Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snake in the Grass

It's that time again where I go in for another one of Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds writing prompt. I'm a little late this week, but better hump day than never is what I always say (I never say this). This week's prompt is a bit different. Pick a cocktail name, write a story about it. This time, however, we only get 500 words, and the whole thing still has to be a complete story. I know next to nothing about mixed drinks outside of a good ole' brandy old fashion sweet, so I went looking for a name that sounds cool and rand with it. Behold, the Snake in the Grass. I'm pretty proud to say that I didn't waste a word and ended with exactly 500 on the dot. Anyway, on with the show!

He slouched against the grimy wall and waited for the search light to pass over his hiding spot. Two days ago he began running. Every moment he stopped to take a breath was another moment he gave them to find him. Jack wasn't wrongly accused. There was no crooked cop on the inside framing him for a crime he didn't commit. No, Jack was a very bad man who had done very bad things. Still, out of all the names you could have given him, Jack was no liar. He refused to lie to himself - he was completely guilty of the crimes fueling his pursuit. Worse yet, he couldn't deny the pleasure he experienced from his mindlessly-violent acts. Regardless of all that, he couldn't risk capture. Jail he might enjoy, but he knew this time they'd be forced to kill him for the things he'd done. He still had so many more things he wanted to try before what he assumed would be an inevitably early death.

The spotlight from the police car lingered a moment on his face, covered in dirt, sweat, and mud from his quick sidetrack into the alley. He grabbed at an old damp scrap of newspaper laying near his left hand as he feigned a coughing fit. He could smell piss and worse in the paper and his eyes watered. He had to hold back a smile as he knew the rancid scraps held close against his mouth and nose would just make him look more like a sloppy, habitual drunk and less like, well... whatever it is you might call him. He did his best to ignore the light shining down the alley and directly onto his face. You ignore a bully long enough and they'll stop bothering you.

The engine of the police car idled in a low rumble as Jack heard a car door open. He didn't dare look to size up his foe, but even with all the moaning and groaning coming from his bum compatriots in this anonymous alleyway the sound of highly-polished footsteps approached him. He could hear high-impact carbon slide against oiled leather as the policeman drew his riot stick from his belt. In a moment, the faceless man in blue was there, crouching in front of him appearing simply as a silhouette in the bright beam of the spotlight. 

"Name, citizen?" asked the policeman. Jack didn't bother with much more than a half-hearted questioning groan in response. The faceless policeman crouched for a second longer, working the business end of the riot stick in his left hand. Jack held his breath, waiting for him to act. He didn't know if the policeman decided Jack wasn't actually Jack or he realized he couldn't take the notorious criminal in a one-on-one fight, but eventually he walked away. Jack's coughs turned to laughter. Looks like no one wanted to catch him after all. He was free.


  1. A great read, made my stomach churl.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, I think that's the nicest compliment I've ever gotten about my writing!

  3. Suspenseful and breathless- I like the fast pace. :)