Friday, November 15, 2013

5 Minutes. GO!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free write. Basically, you can write whatever you want in the comments section. You have 5 minutes. Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So tell a friend. If you have one. If not, tell your enemies. 

His fingers bent in odd directions, splayed on the felt that was, at one time, green. Now it was a patchwork quilt. There were cigarette burns and livid splotches of angry brown. There were sticky spots where the eight ball sometimes just stopped. And it pissed us all off, it pissed him off most of all.

He never said anything. He'd just put his quarter on the table. He was a rich dude, see? It wasn't a rich dude bar. It was a bar for tweakers and drunks and all the riff-raff that washed down from the nice, wood-stained bars up the street.

I only played him once. Or I should say, he only played me once. The game was over so fast I barely blinked. I ground my butt on the floor and went and got him his drink. He drank wine and the bartenders were always pissed. But he paid six bucks for his glass of Gallo and we paid a buck twenty five for pints of piss. It worked.

The day the bar burned down, no one really gave a shit. There were other bars. Plenty of other bars. No one was hurt. It didn't matter. No one was invested.

And then one day, the bar was rebuilt. No one knew how. Not until we went inside and saw the brand new, splotched and burned pool tables. Not until we saw the cigarette butts on the floor. We wondered for a while. How much money had it taken? How long to collect the butts. How artistic the pool table spills?

He never talked about it. He hit that cue ball and drank his wine and never mentioned the fire. Not once.


  1. When they came to get me, I was confused. Why me? I had been summoned to the dorm to see if I could get my friend to come out. I had seen him just the night before, We'd stayed up playing guitars at my place till he had to leave for the night shift. Appears he never made it to work and when the supervisor went to check on him in the morning he was refusing to come to the door.

    He had placed a call to the switch board around two in the morning, but was incoherent , the switchboard operator, who must have been consider a brilliant diagnostician wasting her talents answering the phone, pronounced him "trippin."

    Since it was widely known that I spoke trippin like a native, I was escorted to the dorm to try and persuade my friend to come out.

    "Jerry, its me Sam. Can you open the door for me?"

    There was a welcome click sound from the door knob followed by a sickening thud against the door. Jerry slid down the door to the floor of his room blocking the now unlocked door.

    Forcing my way through the doorway using all my strength to shove the dead weight of my friend added to the heavy solid core door I looked down at Jerry's vacant eyes which gazed unseeing at some point light years above us. I'm not sure where he was, but he wasn't on the isle of Trippin and I for damn sure don't speak the language there.

  2. The cantina music from Star Wars warbled from his phone. She turned down the volume on the TV, but he merely cast a bored glance toward where the cell sat on the coffee table. “Aren’t you going to answer that?” she asked, but he shook his head. “Seriously? You don’t want to know?”

    He already had a feeling that he’d been accepted to Stanford. He just didn’t want to know right now. It would mean moving cross-country. Away from his family. His friends. And her. He snuck glances at her profile as she shrugged and settled into the couch, returning the volume to its original setting for the Japanese monster-movie fest they’d been cocooned in for most of that rainy afternoon. A lock of chestnut hair fell across her eyes and she pushed it back, and in that moment, she caught him looking. “What?”

    “Nothing,” he said.

    “Nothing is going to change,” she offered. But he knew that was patently wrong. Everything would change. Of course she’d find some guy within minutes of moving into her dorm at Rutgers. He already imagined the dwindling frequency of texts, phone calls, emails. That she’d be “too busy” to see him during breaks. No. Everything would change.

    “Hey,” she said, her smile returning, as if trying to bolster his. “Want to play Guitar Hero?”

  3. "Smoke" is a seductive word. Say it out loud; slowly. Draw out the sound of each letter. It starts with the sybilant kiss that hints at danger. Next comes the closed lips expression of satisfaction, quickly followed by the open mouthed breathy exhalation of release. Finally the harshly staccato ending.

    Damned if it isn't a whole story in just one word.

    1. Lovely. And there are a million stories in that one, I'd wager.

  4. There's a bunch, for sure. The stories might have been written long ago but the memories are as crisp and clear as ever.


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