I’ve been itching to write, so I worked on a couple character sketches to appease my creative drive. I haven’t gotten far, just a few fragments, really, but this is a little piece of it that’s been kicking around in my head for the past couple days, so I figured I’d share it. Also, since I wanted to post some short stories/flash/micro fiction/poetry this year, I figured this was as good a time as any.
Have a look, and let me know what you think!
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The sun started to come up and it shone a beam through the curtains like a white dagger across Darryl’s back. It didn’t bother him – it was quite pleasant, actually – but after a few minutes the heat cranked into full gear and the white stretch of light felt like a real dagger burning into his back. He groaned at the sensation, and again, once he realized his drunk hadn’t worn off from last night’s gallivant.
Once he summoned the energy to crawl out of bed – he knew if he stood he would have to vomit, and he really would rather not just yet – Darryl crawled to the coffee table where he’d left his mobile. There were a half a dozen messages from his partner, mostly texts and a couple voice messages. He remained on the floor, reaching an arm up for a sofa cushion to prop his head on, and held the phone away from his face. He always kept the screen’s brightness level low, but in the dim light of the living room, it was like a spotlight in his sensitive, still inebriated line of vision. He unlocked the screen and opened the text messages.
‘This can wait til morning. I think I’ve got a lead on that star-jumper,’ Mackey, his partner, had written.
The next two were not very informative, either, just driveling on in the wee hours of the morning as bursts of “inspiration” had occurred to him, but the last one was rather urgent.
‘Meet me after Mass. We’re going to have to hit it hard tomorrow if we want to get a jump on this fucker.’
Darryl didn’t bother listening to the voicemails. Judging by the time they were sent, he suspected they simply reiterated the contents of the last text message. Mackey had assumed, quite incorrectly, if Darryl wasn’t answering his texts, it was because he couldn’t hear the alert, and a phone ringer would sound much louder. However, by the time those messages came in, Darryl had almost certainly been passed out in bed.
He tapped the dial button and rang his partner’s mobile number, ignorant of the time and forgetting already that his partner had planned on attending Mass this morning. Not that that should have been a surprise. Mackey went to church more than anybody in their line of work, and far more than most at this stage in history and evolution. Most religion had died out nearly a hundred years earlier, shortly after the good, isolated little colony of humans on planet earth had discovered that they truly were not alone in the universe.
Instead of God, however, humans discovered innumerable races of extraterrestrial life forms, and scores of beings in every size and shape imaginable, and even more which were unimaginable. Science, astronomy, engineering, and that most human of distinctions, curiosity, finally had overcome faith and the world set its sights outward, into a universe and a galaxy that they now knew just how far ahead of their own civilization it all was.
There were a few hold-outs, like Mackey, who still wanted to believe in a power greater than anything else out there, but for the most part, God was dead, and to that, Darryl said good bloody riddance.
After a few more minutes on the floor, a few more minutes of being awake, Darryl finally felt ready to get off the floor. Nope. Too soon. He made it just in time to the toilet to toss up whatever undigested contents of his stomach remained. Though the headache had settled in as a dull throb, sobriety seemed to assert itself more fully after his body relieved itself of the booze and junk food that was still in his stomach.
He showered, made a plate of burned, greasy-as-shit eggs and potatoes, took an aspirin and picked up a cup of coffee on his way to the church. Mackey always attended the same one when they were home. He liked the glass there, he said, but Darryl suspected it had more to do with one of the other members of the flock, a pretty ginger-haired woman called Rena.
Darryl waited at the back of the church until the service was over, sipping his coffee, his eyes moving over the few members of the congregation who had bothered to turn up. He spotted his partner straightaway, of course. Mackey stuck out like a sore thumb no matter where he went – nobody dressed, walked or spoke the way he did anymore. Nobody except in the movies.
When Mackey finally spotted Darryl, he looked relieved and exasperated at the same time. He headed toward Darryl, and intentionally waited a moment to walk just a couple steps out the church doors before he said,
“Wherin a great fuck you been, hoss?’
Darryl grinned despite the throb that hadn’t quite died down yet in his temple. It was going to another one of those days.
© Jessica Lavé 2014.
Please don’t repost or reprint this content without written consent of the author.
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Just so you know, this hasn’t been edited or revised in any depth – I mainly skimmed it for typos and misappropriated or errant punctuation.
I’ll take some feedback, if you’ve got any! If not, I hope you enjoyed it anyway. Have a lovely weekend!
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