An Occurence at Cherry Tree Plaza

The movie was sound and fury, caffeine and air conditioning. People laughed, he laughed. People gasped, he gasped. For a while, Jeff was people and that felt marvelous. He kept finding new movies and delaying the return to reality. Ten minutes till six, Jeff finally gave and came out into the big hot summer sun. Saturday was winding down and the sidewalks were rolling up but Jeff felt adventurous.

After some meandering, he found himself behind a strip mall and fording a small stream. The water was unfortunate as it reminded him of the gigantic soda ingested previously at the multiplex. Behind him, he heard the oh so chilling cliché click of a cocking pistol. He slowly turned and met a mugger and his gun.

“Come on man, don’t make me do this.”

Sweat trickled down Jeff’s highly focused vision. In a practical lesson in perspective, the world as Jeff saw it at that very moment was one long metal tube. A giant .38 covered the entirety of Jeff’s visual spectrum. He stared into the barrel and was unaware of the man screaming at him. The sweat flooded his eyes and he was forced to blink.

Then as if an epiphany, Jeff knew what to do. He brought his index finger behind the trigger and an elbow into the mugger’s gut. The mugger relents leaving his gun in the hands of Jeff. Jeff does not follow figuring lesson learned. It was all too easy really. Jeff drops the gun into the trash and moves on to a local bar.

Carol sits at the bar alone. She’s a Sagittarius who likes fishing and the works of Chuck Palahniuk. Jeff is a Gemini who thinks that Chuck should get an easier to spell name. He prefers Gary Paulsen. Insanely, the two hit it off. They both speak bad Spanish and worse Japanese. The both drink a lot. To their disappointment, bars tend to close.

Drunkenly the two stumble back to Carol’s home. They speak in tones of reverence and urgency. It’s all nonsense, but urgently revered nonsense at least. They sorta fall into each other and stay there. The night is warm and pleasant, and the two become one. They sleep and in the morning they puke and yet they are still happy.

All is well, until Jeff blinks and is suddenly right back to the bit of land behind the strip mall. The mugger looks impatient. Jeff moves forwards confusing a day dream for prophecy. The mugger is firmly grounded in the moment. Without hesitation, he puts a round between Jeff’s eyes. Carol sits at the bar alone and stays there, her image engraved next t shrapnel resting in a dead mass of meat.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carson
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 12:10:32

    I had to try to do this story. If you don’t know what I’m aping here, it’s called An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. If you click on the tag (I’m writing this comment the day of publishing) you’ll probably see that someone has posted the whole story. For the love of anything, read it. This is what a short story can do.

    Reply

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