I wrote a short story for a contest on Deviant Art:
Jason glanced at the clock nervously, as cold sweat poured down his neck and shoulders, and slicked his blonde bowl cut down in place. A service to him since he hadn’t had time to comb it that morning. He’d been sitting in the brown leather recliner for an hour, and while the abrasive cracks and musty old smell normally drove him mad, he was now oblivious to them. If he had only calmed down he might have had the presence of mind to leave. In fact, the only thing he’d paid any attention since eleven o’clock had been the rhythmic ticking of the round analog clock on the brick wall of his den.
He hadn’t eaten supper yet since he had been later getting back to the house, but he wasn’t feeling hungry anyway. He had considered it, but he had barely had the strength or drive to open the drawers in his kitchen, let alone actually throw something on the stove or into a microwave-safe container. Eventually he tried to eat a can of cold chicken noodle soup, but hadn’t been feeling well enough to keep it down. After he’d finished wiping the vomit from the floor, he’d glanced at the clock, which had read ten o’clock.
His neighborhood wasn’t safe anymore, and so as soon as the sun had started going down he had systematically closed the curtains to each and every window in the house. He used to dislike the thick velvet curtains which his ex-girlfriend Sarah had left behind along with their relationship. While she’d moved on without a hitch, they had forever reminded him of his broken heart, and he couldn’t even bring himself to tear them down or replace them. But today, when he had closed the last of the drapes, he actually appreciated the rich, burgundy color which he found to be oddly appropriate. That had been when the grandfather clock in the upstairs hallway that his ex had also left behind chimed nine times.
He lumbered dizzily towards the red painted door of his two-story home. As the car sat at rest in the driveway, hot white steam poured from the hood. Though it had once been a brand new town car with a smooth, metallic silver coat of paint, it was so scratched and dented now that it hardly shone at all, even in the late summer sun. It had been slowly worn down over the years, but this day was an all-time low. Two tires had gone flat, and one of the mirrors had been smashed out. Well, after a pursuit which had nearly killed him multiple times, that was to be expected. It was a miracle that he had made it home before the engine had sputtered and died. He looked at his watch, the hands stuck at the eighth turn of the hour.
His heart was racing as he exited the freeway, and he was hyperventilating. He was a nervous man, and this was so far from who he was that he was almost scared to look at himself in his mirror. What terrified him was not, however, the thought that he might have changed. Rather, it was the idea that he might not have changed at all. If the face that returned his gaze was the same that greeted him every morning when he combed his hair neatly into place and shaved way his thin facial hair, what was there to set him apart from the very man he didn’t want to be? He wanted more than anything else to take his mind off of the scent of iron and salt that pervaded his clothes, and so he turned on the radio for news at seven in the evening.
Dinner had started out nicely enough. He and present company were sitting around a table with a pure, white linen draped over it. But Jason had made the mistake of wanting too much, of needing too much. His treatment was expensive, and he didn’t have the time it would take to earn his keep. So he took the money and bolted from his seat, crossing a man he should never have crossed. The bullets flew and shattered the glass of paintings on the wall, but somehow he actually made it across the room unscathed. There was a waitress who was unfortunate enough to be walking across the room when he had made his move, and the bullet that took her life would otherwise have hit him. But he felt no happiness at being saved by a complete stranger. He left his meeting with the loan shark at six before their meal could come out.
He recalled the events of hours past, and they made him feel empty. He’d felt throughout the day that it was the end of the line for him. He had seen death coming long before. However, he had said that he wasn’t going to give up without a fight, as if he could actually make a difference. But after what had happened, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to live anymore. Was his life worth someone else’s? He knew that dying now would mean their gesture, unintended or not, would go to waste. Yet he was tired, was ready, was waiting. He had lived in the shadow of the valley of death for years, as disease wracked his body from the inside. Jason Wilmont’s heart stopped as the clock struck midnight.
Last edited by mgb519
on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.