January 13, 2009

Jason Evans' writing contest -- My Entry

You still have a day (update on Jan 14: TODAY!) or so to enter Jason Evans' tenth writing contest. 250 words or fewer, inspired by the photo on his blog. Get the details and read the other 80 entries here.

I have just now sent in my entry. After Jason puts it up, I will edit this post to indicate the number of the entry and include a link to it on his site. For now, you can amuse yourself by (a) visiting the link above and reading the 80 existing entries, and (b) reading my submission below.

Update on Jan 14: My entry is #90.

The photo that is used as the base for the story, shown here, was provided by Jason.

by Peter Dudley

I’m tired. I look at my skinny, motionless fingers in my lap, the black nail polish. The quivering is only in my mind. Orlando knows about the shakes. He still gets them sometimes, and the desperate sweats, too. “It’s like running up the down escalator, Dicey,” he said. “You can’t ever stop.” Cigarettes help, but never enough. He would want me to call.

I shouldn’t be here, sitting with this old Trader Joe’s bag lady waiting for the number 52. My skin prickles, billions of tiny needles, with every thump of my heart. The 52 is late as always. Just like a year ago when Shade picked me up and took me to that party where I got high for the first time. Shade calls me a lot these days, but I don’t answer even though I want to.

Shade’s black Acura slithers up, its thumping music driving my pulse. The window slides down. “Hey Dicey.” Flash of pearls and gold in his smile. “Hop in, girl.”

I stand and take one step, dizzy in desire and need. The door swings out, opened by someone inside, unseen. A promise of painless bliss entices me, but I know Hell awaits. I glance at the bag lady. Her shriveled pomegranate face looks tired, and scared.

I step back up on the curb and shake my head. “Two months sober, Shade.” My steady fingers dial Orlando as I start climbing that escalator again.


JR's Thumbprints said...

Recovery is one big endless loop. Nice story. Now I'm wondering if I left a comment at Jason's. Good luck with the contest. (Hope I'm not lurking.)

Geraldine said...

Unique take on the photo prompt JLB. Good work.

Best of luck with the contest!

Geraldine said...

Ooops sorry about getting your initials wrong...Im suffering with the flu, shouldn't be online. :<)

Hugs, G


PJD said...

Thanks, JR. I can't remember if it's Monday or Tuesday this month, so I am having a devil of a time keeping track of comments--both others' and my own.

Geraldine: unique take on my initials. :-) Thanks for the kind words, and don't sweat the JLB thing. Most people who've just met me tend to call me Paul even though my name is Peter. Seriously.

Scott said...

I dropped a comment over on your piece, but congrats on the win. It really is an amazing piece of fiction on so many levels. It was tight and well-worded. Like Steve Martin once said, "Some people have a way with words, and some people... oh... not have way."

Brilliant piece.

Word Verification: econault

Hmmm. Apropos?