Monday, August 30, 2010

FFF #40 - The Gurgling Voice

This week's FFF was well I just do not know where it came from.  I started it on Friday.  Got busy and left until this morning.  I certainly had no plan when I started it.  The resulting tale is testimony to that.  It certainly did not follow my original idea when I came up with the starter sentence many months ago.  Starter sentence in bold.

The Gurgling Voice

"I heard footsteps on the wet sidewalk and the sound of keys."

"What happened then?"

"Well, a kind of gurgling and then .......a voice."

"What kind of voice?"

"I just told you.  A gurgling voice."

"No, no  you didn't.  You said you heard a gurgling and then a voice."

"Sheesh dude.  I heard a voice.  Can I get back to the dream now?"

"No.  I don't think so."  Benny had his eyes glued to the mirror.  "We gots cops on our tail.  Stash that roach and look straight."

"But Benny, I think you need to hear the rest."

"Stuff the story Jackie til we get through this."

Benny pulled over to the shoulder.  Blue and red flashing lights seemed to bounce off everything -  the wet pavement, the guardrail, the billboard off to the right announcing to everyone within sight Five Oh had another poor slob in their crosshairs.

The cop car pulled in behind Benny's old heap stopping far enough back and out into the highway enough to be the textbook picture of a traffic stop.  Two doors opened and then closed.  Benny began floundering in his glove compartment looking for the registration.  Jackie sat very still looking straight ahead. 

The sound they both heard next sent a chill up both spines.......................The sound of footsteps on wet pavement and then............some keys tinkled.  Benny sat up quickly and turned to his side window.  A flashlight blinded him.

"What's wrong officer?  Was I spe.........."

The echoes of the first gunshot had not died when  a second shot tore through Jackie's chest.  The last thing he heard was Benny trying to speak after being shot through the throat.  There it was - the gurgling voice.


The two cops turned around and walked back to their patrol car.   The driver reached in and grabbed his mic.

"Car 54 here at mile stick 22 on the Old Post Road.  Send a wrecker and a meat wagon.  And strike License number "Alpha Beta One Fiver Niner" off the Polluter List."


Thanks once again to Cormac for keeping this FFF thing going.  It was what got me started and it is still my favorite weekly writing challenge. 


Cormac Brown said...

You're welcome, and thank you for such a great starter sentence.

BBC said...

Oh, creative writing, well excuse me if I don't read it. But if you was to write a repair manual I would consider it creative and read it.

MRMacrum said...

Cormac - Well nough said I guess. I appreciate your time and energy.

BBC - What's the matter Billy? Feeling pissy again?

chad rohrbacher said...

Polluters indeed. Scifi opening to a longer story methinks -- yes?

Flannery Alden said...

Dreamy and gruesome! I'm not sure how the cops knew they were polluters, though.

Nice work!

Doc said...

Polluters?!? Wow, Maine has some tough Enviromental laws! I wonder what they would have done if they caught these two stoners throwing out a burger wrapper.

Great story Mike. I know that my original thought for a story is often a far cry from the finished product, but sometimes you just have to follow where the story leads you.


Randal Graves said...

And I'm sure the fuzz runs on corn oil. I sense a revolt a-brewing!

David Barber said...

Nice write again, Mike. That's a couple of short ones now that you can certainly build on. Well done, mate.

Coraline J. Thompson said...

Take them off the polluter list! Ha, damn I wonder if I'm on that list... couldn't be I tell ya, well okay maybe I could...

Gaye Bear said...

Scary and good. Maybe this is where we're heading.

Crybbe666 said...

MRM, you seem to be nailing this short pieces on a regular interval...loving dropping in for a read. I love the way your efficient police force work!

MRMacrum said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I do seem to be getting a handle on this short stuff. There is certainly much room for improvement, but my comfort zone has been established. I look forward to the short fiction challenges. There is no dread anymore.

What I would like to work on though are longer pieces. Stories with more going on, better character developments and plots that flow but have the twists and turns.

As several of you have suggested, I should be looking at some of these flash pieces as beginnings and not completed challenges.

Again thanks much for the positive feedback.

Sue H said...

I thought I'd already posted a comment - sorry!

Well, another very interesting piece - liked the deja vu element!

How about going back over some of these short pieces and working those extra twists in, MRM? Would love to see what you come up with!

PipeTobacco said...


This was very nice! I like the particular photo you posted as well... it is especially suited to the piece. The story line you wrote reminds me of a part in a Steven King novel I remember having read. It was quite a long time ago, so I forget which book of his it was in, but I actually liked your cop's dialogue more than King's.

Excellent job!