Friday, July 16, 2010

Hollow Point - Chapter 1, Part 1

Sometimes the universe interferes in the lives of men in good ways, and sometimes in bad. Which it would be this time I wouldn't know until much later.


"Goodbye, Angel," I mumbled around the .44's cold barrel.

Angel's soft female voice came from across the room. "Are you sure you want to do this, John?"

"I'm sure."

I gazed into the dark corner beyond the opened-out and unmade futon, to the cage on the shelf high against the wall. The white rat's eyes shone red, and I wondered for an instant if Angel's eyes were actually glowing, or it was a product of my sleep-deprived brain.

I'd quit drinking five days ago in order to clear my mind of the effects of alcohol. I wanted to make certain what I was about to do was a rational decision. But I hadn't slept in as many nights, and part of me knew my thoughts were far from rational.

My thumb rested on the revolver's trigger, the weapon turned around in my hand. The bite of metal mixed with the light taste of gun oil gagged me. Images of Sylvia flashed through my mind. Sylvia slim and athletic. Sylvia large with child, the soft smile on her face as she slept beside me.

Then I thought of those I would leave behind. Chester. My mother. My sister and nephew in Seattle. Frank Nelson. And, of course, Angel.

But would I miss them? After what I had planned, I doubted that would even be possible.

And would any of them miss me?

Angel rustled in her cage. "You still have much to do, John. Your work with Father Albright...."

"Chester can get by without me. He was doing all right before I arrived on the scene, and he'll do just fine after I'm gone."

The rat was silent for a few seconds, then said, "But you have accomplished so much, and there is still much you can do."

"Right. In fact, I've done too much—too damned much harm. If I hang around any longer, I'll only pile more harm on top of it."

"You've done good, too, John. You know you have."

"And I’ve done a great deal of evil."

Again there was silence. Angel couldn’t muster an argument for that. She knew only too well the pain and suffering I had caused.

The rat sighed, an eerily human sound. "Very well. If you feel you must do this, I know there is nothing I can say that will stop you."

"No, there isn't."

"Then... goodbye, John."

My thumb tightened on the trigger and I closed my eyes, attempting to clear my mind of all thought.


  1. This was an interesting start. Definitely grabbed my attention and tweaked my curiosity. :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for sharing your entry with us. :)

    Happy weekend,

  3. Interesting - it leaves me very curious, wanting to know more. Thanks for sharing!! :-)

  4. Hi Charles,

    Thanks for stopping by my entry. The best thing going for you in this piece is definitely the dialogue. The scene is also built well, but you might do your writing some justice by cleaning up extraneous words. The one I picked was, "I'd quit drinking five days ago in order to clear my mind of the effects of alcohol." Here, you can cut "of the effects of alcohol." It's extra. Otherwise, thanks for the read! It's an interesting start.

    See you around!

  5. Several interesting things going on, here. Is the talking rat real or imagined? Will the MC actually do what he's threatening to do, and then there are all those questions--why?

    Nice job. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Interesting and riveting scene. Justin has a point : 'the effects of alcohol' can be edited away.

    Oh, if all our missteps could be so easily edited away, right?

    Mark Twain had a similar experience in a San Francisco hotel room, whose bill has spiraled out towards the stars and his prospects had dwindled to microscopic levels.

    You did a great job, Roland

  7. Great hook! It really sets a scene and poses questions without leaving us in utter confusion. Nothing like a sleep-deprived detox to bring the voice out of a pet, eh?

  8. I'm not sure what interested me most? The suicidal man discussing suicide with his pet rat or what this guys job may be.

    I really enjoyed the back and forth with the rodent and how much this guy is messed up.

    Cool piece!

  9. Great dialogue between the rat and the man - well done :)

  10. A riveting first chapter! I was intrigued by the entire scenario and was left with plenty of questions that would urge me to turn the page and read on. Best of luck with the project!

    Looking forward to reading more from you :)

  11. Lots of questions about what his work has been...


  12. oh WOW! this was really, really unique and interesting! makes me want to read more!

  13. This makes me wonder if he's actually talking to the rat or if he's hallucinating - very interesting start.

  14. I like the small things thrown in--the relationship with "Father" so-and-so...The rat question--real or imagined?...the mention of Sylvia, but NOT as someone he would leave behind.

    Lots of questions to answer! Thank you for sharing!


  15. I was uncertain whether the rat was a human rat at first, but I think I worked it out. Others were also confused so you probably need to edit for clarity here. Enjoyable entry..:)

    I'm late and I know now my link didn't work. I hope you'll pop by and read mine. I became a follower also..:)

  16. Augh! I seem to be torturing myself today, reading excerpts of stories that I want and don't have!

  17. Surely he doesn't do it - this would be a crappy place to end!

  18. I'd like to find out what happens next.

  19. You play bazaarfir se apna dil denge tumhe khelne k liye and satta king Kabhi udaas ho jayo to btana mujhe.