Sunday, March 01, 2009

okay so I had to write a 900 word short story that had such a distinct sense of place that it could not happen anywhere else and only involve one character in that place. Oh and it helped if it was interesting and not total crap;) Yes, I know it is 908 but hell other than that......


It was amazing how quickly the gun became an extension of his body, if he moved his arm the gun raised slightly and if he turned his head, the gun itself changed direction. When he was a boy, he was so afraid of the climb up the tree to the stand, the gun tucked under his arm, even with an empty chamber he imagined somehow the gun would discharge and he would be like those armless boys in war or worse, like that boy in his high school class, who chopped off both his arms in the turbine.

Ed moved his left arm and wiggled his fingers out from under the cuff of his shirt and put on his favorite hunting glove, just one, leaving his trigger hand free. Serves him right, the stupid shit, there are rules to be followed. If you want to get totally wasted do it in a tree, or boat, or in your father’s barn, don’t climb a damn tractor and take it for a joy ride.

But those sorts of types always won. Hadn’t he seen the boy on T.V., all proud, two empty sleeves waving, as if he just playing a joke on them all, tucking his arms tight against his body. Possibly, it was a joke, maybe it was a joke on the whole town so he could get a bit of money, move away and now he was probably finger fucking some girl in his fancy car, with the roof down.

A redwing blackbird landed on the tree, his gun rose, and Ed took aim. Maybe if he was a boy, he would have shot the bird, but here’s the thing. Now that he had begun to work, his mind started to add up the cost of the bullet, time of cleaning out the gun. Everything had lost its swagger and it took twenty dollars just to make his truck move out of the driveway. He now knew how much things cost. Besides he was hunting, and one shot would be heard by every house for miles and they would wonder why he was hunting out of season. Besides, a shot would make her change her path and he had now been waiting two hours, just for the two of them to walk home from school.

His brother was one of those boys, like the tractor boy. He was not as tall as Ed; his brother looked like a willow branch that broke off in too many directions, whereas Ed had been born a man. His father’s first son, even if he didn’t bear his father’s name. See, this is what he was talking about, here he was everything a father would want in a boy and his father took one look at him and named him after some dead uncle that Ed had never met while John, this weak mewing kitten had his father’s name, and he was a third for Christ’s sake, John Richard the third.
So Ed, spent his boyhood explaining that yes, he was older and people looked confused, when they met both boys together, as if Ed had a secret blemish that only his father understood. Well, it certainly wasn’t physical. Ed leaned his back against the red maple and raised himself up so that he was crouching now in the thick of the leaves. He practiced watching the bird move in and out of his scope like a cameraman setting up the pose.

Yes, his brother would think all this was beautiful and take out his sketch book and draw the bird, the bark on the tree, even Ed crouched down like this in the cold. John would believe all this was something.

But Ed just wanted to follow them with his scope, taking in every inch, losing himself in her, like he always did when she was in the room and he was still her first, wasn’t he? He was indeed the beautiful boy, he had driven her out to his father’s field behind Oven Gully Road, fucked her on top of the hood. He had done all this before he had even looked at her. Before he had noticed the way she tucked her hair behind her an ear, or raised her chin with even the slightest noise, before she loved his brother.

Now it was as if all of her was in him, like the smell of animal while he was tracking. It separated itself from the rest of his body. He believed he could find her anywhere, even if they had hidden her body under the earth. He wanted to smell her underwear, the fresh dirt of her cunt and know her taste again. Now that he was paying attention. He needed Mary to know he was paying attention.

And it wasn’t that he wanted to scare them. He needed to know, for her and John to know, that he held them. Even though John would never know about the hood of car, as tempting as it was, to walk into his room every night, while he was sketching her in his book and to say by the way, I fucked her, you know, the girl you never touched, the one whose shoulder you are now tracing. I’ve had her in my mouth. I was first. And now, I can hold you both in my scope. I can decide everything.

Ed just wanted them both to know that.


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