A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The "Daily Doodle" concept is intended to warm up my creative engines, and is essentially free writing, poetry or prose, usually accomplished in under an hour with a minimum of corrections. From time to time, I will post the results here.

In some cases, the piece will also be a special commission, prompted by a particular buyer. Readers can still custom order their own quick short-short stories: details here.

This particular story came about when I asked for suggestions on Twitter. Film critic and author Shawn Levy responded with the two pictures featured.


The hotel let them keep the room for an extra day.

It wasn’t a part of the contract, but the promoter said it was the least he could do. The fight had brought in a ton of business, and the way Charlie had taken that punch, that was going to be talked about for a long time to come.

“It’s like they say happens about in tornadoes,” the promoter said. “The way the winds will put some crazy object straight through a telephone pole or a big oak or somethin’. I thought Riggs’ fist was going to go past your brain and right out the other side.”

Charlie didn’t want to think about it. He’d heard it described many different ways, seen it on the instant replays. He hadn’t gone looking--what man wants to see himself pummeled like that, professional fighter or no--but it was impossible to avoid. It was on the TV in the bar, the TV in the lobby, even the TV in their room the moment Meg had turned on the box to watch her stories.

Charlie’s face, and Riggs’ gloved fist, meeting square in the middle. One TV commentator said it was like two trains colliding head on. Another compared Charlie to a pug dog getting smacked by a wrecking ball. He even showed it in slow motion just to prove his point. Charlie’s skin shook and flapped and congealed, it was almost cartoonish the way his features shrank from Riggs’ glove and then bounced back. Watching it made his skull throb all over again.

But that wasn’t even what bothered him most. What bothered Charlie most was what he did after.

He just stood there. Frozen. Staring. As precarious as a quarter balanced on its side on a formica counter. He just looked at Riggs, and Riggs was looking back. Neither bruiser was prepared for that much power to come out of the white boy. He was a placeholder. He and Charlie were fighting to see who would get a bid for the champ. No one expected anything from Riggs, least of all Riggs. Charlie wasn’t sure if it was a trick of memory, or if Riggs actually mouthed the words, “What did I do?”

It’s that aftermath that kept playing over in Charlie’s head, and it’s what would have been really humiliating had that been what all the sports channels had decided to loop on repeat. Most days after a fight, Charlie lived it up, regardless of whether he won or lost (he was 10 and 2 before, now he might as well have just been at goose egg). After all the training, after all the abstaining, his management would give him a week or more to cut loose and go nuts.

Hell, after any other fight, the hotel would be begging him to leave by next morning. He and Meg would have torn that room apart. If he didn’t check out, all their neighbors would. Last night Meg slept like a baby--a snoring baby, he might add--and Charlie just lied there and stared at the wall.

Now she was swimming, doing laps wearing her powder blue bikini, pulling handstands and calling for Charlie to watch. Any other guy would have--and there were probably several peeking from their room windows right now--but Charlie couldn’t look at anything without seeing himself. Still standing there. Still in the center of the ring.

Riggs didn’t throw another punch after the one. He didn’t have to. After what seemed like an eternity, Charlie’s head finally got the message to his legs, and he dropped. Actually, more like slumped. Or crumbled. A balloon man losing air, sinking to the canvas. Round 6. With less than a minute on the clock. Charlie was on his back, his body forming the pitiful figure of an S.

And why shouldn’t he be seeing that? Would anyone ever look at him ever again and not see that knock-out? Ask Mike Tyson the last time his biting Evander Holyfield’s ear wasn’t a factor in everything he did. Charlie could hear the smack of the canvas like it had just happened. Like a wet towel smacking against cement.

Then the wet hit him in the face.

Meg’s bikini top.

“Bull’s-eye!” she said.

Her bottoms were on the pavement in front of him.

“What the hell, Meg?”

She was sitting on the side of the pool, arms crossed over her breasts, legs crossed to protect what they could. Her blonde hair fell every which way, an explosion of sunlight and rain. “I’m just trying to get your attention,” she cooed, before sliding back into the water. “I’m right here, and you’re a million miles away.”

“Not a million miles. I’m just across the street.”

“Whatever for? Why do you wanna go there?”

“You saw what happened last night,” Charlie explained.

“Sure. Last night,” Meg replied. “I had already forgotten about that. Now why don’t you strip down, get in the pool, and really give everyone something to talk about?”

Charlie was looking at her. He was looking at her and nothing else, and she was looking at him. Her eyes said it more than her words had. She knew what she saw, and no one could tell either of them different.

Current Soundtrack: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Mature Themes

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich

No comments: