Two Plus Two Newer Archives  

Go Back   Two Plus Two Newer Archives > 2+2 Communities > The Lounge: Discussion+Review

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-28-2007, 07:43 PM
katyseagull katyseagull is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,466
Default Short Story Contest: Entries

............[img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]



Welcome to The Lounge Short Story Contest with PRIZE


Thanks to 3 awesome sponsors the prize is now up to $200!
(thank you sponsors [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img])



This thread is for Short Story Submissions ONLY

All other posts will be deleted by either me or MrWookie. If you would like to discuss one of the stories you will have the opportunity to do so in the designated discussion thread.


Short Story requirements are as follows:
Original fiction piece of 500-7,500 words. Proofed for grammar, punctuation and spelling. All stories must have a title (bolded please).

You may submit from your own account, from a gimmick, or pm me your story to post anonymously.

I suggest you use a gimmick account if you are sensitive or feel that there could be some bias and you want honest feedback. Some of us may critique your story and god knows we don't want any of you to go on tilt [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. (Just keep in mind that new gimmick accounts will not be allowed to vote.)



* This contest will run for 2 weeks after which we will lock this and give people a chance to vote on their favorite stories. Only readers having a registration date prior to Nov. 17th will be allowed to vote. *



Contest is open to ALL 2+2ers and you are not limited on number of entries so get busy writing! (and please don't circumvent the profanity filter people. You'll make more work for me and MrWookie.)

Okay, have fun and good luck to everyone!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-28-2007, 08:06 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Who is Fistface?
Posts: 27,473
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:10 PM
eviljeff eviljeff is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: couching
Posts: 5,304
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

The Final


The alarm blipped twice, stealing Andrew's attention from his tattered physics book. He folded a corner to mark his place. Amazing that two cardboard covers could hold Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, and almost a pint of fluorescent yellow ink. He deposited them into his gym bag to mingle with Chaucer and the others.


***


The gray box chirped, the red diode turned green, and the sickly gate arm crept open. Andrew waited for a clear path before walking through, rather than humping the gate impatiently like most gym goers. People were oddly eager to visit this brightly lit dungeon of self-loathing. For the eleventh night in a row, the distracted attendant informed him that the main courts were open. Andrew smiled as a polite person might and headed toward the basement court.


***


The phone blared, beckoning Andrew from his nap. He answered and assured his mother that she hadn't woken him. A small lie, part of a larger deception he'd been perpetuating since high school. On the night of the prom, he'd promised his mother to be a gentlemen - kiss on the cheek only. During the father-son caucus, he'd tacitly promised the opposite, quietly accepting a prophylactic and pat on the back. Minutes after the limo had pulled away from his house, Andrew's faux date had shed him like a prom dress. Andrew had spent the night lying on a damp park bench creating constellations in his tuxedo. His parents deserved some level of insulation.


***


The greedy register pinged as it hastily thrust itself toward Andrew's crisp bills. Andrew tucked the newly purchased bright orb into his bag, thanked himself for choosing whatever sporting goods store he was in, and exited through the automatic sliding doors, which forgot him instantly. The bored clerk had made a point of giving him a receipt, so Andrew waited until he was outside before discarding it. There was no need to be rude.


***


The faded basketball thudded its complaints as the youths bullied it around the asphalt battlefield. Andrew sat patiently nearby in the browning landscape, noshing on a book. The periphery always held a welcoming spot for him. During chapter twelve, the ball was slapped out of bounds and into Andrew's penumbra. Andrew picked up his new friend, admiring the cracks and peeling stripes. It certainly had enough signs of use. He gingerly placed the weary ball in his bag and left the new one behind for the bewildered players to welcome.


***


The soggy garbage pile sighed as Andrew pawed through its nethers. The beer bottles had been easily found, but their companions remained elusive. The devil, having been released from it's brewed and bottled form, was now in the details - the caps. The irony hung with him as he patiently continued his search.


***


The pencils clawed maniacally at their flimsy adversaries, inflicting leaded scars at the will of the frenzied young scholars. Andrew calmly spilled his knowledge onto the exam sheets, humming like a baker pouring batter into a pan. With time to spare, he presented his symphony to the unimpressed wooden box. Another 'A' would fit neatly into his collection at the registrar's office. Reduced to four lines of archaic transcript font, this semester would be indistinguishable from any other.


***


Silence enveloped Andrew as he entered the gym's basement. He set down his burden and turned the light dial, giving sixty minutes of life to the forgotten court. He set the bottles to the side, as if he didn't want them interfering with his practice, and left the caps next to them in a tidy stack. He picked the ball out of the gym bag and walked across the court. The door to the next room leaned open, hibernating against the concrete. Andrew had never dribbled a ball or scored a basket, so it was ironic that only a perfect shot would send the ball accidentally through the doorway. He crossed through the gateway and let his last prop bounce into the welcoming abyss. There was no need for further ceremony. Andrew exhaled fully, dropped into the pool, slammed his head against the edge, leaned back, closed his eyes, opened his lungs, and sucked in his poison.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:39 PM
Zutroy Zutroy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 195
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

The Debate

Jerald Gilman sat reclined in his bergère, legs crossed, drowning in his Jameson. Around him, seated in a circle, were a half dozen or so of his fellow academics. They polluted the stale lounge air with cigar smoke and drank well while discussing the recent exploits of two brothers from North Carolina.

“Quite amazing, really.” said Alabaster Jones. “Absurd even. To think, men flying about like birds. Absurd.”

“Balderdash!” roared Everett Walker. “Absurd? Why so? Because it is not a part of nature’s designs?”

“Why, yes, put simply, I suppose.”

“Really now, do stop that! We have all read the Descent of Man, have we not? Nature’s plans change, quite often I daresay. Do you still truly believe in His divine plans? That is the absurdity here, my dear fellow!” He made sure to shout the last remark so that the host standing at the doorway, William James, could hear him clearly. He and Everett were currently, and had been for what seemed like years, engaged in an ongoing debate over the existence of God.

It had begun with an innocent comment, the specifics of which have long since been forgotten, that William had made while seating Everett and his party. Everett, never failing to seize an opportunity to “educate” his fellow man, retorted promptly. William, replying in a jovial and mirthful manner, believed the matter settled but it was far from.

The very next day Everett returned to the lounge, scientific papers and journals in hand, visibly sleep deprived, and began to lay out in considerable and deliberate detail his argument, to which the host listened graciously in between bouts of seating and seeing to patrons. The two carried on with no real conclusions ever being reached. Everett continued to produce more and more scientific papers he claimed as evidence that no God could possibly exist and still William held rigidly to his belief, being as courteous as the debate would allow. The war of words was eventually reduced to mere quips here and there but it was clear neither side was prepared to yield.

William James, hearing Everett’s latest, smiled politely. An awkward silence engulfed the circle, as had often happened since it had begun. Jerold tended to side with Everett and his science, though he loathed the debate altogether. Deciding it was time to go, he downed the remainder of his whiskey and gathered his hat. He bid his farewells and, struggling for control of his legs, made his way through the club and into the deepening dusk. It was not particularly late, though the streets were vacant. It was a crisp, but not overtly cold, night and Jerald began to stumble westward toward his apartment.

He passed an open alleyway and noticed, out of the corner of his eye, something emerge from it. A large, wolf-like figure with piercing golden eyes stood at some distance from Jerald, a streetlight casting a spotlight between them. It moved slowly into the light and Jerald knew, even in his intoxicated state, that this was by far the largest cat he had ever seen.

Its sleek, black fur looked polished to almost a mirror shine. It appeared to be just north of 3 feet tall as it stood on all fours. But it did not stand on all fours for very long. The great beast dipped its shoulders, loaded its front legs and, with a sudden and forceful propulsion, righted itself. It stood arrogant and tall, arms hanging limply. Jerald was frozen by not only the sheer absurdity to which he was a witness, but also an eerie feeling of great, impending danger.

He met the cat’s eyes and its mouth abruptly curled into a malicious and terrifying smile. The cat seemed to have no trouble balancing and began to walk toward Jerald, gracefully and without hindrance, as if it had never walked along four legs in the first place. As it approached, Jerald, unsure what to do, turned and continued walking, shooting frequent nervous glances over his shoulder.

The cat gained steadily and grew closer every time Jerald dared to look. He quickened his pace and still the cat grew closer, the menacing eyes and crooked smile ever present in the dimly lit night. Jerald broke into an instinctive sprint and ran to the door of a nearby dwelling. He pounded loudly, pleading for help, but received no response. The cat stood some distance away, erect and grinning. Jerald ran to the next house and the next and received no answer. After the fifth, the cat had disappeared.

Jerald combed the streets swiftly but it was nowhere to be found. He cautiously began to drift up the street once more, scanning and turning constantly. Backing into the junction of an alleyway, he felt an unseen force seize his neck and throw him violently to the ground. He spun his head to catch a glimpse of his attacker when an enormous black blur leapt across his body and into the alleyway. Its figure was invisible in the lightless void but the eyes still burned golden. They hung there, suspended in the bitter night air, starring. Jerald gathered himself and, rising to his feat, began to run once more.

He had covered near four blocks before the sickness took him and he collapsed retching in the open field of a small park. Much like the streets before it, the park was barren. Once he had finished freeing himself of the irate Jameson, he fell backward, recoiled a few feet and sat up. The sky was empty of all stars and clouds. Only the moon remained, full and brilliant.

Jerald looked at the park and the large bronze monument that, encircled by besmirched birch benches, stood not too far from where he lay. At its base stood nine figures in varying positions of repose. Some conversed with one and another, and still others pondered peacefully. A soaring stone obelisk stood between them and at its pointed peak perched a rusted bronze angel. Her wings were extended and her arm outstretched, reaching to the heavens, with eyes keenly fixed upward. He gazed at her magnificence from below and a feeling of tranquility passed over him, as he had forgotten about the behemoth that had tormented him not five minutes ago. The feeling, however, was short lived.

The great bronze angel, twisting her head downward, returned Jerold’s stare and he was once again seized with feelings of impending danger and fear. Her wings began to flutter, smoothly and fluidly, and she descended to the foreground of the stone memorial. Feet landing gently, she stood before Jerold, glorious and judgmental.

Her wings then began to work themselves furiously and yet she kept her ground. Powerful gusts of wind struck Jerold and he noticed in them specs and flakes of rusted bronze. Soon he could no longer see through the dense, driving clouds of shed metal. They relented and before him stood a woman with an impossibly pale radiance and massive, folded wings. Her skin was ghastly and colorless, making it difficult to tell where her ivory robe began and ended. Her jet-black hair flowed wild and untamed. Clouded ebony eyes starred at Jerold and in them he could see both great sympathy and hatred. She loomed for a moment and then began to walk toward him. He rose to his feet in a flash and fled.

It was then he noticed the church across the street, it’s door ajar, flanked by two lanterns. It was a sprawling structure, ornate and elaborate, steeples protruding from the sharp, slate shingled slopes. Jerald deftly darted and picked his way through the garden and into the church. The entrance way twisted right and left and Jerald found himself in the main hall.

Rows of study oak pews, opaquely lit by candles resting on nearby stone pillars, led to an adorned alter. The cavernous ceiling was chiseled with Christian carvings. At the front knelt a priest, deep in prayer. Jerold walked up the aisles, nervous and vigilant, and sat a few rows behind the praying priest. He clutched his hat in his hands, amazed that it had managed to stay on his head throughout this ordeal. He laid it on the pew.

The priest rose. He was a tall man, with swarthy, slicked and greasy hair. His face was clean-shaven and knowing. He turned to face Jerold. The priest knew.

“You have seen terrible things tonight, haven’t you, my son?” he said.

“Yes, father” Jerold replied.

“Do you know why, my son?”

Silence.

“You have sinned, have you not? You have doubted Him, have you not, my son?”

“Yes, father.”

“But you were wrong, were you not, my son?”

“Yes, I was terribly wrong, father. Please, help me.”

“I cannot help you” the priest said. “You must help yourself. Allow Him to protect you. Repent and accept Him, my son.”

“How, father?”

“Let us pray.” Together they knelt and prayed with amazing intensity. The priest rattled off Latin phrases while Jerold fell deep into concentration, regret and desperation. The priest stopped and Jerold opened his eyes. The priest stood righteously before him, hand outstretched, and he pulled Jerold to his feet. “You will be safe now. He will protect you from them, my son. Go in peace.”

Jerold was silent in gratitude and, bowing slightly, left the main hall, his footsteps echoing wonderfully. He exited the church and starred down the empty streets, confident and protected. Outside the night air seemed sparkling and the effects of the drink were long since gone. He ambled westward, toward home, before he remembered he had forgotten his hat. I need that hat and He will protect me, he thought and headed back to retrieve it. As he wound his way through the entrance hall, Jerold heard boisterous, booming laughter echoing in the main hall.

He walked up the aisle, curiously at first and then fearfully once he saw the source of the now cruel cackling. It rested upon the alter, eyes still burning golden, bearing that twisted and malicious smile. To its right, she stood, wings folded and skin dead, eyes filled with nothingness. And to its left, stood the priest, face frozen in an understanding and knowing smile. His eyes met Jerold’s and Jerold knew. He picked up his hat.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-29-2007, 02:41 PM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Treating my drinking problem
Posts: 17,411
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

Mod bump, and a note that I've put a link to the discussion thread in the first post. I'll put it here, too:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showfl...;gonew=1#UNREAD

Please direct all critiques and discussion to that thread so that this thread will be solely used for story submissions.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-29-2007, 06:45 PM
Coffee Coffee is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Waking up
Posts: 2,272
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

Okay...at the request of Katy, I just cranked this one out. I have no idea if it's any good, or just hokey...but whatever:

The Hitchhiker

I was driving back from Dallas when the strangest thing happened.

I had gone there for the weekend to see my friend Cliff, and his wife, Kara. Kara and Cliff had been married in June, and I was a groomsman in their wedding. I also sang a Rascal Flatts song for them, which I’d never heard, but whatever, it wasn’t my wedding. Nevertheless, it had been a wonderful affair, and they are some of my closest friends.
Cliff is one of those guys that I can have so much fun with. We can do, literally, nothing…and it’s great. This weekend had been very typical…video games, beer, and a trip to Hooters. We watched the football games on Saturday, and then I headed back this morning.

As I started back, I drove past Dallas on I-75, which becomes I-45 as you head to Houston. I lived in Dallas for about nine months, so I know the town pretty well, and I marveled once again at the fact that Dallas is basically a demilitarized zone south of downtown. I’m serious…you cannot go to any of the neighborhoods south of the big buildings, or you will get shot. Oak Cliff, a suburb, might as well be Baghdad, it’s so dangerous.

Still, Dallas is a pretty nice place. I still have several friends there who are very good people, and who I miss getting to see. Strange as it would seem, I also miss a couple of restaurants…most notably Pastazio’s, which is a fantastic pizza restaurant, and Café Brazil, which is a chain that has great breakfast food and a very generous coffee bar.

Anyway, the drive from Dallas to Houston is a long one, though not as long as it used to be, since the speed limit is 70 now. Back in the 80s, when it was 55, you had a five-hour drive ahead of you. Nowadays, it can be done in three-and-a-half hours…if you are careful and avoid the state troopers. But…it can be one of the most boring drives ever. I mean…no mountains, no water, nothing…just trees and asphalt for 250 miles.

It’s not as though I’m driving down the West Coast or something, and San Francisco awaits. Houston, my birthplace, is one of the most quietly ugly cities ever. For some reason, the Allen brothers elected to found their city in a maze of bayous and marsh, and we’ve been fighting the mosquitoes ever since. Four million people reside in the Houston area, and to be honest, I’m not sure why. The summers are hot, the falls and springs are hot, and the summers are warm. Oh, and I have not mentioned the humidity.

God, the humidity! It’s like living in your tenth grade locker room. When it’s summertime, you will begin sweating the very second you set foot outside. The heat almost feels like it seeps through your clothes, which it probably does, due to the humidity. The 80s were a grand time in Houston, because it is the capital of the Big Frizzy Hair. On the flip side, we have state-of-the-art air conditioning systems in every building, and there’s not much else to do than sit around and eat a lot of queso. Needless to say, I was anxious to get back home.

The drive from Dallas to Houston takes you through many small towns, none of which are particularly interesting. One town I always go by is called Kirvin, which I spent an entire semester in college hearing about, since there was apparently a lynching there in the 1920’s. Not to sound blasé, but there were lynchings in every small town in Texas in the 1920’s. I’m not trying to downplay the horror of our racist past, but I didn’t think that I needed to focus for five months of my life on one particular instance, especially not with a man that cleared his throat after every third word.

Sometime after Kirvin, a little less than two hours from Houston, and about twenty-five miles north of Huntsville, is a town called Madisonville. Madisonville is notable to me because it was always the turnoff from I-45 that you took to get back to Texas A&M if you were coming from Dallas, assuming you didn’t want to use the OSR.

For some reason, on the way back from Cliff’s, right around Madisonville, I noticed an 18-wheeler carrying logs. With all the trees, logging is a big deal in this part of the world. What surprised me is that it looked as though the chain holding the logs on the semi had snapped, and was now dangling down into the road, sending off occasional sparks. Right about the time I noticed the chain, I saw that the logs had begun to shift around on the trailer. I decided that changing lanes and getting away from this truck was a good idea.

As I changed lanes, however, one of the logs rolled off the trailer and landed in the middle of I-45. I didn’t even have time to react; I just plowed my white Camry directly into the large tree trunk. As my car compressed, I noticed that the log’s bark was peeling away, almost like the cedar trees I used to see at summer camp.

I then felt pressure in my chest, and looked down to see my gearshift embedded in my sternum. I guess I thought it would hurt at this point, but strangely, there wasn’t any pain…just that pressure, almost like a chiropractor trying to crack my chest, but failing to do so. Suddenly, I got the sensation that I was floating, and I was standing outside my wrecked car.

So…strange as it would seem, I died on my way back from Cliff’s apartment in Dallas. Now, my only question is how this whole afterlife thing works. I’ve been standing here on the side of the road for about two weeks now, with no indication that I’m going to heaven or hell, or anything like that. About a week ago, I decided to stick out my thumb, and see if that makes it better. If you do see me, try to give me a lift, huh? I know some great restaurants in Dallas.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:29 PM
crashwhips crashwhips is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 102
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

Fantasies of Jessica Fazer

I feel uncomfortable at the party right from the beginning, and the ten or so hits I take off a joint and the six beers I drain in succession don't succeed in putting me at ease. These people are not my crowd. They're the popular kids, the tough, cool guys and the wild, pretty girls. Everyone here is being nice enough to me, but I can tell by the way they glance at me that they view me as an intruder of sorts. When they look at me, a skinny, slightly awkward looking kid with glasses, I know what they're thinking: "What is he doing here?"

I'm not what you would call a loser, but I'm not cool either; I'm a nobody. The only reason I'm at this party in the first place is that my friend Steve Phillips, who is more popular than me, though not legitimately a member of the high school elite, the so-called "in-crowd", supplies much of our high school student body with top notch marijuana at a good price. Jake Romano, one of the high school elite, is one of Steve's best customers and a good friend, and the party is at his house. It is high-school hierarchy in action.

I arrive at the party at 9:30 with Steve. Jake greets us at the door, seeming glad enough to see us. I follow Steve as he walks around the house, and I murmur acknowledgement to anyone who notices me. I take a seat next to Steve at the kitchen table, and we pass around a joint with a few other guys. After we burn the spliff all the way down, Steve goes into the other room with a couple guys to talk to some girls. I don't want to seem like a tag-along, so I open the refrigerator and take a can of Budweiser from the case of beers. I go into the living room, lean against the wall, by myself, and chug the beer, watching the other partygoers enviously as they talk, joke, and laugh with one another. I get another beer from the kitchen, return to my spot at the wall, gulp the beer down, and do the same thing four more times.

I pitch my sixth empty beer can into the trash can. I go into the next room and push through the bathroom door to take a piss. Leaving the bathroom, I notice my dream girl, Jessica Fazer, lying alone on a tan leather couch in the small, adjacent sunroom.

I have been obsessed with Jessica since middle school. She is, in my opinion, the best looking girl in the school, the town, and maybe even the state. She has been in a number of my classes through the years, and I've spent the majority of my time in those classes staring at her. More often than not, I think of her when I jack off. Except to occasionally say hi when I pass her in the halls, I've never talked to her outside of class.

Right now though, I am stoned and drunk and not feeling very good about the solitary, lonely experience I have been having at the party, so I think to myself, "[censored] it," and approach her. "Hi, mind if I sit down?" I ask.

"Sure," she replies enthusiastically, sliding over. She appears to be quite drunk.

I already have a girlfriend of sorts, Mary Carroll, a kind, shy, plain girl. She's given me a handjob and let me finger her on more than one occasion, and I figure she'll let me go all the way any day now. As I look at Jessica, her shiny, flowing black hair, her utterly perfect, angelic face, I'm not thinking of Mary. Jessica is wearing no bra and her full, perky breasts look ready to pop out in a low cut shirt that exposes plentiful cleavage and the top of her right nipple. She is wearing tight jeans that hug her shapely hips and luscious legs. I gaze at her and feel a pleasant tingling as blood rushes to my crotch.

"So, how's it going?" I ask.

"I'm really drunk right now," she slurs.

"Oh."

"I know you, you're in my classes. Nick, right?"

"Yeah, that's me."

She studies me intently and smiles. "You're cute," she says.

"Thanks." The six cans of liquid courage are taking their effect, and I feel perfectly natural as I say, "You're the most prettiest girl in the school. I really like you."

"Aww, that's so sweet," she says, and she kisses me. It's wonderful, her soft, warm lips against mine, using tongue and not pulling away. She tastes like liquor, rum, but I don't mind. Her warm body and sumptuous breasts press against me. After a couple of minutes of pure bliss, a strong hand pulls at my shoulder, breaking our lip lock. I look up and see a big muscular guy. I recognize him as Tim Jones from school. He is a year above me, a senior, and he is a star on the football and baseball teams. I vaguely recall seeing him walking with Jessica a little while ago, holding her hand. My erection deflates.

"What the [censored] are you doing?" he says. "That's my girlfriend!"

"Sorry," I manage.

He lifts me to my feet and punches me in the face. He appears to be drunk, and his punch only grazes the side of my head. The blow still has enough force to make me stagger backwards. He pushes me, hard, and I slam into the wall, knocking a framed picture to the floor. I stay there up against the wall, motionless.

"You're lucky I don't knock all your teeth out, ya goddamn pussy," he says. A large group has gathered outside the doorway. "Yo Jake, who invited this [censored] [censored]?"

"Tim, chill," says Jake. "He didn't know she was your girlfriend."

Steve emerges from the crowd and approaches me. "Let's get out of here," he says, and we make a hasty exit.

"[censored] loser," says Tim as I pass by him.

"Damn man," says Steve when we're in his car, an old beat-up, rusted Buick sedan. "What were you thinking?"

"I didn't know she had a boyfriend."

"Shee-it, I thought everyone knew Tim and Jessica were going out."

"Not me. Hey, did I look like a huge pussy back there? Not fighting back and [censored]?"

"Eh. You did look like a deer caught in the headlights up against that wall. But I don't think anyone can blame you for not fighting back. If you did, he would've [censored] destroyed you."

I don't know how much Steve has had to drink, but the Buick is slowly but surely drifting over the center line. Headlights approach us from the other direction, and Steve steers too far to the right as the car passes by, bouncing us off a curb.

"Damn," he said, "I shouldn't be driving. Got a lot of weight on me too." He slows down and makes an effort to concentrate on the road.

"I don't see why you had to do that back there," Steve says after a couple of minutes of driving in silence. "I didn't want to leave. I was having some luck with Kristen Tarlow. I think I woulda got something from her."

"Sorry."

"Ah [censored], man, don't apologize, I'm just bein' an [censored]," he says, clapping me on the back. "You made out with Jessica Fazer. You're the [censored] man!"

In bed that night, I have grandiose delusions about Jessica. Inspired by our momentous kiss, she's going to leave Tim for me, I fantasize. If not that, she's going to start carrying on a clandestine affair with me. When I finally get to sleep, I dream vividly of her, of her kissing me, of her lying next to me, of her beneath me.

In school on Monday, I'm sitting at my desk in fifth period English when Jessica walks into the classroom, looking gorgeous in a flimsy black dress. She looks at me and smiles as she takes her seat across the room. I awkwardly smile back, nervously excited and my fantasies fueled. For the rest of the class, I can't concentrate on anything my English teacher is saying and I stare longingly at Jessica.

After class, Jessica comes up to me and says hi, and we walk out into the quad together.

"I heard about what happened at Jake's party," she says.

"You don't remember what happened?"

"No, I was totally trashed, my friends had to tell me the next day. I didn't know what I was doing. I can't believe I made out with you. I must've been really wasted."

"Yeah." The implication is clear: I never would have made out with you if I hadn't been black-out drunk.

"Anyways, I'm really sorry I got you into trouble with Tim."

"Don't worry about it."

"What the [censored] are you doing with my girlfriend again, [censored]?" says a voice behind us.

I turn around and see Tim Jones. "You just don't learn, do you, [censored]?" he says, pushing me. I stumble backwards. He spits on my face.

"Leave him alone, Tim," says Jessica.

I wipe the saliva off my cheek and glare at Tim.

"What are you gonna do, pussy?" he taunts. "What, you want me to beat your ass? You know you won't do [censored]. You won't. You won't! Pussy!"

There's an overflowing trash can next to me, and I grab an empty glass bottle from it. I rush at Tim with the bottle and slam it into the side of his head. The bottle makes a loud thud but doesn't break like I'd planned. Tim knocks the bottle of my hand and aims a punch at my head. I dodge it. I throw a right hand at him and miss. He hits me in the face, shattering and knocking off my glasses, and then slams his fist into my face three more times. I collapse to the cement. He mounts me and raises his fist to punch me in the face again, but someone pulls him off me.

I pick myself up from the ground. I'm in terrible pain and bleeding from my eyebrow and my mouth. A school administrator escorts me to the nurse's office. The nurse says I need stitches in my eyebrow, and I get driven to the hospital.

In the ER waiting room, I think dejectedly about how I made a fool of myself by fighting back against Tim, about how the best moment of my life was just a drunken mistake for Jessica, about how my desire for her and the other exceptionally beautiful girls at school is destined to be unrequited, about how the Tim Joneses of the world belong with the Jessica Fazers, while I belong with the Mary Carrolls.

I get twelve stitches in my eyebrow and I get suspended from school for a week. My parents tell me that they are disappointed me, but that since I'm practically an adult, they're not going to punish me.

Three days after the fight, I go over to Mary's house. We sit on the couch in the living room and talk. "Why did you get into that fight with Tim?" she asks me.

"He was just being an [censored] to me for no reason. He pushed me and spit on me, so I went after him."

"I heard it was over his girlfriend, Jessica Fazer. I heard you made out with her at a party last weekend." I don't say anything. "I'm not pretty enough for you?" She looks on the verge of tears.

"It's not like that at all. I thought we agreed not to be exclusive."

"I know, but you don't see me kissing other guys."

"Do you want to be exclusive?"

"Only if you want to."

"I do. I want you to be my girlfriend," I say, resigned to my lot in life.

"OK, boyfriend." She smiles at me. "Do you want to go to my room? My parents aren't home."

Once in her bedroom, we climb on top of her bed and start removing our clothes and kissing. After ten minutes of making out and groping, she asks if I have a condom. Feeling the same kind of nervous excitement that I did three days earlier when Jessica sauntered into class and smiled at me, I retrieve my pants from the floor and remove a Trojan from my wallet. She smiles and slides off her panties. I proceed to lose my virginity. It's good, rather brief but exquisite and exhilarating while it lasts. I must admit though, at one point while I'm on top of Mary, I'm imagining that Jessica Fazer is under me.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-01-2007, 05:39 PM
DaffyDuck DaffyDuck is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 128
Default Re: Short Story Contest: Entries

It's Only a Game


The cup looked no bigger than a shot glass. The green was rolling like a kitchen countertop. He stood behind the ball, trying to see the line of an impossible 15 footer that breaks at least twice and picks up speed as it gets to the hole.

His legs were rubbery. His hands were so sweaty he thought the putter would surely slip right through his fingers. He stepped up and stood over the ball, trying to convince himself he wasn’t going to cardiac arrest on the spot. He doubted he could take a stroke that would keep the ball in the same zip code as the hole.

He tried to hold the club lightly, knowing that his typical death grip always makes him pull his putts to the left. He noticed that his hands were actually trembling. "Christ, it’s only a putt", he tried to clear his head; "I’ve made thousands of these". The thought didn’t help relieve the pressure. Not at all. Not even a little bit.

Loosening up, he tried to waggle the putter behind the ball but it was more of a jab; a little yippy motion. His heart leapt as the putter stubbed the green, digging to a stop. Fortunately, the ball remained motionless. "Yeah", he muttered to himself, "wouldn’t that be the way to piss away another stroke".

Almost in a daze, he tried to smile, failing in his attempts to detach himself, to forget how difficult it was to accomplish something as seemingly inconsequential as rolling a little white ball into a 4 and ¼ inch hole in the ground.


***


His father had introduced him to the game. Every Saturday morning, for as long as he could remember, his father played at the club with the same foursome. At a very young age he began carrying his father's bag and watched intently as they played. He listened to them as they laughed and gambled and enjoyed everything the game had to offer.

He found himself at the club every day. After school and all through the long summer days he rode his bike to the club and spent hours on the range hitting balls. He hit thousands of shots from the practice bunkers. He stood over innumerable putts imagining a day when the putt would mean something, when the gallery would be cheering for him.

He loved the game. He loved everything about it. He pursued golf with a relentless passion. He had a small circle of friends and all of his friendships centered around golf.

He started to play competetively and found success. He became more and more accomplished. He played on his High School golf team and was offered a full scholarship to play in college. He was on his way.


***


Five minutes earlier, he had stood in the middle of the fairway, 103 yards from the pin. All day he had been on the bubble, hovering around "the number". The number was the score he needed to shoot to take the next step; his reward for the countless balls he had hit; payback for endless days of practicing from first light until he couldn’t see 10 yards in front of him.

He held a wedge in his hands, his emotions were level for the moment. "Where do we stand?" he queried his caddie. "Get up and down for birdie, you’re in. Make a par and you’ll need a lot of help". He had confidence in his wedges; he believed he could hit this close. He knew the green sloped sharply from back to front and he did not want to get the ball past the hole. He took several practice swings, trying to get a feel for how to take it back, how hard to hit it.

He pured it, pinching it crisply on the turf and getting it up high. It flew a little further than he wanted and he ended up sticking it, above the hole on the right, about 15 feet. Just the downhill putt he didn't want to leave himself.

"Damn".


***


He met her in college. He was playing on the university golf team at the time. It was a miracle, really, that they had even met each other. Between studying and playing golf he really didn’t do much socializing. And he really wasn’t doing much studying. His grades were barely keeping him above water. He was dangerously close to losing his eligibility. A victim of his own priorities, he spent way too much time pursuing golf and left himself very little time for anything else.

He found himself teetering on the edge of flunking out. He questioned whether he even wanted to continue in school, and often pondered the notion of dropping out and pursuing golf full time. His father hounded him to keep his perspective. "You know how many guys try to make a living playing golf? You know how many actually make it? You’re going to need something to fall back on. Golf will be there when you’re done school". Easier said than done.

Figuring he had to do something, he picked up a flyer in the dorm lobby. "Tutoring", it offered. He wasn't going to pass on his own. He called the number and made an appointment. He opened his dorm door and there she stood.

She helped him get his grades up. They spent all their time together. She was bright and beautiful and somehow, much to his amazement, she had fallen hard for him. And he for her. For three years, she got him through essays and exams and helped him get his business degree. All during that time she sat and watched him practice for hours. She followed him faithfully as he played his way around the course in college matches. She sacrificed her time to his pursuits.

He had become a good player, very good as a matter of fact. He played in the US Amateur and finished ninth. After college, he desperately wanted to continue playing golf, to make a living at it. But his father’s words rang in his ears. It was true that there were a lot of very good players out there. It was also true that very few players can make enough money playing golf. He had talked to enough people to know that living out of a car and playing on the mini-tours was no way to start a family.

They talked about it at great length. She would support him, no matter what he wanted to do. He loved her even more for that. But she had sacrificed much for him. He felt it was his turn now.


***


He was literally shaking. His heart felt like it would come out of his chest. Again he tried to smile, to cut through the unimaginable tension. He took the blade back slow and short, and stroked through the ball, just getting it started on line. It looked like it was barely moving but he knew the surface was so slippery it still might slide by. He watched it gather speed as it broke towards the cup, and in that instant he realized that it was almost absurd that so many important things in his life were riding on the simple act of making a putt.


***


So, theirs became a familiar story. They married and he joined the corporate world. He went to work every day. She got pregnant, and they had a beautiful daughter and a couple of years later they had a son. He played on the weekends, and snuck in a few holes or hit a bucket after work during the summer when the days were long. He won the club championship a couple of years in a row. He had settled in.

But at times, it was almost unbearable to him. He was only 25. He loved his wife and children so much he couldn’t imagine a life without them, but every day he sat at his desk and looked out the window, wondering what could have been.

She looked at him anxiously when he mentioned to her that he still thought he could play, that he still could make a living at it. "How would we do it?" she asked. This made her even more remarkable to him. She never questioned whether it was a good idea, only wondering how they could pull it off.

He figured he could take one last shot. No mini-tours. No Monday qualifiers. No scrambling for mortgage money. They had some savings. He would take a few months off work. He would work at it every available minute and go to Q-school. If he qualified, he would get his PGA tour card. His ticket to The Show. His dream to get paid to play the game. It was a long shot, a very long shot, but even if he didn’t make it, he wouldn’t wonder anymore about what might have been.


***


He stood, watching the putt trickle towards the hole. He thought of his wife, he thought of his children, he thought of his father. He marveled at the thought that the entire course of his life could change as easily as the course the ball was taking.

He was frozen in place, wondering if he was paralyzed. The ball broke towards the hole, and spun around the lip of the cup. His legs buckled. The putter fell from his hand. The ball tumbled into the hole. He dropped to his knees, unable to breathe. Then he looked up. Across the green, he could see his wife bursting through the gallery, running towards him.

Finally, he smiled.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.