He opened his eyes early that morning ready to go. Today would be his big day, the one that would make him special, the one that would get him the promotion he'd been waiting for. He jumped in the shower, got dressed, swallowed his breakfast then burst out the door and roared off to work way faster than usual. This was the day he would make their head swim, win the prize, shine high above his workmates, this was the day he was going to end up being truly somebody...The sun shone, He slide easily into an open parking spot thanking God for making it available. He rode the elevator to floor 74, its door opened. He stepped out smiling. He had the world by the tail and he knew it...and then the plane hit. And the world changed forever.
...and then he jumped on his horse, not just any old way, but like cowboy heroes in old movies jumped on their horses—running then leapfrogging into the saddle with his fast horse near full gallop, the hero grabbing the flying reins, taking a last look back, smiling goodbye ,galloping, galloping, horse and rider in a cloud of dust moving in the wind, out across the empty plains heading for the blue mountains in the distance...urging his horse onward, the horse sensing this was the time, this was the time they'd be gone and gone for good, gone in a cloud of dust finally leaving nothing to see but the plains and blue mountains so far away.
Dusk. Open country, two cars round a blind corner, one on two wheels out of control on the wrong side of the road. They hit head on. Metal explodes, pieces fly, tires screech then stop. One car flies over the embankment horn blaring, the other stopped like it hit a brick wall, much of it gone...a woman sprawled on its hood, arms at odd angles, blood pours from her head, her face obliterated coming through the windshield on impact. Another body, what's left of it, lays behind some rocks. Quiet returns. A bird lands on a fence post closeby and sings as usual, then flies off. Nothing for miles in either direction but the road, a line to the horizon growing dim. Dusk turns into night. Crickets chirp.
When he started writing he didn't think that it would be the last thing he ever wrote. All he wanted to do is say thanks and goodbye and that he'd lived a long good life and that he loved his wife and his family and that his stomach hurt a lot and that he didn't want to get sick and go to the hospital because it would use up all the money they had in the bank and he sure didn't want to do that because his wife wouldn't have anything to live the rest of her life on then. Anyway, he wrote he was old and it was okay for him to GO. When he got to the bottom of the page and signed off with the words "see you" and ps. "I'm not afraid." he put the pen down and put the note on the pillow on his bed. He walked through house out the backdoor and into the garage. He'd already rigged his car with the garden hose the night before. It was waiting. As he went through the house on the way to his car, he made sure his wife has gone to the store as usual that time of day. He slid behind the wheel. Turned the key. The engine started. His last thought was about his stomach and that soon it would not hurt any more.
I think when you write full blast like this you probably have to have a rip-snorter first sentence. From that the whole rest of the idea passes through your mind's eye relative to that super duper first sentence since that's what the rest of what you're wrapping your head around as it surfaces is going to be about, unless something else pops up and you take a hard right or left turn following your nose which may or may not lead to pay dirt. One thing for sure writing about your own angst first person should be a few notches down the list when it comes to fiction...write in 3rd person...jump a huge wave and surf it until you either wipe out or pull out of the curl thrilled from the great ride.
You know, it's like shootin yerself in the foot because you ain't got nothin else to do and you think hell might as well, so you pull out yer gun point it a yer foot and pull the trigger and blow a hole clean through it. and hell yes it hurt. Hurt real bad. But then I weren't doing nothin right then anyway, so I figured might as well be dealing with a pain I know from where it came instead of the other way round...dealing with pain you don't know where it was coming from. Funny all that now. I mean I'm the one who did the shooting and now I got a hole in my foot I can see the ground through on the other side. Best part is it don't hurt no more cause it healed up real well and after it did all my buddies had an big envy on me and thought they would like a hole in their foot they could some seeing through too...so they been shootin away...I guess for the fun of it. Sorta dumb though I think. They never asked me once why I did it in the first place. They seen my hole then thought havin a hole in their foot too would be cool. Probably. That's a real head scratcher aint it.
Hanging upside down in a burning car . It's a joke. Sure it's a joke. It's a bad dream. I'm dreaming. I must be dreaming. Nightmare. Fuck! It's not supposed to be like this, my death...it's here now— 2 minutes. One minute. Any second now! Flames building. It's so fucking HOT. VERY HOT. The engine. Gasoline I smell it. Night. Dark. So dark. Somewhere in the desert. Where? Where am I? I don't know. Hunting, stupid idea. Why'd I go hunting alone? Need to tell Mary I love her. I'm burning. My feet are on fire. Burning flesh! My flesh Oh God! Shit...I'm screaming. I hear myself screaming. I'm watching myself die. Oh God. Jesus! Dear God save me. Save me PLEASE.
Still groggy from too much to drink, too much partying, too much of everything the night before, he coughed, turned over in his messed up bed, fumbled for his phone found it tangled in the blankets and slowly dialed the number written in ink on the palm of his hand, double checking every time he punched a key that it was right, with the hope that whoever picked up could tell him what had happened after he lost consciousness. A woman answered seemingly in the same groggy state he was in. Hello, he said. Sorry I don't remember your name. Your number is written on the palm of my hand. I hope you're okay. You stayed with me last night here in my apartment I guess you know.
Sorry, but you have the wrong number, the woman said, coughing a little as she hung up.
We have talk she said. what about he said. You staying downstairs all the time alone. I don't like it she said. Get used to it because that's where i want to be. I have things to do he said. What things do you have to do down there she said. Things. none of your business he said. well if its none of my business you can start cooking for yourself from now on because I got things to do myself. I'm going to stay upstairs by myself and do what I want while you do what you do downstairs, but what kind of marriage will we have then, she asked. A happy one he said.
Betty and her new face arrived at the party late. Everyone turned and gasped. They hadn't seen her for months. They'd heard she was having work done on her face but no one there in the room thought much about it until then. But seeing her looking like she did in person with her lips filled up and puffed out like they were and her eyes made up dark and sitting at an awkward slant and wearing a slinky dress someone 30 years younger should not be wearing and it all added up to too much. No one knew what to do or whether they even wanted to talk to her. Betty sensed that, saw people their back to her not wanting to talk or even acknowledge her being there. Maybe they didn't know what to say. Betty dropped her head and moved into the shadows just then a big golden retriever worked it's way through the crowd and came up to her and stood and wagged and said with its eyes pet me, you'll feel better if you do.
Classified Ad: Ventriloquists Dummy for sale. Barely used. Reason for selling: has a mind of it's own... When Lucy read the ad she picked up the phone immediately and called. Hello. How much is the dummy? Never mind. Whatever it costs I'll buy it. I just got a divorce and I'm lonely and I think this dummy will be just what I need now... I don't know lady. This dummy thinks for itself. Yeah well I don't care. Best part about having it around is I won't have to cook for it, or do it's laundry or listen to it fart and burp after he eats. And I can put words in it's mouth whenever I want.
So when no one looking this guy goes to Mars...oh not the Mars you think the one in the galaxy way out there someplace...he goes to Mars, Iowa but being the kind of guy he was it didn't matter that his Mars was in Iowa, cause this guy was out there, be it the real Mars or the Mars in Iowa. I mean when you talked to this guy you knew he was someplace else...he mumbled and stumbled over his words like he couldn't talk and then he'd speed talk in a way you couldn't understand anyway...so this guy in Iowa, Mars, Iowa that is had to put address on a form saying where he lived and he put Mars and the clerk said I don't believer you and he said in so many words no one could understand that it was true. He lived on Mars. Dam said the lady...what's the zip code?
So there's a knock on the door. It's three wise men. They say hey lady we're here to pick up your kid...he's going to be the next Dalai lama and woman, the mother of the kid says, no you're not. My kid aint going nowhere, let alone someplace to be the Dalai Lama. Can't help it lady all the signs point to right here this house you people this boy. He's the next Dalai Lama like it or not. Albert, the woman yells out to someone at the back of house. Some people her saying Ned's going to be the next Dalai Lama. A voice from the back of the house yells back. Tell em they're dreamin. You're dreamin the woman tells the 3 wise men...and shuts the door in their face. Ned she yells, time for dinner!
Two guys standing across from each pointing guns at each other one of them saying I want peace so I'm going to kill you and other guy says hey me too I want peace so I'm going to kill you first, then a little bird drops into the frame and says hey you guys are nuts, you're setting up a stupid situation in which only thing accomplished is a lot of shot dead people...forever and ever.
I had this dream once in the middle of the night when I was a kid on my way downstairs to take a piss because toilet upstairs was not hooked sittin there for looks i guess when we had company cause they'd think better of us if we had a toilet at least in place even though it didn't work but then they wouldn't know that unless they asked and they never would because it would be important enough question to ask about somebody else's toilet...anyway I had this dream...a guy greeted me by tipping his hat when I went into the toilet and he tipped his hat to me again when I came out. I didn't think much about it until years later when I was going into a real important place and the same guy in real life tipped his hat to me the exact same way. My life change that very second. Thanks God.