Fiction Friday #149 – Dire Consequences

After nearly a week of anticipation, the time has finally come to post a Fiction Friday submission which will be included in the other Write Anything submissions. As you may have noticed throughout this past week, I’ve been posting creative writings based on older Fiction Friday prompts.

With the release of the latest batch of prompts, I was eager to get into the mix. Below is a story based off of the prompt “An April Fools prank gone too far.“. When I first saw the prompt, I was a little disappointed. I’m not big on April Fools pranks and, quite frankly, I’m about sick of seeing them spread throughout the web.

While enjoying an after-work cigar at Kensington Tobacconist, an idea struck me. The piece below is the result of that idea. Just as the rules stipulate, the piece has not been edited. Please excuse my horrible use of grammar and any misspellings that may speckle the work.


Dire Consequences

“That will be eight dollars and fifty cents ma’am”, the cab driver spoke as he glanced back over his shoulder. “Here is a ten, keep the change” Jill said with a smile as she reached through the partition separating the two of them. “Thank you ma’am, have a good evening” the cab driver spoke through the open passenger window before pulling away.

It was a beautiful evening in Reading and Jill decided to stop off at the local convenience store before a brief walk home. Stopping off for odds and ends was something Jill did not do very frequently, not since she had been mugged four years before. “It’s such a beautiful night for a short stroll. I need to take back control of my life and stop being afraid so much” Jill thought to herself as she strode out of the store with her small supply of groceries.

Moonlight spilled out across the city street as she leisurely strolled along. Streetlights were hardly needed to light her path. “Such a beautiful night, it’s a shame all of this moonlight does nothing but highlight the filth of this city. I don’t know why I continue to live here” she spoke lightly to herself before shaking her head and letting out an audible sigh.

Just two short blocks from her home, Jill reach the local watering hole. As usual the sound of the juke box spilled out of the open windows of the local hangout. Over the past twenty-four years of her life, this place had changed hands more than a dozen times. Each proud new owner doing their best to make it a place all their own. With each new owner the name above the door became more and more plain, until It simply read Corner Bar. Jill shook her head in amusement, “How original”.

As Jill made her way across the street and continued her trek home, her mind began to drift off to all of the fond memories of Papie’s Place. Back when Jill was no more than ten years old, he father and Papie would sit out on the front step of the tavern on Sunday mornings. The two would share stories of how the neighborhood used to be. Back before you had to lock your door at night, in fear someone would try to break in and rob you blind. How Jill loved spending an hour before the bar opened, just sitting and listening to the tales of how nice things were when the men were just boys growing up in the city.

“Things sure have changed since then, especial since you’ve passed”, Jill heard herself whisper to no one in particular. She was little more than one city block away when she leisurely strode past the dark alley that her and her cousin Susan used to hide in during youthful childhood games. Like the Corner Bar, this took Jill’s mind down a fresh new path of fond memories as a child. Suddenly, a sound interrupted Jill’s thoughts.

“Come here and give daddy some lovin” she heard as she glanced over her shoulder. Behind her, Jill saw a dark figure stumble out of the dark alley with a beer bottle gripped tightly in his hand. Sudden fear welled up inside her. Adrenaline began pumping and visions of her mugging began to flood her mind. Jill could not handle the sudden flash of emotion and panicked as the dark figure stumbled one step closer.

In that brief moment, Jill’s fight or flight response slammed into ever fiber of her being. Her mind screamed at her. “RUN! GET AWAY!”, the words echoed through her mind. Dropping her small bag of groceries, Jill broke into a dead run. Everything was happening so far, passing houses were no more than a blur as her legs pumped faster and faster. The drunken man from the alley didn’t have a prayer in catching her but Jill was caught up in sheer terror as memories of her mugging flooded into her mind.

“So close to home! How could this happen so close to where I grew up!” Jill thought as tears welled up in her eyes. “So close to home! I just need to get home and I’ll be safe” she thought to herself. Legs pumping. lungs burning for air. Jill continued her frantic pace, she would make it home and be safe.

*****


Joe reached down and collected the discarded bag from the sidewalk. “I sure did put a fright into that girl. I should have known she would react that way, she’s always been skittish” her thought to himself. “I’ll return these things to the poor girl, apologize, and have myself one last drink” Joe thought to himself. Even his thoughts were slurred from too much drink.

His drunken thoughts invaded his mind once again. “I didn’t do nothing’ wrong. I’ve taken the brunt of today’s jokes, its about time I had a little fun. His conscience was beginning to nag at him. He knew April Fools were supposed to be a day of lighthearted fun, but who was he to know the girl would react in such a way?

“No, I didn’t do nothing’ wrong. She will see it my ay and laugh about it” Joe reassured himself as he spat on the sidewalk. The night was filled with the dull beating of the Jukebox back at the Corner Bar. With every staggered step Joe took, the beating lessened and the evening grew more peaceful.

Before he could stagger a dozen steps, the sound of a car horn flooded the night air. Tires screeched across the macadam and the dull thud of steel meeting flesh shocked Joe into a moment of sobriety. “Oh God. Please, dear God no” Joe thought aloud as he dropped the small bag of groceries and broke into a run. At his age, running was not something Joe was accustomed to, but he pressed on, driven by adrenaline.

When Joe reached the source of the grotesque sound he fell to his knees, wrenching. The beautiful young girl that he watched grow up was covered in sticky crimson blood. Her legs bent at an awkward angle caused by a battle between shin and chrome Cadillac bumper. Her face, once so full of life, now protruded through the windshield and into the drivers compartment.

A young man, who could have been no older than seventeen, was screaming into his cellular phone. “I need an ambulance, I think I just killed someone. Please, Hurry!” he pleaded with the person on the other end of the line.

The world began to spin as the cocktail of adrenaline and alcohol battled his mind. Joe’s old body could not sustain such a strain and he fell from his knees onto his shoulder into a puddle of his own vomit. His mind began to fade as the young boy screamed out desperately for help to anyone within earshot. His body began to numb and all went dark.

Please visit the comment section, located at the head of this post, and leave me some feedback. I would greatly appreciate it!

10 comments On Fiction Friday #149 – Dire Consequences

  • A well aged Cuban

    Hi Walt, very nice work. The best one yet in my humble opinion.
    Have you ever done any creative writing classes or anything? I was part of a writers workshop a few years ago and I really loved it. The guy who ran the workshop would always say ‘Write, doesn’t matter what, just write’. Anyway, I hope you keep it up.
    I was far too lazy and very easily distracted! Cheers.

    • Nope, never took any writing classes. All through in school my English teachers always told me to I should do something involving writing. I’ve always hated grammar courses, so I just write for the fun of it. If I could take a creative writing course at a community college, or some place similar, I might just consider it.

      Glad you liked the story. Thanks for the comment.

  • Hi Walt,
    Wow – I wasn’t expecting that ending. I like the way you paced it – starting off slow as she’s walking along then getting faster as she starts panicing – and the same with Joe. I let my guard down as he was walking along with the shopping, only to have the crash happen. Well done.

    • I’m glad you liked it. I wanted to pace it in such a way that it read sort of like a leisurely stroll up until the panic set in. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out by slowing down the pace again when the reader was presented with Joe’s point of view, only to speed back up again. I was hoping it wouldn’t come across as being choppy.

      Thanks for the comment

  • Very well done Walt!

    I really liked the ending. I never saw that happening. I was expecting Joe to go to her house and out of fear she would shoot him and end up in jail or something.

    Mike

    • Mike,
      I thought it would make more of an impact and seem more tragic this way. Its tough to formulate the story when writing in this manner. Since there is no editing and I’m just writing the story as I go, I try to go with the flow rather than planning out too far in advance.

      I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment.

  • A great, and tragic, interpretation of the prompt.

    You have established good characterisation with the brief sketches, filling in essential back story to allow the character to be relatively fully formed.

    The idea at the core of the story doesn’t leave you; the tragedy of the event is quite confronting. Good work.

    • Adam,
      Thank you for the kind words. When I read over the completed piece I was afraid that I may have left out some back story on Joe and his relationship with Jill.

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the comment.

  • Wow! That tragic ending and thrilling middle part really worth the slow-paced beginning. Nice one! Now you’re making me imagining how life can suddenly take one wrong turn and the dire consequences coming with it.

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