Although I’m new to the blogosphere, I’ve been a big fan of Chuck Wendig’s blog Terribleminds.com for quite some time. His sense of humor, and fap-tastic guides to navigating the labor/love of writing have been a constant source of fresh air on an interwebz filled with farts. Also, he can write like a motherfucker. Have you read Atlanta Burns? Jesus Christ.
Anyway, Chuck occasionally does this challenge thing where he asks other writers to write stuff based on other stuff that other writers wrote, and put it on their writing space. So I’m doing that. Because writing.
Here’s the link to the challenge in case you want to check it out. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2016/08/19/flash-fiction-challenge-pick-three-sentences-and-write/
These are the choices I’ve decided to go with.
-I looked up the tall wooden ladder, wondering if it would hold my weight. http://frwdnrnd.wordpress.com/
-Reality lurched much like a rickety wagon on uneven pavement or a teenager caught masturbating. Mekkin(author)
-It was one of those rare occasions where violence didn’t solve the problem. Graviton(author)
And here’s the story, it’s not two thousand words, but whatever.
FROM WHENCE COME THE WENDIG
It was one of those rare occasions where violence didn’t solve the problem. I looked up the tall wooden ladder, wondering if it would hold my weight. Then I looked down in a futile attempt to glimpse the tips of my toes. Reality lurched much like a rickety wagon on uneven pavement or a teenager caught masturbating. Not that I was a teenager anymore, or able to reach my penis. It’s hard work being a contract killer. It’s even harder when you’re fifty years old, morbidly obese, and your prey has scurried into the hay loft of an abandoned barn.
“Hey, come down here. I just wanna talk to you,” I said.
“Fuck you,” said Billy. “Y-y-you’re fixin’ to kill me.”
“I am not. I’m just supposed to scare you is all.”
“I’m plenty scared already. Job well done.”
The little smartass thought he was clever. I was going to kill him, of course, and if I didn’t need his thumb I’d just light the barn on fire. But no, old man Wick wants his trophy.
“Well here’s the thing, I also gotta rough you up a bit. Wick didn’t take kindly to what you did to his granddaughter. The sooner you come down, the sooner you can go home.”
The following silence amplified the squeaking weathervane atop the barn, and the rustle of loose hay in the evening autumn wind.
“I don’t want to stay down here all night, boy. Come on down now.”
“P-p-put the gun away.”
“It ain’t even a real gun, Billy, lookie it says ‘replica’ right here on the side.”
There’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that when Billy poked his dumbass face over the edge of the loft, I managed to plug one right between his eyes. The bad news is that his stupid corpse didn’t fall over the edge of the loft like I wanted. I am too old, and too fat for this bullshit. I placed my left foot on the bottom rung of the ladder and gripped its sides. Easing my weight into place I listened for the telltale sound of wood about to surrender. There was nothing. I stepped up, and nearly made it to the second rung when the first gave out and gravity pulled my second and third chins straight into the path of the splintered wooden step, and then the ground. Goddamnit.
I rolled over onto my back which, given my dietary and life choices, isn’t as easy as you’d imagine. And there was Billy staring back at me with his lifeless blue eyes, mocking me, and dripping blood onto my forehead. Asshole. I’d have stayed there a bit longer if it wasn’t for the blood. The cold earth felt good on my back.
“Don’t go anywhere, Billy. I’ll be right back.”
Fifteen minutes and two cigarettes later and I had the pickup backed into the barn. Hoo-ray four wheel drive. I hooked the chain into the tow hitch and looped it around the two support beams at the edge of the loft. I tried to be gentle about it. As gentle as you can be with four-hundred horse power that is. The first tap on the throttle elicited a sharp crack, the second brought a louder crack, then a snap then a clatter of splintered wood and screws and nails. This did not have the desired result.
Standing near the wreckage, only a single piece of Billy was visible in the pile of rubble. I pulled out my phone. “Hey there Wick, It’s Wendig. Yeah it’s done, but I got a question. His thumb isn’t really – accessible – how do you feel about his head?”