This is a short-short story I wrote over the weekend, which was an assignment for class. It’s about 420 words. Please leave some feedback in the comments.
DISCLAIMER: This story deals with a sensitive topic in America at the time of posting.
By Clinton Nix
“Over here,” John said, sifting through crowds of people standing in line. His hands clasped a red tray which supported a pile of greasy, dripping burgers. “I’m soooo hungry,” Jenna squeaked, stamping her feet at the table. “Steve shoulda been here. What’s taking him?”
“I don’t know, traffic?” John’s eyes were as apathetic as his words.
John knew that tone. He knew what it meant when her eyes shifted coyly, when her smile was held back only by a failing effort to conceal it. It was supposed to make John’s heart flutter, make his chest wrench. What he actually felt was an empy wallet burning a hole in his back jean pocket, and an acidic sting in his gut. He didn’t respond.
“Hey now! What a perfect romantic moment for me to crash in!” Steve slammed his hand on the table, causing the mound of burgers to bounce toward the edge.
“Steve! What took you? I was about to eat yours,” John spoke with a half smile.
“Aw, got caught up behind a Robbie Fullman protest on 3rd and Seneca. Took twenty minutes just to get past the light.”
“Robbie Fullman? Who’s that again?” Jenna asked, in an attempt to mask her frustration.
“Robbie Fullman…” Steve slid his leather jacket open, which revealed that name in big, red letters.
“Robbie Fullman is a psycho,” John interrupted.
“You know, that sick bastard who shot up those kids,” Steve hammered.
John clenched his fist at the words.
“That fucking bastard.”
“Bastard doesn’t quite cut it, John,” Steve added. They both looked at each other, exchanging furious glances, magnifying their hatred.
“Jenna, I wanted to tell you this before. I decided to spend some money and join the R.F. Awareness Association.”
Jenna stared listlessly at the table upon hearing John’s words.
“All you need is a gun to join. I hope you understand, Jen. We as a society can’t tolerate this crazy shit happening,” John spoke in an attempt to reassure her.
“What does this mean?” Jenna asked, without a shred interest.
“Well, I thought about it for some time, and decided I wanted to be a part of it…every week we get together and raise awareness of that shit-fuck. Everyone needs to know,” John said.
“Why do you need a gun?” Jenna asked.
“Why do you think? To keep little shits like Robbie from doing what he did.”
John was the first to grab one of the soggy burgers. He took a bite, and the greasy ketchup dripped down his hands, splashing the table.