I want to share an excerpt of a story I am finishing tonight/early tomorrow morning. Share your thoughts if you like. This short story is geared for a publication attempt, and the portion shared is almost from the beginning. Page 2 or 3, something like that.
Wish me luck!
Daily Visits (I am 90% set on the title).
Word Count – 4,500ish
I mostly ponder nowadays.
I wonder why the doctors referred to my stomach as a button and why the sun was withdrawn to me. I do miss it something fierce. I wonder who would change my incontinence and what medications were injected into my body. Whatever it is keeps me going. I mostly fret of why that nurse was so rigid and disconnected. And mean. She never came out and said anything nasty, but I can just feel an unknown hatred radiating from her. Even in her absence, that loathing continues to hover about like a dense, toxic cloud that feigns murderous intent. I’d be awful sweet on her, if I could. I’d tell her like I told the other girls that it’s going to be alright ‘cause Oscar will take care of you. Might be hard to believe, but I always did.
The doctors come and go as they always do without more than a hello. I guess they’re busy tending to folks destined to make it out sooner than I. That’s fine with me, I suppose. I wish they would show a little more gratitude, though. I did finance most of the renovations, additions, and salaries for this hospital during the past year. I remember the herald portrayed my generosity very, very well. Sad to say that this was the extent of recognition for my tireless efforts to better the town that I practically built over the years. No honorary dinner service, no bouquet of roses. Not even a nonchalant, half-hearted thanks for my unfaltering benevolence.
I often wonder how I will be thought of when Death does pull me under. Will they mourn? Will anyone attend my mass or will folks just celebrate?
There isn’t many around that don’t know of me. The ones that do show up day-after-day to remind me that they will never forget.
What is the name of that male nurse who works most nights? Colored fellow, there… is it Bobby? Or Berry? Shit, I don’t know. He is one of the few that don’t know me from a hole-in-the-wall and that brings about some relief to the monotony. If he has heard of me, he holds it back well. There is that difference, now; you hear and you know, but you only believe what adds up to the consistent small talk of a small town.
He takes his time during dinner to revel over his past with the military. I think he served in the Army. See now, my imagination isn’t nearly as vivid as it once was but I am still able to take those stories and transform them into a movie within my mind. The reel always skips and it makes the picture jump around in segments. He was a medic (I guess he still is, in some sense of the meaning), had saved lives and even killed once; all under that blistering heat of the desert overseas. Sounds like a damn war hero, to me.
What the hell is he doing here, anyways? Most folks who live in my town only do so ‘cause there is no other alternative. There must be some reason as to why he made the choice to relocate here. I imagine the pay is laughable; far from his potential—that’s for sure. But he is here, none the less.
Maybe I’ll thank him proper if I ever get out of here….
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017
Oscar is a southern if you haven’t guessed. I am huge on vernacular and how that tongue translates to words. I have been basically writing this aloud, narrating in a drawl that is between Foghorn Leghorn and my own voice. I myself am not from the south, but my father and his entire side of the family came from Tennessee, where my mother and her entire side of the family are from Maine. I have this… hybrid voice that varies for no reason at all. I am learning how to control it rather well and I have found that I actually have a decent southern accent. How about that, huh?
I did spend time in the south: Georgia (my second favorite state), Texas, South Carolina, Nevada. I may have picked up something years back.
I am basing my main character off of my father’s father, a man I have never met before. He died back in the early 60’s. From what I have been told, he was a drunkard and a womanizer who loved to brawl when he wasn’t flying planes for the Army. He (and I guess myself, too) hail from a long line of moonshiners whom fought tooth-and-nail with marshals during the prohibition era.
And he also was a bigot.
It’s hard to emulate this in a character. Even when it is toned-down to a few lines of non-dialogue.
That’s an understatement, let me try this again: It’s extremely fucking difficult to sit back and read this story as I am winding down on the last 700 words of editing. It gives me shivers and makes me rather sick to my stomach to think that I created this monster. Racism has no place in my life or in this world. But it does exist. It’s a hard truth to embrace as a writer, and I guess if I was to be thankful for anything that I have learned from this is that I saw it to the end despite my own creed and morals.
Writing isn’t suppose to be easy. It sucks sometimes, but we do it because the story needs to be told in a voice that makes sense to the readers and the writer.
My father –rest his soul wherever he is now– was quite the opposite. He too was in the Army. Combat Medic during the end of the Vietnam war, he went AWOL after Boot Camp, joined a Hippy Commune in Louisiana and eventually became a self employed artist who loved life and everyone he met–regardless of color or background or sexual orientation or ideology or anything that differs you from I.
Luckily he raised me right in that aspect.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of what I hope is my first legit publication.
Part three of The Storm Within will be out Friday and a new Ghoul Flash Fiction Piece will be posted tomorrow night. He may be plowing a driveway or enlisting his services as a big brother. Maybe I’ll make him a substitute teacher. Or he could make a prank phone call. Pull a Jerky Boys, ya know? Frank Rizzo does, that’s who knows. R-I-Z-Z-O that’s Frank Rizzo.
Either way, Ghoul will be doing something ridiculous.
I write that nonsense too in case you didn’t know. If you have no idea what the hell I am talking about, here is the link. If you like horror-humor, then I think you’d enjoy. But I’ve been wrong before. I think it was back in the 90’s, but it did happen.
John Potts Jr