Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Middle of a Short Story

I'm not doing it on purpose, but a short story ironically takes a long time to write. If it's any consolation, I'm starting to have a good time with it.

Read part one

Ned wasn't sure how long he had been on the road, or what state he was in. He couldn't stay in Hayden Lake any more. The town was small and his friends despised him for leaving his family for that "little whore." The affair started small, with occasional lunchtime trysts, but Evie demanded more and more of his time, and called him sometimes at home, hanging up whenever his wife answered. He called in sick at work and spent his time with her. He lost his job eventually, but went away daily as if he hadn't. Soon it was impossible to hide his indiscretion from his wife, who even after all the humiliation of being the last to know, still gave him a chance to reconcile, for she was a devout Christian and believed that her vows meant something, for better and for worse. But even her faith had limits. After her ultimatum was ignored, she packed their things and the children and left him alone in an empty apartment and bank account.

When he told Evie the news, she curtly and without explanation told him not to call her anymore. He left hundreds of messages but she would not return his calls. He was devastated, unemployed and broke; his depression was exacerbated by the sudden dearth of antidepressants that his wife wasn't around to force down his throat, so he became dark and dour. His entire social circle were mutual friends with his wife and wanted nothing more to do with him, leaving him nobody to lean on as the rent came due.

Desperate, he drove to nearby Spirit Lake and staked out a small bank and decided to rob it. He parked his car outside of town, behind some bushes where it wouldn't be spotted, and hiked through the woods while memorizing his escape route. Carrying a semi-automatic .45 Glock that his father willed to him, he stormed into the bank lobby wearing a Yoda mask and fired a shot into the wall inches above the shoulder of the dozing security guard; the old man soiled his trousers and fell to the ground as Ned unsnapped the man's holster and removed the gun into his own belt.

Ned jumped on the service counter and had each teller empty their cash drawers. He made away with over five thousand dollars, and spent little over four minutes in doing so. He was safely under cover of the trees as the police screeched to a halt in front of the bank and stormed the lobby.

The time to leave town was long overdue, so he packed what little belongings he had into the back of his pickup. It was a Friday night when he was ready to leave; his head was swimming in a haze, on a very low swing of his manic depression. He stopped outside a nightclub where he had met first met Evie, and parked as far away from the entrance as the lot allowed. From the dark cab of his truck, his face slightly aglow from the neon nightclub sign, he saw Evie climb from the passenger seat of a Mercedes. The driver, a man with long blonde hair slicked back over his ears, in his early twenties wearing an Armani suit, walked around and opened the door for her.

"Pretty boy," Ned grumbled. Evie stood on the tips of her toes, wrapped her arms around his neck and let her purse dangle down his back. They kissed deep and long. Ned's brow was furrowed and his forehead was pressed tightly against the windshield; a cry like that of a wounded animal gurgled in his throat. The lovers parted and turned towards the night club entrance, and Ned saw the man's hand cup her from behind and below the belt. An ice storm raged behind Ned's eyes; his vision blurred, then the world faded to black.

to be continued


jenbeauty said...

wearing a Yoda mask Ok I inappropriately *giggled* at that point. But the end, the end made me go WOW.

I like how you are taking your time Scott. I love getting a new chapter everyday.

Scott said...

I thought about having Ned hit the guard over the head with the butt of his gun, then saying to the crowd, "Just so up again get he doesn't," but I would have lost some of the urgency of getting in and out.

Beth said...

I really am amazed at your dedication to writing, Scott. Just wanted to tell you that!

Scott said...

Beth - Yes, I have a Nascar engine but the frame can't handle the speed, but I'm working at it every day. I started this blog to practice, as writing is the only way to get better. Now I want to shift towards writing fiction, where I ultimately hope to make my mark.

Mrs.T said...

I'm sticking with the whole idea that I hope she screws him..

He is a broken man... who screwed up already.. beyond redemption from my point of view.

I'm not a forgiving type when it comes to certain things though.

Sadie Lou said...

Ned is going off the deep end.
Great story so far, Scott. I'm curious to see where this is going. Do you even know?
Your visual imagry is really solid.

Scott said...

Mrs. T - I agree that he is beyond redemption. I don't like people like him either, that can leave their children behind like old luggage.

Sadie - Thanks. I knew where it was going from the beginning, it's the middle part that fills in as I go.

Sadie Lou said...

Interesting. I'm always curious how a writer develops the story. I hear it's very common to know the ending and the beginning--the details sorta write themselves after that.

Moni said...

Ha! I hope Ned screws Evie and not in a good way either. Sure he's broken, but not beyound redemption. Still, you can identify with him and she's the kind of character you love to hate.

Good work. "Please sir may I have some more?" lol

Trevor Record said...

If I was going to rob a bank, a yoda mask is the way I'd go. I would also talk like yoda.

The Zombieslayer said...

Never fired a .45 Glock. I don't really like the long pull of a Glock, and not too crazy about the safety mechanism.

The Yoda mask is classic. Definitely keep that in there. If you want to make it cheesy, have him say "all your money give me."

Actually, don't. It would ruin the story. Forget I said that.

This Evie's evil and the protagonist is stupid and weak. I feel bad for his wife. However, judgements aside, it's a wonderful story. Keep at it.

oneseeks said...

Hey, Scott!! I discovered your blog about 2 mos ago while surfing. I have benn following your posts almost daily, getting off on the delicate and descriptive way you bear your soul to your readers. I am pleased with your short story project, and will continue checking for more. My sincere best wishes for you in your endeavor.

Scott said...

Sadie - I think story writing is different for every writer, and what works for one doesn't for another. I've been readion "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass. It was recommended to me and now I see why. I'm on my second pass.

Moni - You will know soon. Thanks!

Trevor - What a linguistical challenge it would be to stay in character for an entire robbery as Yoda. I think you could pull it off though.

Zombie - I thought about being funny like that, but it would have ruined the flavor. See my comment to Jen. Thanks for reading and offering critical commentary. Oh, and I just finished an NRA safety course, and at the end they let us shoot a variety of pistols and revolvers. I thought a .45 was going to really kick, but it wasn't bad. The Glock was way cool.

OneSeeks - Wow, I really appreciate your kind thoughtful commentary. I will be checking out your blog today.