A Short Story: Endtown

I decided what I am going to do for my a continuing post…and that would be, a story! Originally I was going to post the story on Fridays, but upon observation, I think Thursday is the best night to do so. A lot of people are busy Friday nights, (myself included,) so instead, I’ll leave Friday night to the miscellaneous posts, the randomness that is me, etc. 🙂

This is a story that I started several weekends ago, inspired by the street lights I can see from my office window. For some reason, the town we live in has this sort of grugdyness feel…as if it has lived its heyday, and has let itself go. There are still a lot of nooks, and sweet spots to find, but they are like the diamond in the rough, difficult to see against all that grey.

Anyway, here goes. It has no name yet, for now…we will call it…

“Endtown”

            The train rattled, a rata-tat-tat, a rata-tat-tat, ending with a drawn out horn as it whooshed past. The girl standing under the street light turned towards the sound. She could see the train’s cars flying past in between the distant buildings, a blur of colors, grey and blue and a burnt red all blending together. One minute there and the next gone. She tossed a ball up and down in her hands, up towards the street light, which turned everything in the darkness a pale sort of yellow.

She leaned down and squinted at some writing that someone had chalked onto the sidewalk: a hand with the middle finger sticking up all done up in orange and pink. Underneath the drawing someone had written in white chalk in capital letters: UP YOURS.

“Ridiculous,” she said as she paced back and forth. “So angry,” she muttered. “So…undisciplined.”

“You of all people should know,” said a hissing voice next to her elbow, with a faint laugh.

The girl jumped. “God! You scared the shit out of me!”

She looked down at a green and white striped snake who was stretched out on a blue garbage can. “Of all the forms you could choose, and you come to me like that.”

“Oh, forgive me your great worshipfulness,” hissed the snake. “Next time I’ll come as a chipmunk…or a kumquat.”

“A kumquat? What the hell is that? Anyway, it feels like I’m talking to the garbage can. I’m sure it looks like it, too.”

“Hey, if cans could talk,” said the snake, with a slither of his tongue and a wink. “I wonder what they would say?”

She looked across the street at a run down convenience store. It was a white square building, with a faded coco cola sign out front. “Probably something like it stinks in here.”  She noticed that the neon sign was supposed to say Jerry’s, but an R was missing. “Have you heard from the master tonight?”

“Not a thing. I thought that is why you called this meeting?”

“My job was to watch this small town. Watch the train, watch the exports, watch the people, and yet…nothing. I haven’t heard from anybody in weeks.”

“Have a little faith Gen,” said the snake. “That’s what we are here for.”

She folded her arms across her chest, as the wind rustled a chunk of brown hair by her face. Freckled, blue-eyed and dressed in a red t-shirt and shorts, she felt trapped by her boyish figure, by the fact that she never could grow up, no matter how much she wanted to. She scratched at the sweat that had gathered at the back of her neck.

“It must be on the train,” she said as she swatted at a fly that flew in front of her face. She watched with wide eyes as it buzzed in front of the snake who swallowed it down with a big gulp.

“You’re disgusting,” she said as she turned away. “I can’t believe I spend time with you.”

“You love me,” said the snake. “I just know it. Anyway, tell me about this town. Any diamonds in the rough?”

“Some. There was a baker who gave me an extra doughnut in my box yesterday, but he thought it was for my mother.”

The snake gave her a side-long glance. “How are the live-in parents doing?”

“Fine.”

He wasn’t stupid, he knew what she wasn’t saying.

Genevieve scratched at an itch on her nose. She wriggled her shoulders. The itch was spreading. It felt like the time she had gotten poison ivy when she was at summer camp.

“Can we go get a coffee or something?” she said as she scratched at the freckles on her arms. “I can’t stand under this street light anymore. I feel like a hooker.”

The snake snorted. “You’re breaking out in hives again, aren’t you?”

“I am not.”

“You worry too much.” He flicked his tail toward her and managed to poke her in the side. She glared at him.

“Stop that,” she said.

“I don’t think snakes drink coffee.”

“Change then,” she said and she was already walking down the street. She heard a grunt, and then there was the sound of footsteps behind her.

She looked down at her mentor’s blue tennis shoes, jeans and then up to his blonde-silver hair. His brown eyes twinkled with mischief. “So, where are we going?”

The only thing open was a 24-hour diner that promised the best fried chicken this town has to offer! “That’s promising,” muttered the girl as they walked inside. “And there’s a KFC next door.”

“They are hardly the best,” said their hostess, as she grabbed their menus. She had long, silky brown hair and smooth skin. “Will you guys be having dinner? We have a separate dinner, dessert and breakfast menu. ”

The man standing next to Genevieve scratched at his head. “Haven’t decided yet. Why don’t you give us all three.”

Over pancakes, sausage, and bacon they talked about the master’s plan.

To Be Continued…

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2 thoughts on “A Short Story: Endtown

  1. Pingback: Part 2: Endtown (a continuing story) | The Writer's Hub

  2. Pingback: Part 3: Endtown (a short story) | The Writer's Hub

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