Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Entry #55

Steak & Pork Brains
by John McAuley

I called for the fire department. Wasn't any fire--I just knew by the stench I'd have to borrow an oxygen tank and mask before opening the trailer door.

Boog Lee on the kitchen floor, dead so long he'd almost melted into the vinyl.

Hadn't seen Boog since 2003. I'd arrested him for writing bad checks. "It was for food," he'd said.

Boog was never real smart, but I grew up with him and knew he had a good heart.

That's why I didn't hit him with a felony.

I was genuinely glad when things got a lot better for him after that
I didn't know he was back around here until his sister called from Atlanta saying she hadn't heard from him in two weeks and wanted somebody to check up on him.

That surprised me; she's not known for compassion. I say that from experience.

So I found Boog in a kitchen full of maggots and empty cans of pork brains in milk sauce.

And what seemed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

I'm no expert on decomposition but found it unusual that I couldn't see the bones of Boog's hands.

Then I heard a dog whimpering.

I ran out of the trailer.

The firefighter retched when I returned his face mask all full of scrambled eggs and ketchup.

The coroner said, "Man, winning the lottery didn't do much for Boog. What you want to do next?"

"I'll be driving up to Atlanta."


Terri said...

Nice gritty feel to this super-concise detective story. I like.
And my stomach is still turning.

Joni said...

A very fine piece of writing. You've told so much that isn't actually on the screen. Kudos.

Beth said...

Superb! Truly.

Esther Avila said...

Very good. I should know better than to read any of these stories too soon after dinner.

Fran Piper said...

Ditto on the dinner comment. Your descriptions are way too vivid to be comfortable!

Esther Avila said...

congratulations on getting an honorable mention with your story. :)

Anonymous said...

A belated thanks for the kind words...and to Jason for throwing another great party.
John McAuley

Anonymous said...

Great pacing and images. The "melting into the vinyl" line was perfect! Good sense of character too.

Very high marks overall.

Congratulations on the honorable mention!