WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


Decline and Deceit

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-11-2017, 06:04 PM
IZA (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Fly Over Country
Posts: 151
Thanks: 8
Thanks 14
Default Decline and Deceit


Growing up, my father had a ritual to getting dressed.

Not clothed, mind you. But dressed. There was something special about it, even on an ordinary rainy Monday in early April.

Socks, undershirt, boxers; then wool pants, leather belt, starched white shirt, just the right tie.

Even the way he tucked the shirt in: fly half zipped, legs shoulder-width apart. Then pull the front taught so the buttons lined up with the zipper. Place the thumb behind the shirt slack and fold backwards, like hospital corners on a bed.

The result was always a perfectly tucked shirt, any excess hidden by the jack, and nearly impermeable to wrinkles from a day of sitting at a desk.

It was a ritual more so than a skill.

Don't get me wrong. It started as a skill - just like how priests can split that unleavened bread down the center without thinking. But it became a ritual.

It meant he had somewhere to go - something to do.

As the years went on, the ritual began to slack - the equivalent a priest mumbling through Ave Maria.

The first thing to go was the double windsor. He started wandering down the stairs, jacket on, with the tie swinging loose from an unbuttoned collar.

This was about the same time he started slowing down. He stopped taking the 7AM calls in the den before hopping into the shower and "getting ready to conquer the day."

Instead, he started sleeping in. Waking up at 7:30 and stumbling to the bathroom. Knicking his face with the razor badly enough to require a styptic pen. He would leave two or three buttons open on the shirt, just so he didn't spot it with blood.

It was days like these where he would search around in last nights clothes for a pack of Marlboro Reds - "Cowboy Killers" as everyone called them.

He would turn, look in the mirror to light the cigarette and half comb his hair.

"Tell you momma I'm heading out early."

Then he would tossle my hair.

But of course I never had to tell my mother. She was always in the kitchen, making breakfast for three - even though she knew from the smoke wafting down the steps it would only be two.

"Another rough one..." she would say under her breath.

Rough what? I thought. Rough morning? Bad dreams?

Looking back on it now, I realize he belonged in a box, and knew it. He was trying to get there. Somewhere between the expensive suit lined with baby-blue silk and the second-hand sport coat he got when Grampa passed away - he knew he had failed.

He sure could have saved us all a lot of trouble by just disappearing. But if blood is thicker than water, as they say, it makes sense he couldn't sink alone.

Too bad for him I had a life raft.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Yesterday, 06:37 AM
mlp (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 137
Thanks: 53
Thanks 18
Default

The overtones of melancholy and sadness were very obvious here.

While short and sweet, it gave a subtle glimpse into someone's life and tribulations.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Yesterday, 06:41 PM
Chinspinner's Avatar
Chinspinner (Online)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 119
Thanks: 29
Thanks 19
Default

"the equivalent a priest mumbling through Ave Maria." Heavy handed (so much so I copied it as I read)

"Rough what? I thought. Rough morning? Bad dreams?" inconsistent with your earlier first person insights.

"Looking back on it now, I realize he belonged in a box, and knew it. He was trying to get there. Somewhere between the expensive suit lined with baby-blue silk and the second-hand sport coat he got when Grampa passed away - he knew he had failed." Too much.

"Too bad for him I had a life raft." A weak conclusion.

Sorry for the above, but they were lines that jumped out at me. Generally I enjoyed it. The overall tone was actually good, and subtle, but a few lines threw that subtlety, which I have listed above.

I think it can be refined a little to keep the tone consistent.

Otherwise it was great. Good luck.

I hope this is useful, if not, please ignore it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:05 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.