#writephoto — The Deer Hunter

Deer in the snowJethro learned over and whispered in his son’s ear, “Now.”

“No!” Billy said in a loud voice. The buck, which had been standing between the two trees, looked up when it heard Billy’s voice and then bolted out of sight.

Jethro smacked his son upside the head. “Look what you done, boy,” he said. “You had a perfect shot, goddam it. What’s the matter with you.”

“I’m wet and cold and tired and hungry,” Billy said, “and I don’t want to shoot no deer.”

“You don’t think I’m wet and cold, boy?” Jethro snapped. “I’m out here in this mess trying to teach you a valuable skill and you don’t want to shoot no deer? What are you, some kind of sissy?”

“I just don’t see why we need to shoot and kill a beautiful, defenseless animal, Dad,” Billy said. “It’s not like we need its hide to keep warm or its meat to eat.”

“You don’t know that, boy,” Jethro said. “Might come the day when you gotta fend for yourself and if you don’t learn these skills I’m trying to teach you, you’re gonna be shit outta luck.”

“I’d rather be shit outta luck than ruthlessly kill other living creatures,” Billy said.

Jethro smacked his son upside his head once again. “Dammit, boy, you need to learn how to survive. It’s a kill or be killed world out there and you need to learn how to protect and defend yourself and your family. You hear me boy?”

Billy looked at his father and said, “That deer wasn’t going to kill me. I didn’t need to protect myself or you by shooting it. Shooting and killing that innocent deer for sport is the very definition of cruelty and is what is wrong with the human race.”

Jethro looked up toward the sky. “Dear Lord,” he said, “what did I do to you for you to curse me with an animal lovin’, tree huggin’, sissy-boy liberal?” Then he looked at Billy and said, “Wait until your momma finds out what kind of boy her son has become.”

“Oh she knows, Dad,” Billy said. “She knows.”


Written for the Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

Page 17, Line 10

2c7d97e1-74d7-4713-89c4-281bbd1eb5e7Teresa, aka, The Haunted Wordsmith, has this thing were she gives us a page number and a line and asks us to find a book, go to that page and line in the book, and to use what we find there as the inspiration for a post. This time, she pointed us to page 17, line 10.

I went into my Kindle library on my iPhone and randomly picked out the book titled “Secrets: Do Your Neighbors Know You?” by Michael A. Smith. I went to page 17 and this is what I found on line 10:

“the wheels will come off soon as he backs out of the driveway.”

So with that line, here’s my story.


“Did you take care of it?” Nick asked. “Eddie told us to take care of it and you know what will happen to the two of us if we don’t get it taken care of.”

“Don’t worry about it, Nick,” Jake said. “I handled it.”

Jake, no offense, pal, but you ain’t exactly the sharpest knife in the draw, you know what I’m saying?” Nick said. “So tell me, what exactly did you do to take care of it.”

“It’s a good plan, Nick,” Jake said. “It’s solid. The sap won’t know what hit him.”

“I hear you, Jake,” Nick said, “but I just need for you to tell me the details.”

“Yeah, I get it, Nick,” Jake said. “So let me tell you what I did. I removed all of the lug nuts from his car’s wheels, so the wheels will come off soon as he backs out of the driveway.”

Nick looked at Jake in disbelief. “Jake, buddy, how fast do you think Tommy will be going when he backs out of his driveway? What? Two, three miles an hour, if that?”

“I dunno, maybe.”

“Jake,” Nick said, “even if the wheels do come off when he backs out of the driveway, do you think that’s going to kill Tommy, like Eddie told us to do?”

“Kill Tommy? What the hell are you talking about?” Jake said. “I thought Eddie said that we needed to make Tommy late. If the wheels come off his car before he’s out of his driveway, Tommy will definitely be late for wherever he’s going.

Nick just shook his head. “Jake,” he said, “Eddie told us to make Tommy Stefanzo the late Tommy Stefanzo, not to make Tommy Stefanzo late.”

Murder He Wrote — Part One

7EA72AEF-4548-4769-98D3-9D05EBB29BB8Brian felt defeated as he approached the door to their rather run-down, one bedroom flat in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. The echoing sound of the key turning in the latch and of the tumblers slowly disengaging the lock filled the hollow hallway. Brian twisted the knob and the door slowly swung inward, revealing a long, narrow foyer.

The hot, stale air coming from inside the apartment offered no relief from the 95 degree heat wave hovering over the city. With a long, low sigh of resignation, Brian entered the hot apartment and started to walk toward the living room. He stopped in front of the small, half-table where he threw his keys.

A slight man, barely 5’ 6” and small-boned, Brian weighed in at only 120 pounds. On this day, he seemed to have an especially lean and hungry look about him. He looked frail and pale, with sunken cheeks and empty, gray eyes. His already short stature somehow appeared even shorter. His shoulders were rounded and he was slightly stooped over, giving him the look of deflated man.

Emily, Brian’s wife, spent most of her days reclining on the couch in front of the TV watching soap operas and game shows, drinking glass after glass of Pepsi and snacking on chips, nuts, and pretzels. Emily was just a bit taller than Brian, and, as a woman with a fairly large frame, even when they were first married around six years earlier, she outweighed him by maybe ten or 15 pounds. But over the years, her sedentary life style and poor eating habits had taken their toll; she ballooned up to around 180 pounds.

Emily neither loved nor respected Brian, but she enjoyed being married to him. She made all the decisions. She managed their finances, even though she contributed nothing to the pot. She was a formidable woman and Brian, having been dominated by his mother and sister when he was growing up, was used to having a dominant female in his life. He needed to have someone take care of him and Emily wanted someone to take care of. So, from that perspective, their marriage to that point had been a success.

Like any other married couple, early on they had their fair share of arguments, but Brian quickly learned that arguing with Emily was a fool’s errand. She had to win all arguments, and that was that. Probably for that reason alone, they rarely argued anymore, and when they did have an occasional parting of the ways, it was all one-sided.

Much to his chagrin, Brian proved to be impotent, and Emily never let him forget it. Why was she putting on weight? Because of her anxiety due to her husband’s inability to get it up. Why couldn’t Brian hold down a decent job? Because he was only half a man. Brian’s impotency was Emily’s scapegoat.

Emily looked up at Brian as he walked into the living room. She looked at her watch and then back at Brian, who met her gaze but quickly looked toward the floor.

“It’s only three in the afternoon. Don’t tell me,” Emily taunted. “Did the little mouse get canned today. Did they finally figure out that you’re the little man who isn’t really much of a man? Did they ask you to do some man’s work and you couldn’t hack it? Is that what….”

“For crissake, Emily, stop it!” Brian shot back. “Just knock it off.”

“Well, am I right? Did you get the ax?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Brian said. “I got the ax.”

“Why?” she demanded.

“The company is downsizing and laid off about 20 of us,” Brian said, his voice taking on the tone of a little boy confessing to his mother than he’d done something bad.

“Jesus, Brian,” Emily said. “That’s what, the third job you’ve lost in the past two years?”

“The fourth,” Brian admitted.

“When did this happen?” Emily asked.

“They told me first thing this morning.”

“Looking at her watch again, Emily asked, “So where the hell have you been all day? It’s after three. What have you been doing since you got dumped?”

“I had some thinking to do,” Brian responded, so softly that Emily could barely hear what he said.

With cruel and biting sarcasm, Emily said, “Thinking? What could such an impotent little mouse possibly spend almost the whole day thinking about?”

Brian’s spontaneous answer was almost as much of a shock to him as it was to his wife. “I was thinking about how I’m going to fucking kill you someday.”

Don’t Drink The Water

IMG_2486

You won’t believe what I saw when I put that sample of water under the scope. Please don’t drink anymore of that crap. It will kill you.

(138 characters)


Written for this week’s Twittering Tale challenge from Kat Myrman. Tell a tweet-length tale of 140 characters or fewer using the image prompt.