"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
The forty went down like the rest of his life, not the champagne of beers as advertised. Number whatever girlfriend split like the others but today her parting words mattered, triggering another evening on the apartment steps. The job took a piece of life. The girl took a piece of heart. Another forty took a piece of mind. One more year meant another friend gone, married, far away. The new tenants wore backward hats; out of nowhere, suddenly childish. Johnny’s best friend pulled up in an eighteen-year-old hatchback while he satred at his sneakers – kicks as he used to call them. A wave from the side mirror signaled their friendship. Johnny looked up and smiled with a soft buzz running in his system.
“Wanna have one, Bill? Tacos don’t need us till afternoon shift.”
“Nah, I’m starting classes at the JuCo, gotta be fresh at eight,” Bill said while finishing a cigarette and flicking it into the gutter, “Heard about Beth, sorry man. You good?”
“Yeah. Guess she got tired or somethin’ I dunno.”
“Hey, why don’t you take classes with me? You were good at school. We gotta get outta here, man, I’m tired of this crap. There’s nothing for us.”
“I dunno. I’m good I think. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
But Johnny felt clues hovering over his shoulder. Bill was right, he was good in school. Bill’s rusting car slipped down the street, puttering wisps of blue smoke. The apartment steps were no longer comfortable. He didn’t want forties on steps he didn’t own.
(Author’s notes) May 24th, 2016: After I left Toronto, (more on a later post)
I’ve been reading a bit of Raymond Chandler, universally acclaimed as an American short story master. I agree, however sometimes I can’t tell what he’s trying to say in some of his works. Of the ones I can, they’re about growing up, not just as a kid becoming older, but as adults just learning from mistakes or living life’s changes. In ways he writes, the endings leave the reader contemplating their own similar events and decisions. It points to underlying personalities that can seriously enrich any story be it sci-fi, horror, drama or love. This is where I went in that concept. I whipped out a Blackwing Pearl pencil and worked this one up. Carver is in the back of my head during moments like this. Some writers spend lifetimes trying to get that concept on paper and never can. Like them, I can only try to learn with it.