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A new experiment (Language) (1 Viewer)

This is a new experiment that I'm working on right now; it's a way to cope with things that are going on in my life. Some of what follows is true, and some of it is fiction. Please tell me what you think, how I can improve it, etc. Thank you!


The gun was heavy in her hand; heavy, but familiar. How many times had she been in this exact spot, with this very same gun, ready to pull the trigger? Too many times to count, she thought.
She closed her eyes and let the tear drip down her nose and fall to the ground. She didn’t want to hide it anymore; she hid it day after day, behind a drug-induced haze. Here, in this place, she wasn’t going to hide it. She was alone with her thoughts. It didn’t matter if she cried.

The event leading up to this scene isn’t pretty. Only three months ago, her father had passed away. It was sudden, it was devastating. No, not devastating. It was as if someone, after waking her up from a hellish night of terrors, ripped her heart out of her chest and poured acid in the empty hole. Every morning that’s what she felt, and every morning she would throw back a pill of ecstasy to help dull the pain. But every night it came back in full swing.

Tonight would have been like every other night if she had not turned on her television. Who would’ve thought that a sports news channel broadcast could push someone over the edge?
Stumbling into her apartment, drunk, she slid over onto the couch. As soon as she hit the power button, she knew it was a bad idea. The ticker tape at the top of the TV ran “NY Yankees beat Baltimore Orioles 5-1…”. She stopped and stared at the TV, her eyes glazing over, her hand curling into a fist. Today, of all days, her and her father’s favorite baseball team was beaten by their most hated team. Without warning, she lashed out, knocking a nearby lamp onto the ground, sending shards of glass across the room. She didn’t care. She let out a sob, grabbed her father’s gun that she knew was stashed beneath her mattress, and ran out the door.

The Maryland-Pennsylvania Rail Trail wasn’t a far walk to her apartment. As soon as she hit the gravel, she sprinted as fast as she could, farther and farther away from the city lights of York. Finally, drenched in sweat and muscles burning, she collapsed on the edge of a bench on the side of the trail. A few yards away stood a row of houses, but it didn’t matter to her. It was almost 2 am; the occupants would be fast asleep by now.

Of all the times that she had sat on this very bench holding this same gun, this time was different. This time she couldn’t take the pain anymore. This time she was going to pull the trigger.
Just like every other time, she released the clip to ensure there were bullets in it; there were. She pulled back the slide and waited to hear the tell-tale click of a bullet loading into the barrel. Satisfied, she put the gun to her head and let out a long sigh.

“You’re not going to do it, are you?”

She jumped, nearly dropping the gun onto the ground. She looked over at the bench next to the one she was sitting on. A man sat there; he hadn’t been there before. He was in his late 30’s, with moppy brown hair, big round eyes, and wearing black track pants and a grey sweatshirt.

“Well, are you?” he said, a faint shadow of a smile on his face.
“Who the hell are you?” she asked, pulling the gun up and pointing it at him. It only provoked a wider smile.
“I’m Jay,” he said, hooking his thumb over his shoulder and pointing to a placard on the bench. Inscribed upon it were the words: For Jay, He ran with the big dogs.

She looked at him, a disgusted look crossing her face. “Don’t fuck with me.”
He smiled and shook his head. “I’m not. Just ask Peter.”

Before she could respond, another voice came from behind her. She yelped and skittered across to the opposite side of the bench. A man sat just next to where she had been sitting; clearly in his 50’s, his rugged face was deeply sun tanned, and his flaxen hair cut short. He wore black trousers and a burgundy button down shirt, the sleeves rolled up, as if he were from a different time period.
“Hello,” he said courteously, raising an eyebrow at the gun that was now shaking in her hands.

“What the fuck is going on?” she yelled, turning the gun from one man to the other. She took a quick glance over at the placard that was nailed to the bench that she was sitting on: For weary runners and travelers. In honor of Peter Brillhart (1794-1847).

She let out a groan. This must be from the alcohol, she thought. She eyed the two strangers wearily.
“Are you ghosts?” she asked finally.
“Does it matter?” the one identified as Peter said, with a slight accent.
She shook her head. “I guess not.” She lowered the gun. “Why are you here?”
Jay shrugged his shoulders. “I bet Peter that you wouldn’t do it. You haven’t done it any other time. What makes this time any different?”
She glared at him. She didn’t like his nonchalant attitude about her suicidal tendencies.

“Well, are you going to do it?”
“If you’re not real, then why do you care?” she asked, irritation creeping into her voice.
“Who said we weren’t real?” Jay said, screwing his face up into a look of pretend confusion.
“You can’t be real,” she said, shaking her head. “It’s just the alcohol.”
“You willing to bet on that?” he said, mischief glittering in his eyes.
“Jay, don’t toy with her,” Peter scolded quietly.
She leaned back into the bench, the gun resting on her lap. “What’s your offer?”

A wide grin lit up Jay’s face, and he turned towards her, straddling the bench.
“You think we’re not real?” She nodded. “Alright then. I say that you go home tonight. Forget about pulling the trigger. Then, if you come back tomorrow and we’re not here, then you can continue with your plans.”
“And if you are here?” she asked.
“Then you don’t kill yourself. You sit and talk with us.”

She bit her lip, thinking on Jay’s proposal. Would she be able to deal with the pain for another night? What’s the harm if she waits one more day?
This is crazy, she thought.
“Alright, you’re on.” She stood up, flipped on the safety on the gun, and put it in her pocket.
“See you tomorrow!” Jay said cheerily as she walked away. They watched her walk down the path until she was out of sight. The smile slowly faded from his face, and he let out a sigh.
“Let’s hope your plan works,” Peter said quietly.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
The Maryland-Pennsylvania Rail Trail wasn’t a far walk to her apartment.
From? This line is a bit clunky.
grabbed her father’s gun that she knew was stashed beneath her mattress
From where it was stashed?
away from the city lights of York.
Do you mean New York?
a placard on the bench
Here in the UK it would be a plaque.

I liked this a lot. Some of the style as a bit repetitive for me, but that is a matter of taste not quality and you will never please everyone.

Line breaks between paragraphs and dialogue would help old gits like me read this a little easier. Smart move keeping this short, saves me passing by cos I don't have two hours to read half a novel.

Great start, good luck with the rest.
Bazz
 
You actually make some very valid points. Thank you! And no, York City is in Pennsylvania near the Philadelphia corner of the state
 
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