Black Short Stories : Down to the Punt

Discussion in 'Short Stories - Authors - Writing' started by MsInterpret, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,999
    Likes Received:
    5,439
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Washington
    Ratings:
    +5,447
    My body ached all over. The cool breeze that swept around me that pierced my skin and made it painful to move. I don't want to move. I don't even think I can move.
    My ear pressed against the dirt covered floor, I could hear a television and a woman laughing. My head throbbed as every beat of my heart thumped inside of me. I winched as I opened my eyes to the sunlight that poured in from the afternoon sun. Or was it still morning? Finally, with what little strength I had I managed to push myself up on my elbows. As I rubbed my eyes, I could feel that my hands were wet, slimy, and there was a familiar odor. I sniffed the putrid smell on my finger-tips and gagged from the smell of vomit. My vomit no doubt. I put my hand down and felt the coldness of what was a bottle. Grabbing it and putting it to my parched lips and tilting it back only to find it empty. Not even a drop. I tossed to glass across the room and heard it crash against what sounded to be more glass. Where was I? I thought. How did I get here?.....And what happened?
    I pulled myself up on the couch as best as I could, but had a bit of a struggle in doing so. As my vision started to focus more I looked about at my surroundings.
    The place was seedy and dilapidated. The air was dusty, along with all the belongings and furniture in the apartment. And it had the smell of liquor and stale food lingering.
    I staggered trying to stand and walk to the kitchen. I looked down at where I threw the bottle and found that it had landed in a mound of broken glass.
    Bumping in to walls and a lamp I finally made into the small cramped and cluttered kitchen. Dishes were pilled up in the sink and spilling out onto the counter-top. Flies buzzed about in a frenzy as I tried shooing them away from mold-covered bowls and plates. There was one note on the refrigerator. It looked recent, because it was the only thing in the place that didn't have a stain. It read, "Call me, 555-3039"..no name, that was it. I took it and stuck it in my pocket and felt something inside. and pulled out a twenty dollar bill and put it back in my pocket. I thought for a moment about the phone number , mind racing. Blank. I felt around in my other pockets for an ID. Nothing.. I couldn't even remember where I was.. I looked for a phone, but there wasn't one to be found. I felt a chill run up my spin and rubbed my arms and felt goosebumps spring up. I had no shirt on. I walked back into the tiny room from which I woke up in, that consisted of a tapered looking couch, a table and a chair. I scanned the room for a shirt and found a white t-shirt, and put it on. It fit. It must have been mine. I walked into the bathroom and turned the light on. The bathroom was the worse place in this dump. It looked like it hadn't been clean in months. I didn't bother opening the shower curtain to see what was inside. The vanity mirror, however, was cracked. What little glass was left I saw that I had a massive bump on my head, with dried blood crusted from it's gash. I found a towel, dirty, I rinsed it off in the sink and compressed it to my nodule. Ouch! I couldn't figure how it got there.
    I had to leave this place. But where was I to go? I hadn't a clue if when I stepped outside that I would even recognize where I was.
    I opened the apartment door. There was a number 9 on the outside of the door.
    Still feeling a bit tipsy, I walked down a long dark, and dingy hallway. Some of the numbers on the doors were falling off or missing. As seedy at the place was, so were the tenants. A man hanging out in the hall glared at me as I approached him. He was smoking a cigar and as I walked passed blew smoke directly into my face and chuckled as I coughed on the inhalation.
    A reached a stairwell and was approached by an older woman who had a scowl on her face and walked passed me as if I did not exist.
    Finally at the bottom of the stairwell and the entrance to the building I was revealed to step outside to see where I was. However, nothing looked familiar.
    What was going on?
    I stopped a man walking by and asked him what time it was and where was I at. At first he looked at me crazy and then down at his watch. 2:13. Then I asked him if he knew where Rounders was. He nodded and told me it was down the street, a couple blocks away. I thanked him and started heading into the direction he had told me. The whole way I tried everything in my power to remember anything at all. I could remember my name. Daniel Walker. This was good. But crazy. This bump on my head could be the cause of all of this memory loss. That was it, I thought, hoping I was right.
    I got to Rounders, a pub. I walked in and looked around. It was small, a typical local bar. At the bar were a couple patrons, both not speaking. One was staring tiredly at his glass in a trance. The other was picking out nuts in one of the bowls set out on the counter. The bartender turned and looked at me as I walked in.
    "Hello", I greeted him, walking up and having a seat at the bar next to the man still staring at his glass.
    "Hey, you're the guy from last night," he said.
    "Uh, yeah," I responded hesitantly.
    "You don't look so good," he said examining the large bump on my head. "He sure did you a number."
    "Who?" I asked intently.
    "The guy you were with," he answered. "Richie."
    "Richie?"
    "Well, you weren't with him. You didn't come in together. But you were both having a conversation pretty much the whole night," the bartender explained. "Then all of a sudden you two got into a scuffle. Richie took his beer bottle and clocked you," He continued, "You were out for a minute."
    "Do you know what it was about?"
    "What was about?"
    "The fight, d--n it!"
    The bartender stared at me and probably could see the frustration and anger building up. He opened his mouth to say something, but then shut it and turned back to his work. "No," he finally said.
    I took a deep breath to try and calm myself down. I need this guy to help. Help me figure out where I was at, who this Richie guy was, and why everything was the way it was.
    I grabbed the piece of paper I found back at the apartment.
    "Can I use your phone?"
    The bartender turned to look at me and then handed me the phone.
    I dialed the number and let it ring, till a woman answered the phone.
    "Hello?" she said.
    "Hi, um...Can I ask whose number this is." I asked nervously. I didn't know why I was so nervous, but I was.
    "What do you want?" the woman asked in a stern voice.
    "I'm sorry?" I was confused. Did this lady recognize my voice?
    "I told you not to call here any more."
    "Look, I just want to know..."
    "I'm going to call the police if you contact me again," and then she hung up.
    I slowly put the phone down. I couldn't put together what just had happened.
    The bartender took the phone out of my hand.
    "Do you need a drink?" He asked.
    "Yeah. A whiskey, coke back."
    The bartender came back with the order. I reached in my pockets and pulled out a twenty and stared at it.
    "Don't worry about it," said the bartender softly, "This ones on me."
    I nodded thanking him.
    I sipped on my drink. The taste of the whiskey was smooth and welcoming. It seemed to be the only thing at this moment that was comforting...and familiar.
    I closed my eyes and listened to the music playing in the background and just tried to ease my thoughts for a moment...I needed this, I thought to myself.
    I felt the headache go away, my body began to relax. I took my last gulp to the head and ordered another one.

    To be continued tomorrow....(i'm tired).
     
  2. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,999
    Likes Received:
    5,439
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Washington
    Ratings:
    +5,447
    The next thing I know, I've down my whole twenty that I had. I ordered another whiskey and coke and realized I didn't have the money to pay for the next drink.
    Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and a voice say....
    "Don't worry about it. I'll get it."
    I turned to see whose hand it was on my shoulder. It was a tall man, mid to late 30's with a beard. A large man by any normal standards. I took a huge gulp, by the man's intimidating appearance. He looked like the type of guy you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.
    It was then I realized he was looking down at me watching me stare at him. Surely he could tell I was nervous. And then that's when he grinned at me, and I noticed a couple teeth missing.
    "Don't worry 'bout it I said," the man repeated.
    "Oh. Hey thanks man," I responded trying to seem calm and collected.
    He took a seat next to me and the bartender sat down a glass in front of the man.
    I watched him as he knocked back his drink and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. I wonder if this that guy, Richard Halloway.
    "Is your name Richie?" I finally asked.
    The man turned to look at me, but didn't say anything.
    "Richard Halloway?" I asked again.
    "Naw," he replied waving down the bartender for another drink. When the bartender came back with another drink he spoke again after knocking back the drink.
    "But I know who he is."
    "Oh good, cause I was meaning to find him. I have a few questions I think he may be able to answer."
    The man looked my face over and then at knot on my head.
    "How'd you get that?" He asked, ignoring what I had just said.
    "Richie," I said, "At least that's what I was told."
    The man stared at me for a long time and didn't say anything. It was if he was studying me, trying to figure me out. Now I was really uncomfortable.
    Then unexpectedly he began to laugh loudly. What was he laughing about? Was he laughing at me and the fact this guy Richie had given me a good one to the head?
    "What's so funny?"
    "How bout another drink?" He asked still chuckling. This time I was getting angry because he seemed to be dismissing my need for answers.
    "But I don't want another drink," I said sternly.
    "Sure you do!" He said grinning at me.
    I stood up and backed away from the bar. The man's face soon became serious as I got up. Everyone who was in the bar stopped and began to watch us intently. My heart began to beat fast. Maybe this was a bad idea to come here.
    "Oh quit being a baby!" The man's demeanor changed and he began to be friendly again, "Sit down and have a drink. I'll tell you all about Richie. Richard Halloway." He said pushing out the bar stool.
    I looked at him, then at the door, and then back him. Hesitantly I sat back down and took my refilled glass in my hand.
    We sat in silence and I watched him have another drink before he began to speak up.
    "Richie. Good guy. Kind of nuts. Well, really nuts if you ask me," He said. "He comes in here a lot. Sometimes he can be in here from the early day till closing time."
    "Do you know what he looks like? Or where I can find him?"
    "Why?" he man asked in a stern voice. He sounded as if I offended him.
    "I have some questions I need to ask." I didn't want to tell them man that I lost my memory. I didn't want to seem vulnerable.
    "No." The man stopped talking and took out a cigarette from behind his ear. "Come on outside back. I need to take a smoke break."
    "But I don't smoke."
    "Then keep me company." Like this grown man needed company. But I got up and followed him to a door that was at the back end of the bar which led outside to the alley.
     
  3. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,759
    Likes Received:
    673
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    the near north
    Ratings:
    +836
    nice. i like the flow of this. you've established a foundation. you're maintaining the mystery...thus, holding the interest of the reader. and the story flows.

    waiting for the next installment.
     
  4. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,999
    Likes Received:
    5,439
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Washington
    Ratings:
    +5,447
    It's still a bit on the messy side...and there are some errors that need to be corrected...but thanks I'll continue this later.
     
  5. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,999
    Likes Received:
    5,439
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Washington
    Ratings:
    +5,447
    The alley was dark and narrow. The only light that hung outside the bar's back door was very dim, and made a ticking noise every other flick as it tried to stay on. There wasn't much room for any car to drive through as trash cans were knocked down and litter was strewn about. Further down as far as I could see there had been what looked be a make-shift home of card board, and a couple of filthy mattress left by some vagrant. If the place wasn't scary enough, it surely smelled of something rancid and possibly dead.
    The unknown stranger I was standing with had now transformed into monster as the shadows and light outlined his face. I stared as he light his cigarette and took a deep inhale of the toxic smoke, then exhaling it practically in my face. I managed hold back from coughing. He held out the pack of smokes in which to offer me one, and so not to offend him I took one out and put it to my mouth. He light it and I pretended that I was what I did. As he watched me pretending to smoke I felt an chill go up my spine and I wanted to go back inside away from this monster and back into the safety of the well light bar.
    We stood in silence. The only sound that was heard was the sirens and traffic on the main street, and water dripping onto something metal.
    I wanted to ask him about Richie, since this is what we came out back to do. But this man gave no inclination that he was going to start the talking first.
    What did he want? Had he brought me out here to discuss who this Richie guy was? Or did he bring me out here to do something else?
    After he was done with his cigarette he flicked it to the side, so I did as well even though I hadn't even smoked it half way through.
    I turned to open the door, but was suddenly blocked by this man's foot holding the door shut. I looked down at his foot, and my heart began to beat fast. By now it was the only thing I heard, until...
    "Don't cha' wanna know who this Richie guy is?" He finally asked.
    I looked up at him. He was now a giant, and I felt like a insignificant next to him. The light flickered on his face making it hard to tell if he was smiling or if he was looking angrily at me.
    "Of course." I said stuttering over my words.
    "I don't want anyone in there to hear what I'm 'bout to say to you. That's why we're back here." He said. I stood in silence.
    "So, you can't remember who Richie is, huh?"
    I shook my head, not knowing if he could see my gesture in the dim light.
    "Curly black hair, about your height, but he's bigger then you in size," he said, "He works out, and his job as a dump truck guy does helps too. He's also from this area, born and raised. He's got a lot of family around here."
    "Do you know where I can find him?" I questioned.
    "Not lately. I haven't seen him around in a couple of days."
    "Oh." I said softly, slightly disappointed.
    "But you're the last guy I heard he saw."
    I looked up at him in confusion.
    "Someone said they saw you and Richie walk out this bar together the other night."
    "Why would I walk out of bar with a guy I just got into a fight with?"
    "You tell me." He said continuing, "They said you knocked him out, and when he came to you took him outside and were headed that way." He pointed in the direction from the apartment I had left earlier.
    I tried hard to place myself there and knocking someone out. I never thought I had it in me to do anything light that.
    "Hey!" this time the man's voice was angry and he gave me a shove that almost knocked me off my feet as I stumbled back.
    "You know where Richie is!" He said coming a little closer to me. I wanted to run, but I felt cornered in.
    "I don't know what you're talking about!" I yelled back. The man grabbed me by the collar and came down to face level. So close that he was a dark blur and I could feel his breath breathing into my face.
    "I'm Richie's brother you scum."
     
Loading...