Friday, January 30, 2009

Short Story - Sign of Life (Part 2/3)

(Reader discretion advised - some coarse language / violence.)

Part 2.

They were nowhere.

Good guys, that was, or so she thought. She was a register jockey at the local gas ‘n go on the edge of town and spent her nights watching the few late customers come in for expensive gas and cheap coffee. In between counting change and swiping charge cards, she’d read a book or make notes in her journal. Tonight though, she was content to stare out the window and listen to the late night radio. Through several hours of interrupted contemplation, she had come to the conclusion that guys were jerks. That morning a friend had sent a picture to her cellphone. A picture of her boyfriend getting way too comfortable with someone who wasn’t her. Despite the picture, he even tried to deny it, then excuse it, then apologize for it with an ill placed and insincere “I love you”. That made for a short conversation. It may have gone on longer, but after a baseball found it’s way from his shelf to her hand to his TV, nothing more needed to be said.

Now she was putting in time on her all night Short Stop shift and stewing about the state of her world. She was now pretty much homeless as she had been living with the jerk. Smashing his TV probably put an end to their more than roommates status. And this job of human interaction misery wouldn’t pay the freight either. She wanted to go back to school, and had put her hopes on a man, but he had come up short as usual. Now she needed a place to stay, a better job, and if she was honest with herself, a fix it up glue for another broken heart.

As a customer bought a coke and she handed him some change, she thought to herself that was the worst of it. She had really thought this guy was different. Honest, true, and honorable. It turned out he just put on a good show. It wasn’t the first time, and she was beginning to wonder if there was anything good left in the human race? Was there anyone who wasn’t just looking out for themselves and determined to be an asshole 24/7? She was so tired of being lied to and used and was getting angrier by the day; but the more she thought about it, the more she didn’t want to become jaded and hard. But it was pressing the point of half past too late, and she just hoped for a sign that all was not lost on this dying planet.

A truck pulled into the gas pumps and she watched as a tall guy got out and started up the fueling. The truck had seen better days, but it was an old school warrior and as she watched him wait on the pump and stare into the darkness of the night she idly thought he might be too. She was about to jot something down in her journal when the door chime rang again and two guys and a girl walked in, talking a little too loud while heading to the coolers at the back.

Then one of the guys turned back around and yelled to his friends “Get whatever you want.” He approached the counter and she bent down to put her journal on the lower shelf. She stood up to see what he wanted and her heart flatlined. He had a gun in his hand and he brought his arm straight up and pointed it at her. “Give me the money and the smokes, bitch! Now!” Instinctively she jumped back but hit the cigarette shelves of the wall behind her. She couldn’t think for a second as her mind and body refused to co-operate. The guy with the gun said something else she missed entirely as her now alive heartbeat in her ears drowned it out. She tried to reach to open the register, hoping the little cash in there would be enough to make him leave.

Then she looked up and she saw his eyes and she knew this was happening and it was no joke. Where there should have been something - hate, anger, or even evil - there was nothing. He didn’t care about her or even pulling the trigger, and she knew it. All hope left out of her in a hurry, and she closed her eyes. The word help went through her mind, out to someone - anyone - on this plane of existence or the next, but her hopeless broken heart didn’t expect to hear anything back. She figured this was it. A bad end to a worse day.

Then the door chime rang again...

To Be Continued...

Comments on "Short Story - Sign of Life (Part 2/3)"


Blogger The Texican said ... (January 31, 2009 11:04 AM) : 

"The door chime was just enough of a diversion to allow her to reach the sawed off twelve gauge pump beneath the counter...." I'm in. Keep it going. Pappy


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (January 31, 2009 5:46 PM) : 

Good stuff! Simple, clean writing that gets the job done. And does it well.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (February 01, 2009 4:54 AM) : 

Texican: That's a great line. I may have to use it in a sequel :). Thanks for reading!


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (February 01, 2009 4:54 AM) : 

Keanan: Thanks!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (February 05, 2009 2:11 AM) : 

For some reason I found the ending to this second piece very gripping. :-) Not sure how you did it, but well done.



post a comment