Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Request #1: Shorts

I received a request last week to do a spur-of-the-moment short about a mundane protagonist with nothing to do. I myself decided among the available options to take this challenge to show you, as budding authors, what there is to talk about when dealing with the Jerry Seinfeld of the literary world. Hope you enjoy.


He sat awake on the bed sheets, feeling the smooth cold of their touch caress his back. There was no work for him to do that day. That would be tomorrow. No, today he slept.

Above him the Sun was rising, taking it's place among the celestial bodies, where God could see him rub one out. Long ago, two weeks ago, he had stapled with his neighbors MitchCo Staple Gun, some heavy sheets above his window frame to keep out the light. To no avail, the Sun poked through with divine finger tips, a single beam firing out towards his bare chest.

The woman had declined to come up stairs. He hoped to see her again.

His luck with women was sparse, few and far between. His mind was a motion detector; finding those straying into his perimeter and pouncing on them with crude jokes about his penis and whatever played on Late Night. His fields of promise had dried up, one by one, a new neighborhood initiative to clean up the town. She was different though, not one of the usual collective.

Susan worked as a cataloger in the city archives; had an eye for detail and principals. He didn't know who Goethe was, or why he was important, but she was important. That was all she talked about the night before. She wasn't bored though. Susan had the passion of a young artist. She had found the grail, an excerpt in a local rare book store: a hidden ending to Faust Part One. It read "Sie ist gefallen," whatever that meant.

Perhaps it was her mind that challenged him. That night she asked him what he did for a living (janitor) and what he had studied in school (dropout). He declined to say after pondering the consequences of lying to her. Susan was different. She was more than different. She was real.

He hoped to fall asleep again. The unfeeling fog of unconsciousness was calling him back again. No one could crush him in his dreams. There he was safe. Safe to sleep, and fall away, again.

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