Posts Tagged ‘short story’

A couple of doors down – video/story

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Body next door

Hello.


It’s been a long while since I did a blog post. I have been writing, completing work that I started decades ago. I take breaks, make a video, work on my audio books. A while back I was regularly publishing very short fiction I called Noises in the House. Did a few videos on some, and I have made another.


Titled, A few doors down, you can view it at any one of these three sites where I loaded it up:


YouTube


Vimeo


DailyMotion


The original story can be read by clicking right here.


It’s about someone who died in his house and nobody missed him until the smell….


Have a look or read, as time or interest dictate. – Vincent

Another story (“Not Mama”) from INTIMATE DIALOGUES

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

ID - FRONT_small_size_COVER


Hi there.


Again.


My book of stories came out at the beginning of this summer. And it appears to be called Intimate Dialogues and you can click here to hear, buy and get more info about it.


If instead you care to read a story called NOT MAMA from this collection that was previously published online by FICTION365, you may CLICK RIGHT HERE.


Meanwhile, summer’s been good, and this here is a little reminder of things rolling on, and if getting involved in my fiction slipped your mind back in June, here it is in August, ready to slip back in.



Thanks for dropping by, even with a little benign force was employed. – Vincent

STORY – Drunk at the Crossroads

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012




Late one night, driving out of the center of Brussels toward home, I arrived at a notoriously chaotic crossroads where impatient automobile traffic piled in from ten different aggressive directions. Truly, ten streets dumping cars onto one large oblong area where everyone wanted to get to the other side first. A place where all concerned needed to keep their wits about them, especially late, late at night, with too much liquid merriment in the veins.


Coming from my own direction, one of the thinner streets to disgorge traffic, I waited like a good cautious boy, watching the traffic light, anticipating when it would switch from red to green telling me I could now go go go. For the moment it was telling me to stay (…stay…stay…). I sat and stayed seeing no change of colors, no switch from red to green, not even yellow was making a surprise appearance. I just kept staring, waiting for something to happen, when I finally entertained the thought — horror of horrors — that I was staring at a dead-eyed red light. It was not going away, not changing to anything but remaining dedicated to staying true to its red self for the foreseeable future. Somebody honked behind me. Then somebody else honked behind him. Restlessness was building behind me.


I examined at the crossroads once more, weighing my chances of making it without wreckage and death. Numerous cars were busting through their own dead red lights from other streets roaring toward the cluttered center of the crossing, most zooming round, switching gears, feinting left, swerving right, being fearsome and belligerent, absolutely indifferent to possible dents, whether to body or brain. It was every car for itself way past midnight with my home sweet home somewhere on the other side this killer span of blacktop. I daringly moved my car two inches forward, then halted to check how my progress was going, sweeping my eyeballs left and right, checking incoming threats. More insistent honks piled up behind me.


Continuous blurry headlights swung by from different directions with different speeds. Prodded by honks, I continued inching cautiously toward the main mass and mess of the intersection. Growling Alpha cars missed my front fender by micro inches. My eyes weaved in and out of the cars before me, measuring the “what was to come” when and if I did actually get out there where the world raged on, and during this look I thought I spotted some wobbly gesturing scarecrow improbably in the middle of all this.


I moved a full couple of bold yards forward and saw that this vaguely human form was as a shirtless male staggering about, pointing at zigzagging cars with one hand, waving his shirt in the air with the other. I stared at this death-defying sight while the cars behind me honked more insistently until my brain clicked that this man’s gestures were a crude imitation of someone in authority trying to direct a traffic jam.


Startled people behind the wheels of hostile vehicles slowed, also baffled by the man in the middle of this, stumbling to the left, then to the right, like a man on the deck of a ship caught in a massive storm, all the whole pointing here, pointing there, doing an impression of handling traffic with a slick, efficient diligence. Other cars, less impressed, buzzed past, nearly clipping his hip. A few, like mine, waited for something deadly to happen, such as a sloppy car in a fierce hurry smacking him and sending him twirling limp and lithe high through the air, a pinwheel human in an fantastical airy dance.


This man, full of drunken confidence, weaved toward my car, pointing at polite, timid me, indicating that I should now come on through, drive, drive. He held his flat just-you-wait other hand toward an angry driver racing from the right. This driver screeched his wheels briefly, insisted he wanted through with his front bumper, as though threatening that he was more than willing to run over the drunk if he did not give ground immediately. The drunk guy gave nary an inch, the hand continuing its authoritative no!


Once convinced his authority had been stamped and that the angry driver had been tamed, and ignoring all other dozens of cars coming and speeding by and honking horns, the guy returned his full attention to me. He waved me on with the surety and arrogance of one drink too many. At this the angry driver on his right took his chance, revving and swerving behind the drunk, who caught this disobedience, twirled round, waving his shirt at the driver to stop, stop! right where he was and allow calm passage of my car. But the guy was good and gone.


Once more waved on, I dutifully drove steadily and gently across the intersection, keeping a lookout in every direction while the drunk assured me with his gestures that my way was paved with gold and to prove it he was going to accompany me, so to speak, all the way across, perhaps since I was one of the few cars actually obeying him. Cars kept honking, continuing to zip past, and those pent-up cars once behind me flew in another blur right past me and my guide. Finally seemingly safe on the other side, I drove on, started inhaling again while the traffic continued its aggression and honking behind me.


I glimpsed in my rear view mirror the drunk returning right to the middle of the crossroads, energetically waving his shirt anew, pointing at naughty drivers, determined to keep everything orderly and tidy according to a plan not fully evident to those embroiled in his project, as he weaved, and automobiles weaved, and I turned my eyes away and my car left into a side street and drove on, drove home.

Story – Suicidal Tendancies

Friday, August 31st, 2012



Sam: I don’t really want to kill myself.
David: What changing your mind?
Sam: Lack of commitment.
David: Not a lack of desire?
Sam: Oh no, not really. I have lots of that, of desire for ending it. I know Death is just waiting for me, and I’m starting to get used to wanting to go there. Like making it a goal.
David: But not making the effort?
Sam: I make efforts.
David: Such as?
Sam: I fell in love again last month, bought some non-organic supermarket food, and decided to vote in the next election. I make efforts to go on living, man.
David: Your efforts qualify more as self-destructive, not so much suicidal.
Sam: Ya think?
David: My opinion merely.
Sam: So what would be suicidal?
David: Getting married, eating the crap food you bought and actually voting.
Sam: Right. So I have to make more of a serious effort?
David: More than you’re making, yeah.
Sam: Shit.
David: You said you fell in love. Last month.
Sam: Yeah, I fell in love but with life.
David: And life’s not in love with you?
Sam: Not a lot of cuddles, nope.
David: Oh.
Sam: Life’s got no sense of long-term commitment.
David: Feel like you’re just one more thing its programmed to do?
Sam: Man you can be depressing.
David: How’s am I worse than your suicidal tendencies?
Sam: Maybe I want to end my life but I don’t necessarily want to be morbid about it.
David: An upbeat self-killing?
Sam: Now you’re mocking me.
David: Okay. Right. So, when’s this happening?
Sam: Sooner rather than latter.
David: Time is variable when it comes to killing yourself, that it?
Sam: Making fun of me again?
David: Well, just, like, commit and have a schedule. Then it gets serious.
Sam: How can I plan when you’re trying to depress me!
David: I thought I was just helping you clarify.
Sam: You mean, like a friend?
David: Exactly. Like a friend.
Sam: Then why are you being so negative? Why don’t you try to talk me out of it?
David: That’s what you want?
Sam: No.
David: So then what do you want from me?
Sam: Nothing.
David: You got it. That’s what friends are for. To respond to needs.
Sam: Just shut up. Be quiet.
David: mmm
Sam: That’ s better. (Silence) Much better. (Silence) Peaceful. (Silence. And then more silence)

Story – Another Dimension

Thursday, May 24th, 2012



Today I decided to move it forward some and stuck my arm up to my shoulder into another dimension hovering just off to the right of my easy chair. I felt around, and came upon a crumbling bone of my mother. I let go and pulled my arm out. Maybe I’ll try this again tomorrow and hope for better results.


The next day.
I put my arm back into another dimension and found the grinning, sarcastic skull of my father, who had had numerous strokes and died some time ago so I took my arm back out and decided to give this another week.


A week later.
I went in and felt something that can only be described as the end of civilization as we know it. Took my arm out. This is not going as I had hoped it would.


A month later.
I stuck my hand into the next dimension again, with much less hope than on previous occasions. Someone over there shook my hand in a firm but gentle grasp. It went on for a while, and it felt good. When I removed my hand from the other dimension, my hand was gone and I yelled for my wife to take me to the hospital.


Three years later.
Got in another argument with my wife over some space-time continuum theories. She actually pushed me. I actually for the first time in years pushed her back. Too forcefully, probably compensating for my missing hand. She knocked backward into my favorite easy chair then tipped right over into the other dimension we’d been avoiding for some time. She disappeared and I reached in and felt around but she was was gone.


The next day
I reached in with my one good arm holding a note, asking someone in the other dimension for the return of my wife. I held it out for a while but nothing happened. When I brought the note back out I saw someone had spat on it.


Three months later
Moving out of the house tomorrow. The Johnsons are moving in. I’ve warned them about the extra dimension in the house but they just smiled and patted me on the back and continued thinking they were getting a great deal. They have four small children, a pregnant cat and a dog, so good luck with that. I’m taking the money, my good arm and heading off someplace uni-dimensional where there’s plenty of warm sunshine.

Story published online: “Not Mama” at Fiction365

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012



Recently had this story, from my forthcoming short story collection, Intimate Dialogues accepted for online publication by Fiction365.


It is called “Not Mama,” and you can read it by clicking on THIS LINK HERE.


Thanks for dropping by.
Vincent

Story – A Couple of Doors Down

Thursday, November 17th, 2011



A couple of doors down the street, there’s a guy who’s dead. He was that way for a while, dead, but nobody knew. He hardly showed his face before that. He was around but not around. The background on him was that he had been an architect, moderate to OK successful in his time, who had retired some long while back. Since then he had just stuck to himself and his four walls. Four walls in a high four story house.


He went urban hermit and eccentric. Besides not showing up on the street much, it was noted he did not throw stuff away, no trash, no nothing. He burnt his waste in mini-bonfires in his smallish back yard. The most nearby of neighbors got a whiff of it, week after week and went and rang his bell to complain, but he was now pretty much entrenched and hole up and he didn’t come to the door. So the local city authorities fielded the incoming complaints, eventually showing up with their slow power to settle issues and rang the bell of the front door. No one came to the door. They insisted, as only those in authority can. Finally, the door did get open after they yelled they were the police through the letter slot. A scrawny aging man stood before them, in un-ironed, somewhat stained clothes and he took the heat silently, only quietly saying that his burning of trash would not be repeated.


The fires ceased, but still no trash appeared in the street to be hauled away on appointed, weekly days. Unknown to all, he began keeping his crap and the trash in his five-room cellar and left it there. Various vermin began to call it home.


Some rumored that he had family, a couple of daughters somewhere, but he had chased them away with some letters he had written, the severe content of which kept him isolated from family ties. Which was what he seemed to want.


Very occasionally he was spotted going out to get some food locally. He dragged it behind him on a little board with two creaky wheels he pulled with a cord. Some neighbors, the same ones who would “smell something” coming from the house once in a while, said hello, and the architect nodded at first, then gave up even that after a time.


He went his way and everyone else did too.


What types of buildings his architectural mind had been responsible for in the past were unknown, but evidently he had been semi-successful, enough to buy a big roomy house and slum his last years away.


Until he hadn’t been seen around for a while and people began to smell something. Curious questions were traded between neighbors.


“When was the last time you’ve seen him?”


Same answer came back after a pause for thought, like trying to remember if you had ever seen a ghost.


“Not for a while.”





Once more, the authorities were called, ones with different responsibilities. Ones that came to knock and knock again. Then reinforcement authorities showed up, cop-types who could break the lock on the front door and walk in. They stepped in the house then stepped back out.


The stench was wicked, and the first two things these authorities saw were three piles of papers reaching up to a tall man’s nose, and a couple of startled rats skedaddling away.


The authorities gathered some breath in their lungs and went in. The whole place, every wall, every floor, every nook, every cranny, had stuff, had trash, had piles, had junk, had material, had empty food containers, had mounds of dust, had broken objects, had all this and more, everywhichwhere. They could only move through the whole house sideways, sucking in their stomachs, taking tiny ladylike steps between and around piles of things and piles of stuff.


Four floors of this. At the top, the street hermit aka retired architect was discovered. Unfortunately, the rats, which had had a population explosion over the months, maybe years, had been picnicking off his body for a while. Mostly the soft, moist places, face, groin. He had ended as rat snacks.


The authorities called in other authorities. Body packing authorities. Later, rat-killers came to clear out the riffraff. Everyone in the neighborhood were informed to lock their doors, closed their chimneys and windows, shut everything up because the rats would probably be abandoning that particular ship shortly. Food supply gone and chemicals sprayed, rats move on.


The house stands empty and crumbling as the city decides what to do with it. The door is and has been rotting through. The windows are impenetrable with dust. It’s inert, empty, just full of a single mysterious ex-life of sketchy details.


The neighborhood’s been pretty ordinary for a while now. Except for the homeless lady with the scabs on her legs who stands at different locations on the street depending on the time of day, smoking half a cigarette and keeping to herself and her three bulging plastic bags, sometimes vomiting through the grates in the street or yelling at the stones of passive buildings. Everyone on the block is pretending not to pay much attention to her now.

Story – Some Animal Warmth

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011




The man shuffled into my office to tell his troubles. He sat down where I had to look at him.


Taxes were ruining him, his wife didn’t understand things, his bills were piling up, he didn’t like the weather, his car was on the bum, his children avoided him, a pet hamster had died.


“Even my cat committed suicide,” he said. “He went in the road during the night to fight a truck. The truck won. Found him next morning, his head all flat, his brains shooting out his ear holes like grey toothpaste. It nearly broke my heart. We buried it and the hamster together in a spot in the backyard. My kids prayed, and then looked at me as if it were my fault. I didn’t know what to tell them. God, why …why my cat?”


He sat there, waiting for an answer.


“Did I ever tell you about the dog I had when I was a kid?”
I didn’t want to hear this.
“He was a big cuddly mutt named Elmer.”
Now I really didn’t want to hear this.
“Fred,” I interrupted. “You’re in no state to talk about a dog from your childhood. Especially if his name was Elmer. It’ll only depress you further.”
“Old Elmer,” my friend mumbled, as though he hadn’t heard my warning. But something must have gotten through, because he changed the subject. “They say it’s going to rain.”
“They’re often as wrong as they’re right,” I said.
“I know,” he replied. “Can’t trust anyone these days.”
I tried to change the subject. “How’s—?”
“Don’t ask,” he interrupted. “Don’t make me think about it. Let’s just sit here in silence in some animal warmth.”


We were sitting together like that for about five minutes, me getting impatient to get back to my work, Fred comforted by the warmth, when the boss walked in and said,
“Say, have you seen the report on … oh, Fred, hello. How are you?”
“My cat’s dead,” Fred said. He got up and walked to the door. “Elmer’s long-gone, too.” And he left.
My boss said, “Who’s Elmer?”
“You really want to know about it?”
He did. He was the boss. It was his job to know about such things. So I told him.


After hearing everything, he was silent for a long while.
“I had a dog named Buster who died when I was a kid.”
Sharing some more animal warmth was about to happen in my office again, and it wasn’t even nine thirty-five in the morning on a Monday.

STORY – Juggling

Friday, February 11th, 2011



During her noon lunch break, she went to the local park, nibbling a sandwich while glancing at the actions of others. People sat harmlessly on benches, in ones and twos. Some guided dogs along paths, and off paths. Some listened to music with things stuck in their ears, staring into mini-screens before their faces, absorbed in their self-created world sitting there running away from any possible stray thoughts.


She came upon a young man who had staked a solitary place on a modest circular area of grass. He held four balls, and was moving them meditatively around with his fingers. A sack lay limp behind him. He stood for a moment looking pensively down at the four balls, weighing them in his hands, two balls clutched in each hand, now moving them slightly up and down. Without warning or obvious preparation, he tossed them up, one at a time, in an arc, ready to move them about through the air.


She observed the excitement, enjoying the circular whirl of balls for five, maybe six seconds. One moment they were in the air, trading places, then suddenly the next, with soft thuds, the three balls had landed at the juggler’s feet. He bent down from the waist, no leg bending, to pick them up, then straightening and without any obvious preparation tossed them up, began juggling, five, six seconds later, three balls, a simultaneous single thud, all at his feet. Again he bent, retrieved, made them dance in the air for their hopeful six seconds, before the three balls, always three balls, equally and at the same time, hit the ground as one at his feet.


The juggler did not curse, did not look around in shame, did not recognize any form of public humiliation. He calmly repeated. Picking up, tossing, the inevitable falling.


She continued looking from a distance, waiting, sandwich nibbling, half-hoping for a sudden miracle of artistic coordination, some internal click that would allow all the balls to remain in the air, like rapid satellites circling this young man’s head, a triumph, a break-through, foretelling a real true future as a juggler.


Three balls again thudded to the ground, and she could no longer take the pain and turned away and walked away and resisted looking back at the eternal hope of mastering a creative act fighting a clear lack of talent.


Thud, she heard in the distance back there. Thud.

Short story “Interruptions” published in The Cortland Review, issue 46

Friday, March 12th, 2010

awake_evening Cortland Review, Vincent Eaton, story, Interruptions, Intimate Dialogues

This Friday, instead of my usual short-short Noises from the House story, I have a longer story that has just been published online at The Cortland Review issue 46.


The story is called “Interruptions” and is taken from my collection of short stories that will be published near Christmas this year under the title, “Intimate Dialogues”.


Hope you like. The link: INTERRUPITONS at The Cortland Review. Thanks for any commentary you have…