Category Archives: Fiction

Fiction (both short and long) I’ve written

Ghost

The radio at Floyds 99 was turned up too loud.

“Comin’ to you on a dusty road,
Good lovin’, I got a truck load.
And when you get it, you got something,
So don’t worry, ’cause I’m coming…”

Marty’d always hated that song. First time he’d heard it he’d been drunk as hell, after all, and he didn’t like much from those days. Sure ‘those days’ lasted up until just last week, but still, he really didn’t like much that he remembered.

Stopping across from the Christian Science Plaza, he took the song in, though. The music flowed through him, the horns faint and barely recognizable. It was very hard to hear, music from another world, another time. By some miracle it was there, though.

Or maybe it was a curse in this case. Hell, it wasn’t even the original version of the song. It was the Blues Brothers one, and that made it all the more annoying. He’d never actually been into that barber shop, and now never would. Sure he could use a haircut, (his hair was matted and a bit crusty, as far as he could tell without touching it), but it wouldn’t make any sense now.

It was five o’clock in the afternoon, so of course the wide Massachusetts Avenue sidewalk was packed. There were Berklee students getting out of classes, or performances, or whatever it was they do in music school running to catch the orange or green line. Half of them seemed to be smoking, but Marty didn’t care; it wasn’t his problem what they did. He couldn’t smell it anyways.

Pulling the empty, dented Coors can he carried from his jacket pocket, he took another imaginary sip. It’d been a week, but he still hoped it might have a bit of scent in it at least. He’d tried throwing it away, but always stopped himself whenever he was actually near a bin or dumpster. At first he’d found it odd and mildly disturbing, but now approached them to feel that tug in his stomach telling him not to chuck the half-crushed can. It was painful, sure, but it was nice to feel it, he’d decided. Better than nothing.

As he continued to waft down Mass Ave towards Berklee, Marty found himself humming along with the Blues Brothers, a dour smirk on his face.

“I’m a soul man… da da da, da da da…”

“Urn” – Quick-Write #1

This is a non-fantasy “quick-write” I did April 20, 2012. I decided to use a randomly generated word to write a short scene. “Urn”, set in modern times, provides a glimpse into the two characters’ lives without being overt in its descriptions of them. I could extend this story into a longer piece, but I think it functions well as a simple scenario with no clear-cut resolution. I wrote this from concept word to end in just over 20 minutes.

“Urn”

“So this is it, huh? Just like that?” Looking down at the bronze urn on the stone table between us, I shrugged. It had been a tough day, and Dan’s face was rather flushed.

“I guess so.” Pushing my hair back behind one ear, I looked out over the hillside. The sun was shining, but a few clouds were pushing closer on the horizon. It wouldn’t stay nice for long.

Dan sighed, then reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette. I knew he needed it, otherwise I would have chided him over it; he knew I hated the way those things smelled and tasted on his lips. Lighting it, he exhaled a puff of smoke and watched it drift away in the wind. I noticed a grimace form on his face as the wisps dissipated.

“Damn. Can’t even do this,” he muttered as he ground out the offending roll of tobacco on the table’s corner. “He never did like me smoking.” I gave a slow nod, but was beaming a little on the inside (even though I knew I shouldn’t). Taking a last long look at the urn, Dan reached down and picked it up, his hands trembling.

“Well, I can’t say it wasn’t fun,” he said, sighing a bit. “I’m gonna miss you. Really. I…” Dan paused, choking a little on his words. The two of them had been like brothers. I laid my hands gently on his shoulder and arm as he twisted the lid off, being sure not to tip the vessel. A faint smell of the ashes within wafted up in the growing wind. As he began scattering them, I thought I saw a tear in his eye, but chose not to say anything. He deserved this time, and even in his eyes, weakness is fine if you really mean it.

Placing the empty urn back on the table and tightening the lid again, Dan’s shoulders sagged a bit. I squeezed him a bit tighter, and we made our way back towards the car with careful, even steps.

“I’m going to change, man,” he murmured to the wind. “I promise.”