Monday, June 02, 2014

A Revolutionary Act - Short story

Here is a brief excerpt from my newest short story, A Revolutionary Act.

He’d never been thrown out of a bar before. Asked to leave more than once, escorted to the sidewalk a time or two, but never physically tossed out the door. He had been punched in the face many times in his life and was once again reminded of what an unpleasant experience it was as he sat on the damp cement and held his coat sleeve to his nose. Feeling sufficiently debased, he struggled to his feet under the icy glare of a bouncer wearing a shirt shrink-wrapped around his bulky, chaotically tattooed body, standing under the bar canopy making sure the little piece of the planet he was hired to protect was not violated again by the most toxic reporter, ex-reporter, in the Chicago area, Joel Happling. Staggering down the street through the cool evening mist and cacophony of car horns, Joel kept a swollen eye out for a cab.
          A bag of frozen peas with an expiration date in Roman numerals lay draped over his battered face. The bleeding had stopped, but his head throbbed and he was waiting impatiently for the five ibuprofen to finally kick in. He lifted the peas long enough to check for new calls, but saw they were all from the strange area codes where only debt collectors lived. He stopped for a moment, his gaze lingering on his background photo of the snow-tipped Elkhorn Mountains in Montana, and he sighed longingly before gently laying the bag back down. He’d been fired that day from the Chicago Tribune for insubordination, and was admittedly grumpy when he entered O’Grady’s Tavern at three in the afternoon. Who should come in a few hours later but Thomas Castle, the Commissioner of Transportation who was under indictment for taking kickbacks as a result of Joel’s three-part series? Words were exchanged, punches flew, and he now lay in his bed unemployed, bruised and bloodied and probably facing a civil suit for assault. Before dozing off, he called his sister and left a message.

Read the entire story at They're Only Shadows.

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