Back In Black

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.

It might.

Look at him.  Long arachnid arms and bloated belly.  A hump.  He looks like he’ll have trouble chewing his own food.

When the nurse tries to move his wheelchair, he clamps his fingers around the edge of the dinner table.  Surprisingly strong.  Ornery,  He’s just so old.

The nurse, a pretentious, dimwitted girl with her nose forever buried in one of those useless magical adventure books, likes to talk.  Most of the ‘clients’ can’t hear her, but she talks anyway. 

She leans over the aged spider in his wheelchair.

“Don’t let the new seating arrangement preclude you from enjoying your meal, Doctor,” she drips.  She’s used to people simply adoring her.

The old spider doesn’t look at her.  “Preclude me enjoying my meal,” he spits.


“’Preclude me enjoying my meal.’  You said, ‘Preclude me from enjoying my meal,’ which is incorrect.  ‘From’ is understood in the use of ‘preclude.’”


It’s him.

He tries to adjust his spine, to turn towards the nurse.  He can’t.   Nothing left in him.

“Two stupid nurses ate breakfast together.  Both of them drank this terrible iced tea.  One stupid nursie swallowed them very fast…”

It’s him.

Night.  I don’t know what time.  I awake.

My wheelchair makes too much noise.  My artificial leg is useless.  I’ll have to crawl across the carpet.

Gordon was a fool.  He should have set fire to the building and watched them all burn.  Gordon was perfect:  noble, sentimental and dumb as a post.  No wonder they loved him.  A man who congratulated himself on his failings and expected congratulations.

I look at the names of the ‘clients’ printed on the doors.

“Rutherford, M.”

“Phillips, J.”

“Nigma, E (Dr.)”

It’s him.

I don’t have to force the lock.  The presumptuous clods left the door open.

He lies on his bed, flat on his back.  I’ve seen him like this hundreds of times before, only now there isn’t blood pouring from his nose.  I must be responsible for half of his missing teeth.

I’m going to press my forearm against his throat.  If I do it correctly, I’ll stop the flow in his carotid artery and he’ll pass out.  If I do it wrong, I’ll crush his windpipe and he’ll die.

I hope I do it wrong.

I brace myself against the wall and reach for his shoulders.  He doesn’t even wake up.

It’s done in 5 minutes.  70 years are over in 5 minutes,

A nurse walks in.  She’s heard something.

“Mr. Wayne!  What are you doing?”

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