A Perfect Swap

To kick things off in a new direction, I’m posting a short work of fiction.  I’m going back to my roots, people!   Normally I would put this in my Writing Prompts page, but thought I’d buck convention and give you a sample of what might be there in the future.  This prompt had to do with some kind of exchange, a kind of tit for tat.  My goal was to use the prompt in an unexpected way.

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Daryl lay prone on a dirty twin mattress, arms splayed out to the side. Soured milk, half-eaten yogurt, and rancid deli meat lay forgotten on a worn table.  Like Pick Up Sticks scattered across the room, the other occupants’ faces registered euphoria to barely met desperation.

Angry welts could be seen lining both of Daryl’s pale arms through the weak afternoon sun. Sandy blond hair curled gently around his ear, caressing the latest mark on his neck. He had been on the nod for about an hour when his body’s lack of oxygen forced him wide awake. Gasping, he grabbed for his throat, eyes dilating. Within in moments he started convulsing, his lips looking like a child who had eaten too many blueberries.

Turning away from some new arrivals, Bruce pocketed his money and walked toward the room’s only mattress. Looking down, he folded his arms across his chest and kicked Daryl in the gut. The guy was going down, he’d seen it a dozen times before. It wasn’t Daryl’s death that bothered him so much as losing a good customer; that as well as it happening in his place.

“Damn,” he said.  “Amber – we’re going to need to roll. Grab the brown sugar and wipe the place down. I mean ALL of it. I don’t want a single print left anywhere, capiche?”

Amber looked over, nodded, and started packing the syringes first. Her pale fingers looked exotic in the gloom, like a new species of spider.  Just as she was about to leave, she noticed a shiny, gold Cross pen in Daryl’s shirt pocket. Grabbing it, she swapped the abused, bitten Bic she normally carried in its place. Patting his still warm chest, she hummed and turned out the light before she left.

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18 thoughts on “A Perfect Swap

  • Wow, interesting piece…read it a couple times. Love “her pale fingers…like a new species of spider.” Chilling…

    Thanks for stopping by my blog…I like yours too. I’ve been reading your Writing Encouragement category. Keep up the inspiring work!

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  • “Roots” are good always a good place to start or go back to. I find when I have lost my muse I will not write for the longest time but when I do I tend to go back to the really shorter poems of which seem to be my forte and then I start building poetry on these little antidotes.

    I have written a few stories although I really don’t have the patience to write stories. My webmaster used to tell me I was a better story teller than a poet. That may be I don’t know. I have one story posted here. It’s a fairytale posted in Aug 08 in “acts” and “scenes” I spent 5 years writing a 17 page fairytale called Saisons.

    I didn’t spend everyday working on it. I had it all plotted out in my head; but as I kept working on it I would make little changes and then have to go back and rewrite the entire thing in order to maintain continuity. I rewrote it at least 5 times.

    One of those things if I knew then what I know now… But I suppose that is inevitably the way one writes stories.

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  • I really love the way the soured and rancid food is layed out on the table but his lips are like blueberrries from the brown sugar. Nice juxtaposition. The romance versus the reality.

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  • This is great. I wish I could write fiction like this, but for some reason I have more trouble with it then I do non-fiction.

    Sorry to break this to you, but I think you’d be way more successful writing this genre rather than the losing weight while lying on the beach idea…only because I fear you will be called out on Oprah if the weight loss one doesn’t work…;)

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    • Oh the weight loss will work m’dear. I never mentioned that “How to Lie on the Beach for Maximum Fat Loss” also includes a foolproof nutritional plan. My 30 day Sample Menu will put all your doubts to rest. Here’s just one day’s example:

      Breakfast: Water
      Snack: Water with food coloring (your choice of color)
      Lunch: 3 peas
      Snack: Water
      Dinner: One lick of the outside of a banana.

      Presto… weight loss is practically a guarantee. Combine this kind of meal plan with my lying on the beach (TM) “Plan of Action” and you will see serious results. Oprah don’t got nothin on me!

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