Pig, Hog, and Pork

I was originally going to post these stories as a three-part series, but they aren’t all that suspenseful; my intentions were for the reader to read them all together. I think it works better like this. Write your own three short stories like these! Make them all connected to each other. If you want, give yourself a word-limit to make the prompt tougher.

Pig

He walked happily in the little pen on the farm down the road. There was a small mud pit to roll around in, a nice hay bed to sleep in, and a fresh supply of food and water. The old farmer acted as if it were an honor to be taken out of the woods. He had lost his mother and father in the process at an early age, but he knew that one day, he would find someone just like her, and be the pig his father would be proud of. He fanaticized about playing with the other pigs in the woods as he listened to them rattling their cages from across the room.

Hog

No one saw the bullet coming; it was a perfect shot. Their heads exploded like water balloons. The old farmer used his old M1 religiously. He said a prayer before and after every shot, asking for forgiveness, thanking the Lord for a quick and easy death for the animal. In this case: animals. The shot went clean through the mother’s ears and into the father’s heart. It reminded the old farmer of JFK’s assassination. Their baby, covered in blood and gore, tried to run away, but he was already cut off by the howling dogs.

Pork

The pig, now grown up, who’s old enough to understand what really happened to his parents, seems to have finally been given his wish. He assumes the farmer is giving him mercy as he unlocks the gate. For the first time since being captured, the pig is allowed to walk on the grass outside the pen. The young farmer ties the pig to a fence post across the property and stops inside the house to grab something. When he comes out his face looks more grave. His body is more slouched over. The pig, who hadn’t realized before, saw the old farmer’s face in the young man’s. Most pigs don’t realize what’s about to happen, but this one recognizes the M1. The young farmer did a great job maintaining it. He ties the rope tighter, then pulls the trigger.

Homeless

I’m so glad fall is finally here! It’s been cold and rainy, and I think the leaves are going to start to change color soon. Tomorrow is also my birthday! It feels weird turning 23, but I’m excited, nonetheless. School’s been going really well despite the workload. I feel like every time I put a book down, I have another one to read, on top of writing, blog posts, and reactions to everyone’s stories. But I’m getting through it. It’s intimidating, but I’m making the most of it. I’m finally starting to feel “old,” but thankfully I’m one of–if not–the youngest people in the program. Makes me feel better that I have the potential to grow just like all the other students that are also teachers and writers. I often think of this quote for motivation:

smartest

Anyways, this story is coming from a prompt I found online. It’s been a while since I’ve given you guys some original work. I’ll try to make up for it. The prompt: Write from the perspective of someone with no money to buy food. Enjoy.

Homeless

Today was the first cool day of fall. Of course it had to rain, too. Nature’s way of getting things back under control. Summer this year, again, was the hottest one to date. Probably the driest as well. Every day was oppressive, especially down in the subways, or in Penn Station at rush hour. I stayed over by the water thinking the breeze would help but all the breeze did was blow the hot air around like a convection oven.

I wasn’t prepared for rain. The cold went straight to my bones. No fat to cushion the blow. I used the rest of my reserves in a last ditch effort to find some temporary work. I was hoping all the young people would quit their jobs to go off to school, but I forgot how expensive living in the city is. Even those born with a silver spoon in their mouth’s couldn’t afford to send their kids away. But there was nothing. No bodegas, no dishwashers, no janitors, no delivery guys.

No one needed, or wanted, help. Well, my help, at least. Who could blame them? I haven’t shaved in weeks. I don’t look dirty, but everyone knows. I’m a creature of habit. I tend to stay in the same spots. I only move when the police tell me to. Most understand my situation. I choose the nicer areas because they’re safer, but the nicer areas, as well all know, are filled with certain types that would rather see me dead than on their corner slaving away for change. Luckily, the owner of a gym in SoHo lets me shower before he opens his doors. Gyms open early, so I have to make a point of getting up. If I’m not there by five, he won’t let me in. I don’t mind, though. I need the motivation and structure to keep myself sane. I still believe in time. I won’t ever turn to drugs and waste away the days. Every time the sun comes up, another opportunity is waiting for me to take a hold of it. I just have to find it, and be ready when I do.

I don’t think about how I ended up here, on Hudson Street. It’s nothing dramatic. They had a new vision on how to run things and felt that I didn’t fit in. My wife, on the other hand, had a different opinion. She was embarrassed. Her parents had so much money, they didn’t know what to do with it. And yet, they couldn’t help out. It suddenly ran dry. That apartment on the Upper West Side put the nail in the coffin. Instead of helping, they brainwashed her. They told her I was no good, that she didn’t deserve to be with anyone like me. I couldn’t just find another job in the field, either. I had connections, but they all knew I was on the way out. I was a pioneer in the field, but the nature of the field is one that evolves day by day. There comes a point where you can’t keep up.

There is a silver lining, though. First world problems no longer exist. Everything I do has a consequence. If I wake up late by ten minutes, I don’t shower. If I don’t shower, and it’s hot out, I smell, which means I don’t make as much money from sorry tourists. If I don’t have money, I can’t eat. If I can’t eat, I can’t move because I’m too tired. It becomes a vicious cycle. If I wake up on time, I shower, I eat, I feel good, and I go around looking for jobs. I always keep a resume on me. Plus, on a natural level, when you wake up early, you get to see what’s left of the natural world. Sunrises, untouched snow in Central Park, birds chirping. For a second, you’re no longer trapped by the luxury high rises and blaring taxi cabs screaming down the streets.

On the way to the gym, through the now-pouring rain, I stumble upon a soup kitchen. Right off the bat, my mood brightens. The way light defeats dark, food defeats the cold. I feel so warm and it shows. The moisture coming off my body makes it look like I’m smoking, as if food was the kindling needed to start the fire from deep within myself. Today is the day my life changes.

Dim Sum

Hey everyone. I finally finished All the King’s Men and I started reading a book of plays by Sam Shepard. These two books along with Invisible Man have really influenced my writing sample, which I am more than half way through the first revision in. I’m also about half way through Leaves of Grass, which I’m still reading just about every night before I go to sleep. I’ve been wanting to read Great Expectations for a while now, but I also have a book of short stories that I wanted to break into as well. I’ll eventually figure it out.

Anyways, I came up with a story idea. I don’t remember where I got it from. Either a movie or an article in the New Yorker. It’s pretty straight forward. Hope you enjoy.

Dim Sum

I’m brought to the dining room and the first thing I notice is her: the one that got away. My nerves are on overdrive and I consider leaving, but just as quickly as I was about to leave, my anxiety turned into anger. Next thing I know, I’m confronting her, really telling her off, treating her as if she isn’t human, and she just sits there. What surprised me more than her actually being there was her motioning for me to sit. I look at her glass and I think about spilling it while leaving in dramatic fashion, but my mind apparently had other plans. I sit down and watch her stare at me.

“Why are you here?” I ask.

“…”

“Who’s bright idea was this?”

“Yours.”

“What do you mean yours? Mine? How could it be mine?”

“You didn’t have to sit. You could have just left. You still can, if you want.”

“That doesn’t answer my question,” I try to explain.

“You’re here because you asked me to come, to make amends, and I said that would be nice.”

We just broke up, I thought. Why would I want to make amends? When I break up with a girl, they’re out of my life for good. There’s no second chance. I’ve told her this multiple times. Does she think she’s special or something? Because she isn’t, if that’s what you’re wondering.

“That’s bullshit. You know how I do things.”

“Were you drinking again?” she asks sarcastically.

“When?” I respond genuinely.

“The other day.”

“Which day?”

“Jesus Christ, come on!” she suddenly yells. Everyone around quietly glances over their shoulders, wondering what the commotion is.

“What?” I ask, even louder. “What did I do?”

“How often are you drinking?”

“What’s it to you?”

“I’ll just assume you were drunk then.”

I notice how less than five minutes into the night, we’re arguing like we used to. I apologize, because I honestly didn’t mean to play with her emotions like this, and tell her I’m going to leave. As soon as I go to get up, a waiter comes by, serving us dim-sum.

“What is this?” I ask the waiter.

“Pork buns.”

The waiter looks at me and gives me a nod of approval. I ask for two, because I don’t want to eat alone. I try a bite and an explosion of savory pork bursts in my mouth. The sweet bun keeping it all together compliments the pork perfectly.

“It’s good, right?”

“I’ve never had anything better. Are they coming around again?”

“Yes, but with different stuff,” she explains.

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, shrimp and stuff.”

“What kind of stuff?”

“Dumplings.”

“Shrimp dumplings?”

“Sure.”

“Pork?”

“I don’t know.”

“Haven’t you been here before? You should know?”

“What does it matter? I thought you were going to leave.”

She was right. I was, and I should. As soon as the next waiter comes, I’ll tell him we’re done. They’ll understand.

“Yes?” asks the waiter, pointing to the plate of shrimp, wrapped in a clear translucent wrapping. I look across the table, seeking approval, and she nods her head. I nod mine to the waiter and ask him what it is. He says it’s called Har Gow. I try to remember, but once I took a bite after dipping it in the hot pepper sauce and soy sauce, I instantly forgot.

“Good?” she asks again.

There are no words to describe this food. Again, I nod.

“You were about to say something before, I think.”

“Me?” I ask.

“Yes, you.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Of course you don’t.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask with food still in my mouth.

“Nothing.”

“Are you still hung up about your mother’s? Look, I told you that I had a long week and–“

“Bullshit. You know you were with someone else. We aren’t together anymore, so you might as well be honest for once in your life.”

“Alright, I was with someone else. Does that make you feel better?”

“What the fuck!” she yells. The sound of silence overwhelms the entire restaurant. I gesture to everyone that we’re okay and silently apologize. She goes to get up, but another waiter comes by with potstickers. I recognized these immediately, and begged her to stay, so we don’t cause a bigger scene. She reluctantly agrees and I nod to the waiter.

“Good?” I ask, after a couple moments of silence pass between the two of us.

She looks up and her face is glowing, like it used to when we used to make love, but she just says they’re alright, still trying to pretend that she’s mad.

“How could you?” she asks.

“What?”

“Cheat on me? Was I not good enough?”

“This isn’t the time or place.”

“We’re over. What does it matter?”

“Do you enjoy making me feel worthless?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“I bet you do.”

“It was the fear of getting caught,” I blurt out.

“What?”

“I didn’t want to get caught, which made it more exciting.”

“Explains why you couldn’t get it up when we were doing it ourselves.”

Again, I try to get up, but another waiter comes by with more food. All of this food is so new to me and again, I forgot about the girl sitting across the table and ordered for the two of us. This time, we got these little deep-fried balls of dough filled with pork fried rice. Each bite made me forget less and less about the past. I look across the table and at first, I saw nothing but heartache, but now I simply don’t care who she is or was to me.

“You know you could have just watched porn or something. I know I’m not the freak you wanted me to be, but you knew I didn’t have a problem with you watching it.”

“I did watch it,” I explain nonchalantly.

“You realize some girls view watching porn as a form of cheating, right?”

“Yeah.”

“And that still wasn’t enough for you?”

“No, I guess not.”

“You’re an ass. Goodbye.”

She gets up and storms off. I try to calm her down, but to no avail. It’s a cold winter day and I realize I forgot my jacket inside. I tell her to wait outside and not to go anywhere. I apologized again and it looked like she actually forgave me. I run in to get my jacket and the waiter standing at the table with another round of food asks if everything’s okay. I tell him I’m fine and then the smell of the food hit me. I had to ask, so I did. Roasted duck, with a soy-ginger glaze on top. I take my time eating it, enjoying every bite. While I was eating the duck, the pork buns came back out and I couldn’t ignore them.

Everything was so good. I ate until I was stuffed. I felt disgusting and inhuman. There is no possible way anyone or anything could eat as much as I did. On the walk home, I wonder how I ended up there in the first place, but the amount of food I ate, which could probably feed an entire African village, was too much for me to handle. My main focus was to get home alive, and fall asleep for the rest of the day. I also promised myself I’d go back as soon as possible.

A Simple Night

I really have no idea what I’m getting at with this. I’m trying to display awkwardness between two characters, the paranoia that seems to plague the inexperienced when it comes to dating.

 

A Simple Night

“I found a place I think you might like,” said the boy to his date.

“What’s it called?” she asked, excitedly.

“You’ll see.”

It wasn’t their first date. He knew all of her favorite spots, and they’ve been too all of them. He sensed her getting bored, so he wanted to bring some excitement into their relationship. He didn’t have a car to pick her up in, but she didn’t mind. She’s a fan of walking, and new york city is the perfect place to walk because everything is close by.

“It’s a nice night tonight,” she said, braking the ice.

“It is,” he responded without looking at her, not noticing she was trying to make some kind of connection.

“Is there something wrong?” she asks.

“No.”

“Okay.”

“Why?”

“No reason.”

“We’re here,” he says excitedly.

“This place?”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why’d you ask like that then?”

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t you like trying new things?” he asks, beginning to get worried.

“Yes.”

“Well, this is a good place. I’ve come here before. We’ve passed by it together too”

“I didn’t think you’d take me here though.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know. Forget it. Let’s go in.”

They moved through the crowd in front, watching where they stepped. She sensed that they were in a place where they didn’t belong. Like a gentleman, he seated his date on the rickety wooden chair that could collapse at any second. When she sat, the chair settled into place, frightening her. He laughed.

“This the girl you were telling me about?”

“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” he asked their waiter.

“Don’t say that!” his date pleaded. “Not in public.”

“We’re having the turkey,” her date said to the waiter, without her permission.

“Are we?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Are you?” asked the waiter.

She caved and said yes. Less than fifteen minutes later, the food came out. They didn’t say much to each other during the wait. Their waiter sensed the awkwardness of the date and tried to liven them up, but realized there was no way it would go well. He watched them from behind the bar, prepping the food for the people waiting outside in the cold.

“You were right,” his date admitted after too long of a silence.

“What about?”

“The food. It’s good.”

“Is the mustard too hot for you?”

“No.”

“Oh,” he said while chewing his food. “I’m glad you like it.”

“Why are those people waiting outside? It’s cold out there.”

“I don’t know,” he said, immediately going back to his food.

Their waiter came back with water, asking how the food was. The boy’s date asked him why the men were waiting outside instead of inside, but the waiter just looked at her and went back to the counter. There was some kind of secret her date and the waiter were keeping from her. She wanted to know, but she didn’t want to go out of her way. She just wanted the night to be over.

While she was getting ready, before they got to the restaurant, she made a promise to herself that she’d try to be more outgoing. She really enjoyed this new guy’s company, but she had trouble trying to talk to him. When they walk through parks, they’d find the perfect spot under trees and just sit there in silence. Not an awkward silence, though. She was comfortable. Words weren’t necessary. His warm embrace was all she needed.

“You haven’t touched you’re food.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You just said you liked it.”

“I do.”

“Okay…”

“I want to go somewhere else.”

“Where?” he asked. His agitation began to show in his voice.

“To the park.”

“It’s late,” he said. “It’s not safe.”

“I just want to hold you.”

“I just want to enjoy a meal with you. Just one.”

“Please?” she asked, desperate to leave.

“Fine, go wait outside. I’ll pay the guy at the counter.”

She waited outside and the guys were still outside. They asked her how she like the meal and she said it was fine. She wanted to ask why they were outside, but couldn’t. If they were judging her, she’d rather not know. It would be too horrifying to find out, so instead, she dropped the whole situation, if there was even a situation to begin with. She looked back inside and saw her date point to her while he was talking to their waiter. The waiter smiled at her, which made her feel a little better. A smile goes a long way with her. She just wished she could express this to him without him judging her.

“Ready?”

“Yes.”

He tried to take her hand, but she pulled it back.

“Not yet,” she said, hoping he’d understand. He took it anyways.

“You like me a lot.”

“I do,” she responded, almost quizzically, mainly because she didn’t know how to respond.

“Why don’t you show it?”

“I don’t know. I have a hard time talking to people.”

“I know.”

“So why are you with me? You’re upset with me,” she said, attempting to convince him to leave her.

“I like you–more than you think.”

“But why do you put up with me?”

“Do you want me to leave?”

“No.”

“Then stop.”

She stopped, surprised. He looked at her and smiled, knowing that’s all she ever wanted. She finally smiled back and wrapped herself around his arm. She randomly asked if he knew the people standing in the cold before. He said he didn’t, but they seemed okay. She agreed and stopped herself from dragging it out further.

Instead, she asked, “What was the name of that place again?”

“McSorely’s,” he said, surprised she actually cared. “It’s famous.”

“Is it?” she asked.

“Yep.”

“Interesting. Here’s the park.”

They found the perfect spot and held each other, without saying a word for the rest of the night. He took her home and tried to invite himself in.

“Another time, if you play your cards right.”

He smiled and walked home. She smiled and slowly shut the door, telling him to text her when he got home.

He did.

 

 

 

The Check, Please!

I also realized that I have two (what I think are good) good story ideas for my grad school application. I would love to share them on here, but if they’re good enough to get me into an MFA program, I’m going to try to get them published in a literary journal, and that means they cannot be found online (based on my understanding of the process). I feel bad only being able to mention it to you guys, but I feel a lot better knowing that even though I’m no longer in school, my mind is still capable of putting together completely original ideas. I guess it really is true that you have to be persistent in this field. Most of the stuff you write won’t be very good, but eventually, you’re going to strike gold.

This story is going to be based off a prompt. The prompt was to write a story where the protagonist gets depressed over the fact that everyone willingly does what he asks them to do. This story is very dialogue-heavy. I feel like it could be a ten-minute play, but I kind of want to see how much dialogue I can get away with. I guess I only have two major questions:

Do you feel the narrator needs a stronger role?

Is the dialogue clear and easy to follow?

 

The Check, Please!

“Well, what do you mean, “You change your mind?” he asks. “I thought you just said you wanted me to help out. Do you not want my help?”

“No, no, no, no, no! It’s not that. I mean, I just didn’t like, think you’d, well–you know–actually say yes.”

“Then why’d you ask?” he responds, raising his voice.

“I don’t know,” his friend responds.

“Do you hear this guy?” he asks a random man walking past the outdoor cafe.

“Excuse me?” the man quizzically responds.

“Come sit.”

“I can’t, I–”

“Come on,” he says, with emphasis on the ‘on.'” He pulls up a chair and the man surprisingly takes a seat.

“I’m Nick, but you can call my Nicky. You want a coffee?” asks Nicky, already waving down their waiter.

“No, no. I’m good. Thank you.”

“One coffee,” Nicky says to the waiter.

“Thank you,” the man says to Nicky with a hint of sarcasm.

“I didn’t get your name.”

“Johnny.”

“Johnny! Nice to meet you, Johnny. I knew a Johnny once. Lived off Steinway.”

Johnny looks around nervously, as if he’s in some kind of danger. Nicky sees sweat dripping Johnny’s forehead and asks him he’s okay.

“I’m fine,” Johnny exclaims, unconvincingly. “Who’s your friend?”

“Introduce yourself,” says Nicky, patting his friend on the back.

“Tony,” he says. “How you doin’?”

“Good,” says Johnny. “Why am I here?”

“Well, Tony asked me before if I could do him a favor, so I tell him yeah, but as soon as I say I would do it, he backs off.”

“What did he ask you to do?” Johnny asks, while silently thanking the waiter for bringing him his coffee.

Nicky tells Johnny about how Tony wanted him to do do something ridiculous, something that no one in their right mind would ever agree to do. Tony tries to jump in every once in a while, but Nicky just yells over him, drowning him out of the conversation. As Nicky continues to talk to Johnny, Johnny keeps looking down at his phone, checking the time.

“Somewhere you gotta be?” asks Tony.

“Kind of,” replies Johnny.

“Maybe we should let him go, Nicky. The man’s busy, right?”

“Yeah, maybe it’d be best if I–”

“Sit,” says Nicky, as he pulls Johnny back into his seat. “I didn’t get to finish.”

“My wife, Nicky. She–”

“She can wait,” says Tony, cutting off Johnny. “Let me tell you the story, and you be the judge.”

“Alright.”

“Now, What I asked Johnny to do for me is very embarrassing, alright?”

“Alright.”

“There’s this club I like to go to. And there’s beautiful women, except for one. I like to stop by in the mornings ’cause I have a little thing with one of the girls there. Now, with this girl, I asked her to make love to me, so she says yeah and we make love. Things start to get hotter, so I ask if we can do some weird stuff, like with ropes and stuff, you follow?”

“Sure.”

“We use the ropes, and we’re both going crazy, so I ask her if she wants to get another girl involved, and she says yeah,” says Tony, waiting for a response.”

“Okay?” says Johnny, obviously wanting him to continue.

“Why would she say yes?”

“I don’t know. I guess she didn’t want to ruin the moment. What does this have to do with your friend?”

“Well, I was kinda ticked off she was so willing to bring another girl in. I mean, I know I suggested it, but I didn’t expect her to say yes. But anyways, I quickly forget about it and the other girl comes in. I call up my buddy over here to see if he wants to come, and he tells me yes,” Tony says while pointing to Nicky.

“Why is this a problem? And why are you telling me?”

“All week, people have been telling me nothing but what I want to hear. It’s making me nervous, you know?”

“No, not quite.”

Tony then goes into a rant about how he feels that there’s someone out to get him and that people are just being nice because they all know that Tony doesn’t know that his time is running out. Tony hadn’t done anything wrong to make this a legitimate concern, so Johnny and Nicky just look on and try to actually focus on what the problem is.

“The massage parlour,” Tony says as he suddenly remembers. “I’m in Flushing, right? And I go in and say I only want a massage if I’m getting “the works,” from the most beautiful girl they got, obviously. They all stop, and look at me like there’s something wrong with me!”

“I still don’t get what the problem is,” says Johnny.

“Here’s another example: I get home and I tell my kids to go outside, and they go. They never go out. All they do is watch Netflix and play Xbox. They go out, and I go upstairs and tell my wife I’m leaving her, and how I cheated on her, ’cause like, I feel bad and I hate my wife and I just needed an excuse to leave her. So I tell her I’m leaving and she says sure! I tell her I’m taking the kids, she says that’s fine. The car? Not a problem.”

“Okay, that’s a little weird,” says Johnny admittingly.

“Right? Now this is where it gets good. Now, Nicky over here, is single. I just left my wife,” says Tony, waiting to see if Johnny gets it.

“I don’t get it.”

“Think dipshit! She’s now single. Nicky’s single. I tell Nicky to sleep with my wife, so she stays away from me. He says he’ll do it!”

“You mean your wife?” asks Johnny.

“Yes, and at this point, I know something’s wrong, so I change my mind and he has the nerve to get pissed at me! Tells me I’m not a good friend and how he’s just trying to help out.”

“So what are you guys doing here if you’re pissed at him?”

“I don’t know,” says Tony.

“I guess to get someone’s opinion,” says Nicky, butting in. “What do you think?”

After staring at the two of them, going back and forth, Johnny gives up and says, “I think you’re both fucking nuts,” while pulling out his wallet. Johnny throws some money on the table and walks away shaking his head. Nicky and Tony watch Johnny walk away in disbelief and look over at the table next to them. The couple stares at them and Nicky asks, “Can you believe that guy?” They, who have been eavesdropping the entire time, look for the waiter,  and yell, “The check, please!”

 

 

 

 

 

The Surprise

Today, I’m going to do everything in my power to write you guys something. I’ve been wanting to write a short, one-act play for a while, and I’m in a better writing mood today, so I have no choice but to take advantage of it. It won’t be about any of the World Cup free writing I did yesterday and I won’t use a prompt either.

 

The Surprise

MATT: 16 years old.

GEORGE: 15 years old.

MATT and GEORGE are next door neighbors. It’s MATT’s 16th birthday and they are walking through their neighborhood.

MATT

What exactly are we doing today?

GEORGE

You’ll see.

MATT

What do you mean “You’ll see?” Why can’t you tell me?

GEORGE

It’s a surprise.

MATT

Not anymore.

GEORGE

What? You know? Who told you?

MATT

Told me what?

GEORGE

About the surprise!

MATT

(Takes a deep breath, attempting to collect himself.) No one told me about the surprise. I was surprised when you said there was a surprise.

GEORGE

What?

MATT

That’s why it’s not a surprise anymore.

GEORGE

That’s not what I’m asking though.

MATT

Well, what exactly are you asking me?

GEORGE

I’m not asking you about anything. You’re the one with all the questions. (Beat.) Look, we’re almost here!

MATT

Where?

GEORGE

Can’t tell you ’til we get there.

MATT

Right, ’cause it’s a surprise.

(MATT stops and looks in all directions. Sees nothing but an overgrown, abandoned lot.)

Where are we? I don’t remember ever being over hear.

GEORGE

You don’t know where we are?

MATT

No.

GEORGE

Come on, really? We used to come here all the time! Look closer; at the lot. (MATT looks.) You see?

MATT

No!

GEORGE

You’re not looking hard enough. Think about it, dude. Where are we?

MATT

George, I’m supposed to be eating dinner with my family in like, five minutes. They made lasagna. They never do that; only during the holidays! Just tell me where we are. I have no idea.

GEORGE

Is your dad making it?

MATT

Yup.

GEORGE

Does he still make that paella?

MATT

Why would he stop?

GEORGE

I don’t know.

MATT

George.

GEORGE

Yes?

MATT

Where the fuck are we! We’re not even in our neighborhood!

GEORGE

Dude, this is where we first met! You’re a dick. How could you forget?

MATT

What are you talking about? We met at Larry’s, when he’d have those sleepover parties.

GEORGE

Nah, that doesn’t count.

MATT

How does that not count?

GEORGE

‘Cause we didn’t even know each other. We just knew Larry.

MATT

Yeah, but we had like, the best times at those parties.

GEORGE

True, but I don’t count that. (Beat.) We used to play wiffleball here all the time.

MATT

No! We used to play at Joe’s. He lived right next to the park.

GEORGE

Are you sure?

MATT

Dude, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but it has to be some good shit to think we used to play here.

GEORGE

Fuck you, man. I was just trying to make you feel better. You know, by remembering all the good times we used to have.

MATT

Yeah, that’s cool and all, but like, I know for a fact we’ve never been here once.

GEORGE

Fine, you want to go back?

MATT

Sure. You want to eat over? There’s always leftovers.

GEORGE

Yeah, I’m down.

(GEORGE and MATT turn around and head back. GEORGE trips over an old yellow wiffleball bat. MATT laughs and keeps walking. GEORGE stops and looks and sees what looks like the letter “M” etched in the side. Thinks nothing of it and catches up to MATT.)

End.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Project

Usually over the Summer, I go out of my way to read as many books as possible. That’s not going to change this summer, but I am going to make more of an effort to improve my writing, by trying to write every day. Posts won’t always be stories, but there will be bits and pieces of dialogue that I would love to get feedback on. Today, I’m going to post an example of what I mean.

 

“You know, my mother makes the best spaghetti anyone’ll ever eat. Always cooked perfectly, you know? Like, the sauce: always fresh, everything, too. The garlic, tomatoes crushed by hand, basil from the garden, you know? You know what the secret to a good sauce is?” asks Jay.

“…”

“Good olive oil.”

“How could you possibly think about food at a time like this? It’s a miracle I haven’t thrown up yet,” says Tommy.

“If you use shit oil, you get shit results. Same thing goes with wine. You cook with only what you drink.”

“That’s great, Jay. Fan-fuckin’-tastic, Jay. Why are you telling us this?” asks Tommy.

“When I get nervous, I think of something I love, you know?”

“We’re surrounded by shit. Literally, shit,” says Andy, butting in. “Does shit remind you of your mother’s cooking or something?”

“Fuck off.”

Smells of raw sewage penetrate their nostrils as they cautiously advance through the darkness, guided only by their rifle-mounted flashlights.

“Check your corners,” whispers Franklin, the point man.

“No shit, Franky,” mumbles Jay, sarcastically.

“Fuck up, Jay,” says Tommy, who’s following behind Andy.

“You dipshits are gonna get us killed!” yells Andy, momentarily forgetting about the importance of silence.

“Enough,” says Franklin, obviously pissed. “Keep moving.”

The team presses forward, in silence, eager to find their target. It’s important they don’t fuck up because they won’t get another chance.

“You see how pissed Franky got, Andy?”

“Enough, Jay,” whispers Andy. “Now’s not the time.”

“Why not?”

“You were quiet all day back at base. Why now, must you fuck around?”

Jay likes to get on people’s nerves, just to see how they’ll react. Always testing his boundaries, looking for the one chink in the armor. Everyone knows this, but Jay’s had a lot of practice. They all expect Jay to say something stupid, but he always manages to catch you off guard with something ridiculous, and he makes sure you’re really pissed off before he stops, like, to the point where you’re ready to smash his face in with the butt of your rifle. Luckily for him, he knows when to quit.

“Shut up; all of you,” whispers Franklin while holding up his hand to stop movement. “We’re here. Andy, plant the charges; Tommy, cover me.”

 

Are you curious to find out what happens next?

Which character are you most intrigued about?

Does Jay seem over the top?

What works and what doesn’t?

What would you do differently, if anything?