One Slip And The World Changes

Dad and I order two cups of coffee, his small, mine large. He tells me that one day my metabolism won’t work quite so efficiently and that my body might not appreciate all that caffeine I am injecting into it. I laugh and tell him that “I hope I die before I get old.” He nods his head. I don’t know if he gets the reference, music isn’t his thing.

For a few minutes we talk about my new job and I tell him that I miss having vacations. He laughs and tells me that I better get used to it, college is over. We talk about this and that and he mentions that he wants to take mom on a trip to Europe, says that as soon as my sisters are out of the house they’ll start traveling.
I nod my head and excuse myself to hit the john.

Dad makes a crack about me aging before his eyes, not even a full cup of Joe and I am running to the bathroom. I am only in there a minute but it is one that will haunt me forever.

When I come back out I see a man pointing a gun at dad. Stringy hair, dirty jacket and torn cargo pants with a gun. His back is to me. Dad never looks away from the man, but I know he knows I am there.

Dad is seated and I am worried about what might happen. I can’t stand still. Two quick steps and I’m airborne. I slam into him and we hit the ground.

Twenty some years later I’m seated in the same donut shop, except this time I am in uniform. The kid I am training is in the same john I was in the day of. One day I might tell him why donuts make me cranky, but not today. He hasn’t earned the right to know.

One moment in time changed everything for me and nothing will ever be the same.

That is a short excerpt from this piece here.

One of my ongoing goals is to continue to work on becoming a better writer. One of the ways I am trying to do so is to continue to write about different topics and to use different voices.

If you like my fiction and are interested in reading more let me know and I will share some more with you.

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12 Comments

  1. Gizzard Stone January 4, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I enjoyed that. Was the prompt part of some writing exercise? I used to do some free writing with prompts like that, but got out of the habit.

    -Mike

  2. Connor Harley January 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Wow.. It felt like you were writing it from your own experience. You really made me believe so. Moments like that could really have an effect on you. I just imagine.

  3. Bill Dorman January 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I would have used the Kung Fu grip…..just sayin’………

  4. Adrienne January 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I’ve learned by now Jack and your posts written in this way are fictional but you make them all seem so real. I almost want to comment on what they’re thinking but I’ll just share with you, like most that it’s just good reading.

    Well done!

    ~Adrienne

  5. Gina January 3, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Have I read this before. I, too, thought for some moments that it was real.

    • Jack January 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Hi Gina,

      I don’t know if you have read it before or not. It is obviously different from the first version, but not dramatically so.

      Real is exactly what I want to come from this.

  6. Andrea January 3, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I thought it was going to be real when I saw the tweet with the title but is it weird that I came over and immediately recognized the photo? I knew the prompt then. ;>

    Well written, I like the longer piece, but this stands on its own, as well. (One note, you’re missing a ‘he’ in the last sentence of 1st para – sorry, copyeditor mindset never goes away.)

    Now, admittedly, I also felt kind of sick when I read it. The gun, looking at the scene, I wanted to throw up. So, yeah, really well written, I think. It triggered (pun not intended) some stuff for me.

    • Jack January 3, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Hello Andrea,

      Not weird at all that you recognized the photo. It made the prompt far more memorable.

      I have been playing around a bit with lengths so I wanted to see if this one worked for people. Thanks for pointing out the typo, I have fixed it. I hate when I miss those.

  7. Betsy Cross January 3, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Once again, I tought it was real! HA!

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