‘Robbie Fullman,’ a Short Story

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.

Robbie Fullman

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.
“Hey what?”
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.


4 thoughts on “‘Robbie Fullman,’ a Short Story

  1. Cool Clint, we get a lot of story in a few words with this one. It left me wondering though, what exactly were the people protesting against, as the crime had already been done? Have protests like this happened before after shootings? And why would someone wear a t-shirt with the evil murderers name? Also I like the ending part about steve picking up the burger first and spilling the ketchup, it is a great visual that caputres the scene, with maybe a metaphor.

    1. Good comments. I admit the part about the protest was put in without as much thought as the rest, and in class we are going to be revising the stories, so after hearing what other classmates say about it, I will make some revisions. At the time, I couldn’t think of anything else. But it does have a purpose. This story is a dramatization of behavior. You just have to think about it.

      Also: About the shirt. There is a particular purpose for it. You have been oversees during the recent happenings, so maybe that is one reason why it doesn’t make sense. But as I said, there is a specific idea behind the shirt. It all kind of fits together, as well as even the name of the story. You just have to kind of figure it out. Perhaps a word or two could be tweaked to better show this message, to make it more accessible.

  2. You fleshed out the characters really well. I like how the piece makes a point by showing (is there a formal literary term for that? revealing the author’s opinion?), almost like a documentary with a very clear viewpoint on the subject. The description and dialogue complement each other and each adds layers to the piece. This style seems like it would be very difficult to write but you pulled it off very nicely!

    1. Thanks for the comments. Any constructive criticisms are welcomed. I started writing this short story with a completely different focus, but as I started getting more ideas, I changed it to the current subject. It will be interesting to see what my classmates think of the story tomorrow.

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