Note: this is a bit of a story I wrote for a writing contest. I’m posting it here for posterity.
Johnny pulled the shotgun away from his head and ran to the cabin door, still clutching the weapon in his right hand. In one swift motion he opened the old cabin door, herded Scott inside and locked the door behind. The two boys stood silently staring at each other, neither one quite sure how to react. Scott felt an urge to punch Johnny in the face, but decided against it when he remembered Johnny was still holding a loaded shotgun.
As the emotion of the past few days became too much for him, Johnny began to sob uncontrollably. “You have to believe me that I didn’t know they were going to kill him,” said Johnny in between tears. “My brother told me he just wanted to embarrass Sam, like he always embarrassed Mike,” said Johnny. “You know I could never say no to my brother. He scares me too much.”
Johnny’s brother, Mike, and Sam had been rivals for years. Both boys competed for the starting quarterback position in high school as well as the affections of the prettiest girl in school. Sam always seemed to be a little better than Mike, though, and he was the one who led the team to the playoffs senior year and took the Homecoming Queen to the prom. After high school, Mike’s life took a turn for the worse and Sam always seemed to be there to catch him.
“Why didn’t you tell me Johnny?” said Scott, still struggling with the idea of his best friend being an accomplice in his brother’s murder. “You were my best friend.”
“I would’ve told you, but I didn’t know what to say,” said Johnny as he stared at the faded wooden floor of the cabin. “I don’t know what went wrong. Mike must have been using me as a diversion to keep Sam off his tail while they killed that guy Sam found in the woods.”
Scott was not entirely sure he could trust Johnny’s story and doubted he could ever forgive him for what happened to his brother. However, he also knew he could not make it out of the woods alive without Johnny’s help. Whether he liked it or not, his fate was now tied to Johnny’s fate. Scott knew he had to make it out of the woods alive. Otherwise his brother’s murder would go unpunished.
“We need to get out here as fast as we can and tell the police what happened,” said Scott. “Sooner or later your brother is going to come back here and they’re probably going to kill me. Do you think you can hot wire the truck?”
“I’m sure I could, but why would I need to do that?” answered Johnny, grinning as he pulled the keys of the truck out of his pants pocket.
“Here’s what we’ll do then,” said Scott. “Let’s make a run for the truck and drive as fast as we can away from here.”
“That will never work,” said Johnny. “Mike and Bill can’t be that far away. They could be in the truck right now waiting for you. I’ll stay behind and distract them while you drive away. They’ll trust me.”
“But they’ll kill you,” said Scott.
“If one of us doesn’t distract them, they’ll kill us both,” said Johnny. “At least I have a chance with my brother.”
“Let’s do it then,” said Scott as he extended his right hand toward Johnny. Both boys shook hands, not knowing if they would ever see each other again.
Johnny and Scott ran out of the cabin in opposite directions, Scott toward the truck and Johnny far away from it.
As Scott sped west down the trail, dust clouds following behind, he heard a loud shotgun blast. A tear ran down Scott’s cheek as he realized he would never see his friend Johnny again.
To Be The Man
“Are you really going to eat that?”
“This? Yeah, that was my plan. Why?”
“I don’t know. It’s just a little *whistles*”
“Are you saying my breakfast choice is gay?”
“A little, yeah.”
“It’s a croissant.”
“I KNOW. And don’t say it like that. There’s a ‘t’ in there at the end. Pronounce it like an American.”
“I just never knew a pastry could have a sexual orientation.”
“Well, it does. And yours is playing for the wrong team.”
“Have you ever tried one? Put a little butter on there and you’re good to go. They go excellent with tea.”
“Dude you’re embarrassing me. Do you have to hold out your pinkie like that? There’s some hot waitresses here.”
“I hadn’t noticed.”
“Well there are. People are gonna think we’re a couple or something. You can sabotage it for yourself, but don’t ruin it for me too.”
“Don’t you think about anything other than picking up women? Anyway, what’s so manly about that monstrosity you ordered?”
“Are you kidding me? Death by Omelet? You got five eggs, half a pound of bacon, three cups of cheddar cheese, ham, onion, and whatever else they could find. Fried! Better than that, if you finish it in an hour you get half off your next meal.”
“That’s not breakfast, that’s a cry for help.”
“And it only cost me six bucks. I won’t have to eat the rest of the day.”
“That’s because you’ll be dead, big man.”
“Whatever. Dude, put that pinky finger down and check this chick out. I think she’s headed our way.”
“Hey. I was sitting over there and couldn’t help but notice we ordered the exact same thing. Don’t they have the best croissants here? Flaky, but not too dry. I love how they practically melt in my mouth.”
“Um, yeah. Goes well with a nice cup of tea too.”
“Totally. Have you seen some of the other stuff on the menu, though? I’d hate to see the person who would order that omelet thing. Disgusting.”
“ Oh. Sorry.”
“Don’t mind him. He’s under the impression that women are only impressed by men that eat large quantities animal products.”
“Yeah, not so much. Hey, do you come here often? Crap, that sounded lame. I just thought maybe we could hang out sometime. I mean, they have that two for one deal on Tuesdays.”
“That sounds nice.”
“Great. Here’s my cell number.”
“Well, I gotta go. My gymnastics coach will kill me if I’m late for practice. Have to get my stretching in. You know how bad traffic is on campus.”
“Yeah, it sure is…terrible. Nice meeting you.”
“Nice meeting you too. Don’t forget to call me. Oh, and you might want to check on your friend. He doesn’t look so well. Too many eggs maybe?”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine in a day or two. Once all the grease makes its way through his system.”
“Dude, do not look at me like that. I swear I’ll punch that smirk right off your face.”
“I wouldn’t do that. You better conserve your energy if you plan on eating that whole thing.”
“You know what? She probably gave you a fake phone number. She wasn’t that hot, either.”
“I think I’ll take my chances. Hey, why don’t you let me get you a croissant? Looks like you could use a little more to eat.”
“Ugh. I think I’m gonna be sick.”
It’s Hard out Here for a Baby
Life isn’t easy for a baby. No one seems to understand me. Sure every once in a while they do something amusing and I flash them a smile. Overall, however, these so-called grownups, the people are supposed to be in charge, don’t seem to know what they’re doing. I hope it isn’t like this my whole life.
Just the other day, my parents were preparing for a trip to the grocery store. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching them run around the house, gathering diapers and bottles, and always forgetting something. What makes me mad is when they strap me into that horrible chair, which if its use wasn’t banned by the Geneva Convention, it should have been. The seatbelts always scratch my neck and keep me from touching my toes, which I would have you know I just recently discovered. On top of this, they pick me up and put my stupid chair in the car backwards, so the only thing I get to look at on the trip is the back of the car!
Whoa, look at that! It’s my hand…Cool…
Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. I was strapped into the seat on our way to the grocery store. I cried for a while just to let them know I wasn’t happy with the whole seating arrangement. After that, I figured I could use a nap and just as I was dozing off, the parents were jerking me out of my car seat and into my stroller. This contraption might have been a pleasant change if it wasn’t so filthy from being in the trunk of the car all day.
By the way, what’s up with the grocery store? It all seems pointless to me. Can’t you people be like the rest of us and eat the natural way? I don’t get my food off some shelf at the Piggly Wiggly, if you know what I mean.
My parents managed to go through every aisle of the store and pick out all of their food without banging my stroller on anything too often. Of course they forgot the one item they were buying for me. I tried to tell them they forgot diapers, but they just wouldn’t listen. They thought I just wanted to be held. Whatever the reason for the miscommunication, it means in a few hours I will be strapped into the seat again and paraded around the store.
Anyhow, I haven’t eaten in two hours and fifty-five minutes, and it doesn’t seem like anybody notices. Enough of this, someone better feed me soon… “Waaaaaaaa!”