Friday, October 30, 2009

Best Of: "Beef Wellington, It's What's For Dinner"

Note: once upon a time, there was a man among men. He championed crime flash fiction better than any, but some alleged knucklehead, allegedly brought that to a close, by allegedly...well, just Google "Flashing In The Gutters" and I'm sure you can find out just what occurred. It is still murky to me and I witnessed it (on the Internet) firsthand.

At any rate, that man is still very much with us and cats like
Aldo Calcagno, Christopher Grant, and Col Bury are keeping the tradition of the man called "Tribe," going on strong. Mind you, there are plenty of great crime fiction sites, but these guys follow Tribe's tradition of crime flash fiction for the people, by the people.

As long as you follow the criteria of each site and you don't bring the weak stuff, you are in. No hoops to jump and no oddly distant rejection letters that make you wonder if the editor even read your story at all. Here is "Beef Wellington, It's What's For Dinner" and you even get the little side note/coda that I attached back in February 22, 2007-

They say that a man who defends himself in court has a fool for a client. So one of these fools told me that the law says that you have the right to be tried by a jury of your peers. Of course, the same fool had pizza for his last meal so that shows you where his head was at.

“Peers.” Ha, that’s a good one. If they’re my peers, then I’m an innocent man. Hold on, maybe I misspoke. I’m not claiming to be innocent…I’m just saying that I wasn’t guilty of this crime. Each of the two times that I’ve had to face the twelve people sitting to the right of the judge, I’ve never seen a familiar face.

By familiar, I mean someone who has even remotely looked like they’ve experienced even a fraction of the things I’ve experienced. They are not my peers. My peers know what I’ve gone through. My peers would’ve known right away that everything I’ve done, I did to someone else before they could do it to me.

By familiar, I mean someone who has had to risk their life to just to go to the store. Someone who has been shot at, just because some joke of a man was high and thought that I looked at him funny. Someone who has given his best friend a roof over his head and food, only to have that friend try and kill him over fifty dollars that wasn’t his to begin with.

So like I said, I’m not innocent, I just didn’t commit this crime. But the things I’ve done in life, who would believe me? I’m not even sure that I’d believe me if I sat in that jury box. I know I thought my real peers would understand, but let me contradict myself again. Who were my fake peers to judge me? Walk a mile in my shoes and you’d cut off your own feet.

Still, I’m not bitter…though I’m not exactly resigned to my fate either. I just know that it is my time…they’re going to get me one way or the other. My appeals are as exhausted as my spirit. I’m out of options, but I guess the one thing that I can do is to fuck them up for my last meal.

I want some of that beef Wellington that I’ve always heard about and some lobster, fuck that pizza crap.

The End

Note: This story relates to my fascination with the last meals of death row inmates. Invariably, they tend to choose comfort food or the food that they miss the most from outside of the prison walls. So I always have wondered why haven't I read about someone who wanted something just a little more eloborate before the chemical drip.

I would've elaborated more, but Tribe set a 500 word limit.


Randal Graves said...

Instead of being a bit resigned to his fate with a nod and/or a blind horse wink, if the peerless wanted to give the justice system the proverbial bird, there's always a meal of Taco Bell.

Of course, your choice is far classier and I think this guy, and I mean this in the best way, is a classy kind of scumbag.

Cormac Brown said...


He was a relative cut above and "Taco Bell???" Who wants to risk painful diarrhea during their final minutes on Earth? They could choose a better meal full of methane that wouldn't risk painful stomach cramps.

Creepy said...

I too find last meal choices fascinating. (Timothy McVeigh's two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream was an interesting choice.) Have you checked out

Cormac Brown said...


That's an interesting site, though it hasn't been updated for over two years...which I'm not sure is a good thing or not.