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Sep 22, 2005


Kids go back to school tomorrow praise the baby jesus. I am in, and I will submit poo poo.


Sep 22, 2005


I want to take a moment to say something to those of us who didn't/don't ever submit when we say we will.

Write more. Write more often. Don't just think about what you're going to write and how you're going to write it.

Because on Sunday at 10pm you will not blow forth that amazing something you thought you'd spew.

I'm gonna get back on this. I am. Writing more means better time management. And I will.

Sep 22, 2005


I'm in again. Again.

Sep 22, 2005


a bottle full of gulps

The Kill. 1194 Words.

The gas station sign is pocked from ancient shotgun blasts. The windows are covered with lottery posters. Their security system is one camera, pointed at the women's bathroom. This should be easy.

And it is at first.

I show her the gun and she hands me the money without a word between us. She's cute; dirty blonde with poo poo brown roots. She's squeezed into her shirt and shorts like a red hot sausage.

She tells me the place is empty, and when the old man emerges from the back with a baseball bat, I almost shoot them both. But I look the girl over, and I get a better idea.
I put my gun to her head and the old man drops the bat; he begs me not to hurt Felicia.

To the girl I say, "That your name?"

"Yeah." He says, coming towards me, slow with his hands up. "She's all we got left, my wife and me."

I look at Felicia. "You said the place was empty."

She blinks like it slipped her mind.

I pop him hard with the butt of my gun. She peeps like a baby chicken and he collapses on me. Some of his blood ends up on my shirt.

I put the gun back on her and say, "I didn't hit him hard. He'll be all right when he wakes up."

She don't say anything at first, standing there, hands on the register.

"You're coming with me," I tell her. "Until we get far enough from here, and then—"

"Okay." She cuts me off.

"Grab some rope. And a gallon of water." I point the gun at the oven beside the register. "And two of them hot dogs."

She crumples her little rabbit nose, "You don't want nothing from the grill; we got rats."

I grab two bags of hot fries and lead her to the pickup truck. She don't put up a fight, she just comes along like we're going to the movies.

She says she's glad I took her.

# # #

"I'm hot," she says. "Can't you turn on the AC?"

"No AC in this car for twenty years. Crank down your window if you're hot."

She holds out her hands, wrists touching. "I could if you'd loosen my ropes." She looks out the truck's back window. "You didn't need to tie me up anyhow. I hated my step-father, glad you hit him."

"Thought he was your daddy," I say.

"Daddy died three years ago. Mama married Jackson before the life insurance check arrived." She scratches her nose with both hands. "I was gonna leave with Robbie, but he got scared. Robbie's my boyfriend. Ex boyfriend. He's chickenshit and if—"

I tell her to shut up and she does. I start thinking about how long before I can dump this girl.

# # #

The first bag of hot fries is empty, the gallon of water half gone. I'm wiping my hands off on my jeans when she asks, "Why you pulling over?"

"Gotta whiz."

"I can't feel my fingers. Loosen the rope a little please?" She calls after me. "Hey, mister? How far are we going?"

We're on a country road in the middle of nowhere. I'm beside the truck, my gun's on her while I'm pissing at my back tire. "You ain't coming with me," I say. "I ought to release you here. Give you back your phone, and your daddy'll come get you."

"Step-daddy. And I ain't going back."

"What?" I'm laughing and trying to zip my pants when I drop the gun. While I'm picking it up, there's a noise inside the truck. I come up and she's popped open the bag of hot fries, like she's at a picnic.

"You're not coming with me." I tell her, and climb into the truck. "And get out of my hot fries."

"I hate these things anyway," she says, holding out the bag like it's poison.

"Why'd you eat some then?"

"Hungry," she says. "I skipped breakfast, you robbed my place before lunch. You should've grabbed more food when you kidnapped me."

"First of all, It ain't kidnapping if you say you wanted to come. Second, you told me not to get the hot dogs because of the rats."

Her face crumples. "Whatever. I'm hungry now," she says. "And that's no way to treat a hostage."

"You ain't a hostage anymore."

Her face lights up. "So you are gonna take me with you?"

After a gulp of water I say, "Not sure yet. Still don't trust you."

Her smile don't waver at all. I expect her to complain, she don't. She just smiles, watching me gulp water.

I finish that second bag of hot fries. They're good and spicy but now the gallon jug is empty. I throw it out the window. "Well gently caress all. I'll get us some McDonald's. Don't try anything or you're dead."

# # #

I order the biggest water they've got at the drive through. The heat—and the hot fries—has made me thirsty.

On the road, I can't drink the water fast enough. She's picking at her fries, smiling at me. The drink hits my stomach, and it's not enough and too much at the same time.

"What're you wincing for?" She says. "It's only water."

"The heat, I guess." I rub my stomach. "I thought you was hungry. If you ain't gonna eat, I'll tie you back up."

She keeps nibbling at the fries.

"You're not the first one to rob us, you know," she says. "Last guy had the same idea, he took my sister. Daddy found the guy, but only after she was dead."

She doesn't sound sad; more like she's just stating the facts. "He let the guy go. Cops found him dead two days later."

My cup's empty. I take her coke and gulp it, but it turns to fire in my stomach.

"Hold up. I thought you said your daddy let the guy go."

"Wasn't no reason to keep him," she says.

Between gulps of her coke I ask her why.

"Daddy fed him rat poison. It takes a while."

Her smile peels around her face.

"The gently caress you talking about?" The cup's empty now and I'm thinking about getting another gallon of water somewhere. Another gallon at least, maybe two.

"Rat poison. It makes 'em thirsty. By the end, it's all they can think about.." Her hand massages her other wrist and she smiles at me again, but it ain't as sweet as it was in the gas station.

"Bet your stomach feels like a beehive about now," she says. "You ought to pull over before you kill us both."

It takes a second to understand what she's saying.

"You poisoned me? How?" My throat's so dry. The words click as my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

She laughs and kicks at the empty bags of hot fries. "Mixed it in with your spicy poo poo. I should've poisoned the first bag. I'd be farther down the road without you by now."

But I don't care what she's saying no more.

I've got to get out of the car and find more water.

Sep 22, 2005


I'm in, no tox. I'll take whatever.

Sep 22, 2005


Hey wait now, I definitely went from unbearably lovely to merely godawful. Can't believe you didn't include me in your list, after all those rounds I entered and never oh gently caress nevermind.


Sep 22, 2005


I'm out.

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