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Monday, July 15, 2013

Loose Ends

I wrote this short story two years ago. I've been toying with revising it for trifecta. It was originally 600 words, so--for me--this week was more of an editing challenge than a writing challenge.

*

photo borrowed from deaddictioncentres.in
 
Julie had chosen pills. The face bloat and possibility of shitting herself ruled out hanging. There was no tragic reason behind Julie’s decision to kill herself. She was just bored. Bored with work, bored with the tiny house she’d bought with her tiny divorce settlement, bored with being alone.
On the way to work, she mailed the letters.

Dear Sis,

… Please wear black, and cover your boobs for once ...
 
The office was still vacant, except for Coughing Carl six cubicles away. Without even setting down her purse, Julie forwarded to the entire company all the saved messages proving her boss is an addle-brained, idea-stealing asshole.
 
For breakfast, Julie splurged on a sausage McGriddle (with cheese) and a (non-diet) Coke. Lunch would be a handful of barbiturates.
 
Julie’s mom was working, but Mick (her mother's fifth boyfriend in three years) was home. While he put on coffee, Julie pressed her breasts into his back. He protested … until she grabbed his crotch. As Mick wiggled around on top of her, Julie preoccupied herself by watching an insect crawl along a crack between two floorboards.

Driving away, she almost felt sorry for Mick. When her mother receives Julie’s letter, he’ll surely be out on the curb. But schtupping her mom’s boyfriend was perfect revenge for a childhood of moving whenever her mother met “the one.”

Julie hadn’t planned an elaborate scenario for her ex-husband. When he came to the lobby of his building, she calmly kicked him in the junk with her square-toed boot. As he collapsed, Julie thanked the stunned receptionist.

She showered, dressed and straightened her hair so it would fan out nicely on her pillow. She applied light makeup. Then she washed down the pills with vodka.

When Julie opened her eyes, the nurse standing over her motioned down the hall. A police officer walked in.

“We found you unresponsive when we came to arrest you,” the cop explained. “It’s a good thing your ex-husband reported the assault. You could’ve died.”
 


#

This week's trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "crack," as defined below:

CRACK
3a : a narrow break : fissure <a crack in the ice>
  b : a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>


Word count: 333

30 comments:

  1. This was very interesting! Plus I'm glad I saved a kitten's life today :d

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    1. I (and the kitten) thank you! :)

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  2. You have obviously edited very proficiently. This is so good! I enjoyed the letter to the sister, the general tone and now wonder what it feels like to wake up when you believed it would never happen again.

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    1. Thank you so much! Cutting almost half the words was definitely a challenge. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I guess if you're going to go on a revenge spree, you better make sure you won't be around for the fallout.

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  3. Oh shit, that sucks! I guess...right? That statement implies I was rooting for her to die. Anyway, I feel bad for all the damage control she's gonna have to do now. Really enjoyed this.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, she's totally screwed. Thanks for reading! :)

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  4. hehe I know I shouldn't laugh or find this awesome, but I did. love the tone and pace of it all.

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    1. Thank you! Suicide is no laughing matter ... unless the person did a bunch of shitty things first and didn't succeed in killing herself. ;)

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  5. Loved it! It made me laugh too. What a sick sense of humor some of us have. Great job! Would love to read more!

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    1. You really are sick and twisted for laughing at this. We would probably be BFFs if we ever met. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. Ha! Excellent! Love how her simple revenge on her ex-husband throws a wrench in her suicide plans. Great little story!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Suzanne!

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  7. Ah, irony. So delicious when it's so well-written like this.

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    1. Thanks, Draug! So glad you liked it. :)

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  8. Haha! Terrific ending--can't say she didn't have that coming!

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    1. She definitely had it coming. I like imagining what happens when everyone receives their letters. Yikes!

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  9. Whoops!!! Well, no wonder he is the ex, calling the police for such a minor, and no doubt deserved, assault. Jerk. :-P And now she has a huge mess to clean up, or try again. I wonder what she will do.

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    1. I bet she really wants to kill herself now. Or maybe someone will do the dirty work for her. Thanks for reading!

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  10. Great story with an ending that really made me laugh.

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    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  11. This had me from the beginning, and held on until the end. I was wondering what would go wrong along the way. I never guessed it would be THAT. Really well done, especially considering all the editing you had to do. I had to whittle mine down from 460 words or so, so I can imagine the work you put into this.
    My response to the prompt: http://www.aliciaaudrey.com/blog/trifectaprompt-crack/ ‎

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    1. Thank you so much, Alicia! Taking the red pen to my own writing is not nearly as much fun as editing other people's work. :) But, I'm happy with how this turned out. It was definitely a challenge, though.

      I really appreciate your kind words! Heading over to read your entry now. :)

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  12. I guess she planned a little too much. It's going to be awkward dealing with all those people she gave a piece of her mind to :)

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    1. She'll certainly wish she were dead when it all comes back on her. Thanks for reading! :)

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  13. At least she don't have to be bored any more :-) Great write

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    1. Thanks, Björn! Something tells me her life is about to get a lot more exciting. ;)

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  14. I gotta say, I ADORE the twist at the end! this was really well done.

    Makes me want to read your original (longer) story to see what exactly you cut. But you know what, this story is perfect the way you edited it.

    Great job!! I think this story will win this week, or at least be runner-up (in my humble opinion).

    best,
    MOV
    ps-- did I save a dying kitten??

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    1. Now YOU just made MY day! Thank you so much for the wonderful praise! I was hoping all the editing didn't lessen the impact of the ending.

      And, yes, because you took the time to comment, a kitty will live to see another day.

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  15. Terrific story, Ivy!
    "Oh, shit" are, I'm betting, her first words.
    I'm feeling optimistic and positive today, so I'm wagering she'll take the advantage and commit an entire life change. She certainly could use one!

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    1. Thanks, Kymm! :)

      Hers is definitely a "nowhere to go but up" situation. Maybe she will use this as a catalyst to get her shit together.

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