Wacky Wednesday – “Four Bucks Down The Drain”

20 Jun

For today’s entry, I got lazy!

Instead of producing something new, I trolled the depths of my high school writing and came across a piece of flash fiction I’d written for Writer’s Craft in grade eleven. Ah, those were tumultuous times – spotting misplaced modifiers, hunting pesky gerunds, and producing some truly silly writing – all under the watchful eye of James “Risky Jim” Risk, pictured here exactly as I knew him:

Mr. Risk, if you’re reading this: thank you for a class I will remember until I perish at the age of eighty with fourteen Persian concubines keeping me company in my money-bed. I hope this blog stands as a testament to the type of joyful insanity you so lovingly nurtured in us.

To the rest of you: enjoy Justin 1.0, circa 2006:


John Milton wondered how he’d gotten himself into this.

The beautiful mid-June sun shone down brightly on his bald pate, making it glisten and shine. His thick glasses kept slipping down his nose. Dark spots of sweat were beginning to appear under his arms and in the small of his back, staining his wool shirt. He was thirsty, thirstier than he’d ever been in his life. His throat was dry and his voice cracked and his lips were chapped, and he thought he would die from the heat. His Globotel pin, perched proudly on his paunch, glinted in the light, happily – mocking him. His skin tingled, red and tender, blistering in the sun’s rays. Sweat rolled down his forehead and into his eyes, and even when he wiped it away the sun blinded him. His ankles ached from the effort of taking his weight when he had jumped down.

John reflected on his condition. He was never likely to get out; the barrier was much too high. And even if he did, what was the point? A bitter, mirthless guffaw escaped his lips, only to turn into a hacking wheeze. He was sure beyond any doubt that right here, in this spot, he would die. He noted with interest that he wasn’t at all disturbed by this; in fact, he rather welcomed the idea. He was much too spineless, of course, to take his own life, but now that the opportunity to die a short (albeit painful) death presented itself – it might be nice, he thought. Much better than his lot now.

John wondered idly how his life could have possibly culminated in such a bizarre situation. Then, he realized, it was rather fitting. His whole existence had been rather unusual, in its own boring little way. The painfully dull cubicle job, the unintentional bachelorhood, the lonely, shoddy apartment – these were all touchstones on his path to forgettable normalcy. Then – there was the disappearance of his stereo, his microwave, his television, his lamp, and his treasured waffle iron (despite his efforts to burgle-proof his home), the repeated physical threats from the children down the hall, the mysterious deaths of his household pets, each of whom he named Simon in the hope that it would do better than the last one. Yes, his life had been suitably curious for it to end this way.

Ahead of him, on the concrete floor of the habitat, John could see the remains of the only source of happiness he’d had in years: a dark, quickly drying pool of brown liquid and a crushed lump of waffle that should have been a chocolate ice cream cone.

Ahead of him, the huge feline still slept, its great ribcage rising and falling gently.

His day at the zoo had not gone well, and when he had bought the cone in an attempt to alleviate his terrifying depression, he thought things were looking up.

That is, until he dropped it into the tiger pit.

He couldn’t stand to lose anything anymore. He just couldn’t. Even he, mild-mannered, fleshy, dough-filled John, was ready to do anything to get what he deserved.

He was damn sure he deserved that ice cream. He’d get it if it killed him.

Which, he acknowledged without too much regret, it might.

He took a silent, tentative step towards the ice cream.


2 Responses to “Wacky Wednesday – “Four Bucks Down The Drain””

  1. Monica June 21, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Dammit, Justin. How is it that you wrote something 6 years ago that is better than the shit I write now? I love the fact that he names all his pets Simon. That small detail just gives such an indication of how pathetic this dude’s life really is.

    What assignment was this for? You’ve inspired me; next time I go home to O, I’m going to scale through my old Writer’s Craft assignments – see if there is anything worth salvaging.

    I miss good ol’ Risky Jim…

  2. Your Father June 22, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Whoa, that is good. You do have a way of weaving a compelling short story.

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