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Short Stories, Writing

Alice

07.19.07 | 3 Comments

Here’s a story that was posted last year at the late, lamented Flashing in the Gutters. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, although in retrospect I think the opening is weak.

Update: I decided to edit the opening paragraph, and I like it a lot better now. We will never speak of this again.

Alice

By Graham Powell

The last time I saw her, it cost me my job. But that was a long time ago.

I was fumbling with my mailbox key when I noticed her, sitting on one of the old chairs there in the foyer. She must have been there all day. She slowly stood, smoothing the wrinkles from her cheap dress. Her eyes were puffy and makeup had run down her face when she’d cried.

“Steve…,” she said.

We climbed the four flights to my apartment.

I fixed up a pot of tea and we sat drank it in the living room, her in her rumpled dress, me in my work clothes reeking of sweat. We sat there silently for a while, just sitting and drinking, until I set my cup aside and said, “Why?”

At first she didn’t move, just stared down at the worn spots in the carpet. Then she rubbed off the makeup and showed me why here eyes were puffy.

I went into the bedroom and pulled open the dresser drawer. My baton was at the back, under the sweatshirts.

The make a big deal out of taking away your badge and your gun, but I took my nightstick with me when I left, and they never missed it. Up close, it works as well as a Glock. Though it takes a bit longer.

I carried it back into the other room. Alice was crying again, dun-colored tears dripping from her chin. “Who?” I said.

She told me.

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