The Last Ten Minutes

I’ve written but not yet(?) posted Friday and Saturday

And I most definitely wrote today. Just not here. I handcrafted brainy structured sentences for some evaluation effort I’m a part of at work. I’m going to let that cover me for the bulk of today, but I wanted to cleanse my palatte with something lighter.

…but then I accidentally surfed away the last ten minutes.

A quick review of yesterday’s work shows me that structurally I’m heading in an undesirable direction because I’ve not provided any reason for the reader to continue reading. I seem to be doing some character development in a flashback with an unpresent character instead of teasing the reader forward.

I have to get the snow off the glass and Jamie looking out across that snowy French field to Wendell’s grandmother’s workshop and dimensional portal towering over the countryside.

Shit. Just writing that outloud made me want to read more. Something to stew over night here I think.

No Name Yet and Still Homophobic

Jack smoked a cigarette on the front porch. A red beer sweat Oklahoma’s June humidity into a ring on the concrete step next to him. He watched two boys walking up the drive from 33. One wore boots and a straw hat; the other a Cowboys’ ball cap and sandals. Sandals carried a guitar case. They were lost or in some car trouble he supposed, but Jack didn’t feel like getting out from under the shade and shortening the distance just now. They’d get here soon enough on their own.

The one in boots placed his hand on the gate latch and stopped. He looked Jack in the eye as a request to enter the yard. Jack bucked his head in assent. Then he began to wonder if he should take a sip or a drag before the conversation started. He stood and did both. When that was over he ended up holding the beer and the cigarette in his right hand when the one with the hat put out his and introduced himself.

“I’m [no name yet]. This is Mark Olsen,” [no name yet] said. He kept his hand out as Jack swapped his beer and dashed the cigarette to the corner of his mouth.

“Jack.” They shook hands. Jack took another long drag on the cigarette and pitched it to the ground since it was near enough smoked out. He noticed Sandals—Mark—watch him crush it with his boot like maybe he’d have smoked it a bit longer. He spoke to [no name yet]. “Ya ain’t lost I don’t think. Truck break down?”

“Pothole took out a tire. I’ve got a spare but no jack,” [no name yet] said.

“Ha!” Jack just looked at him.

“I know. Never needed one till today. So…”

“Roof don’t leak when it ain’t raining,” Jack said.

“No, Sir. It don’t.”

“That a guitar?”

Mark lifted the case in front of him a little. “Yeah.”

“You play?”


“Going to Stillwater then?”

“Got a gig at George’s Stables.” Mark looked at his watch. Then added, “Across from Joe’s”

“I know where the Stables are.”

Mark shrugged and Jack took it as an apology.

“Well. Old Jack’s gotta jack.” He looked at his beer then sighed and pitched the bottom half into the grass. He left the boys standing in the yard while he went in to get his keys and hat.

396 words on day 764

His Intended Purpose

Even after 45 years, Boot Camp reminded him to hold the pistol in a safe down and away position while he moved north along the alleyway on a Wednesday afternoon. Reggie wondered if it was ironic that training had not reminded him to not gun down his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. He could not recall any ethics lessons during that 13 week period of his life.

Reggie also wondered at the pristine awareness he held for everything he encountered but the lack of distraction. He could simultaneously recognize that Ronnie Edward’s kid’s near abandoned Pinto had a flat driver’s rear tire from the angle it rested in the tall weeds while surmising the fence between him and Tally Randermiester—who was hanging her wash (a mixture of pastel baby clothes and jeans)—was just high enough she would not see his weapon. Two more steps and he would be at the proper angle to both politely say hello and to catch the sun brightening through her thin cotton skirt.

A scene played quickly through Reggie’s thoughts where an unseen reporter interviewed Tally about today’s events. Tally wipes her eyes and says, “‘Hello?’ He just said, ‘Hello’ like nothing was about to happen. Like…” There they seem to edit the next thing she says, but she just stops. She is unable to finish her sentence. Unable to say, “Like he wasn’t a cold blooded killer.”

To save her that grief he decides not to greet her. Not to see her slim 20 some year old legs silhouetted through a flower-printed broomstick skirt. Not to be interrupted. Not to lose sight of his intended purpose.

270 words on day 751