The Head On The Door

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes.  Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

What is happening in those woods?

His entire walk took about an hour. He’d wait until the Groucho Marx show was finished at 1AM, and then he’d walk around the neighborhood. That he was very likely the only person awake at that hour, and statistically certainly the only one stalking the tree-lined streets, thrilled him.

He had suffered from insomnia since he was a child. The first time he stayed up for 24 hours in a row – a bizarre fever dream incorporating a famous photograph of Theda Bara – was just as much a defining moment of his childhood as his first home run.

His senior year was winding down. Early May. In September, he’d be headed to college. Maine.

He’d been in a spectacularly well-received school production of “Macbeth.” The long hours of rehearsal got good to him. Roaming the deserted high school at night was like climbing around in the ribcage of a dinosaur’s skeleton.

His parents were so used to his nocturnal habits that his nightly sojourns seemed, to them, the logical extension of him getting out of his crib and trying to turn on the television.

He walked around at night. Pitch dark. He stood at the side of the road, and he gazed into the woods.

What was happening in those woods?

What had happened in those woods?

Teenagers had smoked weed, and, a hundred years before, teenagers had sipped corn mash. Maybe there was a murder? Maybe there was a resurrection? In 200 years, historians would ascertain that the woods on the side of the road in Manville were the sites of the first examples of…

Earlier in senior year, some of his pals took to dropping acid. He’d wait until they were fully tripping, before laying his culty, synchronicity raps on them. While they were just, you know, talking on the side of the road, there were types of fish as of yet undiscovered to mankind swimming miles deep, in complete darkness, near the North Pole.

A car rolled past. Too slow to be headed somewhere. The driver was obviously curious about him. Not curious enough to stop. Rolled on.

Who the hell was that and what were they doing up at this hour?

What is happening in those woods?

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