All entries for Tuesday 07 October 2008

October 07, 2008

single–sentence story

Cheating as ever; two versions, one single-sentence, one properly laid out.  A sort of organised worry on male-female relations.

              

           Gentle, gentle, love-

           twenty minutes later, working feverishly in the sweat of the bathroom, he breathes,

           I am excited by all of the wrong things- train wrecks, recessions, everyday misfortunes; once he found himself driven half-mad by a stray dog pelting through the suburbs, nobody bothering to chase after it-

what’re you doing in there, Jerry, Nicole calls from the bathroom; darling, what the hell do you think you’re doing?-

three hours later, he hefts the briefcase, ignoring the tourist’s wheels at the base, and proceeds through the centre of town, gazing at the cashier girl who beeps his sandwich until she becomes uncomfortable and asks,

was there anything else, sir?-

no, no, nothing else,

turning, tearing the package open in the atrium of the store, he moves on, nudging the briefcase forward between his thighs:

his first question to Nicole, if he’d raised the subject, might have been,

darling, how am I meant to pursue you without my becoming a beast and your becoming my victim?-

he passes through the core and the shops begin to thin; a dog begins to bark, as if helpless:

mind-Nicole, a beauteous thing with the face of the cashier girl, replies,

curb yourself, darling Gerard, it’s a question of moderation-

but curbing oneself, darling mind-Nicole, is not a masculine trait, nor is it one of mine-

there are four children sharing a bottle of vodka by the embankment; he trundles his briefcase past them:

oi, mate, mate, mate-

I haven’t got any cigarettes-

what’s in the case, mate?-

cats’ heads, he says; one of them lobs a stone at him, and they run, cursing: he can hear to their bikes chiming over the bridge and into the town-

Christ, he thinks, rubbing his grin, have I even found pleasure in this?-

he pushes the briefcase down the bricked slope intended for canoeists; the river pulls it down till its murmurs vanish past the old gas tower:

mind-Nicole, although his prisoner, refuses to disappear: he wades up to the top of his wellingtons in the water as if he could swim after the case and reclaim its contents-

when they find him, he admits,

how could I have avoided it?

and then,

gentle, gentle love.

               Gentle, gentle, love-

           Twenty minutes later, working feverishly in the sweat of the bathroom, he breathes,

           I am excited by all of the wrong things- train wrecks, recessions, everyday misfortunes; once he found himself driven half-mad by a stray dog pelting through the suburbs, nobody bothering to chase after it.

What’re you doing in there, Jerry, Nicole calls from the bathroom; darling, what the hell do you think you’re doing?-

Three hours later, he hefts the briefcase, ignoring the tourist’s wheels at the base, and proceeds through the centre of town, gazing at the cashier girl who beeps his sandwich until she becomes uncomfortable and asks,

Was there anything else, sir?

No, no, nothing else.

Turning, tearing the package open in the atrium of the store, he moves on, nudging the briefcase forward between his thighs.

His first question to Nicole, if he’d raised the subject, might have been,

Darling, how am I meant to pursue you without my becoming a beast and your becoming my victim?

He passes through the core and the shops begin to thin; a dog begins to bark, as if helpless.

Mind-Nicole, a beauteous thing with the face of the cashier girl, replies,

Curb yourself, darling Gerard, it’s a question of moderation.

But curbing oneself, darling mind-Nicole, is not a masculine trait, nor is it one of mine.

There are four children sharing a bottle of vodka by the embankment. He trundles the briefcase past them.

Oi, mate, mate, mate-

I haven’t got any cigarettes.

What’s in the case, mate?

Cats’ heads, he says; one of them lobs a stone at him, and they run, cursing. He listens to their bikes chiming over the bridge and into the town-

Christ, he thinks, rubbing his grin, have I even found pleasure in this?

He pushes the briefcase down the bricked slope intended for canoeists. The river pulls it down till even its murmurs vanish past the old gas tower:

But mind-Nicole, although his prisoner, refuses to disappear. He wades up to the top of his wellingtons in the water as if he could swim after the case and reclaim its contents.

When they find him, he admits,

How could I have avoided it?

and then,

Gentle, gentle love.


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  • This is really good Jon. Nice understatement that subtly builds to an excellent final sentence. by on this entry
  • I like this a lot, you have a fast flowing style, I tend to get bogged down in describing everything… by Costa Del on this entry
  • this is excellent. by on this entry
  • Good work! I dont think I quite understand Sally, but I guess thats partly because it's all through … by on this entry
  • That Twain is such a tyrant… by Claire Trevien on this entry

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