Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Missing Thirteen-Twenty-Five


Hours seemed to have elapsed, even though the clocks, all of them, every damn single one, are screaming at me, indicating that only thirteen minutes and twenty-five seconds are missing.  Staring at the wall, I don’t think of arterial spray, I’m imagining myself back at the MOMA and falling in love all over again.  My feet seem to sink deep within the tiled walkway that connects this living area to the open-air freedom of the world outside.  My hips don’t want to move forward. Instead they seem to have lost that capability, caring not for progress, which, I must now question how much was actually made this afternoon.  The details are still foggy, all of them.  Yet pieces return as each second longer I stand awakened.  The scent disturbs me.  This I know.  Yet I am numb to the visions.  I feel as if cotton swabs are pressed within the ears and yet, still, the ringing tolls of bell-like clangs continuously ring, over and over again, like the stories told from those sufferers of tinitis.  I believe it must be something close to what I am hearing now.  The intensity quivers, wavering between blare and flat line.
I press my hand to the clear-through door, watching the blades of uncut grass move as if the world is no longer as fluid as I always felt it to be.  It stands tall, each blade erect, moving, as slow as a windless day could possibly induce. I’m leaning upon the door.  Breath seems to stutter.  I feel the skipping beats from beneath my chest.  I open the door, sliding it only enough to slip out into this other world mere inches from where this thinly framed glass had portioned me from.  I remove my right hand from the glass itself and notice my palm print embroidered  in vivid red.  I look at the right hand, then to the left, then both arms and they are no longer fleshy pink, but bright, bright blackish red, smeared upon me.  I bend my neck downward, and notice my clothing is also dyed…


“I thought I told you to arrive at five”
{this is phil, marcus’ little brother.  Nothing like him. he looks awful.  What the hell is he quibbling over fourteen minutes for.}  “I apologize for making you wait”
“Well, so what took you so long”
                  {really, still, just shut up and let’s do this thing} “traffic”
“somehow I don’t believe you.  You know you don’t have the most trusting of eyes.  And remember, you weren’t my choice.  You’re being here is all because of Marcus”
{bet he didn’t tell you why.  He thinks you’re a cad.  Your own brother hates you.  I want to feel sorry for you, but you make that impossible} “ and I can’t thank him enough, I really need this, so thank you for not fighting him over my being here, I appreciate that and I won’t let you down.”
“I don’t know what he told you about me.  I don’t really care.  But if we’re to work together I have to trust you.  And you’re off to a pathetic start.  (a few beats pass as he leaves the room)
{what in God’s name is he doing back there.  I should just go in there.  Slow down, slow down.  Let’s see where this goes.  I never should got caught up in this.  But I do need the money.  The house, the marriage, the kids.}  (yelling) “you need me to come back there.”
(door swings open. he returns) “you ready to gain my trust.”
                  {let’s just get on with this} “absolutely”
“ok. Then follow me” (leading me through the door)
{a kitchen, connected to a living room.  Where they heck’s he taking me.  This is bordering lunacy.  Could’ve been done and back home by now}  (we stop in the living room, where a chair in the center of the room is positioned.  A police officer, already worked over, is tied securely to it.) (phil pulls out a gun.  Wipes it down. Hands it to me)  {oh, what the….I didn’t sign up for this}
“ok. Show your worth. Prove you can be trusted.  Put this dog down”
{what. What. No. WTF.} “look, this is supposed to be simple.  We get in and out, crack the safe split it up and leave.  I never agreed to off someone.”
“he’s dead either way.  You’re choosing whether or not I leave here with one or two bodies behind. Your choice.”
{I think of Marie. Michael and Michelle.  I try to think back to when we first met.  I can’t get there.  I’m standing under a bridge. And the water is not water, it’s blood and the ferry men is stopped}  (I take the gun)  “this is BS, you know this.  I’m not a killer.  Completely uncalled for.”
“we don’t got all day. Get this show on the road.  I wanna get home and watch the voice, and I forgot to add the extra 15 minutes, and you know, it always goes over, DVR cutting it off right when it’s good”

(A jingling of keys is heard.  A door opens up.  Racing in, a young couple each carrying groceries and a little girl. There wasn’t any time to run and hide. They came in the room and faced us there.  Groceries hit the floor. Something broke.  Little girl screams.  Policeman is violently thrashing about in the chair.  Phil unloads four shots. First the policemen, then the kid and the father.  The mother was dropped mid scream.  I turn and unload two quick shots into Phil.  He gets a last shot off.  It hits me, and I fall)
                  {confused.  Like back in school. Lunchtime. Cruel, cruel kids.  Marie, michelle, Michael. Christmas eve. Opening presents.  Cold, like when you sit on your leg for too long, but worse. Trying to keep myself awake.  Crawling. Have to crawl…} "marie…sorry…"

Over at D'verse, I'm hosting Poetics tonight and I thought it would be interesting to try and combine Acting and Poetry, using First Person Narrative as the vehicle.  Stop on by, read the article I posted, and give it a try.  I'd love to see what others are able to do with this idea. See you over there.


  1. holy cow scene...hope i dont ever need the money that bad and it just got worse when the fam walked in...ugh...wonder what they will think when they show up at that crime scene...all the bodies....interesting the flow of blood too, the river styx...nice hit...

  2. oh heck fred...what a how you let the different voices flow together, and not only the spoken words but also the things he thinks and the narrator's well

  3. Wow you just hit the gas and kept going at it, rush rush rush, forgetting what could matter as all one wants as a wallet to get fatter. Great write.

  4. Yes, to think they weren't even in their own house. Very dramatic, and you put us right in the thick of things, but that's the advantage of first person narrative... whoa!

  5. Wow, quite intense and I loved it.

  6. Turbo-charged Intensity! Thanks.

  7. An amazing write, Fred. You have done well combining acting and poetry. Really an interesting concept. I enjoyed your characters....and your tale! Excellent prompt, Fred. Such a lot of information presented...whew.

  8. Terrific bit of writing here, Fred! Intense stuff!

  9. Fred...I loved your prompt...debated going video on you...really get into a scene flow...but totally chickened ALMOST made me do it ;) Now...reading this, I may work up the nerve yet. Fantastic talent as always, but truly enjoy seeing this side of your pen...

  10. Brilliantly entwined i loved this a lot

  11. Phew.. Talk about a desperate situation. One wants (or, seems to enjoy violence) and the other got in too deep to get out... good grief. The tension in this was so real. How sad, because it's all so believable, more so these days too.
    Fabulous write Fred.

  12. Wow...amazing tension and conflict building right to the end. You hooked me so completely I had to read it again and study how you did it.

  13. I.Love.This. You have a knack for the inner/outer, for the action, for the ways people double back on themselves.

  14. What can I say, the internal dialogue with the characters, the drama, the killing and emotional close at the end...heavy and terrific writing here. I can now appreciate how skillfully you created play and stage for drama ~ Superb story telling ~

  15. Vivid and action-packed... this kept me on the edge of my seat, Fred.

  16. ..action-packed and thrilling... no denial of your skill as a screenwriter(i read 'bout it on your profile)... and though your chosen subject is no longer uncommon, what made this piece stood out was the fact that there were no dull moments...all scenes were substantial & very essential in achieving the work's full potential... i just find it better in prose than poetic maybe because of the incorporation of dialogues among the playing characters... but nonetheless, a seriously well-inspired write & you do take us on a ride... adorable... smiles...

  17. He should never have put his feet in that house in the first place.

  18. Thanks - you've shown me very clearly what I was supposed to do! Fantastic response to the prompt.

  19. Yikes! Really, you have a mini-screen play here, although like the scree play of a bad dream. For me, it works terrifically well on that level, perhaps because of the flow of consciousness in and out, and some of the action has a dreamlike quality. k.

  20. Oh my goodness! The tension in this piece is so thick, the writing so taut, and the ending is just ... not sure I have a word for that. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Such a compelling write, Fred. Great plot, character development, tension created by attention to detail. Just superb.