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.
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