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.
I hadn’t seen Jurgen since high school. He went to four schools in four years. Even when he wasn’t attending school with me, I’d hear weird shit about him. It was like a telephone game.
He claimed to have an intimidating high IQ, and he was obviously a smart guy. His main tactic was to interrupt people every time they spoke, so they were always off balance. He hung around with lots of pretty girls who thought he was exotic, and they dug the drama of having a flamboyant genius boyfriend. They fell for that shit. When Jurgen would do his interrupto routine on the teachers, it didn’t end well. Like I said, four schools in four years. I think he wound up getting a GED.
His parents were… aw, fuck, that’s such a cliché. His dad was some moneyed European who would vanish for years on end, and then reappear with elaborate tales of directing movies in Eastern Europe. His mother was a humorless 1970s radical. She was in a bad position: she liked to call people out on their hypocritical bullshit, but she was dumb as stone. Starting arguments you always lose – what a way to go through life.
Jurgen went to MIT. Jurgen joined the army. Jurgen moved to Europe and joined a band. Jurgen got hooked on drugs and died. Jurgen was gay. Jurgen was homeless. Jurgen knew the girl in Pump Up The Volume and they had an apartment in Los Angeles. Jurgen had won an award and gotten a scholarship to film school. Jurgen was sleeping in his car. Jurgen was working at Radio Shack. Jurgen was born again. Jurgen was Hare Krishna. Jurgen was living in a squat on The Lower East Side with the guys from The Cro Mags.
The only thing I knew to be true was that Jurgen was wearing a velvet caftan and about to take my order at the snack tent at King Richard’s Faire.
“What shall it be, Squire?” asked Jurgen in the same fake English accent he used in high school.
“Chicken leg and a can of mead, Jurgen.”
He squinted his eyes. Not used to being on the defensive.
“How do I know you?”
”We had a party at our apartment. You told everyone you’d written a novel. Then you stole our rent money.”
The serving wench next to Jurgen, wearing a dopey belly dancer outfit, shot him a look. She was still holding somebody’s change in her hand.
“Yeah, I remember you,” he said.