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21 February 2008 @ 11:03 pm
The Family Business  
So, this is what it feels like. I’ve always wondered. Not nearly as cramped as you would think. With the exception of speed bumps, it’s a pretty smooth ride. The tires make a nice humming noise too. Never noticed it before. But then, I wasn’t ever so close to them.

I would consider this to be a precarious situation. Precarious is a word I’ve been dying to use for ages. Heh. I shouldn’t say that. I am dying, after all. How long have I been in here? I must have passed out. I don’t remember a thing. Except mama.

“You’re such a good boy. Here, take one of these.” She’s handing me a tray of cookies, smiling. She’s got her curlers in. She smells like childhood. “You’ll be seeing those men again today?”

“Yes, ma.”

“Well. You won’t forget your gun this time, will you?”

“No, ma.”

What a pain that job was. Of all the things to forget. What’s more, I didn’t even realize I’d left it until I had him pinned to the floor. He’s screaming, and I’m telling him it’s ok. It won’t hurt none. I reach into my coat pocket and there’s nothing in there but clove cigarettes. Well, these won’t kill him. So I end up using my hands. It won’t hurt none, I said. Now I’m a liar. I hate liars.

I must be in the Cadillac. It’s the only car they have with a trunk big enough for two. I don’t know who the other guy is. I don’t think he’s breathing. But he sure is warm. Big guys always retain heat better than little ones. Even after they kick it. I’m freezing. My bathrobe is stiff. I think I must have bled on it. Or maybe it’s his blood? No. I’m the one who’s shot. It must be mine.

What went wrong? I can’t remember. It can’t have been the last job. It went fine. Quick in, quick out. Two shots. I even remembered the silencer. I didn’t leave any marks or stains. I was perfect. The guy had this great dog too. A real pretty one. Golden colored. Kept following me around as I cleaned up. Even came out to the car when I loaded up the trunk. I liked him so much I ended up taking him with me. I almost felt bad for the family. Waking up to find daddy gone and their dog missing. Maybe they thought he ran off with the dog. Honeymooning in Europe with his canine. Can’t have blamed him. It was a good looking dog. Golden.

God, it hurts. I always shoot twice. Just to make sure. No point in drawing it out. It just slows things down. You shoot someone once and you run the risk of them coming to in the trunk. Not that it matters, of course. There’s no way to get out. It’s for your own sake, see? They wake up and then start moaning. Pleading. Saying something about their kids. Really loud like, so you can still hear them with the radio up. It’s hard to feel good about it then. I always shoot twice.   

What was it? The sauna attendant showed me in. I blushed, feeling naked in the thin bathrobe. Just like so many times before. I waited for my eyes to adjust in the steam. I could hear boss breathing. I sat down next to him. I waited, sweating. He coughed and held out a suitcase. I took the money. Just another job done. I got up to leave. Boss said wait. I stopped. I thought, this is it. He’s going to say he’s proud of me. He’s going to ask me to come home. Instead, I turned around and he shot me. The air went sticky. I couldn’t breathe. The bullet felt red hot. I had a sun burning in my stomach. I was a sun. Waves of heat spread all over me. I fell down. I stayed there. Wet floor. Voices. Someone picked me up. Then I don’t know. I woke up in here.

Stopped. Why have we stopped? Maybe we’re at the pits already. We could be. I don’t know how long I was out. Voices. Shovels. Got to be we’re at the pits.

What have I done? Mama would know. Think.

“You’re going to get yourself killed,” she would say, “playing so rough. I don’t like the man you work for.”

“Ma, dad is a good boss.”

“Sure he is. Real good.”

No, that won’t do. Think. There has to be something. Anything. Did mama know? Did I?

They’re digging. It won’t be long now.

What did she say before I left?

“Don’t forget your pill. None of this ‘I’m going to let myself be taken in for questioning’ nonsense. You find yourself in a scrape, you take the pill. Any sort of scrape, I don’t care.”

“Yes, ma.”

Of course. The pill. I’d forgotten it. No, wait. I really had forgotten it. On my night stand. Well then.  

I’m going to die then. No, I knew that. I’m going to be buried alive then. Maybe they’ll shoot me first. Again. Always shoot twice, I say. I hope so. Footsteps drawing near. Keys. Maybe they’ll bury the big guy first. Or use him to pin me down, so I can’t dig myself out.

Trunk swings open. Sunlight. Skinny girl looking in. Sister? What are you doing here? Some guy next to her picks me up. Dad? What’s going on? I can hear mama crying somewhere. Sister talking. I can’t make out the words. Something about Barbie. Who’s Barbie? Wait. I remember.

We were little. I stole her Barbie doll. She chased me all over the house crying. I was too fast. She collapsed on the floor. Kept saying I hate you, I hate you. I hid the doll and wrote a ransom note. When I gave it to her she looked up at me. Someday I’m going to kill you, she said.

Huh. She’s not a liar. That's good. I hate liars.
penseur_nevrose on February 25th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
Did this fulfill the prompt? Explain how so, or why not:
Yes indeedy.

Standout parts:
Overall I would say it stands out. You don't write like Amanda, Kylie, or I, which is good, very good. Makes your stories quite interesting. And I've never read a mafia story before, but excellent!

Needing improvement:
Nothing I noticed.

General comments:
I enjoyed your thought-oriented writing style. I also liked how the story moved like it should, your quick paragraphs, like heartbeats, making the story feel like it was moving with immediacy, EXCELLENT, as that was also a point of the prompt. Your style and content fulfilled this prompt very well indeed. Hoorah!

leoin on February 26th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Did this fulfill the prompt? Explain how so, or why not: Yes! There was good immediacy and you kept it going with flashbacks and the resolution.

Standout parts: The whole thing feels standout, really. Very good idea, it reads well, it's fun. Very noir. If you added something weird like a yellow bastard or a cannibal it could be a segment of Sin City. I like your humor as well, and the end, with the revelation of sister getting her little revenge made me go "O_O"

Needing improvement: I can't really find anything to nitpick? The stream of conscious/choppy style works for this, so I suppose I would just advise to use it wisely when appropriate?

General comments: Yay Payday!
aloofcreaturealoofcreature on March 1st, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
Did this fulfill the prompt? Explain how so, or why not: Yes

Standout parts: The flashbacks were very good. I liked the idea too. It was very original. I like how you ended it with "I hate liars."

Needing improvement: I want more. So I guess that is a good thing. Nothing really that I can point out.

General comments: It was nice and your style is refreshing.
alondra_del_solalondra_del_sol on March 7th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Did this fulfill the prompt? Explain how so, or why not:
Most def., definitely traumatic.

Standout parts:
I really enjoyed it. Like Michael mentioned you don't write like the rest of us so it was nice to read something sort of different, but besides that I just really liked the whole concept. Like Amanda mentioned very Sin City and interesting.

Needing improvement:
Hmm...I can't find anything glaringly obvious. You may have stalled a little and lost a bit of the immediacy of how dire the situation was, but that's being really nit-picky on my part.

General comments:
Overall, I really liked it. Great job :)