Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"All Time Low"

(Opening paragraph by Stephen Blackmoore)

Lowenstein’s caught his pecker in his zipper again. Too drunk by half and he has to be at work in four hours. He tugs, winces, and pulls it free. Wipes the spot of blood off on his shirttail, stuffs everything back inside and flushes the urinal. Beads of sweat have broken out on his forehead and he washes his face in the sink. The buzzing fluorescents give his face a green cast. Or maybe it's all the tequila. He's really not sure.

***

Lowenstein wakes up drunk.

A three-minute piss.

A shave.

A shower and one whole pot of coffee later, he drives into work. The traffic is hell and the fact that he can’t pass a breathalyzer test doesn’t help. Compounding the hellish commute is his aching dick, which feels like it is infected.

In all of this confusion, the only certainty is why he is on thin ice at work. He started drinking to forget his troubles, but whenever he sobered up his troubles were still there, larger than ever. So it got so Lowenstein couldn’t be content with the hair of the dog in the morning, and he had to have the whole damn kennel…which meant using up his sick days.

Lowenstein staggers in, and several awkward moments pass by before he realizes from the uncomfortable look on the receptionist’s face that he has been staring at just how her blouse accentuates her chest.

“Uh, Mr. Jenkins wants to see you right away, Mr. Lowenstein,” she says, as they both look away from each other in embarrassment.

Lowenstein sees how his fellow employees are staring at him. He thinks it is because they believe he is a dead man walking, on his way to the gas chamber. They are actually staring at him like that because he wouldn’t need any makeup at all to star in a zombie film.

Mr. Jenkins is usually cheerful but right now he looks as grim as a pit bull with indigestion. He beckons Lowenstein into his office and hands him several pamphlets.

“Lowenstein? I don’t care if you think you don’t need help or that you really don’t want any help. You’re getting help or you’re not working here anymore,” growls Mr. Jenkins.

“You…you’re one to talk!” Lowenstein growls back. Even through his booze-filled haze, he has seen his boss at many of the same bars he goes to. And while there might’ve been only club soda in his boss’s glass, Mr. Jenkins always has a different woman at his side.

“Don’t try to change the subject!...ahem. Look, I have plenty of…compulsions of my own, but I don’t let them interfere with my work. You’re too good of a worker and your performance has fallen too far for me to pretend that everything is okay with you. Just look those places over carefully and tell me which one you’re going to.”

Mr. Jenkins dismisses him with a wave, and reluctantly, Lowenstein leaves. As he goes through the door, a man bumps into Lowenstein. Before he can demand an apology, the man has a gun out and it’s pointed at Mr. Jenkins.

The man throws Mr. Jenkins’s work badge on his desk and yells, “I found this in my girlfriend’s bed this morning, so that means you’re the bastard that’s been screwing around with!”

The gunman chambers a round, and before he can pull the trigger, Lowenstein says, “look over here!”

Lowenstein unzips and looks down; the cuckold does, too. Lowenstein unfurls his scabbed and mangled pride. The miniature gnarled Franken-pecker causes the gunman to involuntarily heave and swallow; he has to struggle not to vomit. As the gun goes limp in his hand, Lowenstein clicks the safety on and takes it out of the gunman’s hand.

Lowenstein pistol-whips the gunman once and he staggers. He hits him again and the gunman slumps down in a heap, out cold. He hands the gun to Mr. Jenkins and motions for him to keep it trained on the unconscious cuckold.

“There. Careful now, the safety is off and if he gets up? Aim for his torso. I’ll see you later.”

“Where are you going?”

“I’m taking the rest of the day off.”

“Aren’t you going to wait for the police?”

“I have more important things to do. First, I’m going to the doctor’s before my only friend in the world here falls off. Second, if I have to go into rehab? I’m going on a bender that is worthy of forcing me into sobriety.”



Note: Aldo, Gerald and Patti dealt out another flash fiction challenge-

1) Sign up to play by January 13th.
2) Write the first paragraph of a story and send it to Patti. She will stir the pot and send it back out to another writer.
4) Write a 750 (or so) word story using it.
5) Post it on your own blog or with Mystery Dawg at Powder Burn Flash on February 10th.
6) I'll let you know whose lines you used when it's over.

9 comments:

Paul D.Brazill said...

Look, mate, it's really good. You should try this more often...

sandra seamans said...

Talk about having a bad day! Nice one, Cormac.

WellesFan said...

Classic Cormac. Nice job, buddy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Lovely atmosphere, Cormac and it matches the beginning so well.

Ray said...

Just love it when a good story comes together.

Princess LadyBug said...

Holy Moly! That was fab! Let me make sure I understand this. You each wrote a first paragraph & then all switched & finished the piece? Brilliant!

I swear you get the funniest word verifications. Today's is "phomack".

Gifted Typist said...

I'm still trying to get past the 3-min piss

Gerald So said...

Every contest needs a twisted tale or two. Thanks for providing one.

Cormac Brown said...

Paulie Decibels,

Absolutely and that's we should try this, you really nailed it this time.

Sandra,

Welcome and thank you very much.

Wells Fan,

Thanks.

Patti,

I think I let the opening paragraph down, but I couldn't do it true justice without getting around the word count, and I can't imagine all of us having to read twenty-five stories with a word count greater than 750.

Ray,

Thanks.

Princess,

It was a lot of fun and you should read the others. I think everyone really did a fantastic job of adapting to their paragraphs and you will truly enjoy the stories.

"Phomack?" I love phở.

Gifted,

That's a whole lot of lager, amongst other things. Kind of like that movie where Leslie Nielsen was mic'd while he was doing #1.

Gerald,

Thanks, heh-heh-heh, I think ; )