“This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.” – Douglas Adams
This is the beginning of a story that I will probably never use, however the first part of the story – the descriptive beginning I love, just not where the story is actually going. It was part of a writing assignment. “Write the opening to a story or play about a character who is about to go over the edge. Introduce another character who is the perfect antagonist to do the pushing.”
The Sangre de Cristo
The sun was setting on the Sangre de Cristo casting a fiery red glow on the mountains, turning the valleys into rivers of blood flowing down from the peaks. The sky in the east having already succumbed and given its last breath to the night. The safety of daylight already surrendering to the sounds of night, the yip-howls of the coyotes filling the night air, and so with the ebbing of light comes the influx of the degenerates whose cat-calls and yells fill the night air like the coyotes calling and answering in the distance. Every night has been the same for the last 3 weeks, walking to my car after work I catch my disfigured likeness in the cracked reflection of my driver’s side window, lift my hand to the greenish yellow bruise across the top of my cheek that I was only just able to touch without cringing. I got the phone call from Jules down at the courthouse, Jimmy was released today. I can almost feel him circling me now as I fumble for my keys and unlock the car, as a coyote howls in the distance circling his prey. I feel in my purse for the preloaded bit of security, and feel that it’s still there the weight heavy against my hand. I never thought to own a gun, but then I had never thought that I’d be in a position to need a gun.
I should have taken Jules up on her offer to stay the night, but during the light of day I wasn’t as terrified of Jimmy coming after me. With the bright desert sun shining down and chasing off my fears, I didn’t want to impose on her. As I come to the red light, the ambient light of the street lamps shining in my car window, I feel in my purse again for my little bit of security stashed safely away and feel the weight as I take a deep breath. The weight sturdy enough to scare away the trembling of my hands. Surely he won’t come after me….tonight.