Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Measure of a Man: An Excerpt

The moment everyone (someone, anyone, no one) has been waiting for: an excerpt from my latest short story project. I am still struggling with some structural issues, but I thought I'd share the opening few graphs. Enjoy.

So it came to this. Here sat a man with his name attached to nothing. He staked no claim to greatness, neither in accomplishment nor size. Despite all of his efforts he succumbed to his predetermined life of destitution. And now he sat as a man who only succeeded in being a failure.

The evening was overcast, no moonlight and no interior lamps alit save one in the back bathroom. A mouse scurried across the floor in front of the television with a broken screen. Paint chips dangled in slivers from the ceiling, fallen pieces mingled with dust to create a thick coating like ash after a fire.

A homeless person nested beneath the front porch behind the broken latticework.

The man sat on the sofa, leaned back, hand clenched like claws on his knees. Before him stood another holding a gun. As the muzzle pushed into his forehead, he shut his eyes and every muscle in his body relaxed; for the first time in his life he felt relief.

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