The Stilt Man

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.

People talked about Los Angeles like it was a city ready to be overrun by the desert. Pumas in Altadena. Rattlesnakes and scorpions outside The Troubadour. Los Angeles never made any fucking sense to him.

Stay in your car for days. Drive around Los Angeles in the dark. It was eerie. Take a wrong turn and wind up in an industrial park. No lights. Corrugated metal doors. Every time he got lost in that city, he wound up in an industrial park: a collection of concrete boxes and chain link fences.

He slept in his car. A blindfold and a blanket. Park in the shade in Hancock Park, near Larchmont. Sleep for two or three hours and then move closer to the side streets near Fairfax.

The longest he went without leaving the vehicle was 48 hours.

He took a shit in the bathroom at Fatburger near Crenshaw. When he returned to his car – after encountering fresh air for the first time in two days – he opened the door and his eyes watered.

He drove to a parking lot out in Whittier, special for UPS trucks, and slept there.

That night, he snuck into a disused movie theater, downtown. Brought his laptop. Watched Cat People, all alone.

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