So here I go again. I am attempting my second Flash Fiction Challenge by Chuck Wendig.
It is a 1000 word challenge requiring to write a story about a random song title. I opened Pandora and figured whatever song first came up was what I would use. Crash My Party by Luke Bryan. Didn’t realize I last listened to my country channel but oh well. This should be interesting. The challenge doesn’t require you to use the song title, merely use it as inspiration for the story. Needless to say my story is nothing like the song.
What did I learn? a 1000 word limit sucks! I was at 1108 and cut it down to 1000 words exactly! Lost some of the description but the story is intact. Anyway, here it is
Crash My Party
Today is my birthday. Four years ago I turned 21. Seven broken bones, thirteen concussions, sixty-four stitches, and hundreds of bruises ago my life changed. In this dank alley, hearing the sirens wail in the distance I wonder if it was for the better. The black leather boots on my feet are coated in mud, trash, bile and sweat. The stench of rancid food and rubbish from the dumpster overpower the metallic fragrance of blood pooling around my feet.
The crackling in his breathing as he struggles for another gasp of life tells me his ribs are broken. The remains of his face turns a bulbous red and purple eye toward me. Opening his mouth he looks as if he is about to beg me to stop. I hate that look. The stricken look of a battered dog begging for an end to their misery. Big puppy dog eyes, hands reaching out to deflect the next blow, crimson spittle bubbling at the corners of his mouth.
I take a step back and he drops his shielding hand. Stupid. After bracing my rear foot back, I gain forward momentum and deliver a strong kick to possibly broken ribs. “Happy birthday to me!” I didn’t yell, more a neanderthal grunt as I felt the ribs crack. He wished me a happy birthday in return, I assume that’s what he said as he coughs blood and vomit into the alley.
Four years ago my party was nothing like the one me and Mr. Broken Ribs are having tonight. It was bright and loud, a far cry from the dark, putrid alley we currently celebrated in. It was at Shooter’s, where I had been drinking regularly at the past two years. Oh the look Susie gave me when I showed her my ID and asked for 4 Irish Car Bombs. Of course who would think the 6 foot 2, 285 pound linebacker for the local State college was underage? She glared, served my shots, served my friends then we proceeded to get slammed. Four hours into mass quantities of alcohol and horrible karaoke songs later everything changed.
Some guy, average height with a slender build was on stage, wailing off tune to some love song, making googly eyes at a blonde who had more money on her chest that in the rock on her left hand. The butcher on stage had no ring.
Then Jeff stepped onstage to join the smooth-talking song killer. I know his name was Jeff, not because I knew him but because he told the entire bar. Jeff was slightly shorter than me but twice as wide. He walked to the mic with hatred in his eyes. Jeff pulled the mic from the guy’s hand and brought his face within inches of the shocked singer’s open-mouthed gape. Jeff looked like a grizzly about to devour a rabbit. The drunken crowd began to quiet as eyes turned toward the stand-off on stage. The stare continued as the only sounds in the bar were the wordless tunes of the vacant love song and the hustle of bouncers headed to the stage.
Breaking the stare Jeff turned to the crowd, held the mic to his face and said, “Everyone take out your phones because I have something to say.” Nervously the crowd reached for phones, some even began dialing a 9 followed by a 1. “My name is Jeff White. This asshole is Mark.” Turning towards the frightened rabbit, the large man swiped his bear claw towards Mark and grabbed his shirt collar holding him in place. His other massive mitt reached into his waistband and pulled out a black handgun. “Mark raped my sister three months ago.”
The bouncers stopped moving. The love song stopped playing. Whether from the pistol or the revelation, no one moved. The two items choked all air from the bar. Silence reigned supreme until the deafening crack of the gun echoed around the large room.
People screamed, gasped, and dialed that final 1. The guys with Staff shirts backed slowly away as the gun began waving towards the crowd. Mark’s wretched singing had increased in pitch as he flopped around on the stage, holding his groin. Blood gushed between his fingers.
“Too many people are afraid to do the right thing these days.” Jeff looked out at the stunned crowd. Sobs broke the silence and tears added additional flavor to the mixed drinks. “Everyone video what I have to say.”
Tentatively phones lifted to get better angles of the bear with the message, microphone, and gun.
“We live in a horrible world that just seems to be getting worse. No one cares anymore. No one does anything. Everyone is scared of speaking up, scared of being the one that risks everything for others. We are losing ourselves, our humanity.” With the back on his gun hand the bear wiped a tear away. “My sister killed herself three days ago because she didn’t have enough evidence. Her shame prevented her from acting sooner. This shithead crying behind me raped her and was going to get away with it. He destroyed her life and no one could do anything.” Jeff glared at the singing rapist rabbit shivering from loss of blood. “Well, I did something. Now I’m gonna sit here and wait for the cops. None of you are in danger. Unless you plan on doing something bad to innocent people. Then I hope they shoot you in the dick too!”
A blood-choked wheeze for air snaps me back to reality. Another kick to the ribs informs him to stop interrupting me. Four years ago Jeff changed my life. I decided that day I would not sit by while innocent people are hurt.
Grabbing the burner from my pocket I dialed 911. “There is a would-be mugger in the alley of 49th and Commerce. He probably needs an ambulance but I honestly could care less.” I listen to the question. “Who am I? My name is Jeff.”