit.”

Jen fell out of the car a block from home, a kiss for Stu, then innocent walk to her door.

All the lights were on. Jen’s dad and brother sat at the table, faces hanging off them like stones.

She was in deep shit.

“It’s Mom,” said Jared, voice coming from an unmoving face, “an aneurysm. She’s gone.”

Jen looked toward her mother’s room, light spilling into the hallway.

That’s what I get, thought Jen. Best night of my life.


anna said...

WoW what a smack in the puss that was. Nice little twist
Nice little lesson in guilt (g)

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Talk about a bad case of karma.

Anonymous said...

I liked the whole piece, but the first two sentences are remarkable. They set the location, characters and tone perfectly.

Joni said...

I agree with Nicholas. The magic of this piece is how much info is cleverly crammed into each phrase. Kudos.

anne frasier said...

ooh, very nice, billy. great descriptions:

"like a chiffon lampshade"

and what a contrast. she stepped through the door and out of her carefree youth. i might be tempted to change the last line -- you're hitting a note we already understand, so it doesn't quite stand up to the rest of the piece, IMO. but maybe others will feel differently about it.

bekbek said...

I agree. I like this a lot, because the first scene is so physical and real, and the last is reality. But I think that they could be tied together better. Her reaction, at the end, is so "how classic" and it's a bit jolting, when you expect this to be tragic. Maybe she's still high, but then that needs illumination. And if it's a jolt of reality, then she needs to come to that realization.

Length is a problem, though, because the first scene is just so good the way it is, I'd hate to trim a word!

Bhaswati said...

Very effective prose. The burden of guilt is so palpable for the reader. Well executed.

Bernita said...

With your usual skill, Billy, we're there.

Anonymous said...

The interaction rings so true. I find myself smiling with them. High marks overall.