Saturday, 4:25 a.m.

28 Sep

David Stewart, a real writer,  likes to throw out Open Prompts on his blog asking for characters, items, a title, the tone, etc.,  to whomever will bite. Then he will base a story on these elements.

I tossed out the character: Edward “the Squid” Morrison. David wrote a story involving this man in a post apocalyptic world. Morrison is the self proclaimed “King” of the town, Free Frall. He is more like the town bully than a King, and makes the citizens give him a percentage of the treasures they scavenge.

The piece is called Saturday, 4 a.m.

He also wrote a follow up piece called: Droog’s Story.

I liked both stories a lot.

So hopefully without stepping on Mr. Stewart’s toes,  I decided to write a companion piece to Saturday, 4 a.m.

—-

“We’d better hurry,” Junior said anxiously. He was blowing into his hands. It was cold out, but not quite cold enough to be so dramatic as to blow in one’s hands. Maybe it was nerves. Maybe he was just a big old dumb scaredy cat.

Maybe he just wanted to starve to death, or better yet, maybe he thought the big old magical blue-fucking-zoo fairy was going to dump tons of food out of the sky to feed him and me for life. Maybe he forgot that trading was a way of life now, and if you had nothing to trade…well, simply put, you had nothing.

“You should stop talking your thoughts out loud!” hissed Junior at me. “It’s really annoying and rude. This is the Squid’s territory we are in, in case you forgot! And if he catches us looting through his area without permission…well, I don’t even want to think about it!”

“Yes! I get it!” I hissed back. “But we haven’t found anything descent in a long time. I’m hungry. Just give me five more minutes and we will leave.”

In case you were wondering, Junior is my older brother and as I like to call him: King of the Worry-Warts. Myself, being a girl, much more prone to patience and manners.

“Keep those thoughts in your head, Rosie! Makes you look crazy!” Junior said and started blowing in his hands again while looking right and left rapidly.

I still didn’t know half the time  if I was talking my thoughts in my head or out loud, but…

“Out loud!” Junior interrupted.

It was at that moment I saw it. Although I don’t know exactly what it was or what it did, I just knew people wanted it.

Which means, I had to have it.

In between two broken glass bottles and a lot of debris, poked out a shiny black disc.  Ryan the Trader loves these discs and about wets himself with excitement when he sees them.

That means we trade.

That means we eat.

“Make sure the discs are not scratched! They are worthless scratched!” Ryan’s voiced echoed in my head.

“Or out loud,” sneered Junior. “If I didn’t know for a fact that you were dropped on your head as a baby, I would swear you were dropped on your head as a baby!”

“That was clever…now shhh!”

I had to be careful.

I examined the part of the disc sticking out of the muck before continuing. Seemed like it was in good condition. It wouldn’t be worth digging out if it wasn’t. I don’t know what could be lying in that heap, broken glass, nails, wood full of splinters, radio active chinch bugs. Chinch bugs were the worst! Those things would bite you on your finger and never let go. If you don’t get them off in under five minutes, you will start to feel your finger heat and swell up. Eventually, your digit exploded like a mini time bomb. Most people just cut their finger off if a chinch bug bit it because one way or another your going to lose it. At least if you cut it off yourself, you can tourniquet the damn thing and not bleed to death.

Junior gave me a hard look, held up his right hand which only had three fingers left on it and said, “Do you mind not bringing that up again!”

“OK!” I replied.

I poked a stick at the mound to see if anything moved. Nothing did, which was good, but didn’t guarantee it to be 100% bug free. Carefully I pulled out my personal set of extractor tools that are housed in a canvas bag which rolls up and fits easily in the front pocket of my hoodie. Inside the bag are three different size spades, a chisel, two different size tweezers, a Flathead and a Phillips screwdriver, a ball peen hammer, a flashlight, and duct tape. I selected the chisel and begun working on the muck around the disc.

“I heard that the Squid would just as soon kill you as negotiate with you. I heard the Squid once ripped a man’s eyes out with a wine key because he thought the guy was cheating him. I heard he hates outsiders like…oh…you and me! So please Rosie, hurry!” Junior whined at me.

“Fine,” I yelled. “This is delicate work! But I’ll hurry! Chinch bugs or no chinch bugs be damned!”

And I started chiseling faster with one hand and with the other hand, I grabbed the big tweezers and started rocking the disc back and forth with it.

“Keep your voice down!” Junior loud whispered and gave me the death stare.

“Shut up!” I said even louder. The disc wiggled quite a bit now. The muck and death debris billowed dust clouds up my nose. I sneezed periodically.

“I’m sorry!” Junior loud whispered again. “Just keep your voice down!”

“Oh, you’re sorry all right!” I screamed as loud as I could, and at the same time pulled with all of my might on the disc. It cracked in half and sent me flying backwards to land on my ass. The crack disc in the tweezers was still in one hand raised to the sky, and the chisel in the other, with which I had somehow managed to cut my forehead, and was now bleeding.

Junior walked over to where I laid, and took the disc from my fingers. He read it out loud:

“Bill Cosby – Himself”

“Shit!” I yelled and began to cry.

Junior was standing over me, looking down at me with a weird sorry expression on his sad face…and over his shoulder, through my tears, I suddenly saw Edward “the Squid” Morrison looking at both of us.

And he did not look happy….

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13 Responses to “Saturday, 4:25 a.m.”

  1. La La September 28, 2012 at 3:42 PM #

    Well done, I liked the original story as well.

    I’d hate to miss out on Bill Cosby. “My father would pass gas and then blame it on imaginary animals” is a real gem.

  2. Maddie Cochere September 29, 2012 at 12:18 AM #

    Good story. I liked the characters and the setting, and I was actually sad at the ending. Laughed at Junior’s fingers. Bill Cosby’s chicken heart still slays me.

  3. The Bumble Files September 29, 2012 at 1:49 AM #

    Fine work. Lots of great details and I like how you’re developing the story further introducing your own characters. Well done!

    • Christopher De Voss September 29, 2012 at 8:32 AM #

      Thank you. I’m not really a writer, just wanted to show my appreciation.

      • The Bumble Files September 29, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

        Oh, you are, too, a writer. Yes, you are!

      • Christopher De Voss September 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

        Noooooo! I want to be excutive producer!

      • The Bumble Files September 29, 2012 at 11:38 PM #

        Christopher, you can be anything you want if you believe in yourself! Yes, you can.

  4. David Stewart September 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM #

    Great story, Chris. I loved it. I liked the extra dimensions you added to the story. Despite what you said to Amy up there, you’re definitely a writer. (I love the radioactive cinch bugs, by the way, but I’m holding you responsible for any nightmares about exploding digits).

    • Christopher De Voss September 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM #

      You up for more? I see this going somewhere.

      • David Stewart September 30, 2012 at 9:23 PM #

        I’ve got tons of ideas for this story line. Feel free to play off anything I write and I’ll do the same with you, if it’s okay.

      • Christopher De Voss September 30, 2012 at 9:59 PM #

        Sounds good. I like this genre.

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