Monday, November 17, 2008

Short Story - 50 Feet

Nothing major, just something I wrote in my notepad at work over a night or two...

50 Feet
by Eaglewing

It was fifty feet between heaven and hell. And he would know, because he had counted.

Many times.

And the ease of the trip one way was alarmingly acute when trying to do it the other.

An afterthought of a town with barely enough to warrant a stop sign was his home. It was that main street at the top of the hill that divided a church on one side and the bar on the other. Folks seemed to fall into one or the other on a steady basis with a thirst for something more. He had been around long enough to have noticed too that both had their regulars that always came back week after week, so he figured neither side was doing the job of quenching that thirst. On this night however, he wasn't concerned about future return trips to the well, he was only thinking of the here and now. Too much was too much and enough was enough.

So with a habit he couldn't seem to break, he staggered out of that bar at closing time, planning to cross the street like he had before and confess his sins to anyone who'd listen. But tonight the windows were dark and the lights were off and the doors were closed, so he wound up making it only halfway to somewhere in the middle. Straddling that asphalt's hard yellow line, he stopped and looked up and wondered if those on either side of the street had it right. Somewhere up there he thought there was something that was more than a church could market or a bar could drown. Something, or perhaps if a millennia old book was right, Someone, was up there and looking down. Maybe somewhere beyond the stars was the Answer. Taking a deep breath, he reconsidered. Maybe it wasn't that far away. His lips moved then and mouthed words he only hoped wouldn't go unheard.

Then the moment was shattered as that eighteen wheel tanker crested the hill with the hammer down and it wouldn't have mattered how good the brakes were for a man standing drunk in the middle of the road.

In a heartbeat he finally beat the habit and found out the distance between heaven and hell was a lot shorter than fifty feet.

The End.

Comments on "Short Story - 50 Feet"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 17, 2008 4:03 PM) : 

Dude! lol

I wasn't expecting that. I'm laughing and shaking my head here.

Short, but it seems finely crafted, so I can see how the multiple nights of writing and editing paid off, even if each writing session was short.

I guess it pays to keep your eyes on the road, whether you're driving an 18 wheeler, or just living life. :-)

Looking forward to the next one, as always!

originallru

 

Blogger The Texican said ... (November 19, 2008 9:25 AM) : 

That one will probably end up as the story just before the altar call in a revival meeting if it gets some airtime. Glad you are writing again. Pappy

 

Blogger Eaglewing said ... (November 21, 2008 1:28 PM) : 

originallru: thanks, glad you liked it. wasn't expecting laughs from it, but i'm always interested in people's different takes on what i write.

 

Blogger Eaglewing said ... (November 21, 2008 1:29 PM) : 

Texican: Thanks! A revival meeting reading might be aiming high, but glad you enjoyed it.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 22, 2008 2:48 AM) : 

Amazing story! You pack a powerful punch with only a few words. Thanks for this unforgettable story!

Let any who may be thinking they will live forever, stop! and take note of the brevity of life.

In my mind, this man who had encountered more than a few down-and-out years, made one last very wise choice, when he prayed a prayer to God who always hears, thus entering eternity with a forgiven soul.

Your story is a reminder, there is purpose to life, we have a Message to share, while there is still time.

Sure like your style of writing...some unique thoughts...already looking for the next one. Keep them coming.
- Bookworm

 

Blogger Eaglewing said ... (November 25, 2008 6:49 AM) : 

Bookworm: Thanks for the comments! Glad you got that much out of something I just basically jotted down. Fascinating how different people interpret a story.

 

Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (November 29, 2008 3:52 PM) : 

Sorry it's taken me so long to wander over and read this. Awesome!

There is a certain dark humor about that last line, but it certainly doesn't soften the blow.

Good stuff.

 

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