Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Layer by Layer

This is a flash fiction piece that I wrote and submitted not too long ago. Thanks, Neil. This thing is open for debate- speak your mind.


But, he didn’t have the answer. And, somehow, she thought, if I stare at him hard enough, I’ll find the answer. Her stare took him apart layer by filthy layer. First, she took his skin and shook it out and beat it like you do a dirty hallway runner. Then she laid it out and, using a critical eye, looked for clues. Like the time he lost the keys to his office an d blamed her for it and they got into that big fight, she found that in there. Then she found the time he lost $386 gambling at the casino and tried to blame it on her and her mismanagement of the checkbook (she was an accountant for chrissakes) and they got into that other big fight. She found other stuff in there too, like the time he sped through that school zone and almost hit a kid, but didn’t tell anyone, a lot of stuff like that. But she didn’t find what she was looking for. For that she would have to dig deeper. The answer was there, somewhere deep in his bones then, she could feel it in hers. She found that time his father took him fishing and then his father passed out drunk and they floated in the middle of the lake until night, after the mosquitoes had eaten him and his father finally woke up. She found the time his father took the dog out back and beat it with a bat for stealing steaks from fridge. But it wasn’t what was she was looking for. She ran her fingers through his entrails, through his veins and squishy brain. She found the time that he was born and his mom and dad were fighting over how much he cost them; they couldn’t pay the mortgage, the hospital bill, for the damned diapers. Let’s just give him away, damnit! That’s not it, she thought. Finally, after enough digging, she found herself floating in the space between his molecules and after enough effort caught an atom between her teeth. She chewed and chewed until she broke it down and found herself floating within its space. And it was beautiful there, that immense nothing. It was peaceful in there, infinite. There it was, so deep inside. She stayed for as long as she could, long enough to appreciate him for his potential. There, deep inside, his peace was forever and there were no more memories, there were no more times. There was only him, and from far away she could feel his heartbeat and wishing she could bring this back with her to show him that it would be ok. She tried putting some this in her pockets, down her shirt, in her shoes, but it leak back out. She had found him deep, deep in there but he wouldn’t believe her. And, so they would have another one of those big fights, and she would tell him he was made of better stuff, his potential was beautiful she’d seen it. But he would just stare at her like she was crazy.


Charmi said...

You know I hate doing this on the blogs! Bring it to workshop soon!

But... I would cut the first sentence, trim a few other words, and it's good.

Neil Kelly said...

Look who found that deep down monster and is letting it get out once and a while(Chad, get your mind out of the gutter).

Good stuff, Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Why the comma after but? Why use the word but to start this at all? And I wonder if giving some names to your characters wouldn't improve this. What if you started with her thought, in first person, then paragraph break, and then go into the rest of it in third person? It's like you've got two voices competing to start this.

But of course, you've already submitted this. Well, I hope someone picks it up and you get a chance to polish it a bit more.

Anyway, I like it a lot.

~Eric G.

Anonymous said...

This was a very organic animalistic piece, this is the line that took me there as a woman looking at my man.... i'm pissed.....but I still see the beauty in the struggle that is him, what drew me to him in the first place on a good day...
Finally, after enough digging, she found herself floating in the space between his molecules and after enough effort caught an atom between her teeth.
wow very Aztec of you.... besides some technical work, i would reenter this piece and give each character more depth...i want to follow their story and their struggle and read more.......

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