Contest #231 shortlist ⭐️

13 comments

Creative Nonfiction Crime Drama

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

I yawn, trying not to close my eyes. It’s three thirty in the morning, I’m tired, I’m sick, this job was a bad one, this one did not go as planned. Now here I am, driving down this obscure, dark, bleak road, in the middle of nowhere USA, trying to find a place where I can clean up. As I turn the curve, I see this old, dilapidated building a little way down on the right. Pulling into the gravel lot, I look around and of course no one is out currently. I’ll take a chance. I peak inside and see it’s deserted, most likely hasn’t been occupied in at least ten years. I break the window of the abandoned gas station and play with the lock and hinge until I somehow unlock the door. Walking to the bathroom, I stripe off the blood-soaked T-shirt I was wearingand toss it in the corner. A little brown mouse scamper away. Wow another year has come and gone and here I stand in front of this ugly disgusting sink washing some poor slobs’ blood from my hands. I look into the broken dirty mirror and can’t understand what I’m really seeing. Earlier today when I went to see my mom for her New Years Eve Brunch, she tells me to make a list of items I’d like to try to change as my New Year Resolution. Looking down at my bloody hands, I think I will start with that.  I look around the building and find a pencil with a little lead still showing. I find an old notebook and I start writing.

Item #1: Try not to Kill anyone.  

Simple to the point. Don’t Kill.

Item #2: Try not to put myself in to situations where I might have to kill someone.

Item #3: Try to change jobs to one where I’m not being asked to kill someone.

Item #4: Try to make new friends, the kind that don’t ask me to kill anyone.

That’s not a bad start. I look down at my fingers, still a little bloody, so I go back to the sink and scrub a little more to get the blood off.  I know the human body has some 9 or 10 pints of blood circulating through the veins.  But this seemed to be so much more, I guess when I cut him, I hit one of those arteries, I always hear about, the blood just pumped out so fast and it flew everywhere. I look down at the red tinted water as it slowly flows down the drain, my mind wanders and I think of a few more items.  I grab the pencil and paper and start to write. 

Item #4: Try to improve my vocabulary so I can communicate with people better.

Item #5: Try to learn a few new languages so I can understand foreign people when they try to tell me not to kill them.

I think that is what this guy was trying to do but we just didn’t communicate, I didn’t understand a thing he was saying. 

Cometes un error, no soy el tipo que estás buscando, no hice nada malo.

I understood that he said’ error’, but it was too late, I was ordered to kill him and now there he lays on the plastic in the truck of my car. I look out the window at my little Honda Accord. It was a tight fit to get him in that trunk. Now that’s another way of looking at New Year Resolutions, maybe on helping me do my job better.  I start to write some more.

Item #6: Buy a vehicle with the largest truck possible for jobs like this.

Item #7: Buy better weapons.

My gun misfiring that first shot didn’t help my situation at all.

Item #8: Take a self-defense class.

After my gun misfired, I had to fight him to the ground, he got a few good punches.

Item #9: Buy a bigger, sharper knife set, with all kinds of blades.

Item #10: Ask for a Raise.

They are not paying me enough for what I’m doing, for the risk I’m taking.

Ten items, that’s not a bad list. I finish washing my hands and grab an old rag off the ground and dry my hands with that. I look at the rag in my hands, it’s an old T-Shirt with the words, NEW YORK, printed across the front. I’ve never been to New York. My mind wanders again.  I grab the paper and pencil and begin to write.

Item #11: Travel, go to New York, to Times Square, to Madison Square Gardens. 

Wait, no, too much crime thought, might get hurt.

Item #12: Drive up into Canada, then over to Alaska. 

Too cold.

Item #13: Drive down south, cross over to Mexico. 

I’m wanted by the Cartel, that may not be a good idea.

Item #14: Fly to Europe, go to Germany, France, England, Ireland. Yeah.

Item #15:  Buy a new ID, buy a new Passport.

Item #16: Quit my job.

I look at the last three items on my list. I put the list in my pocket, toss the rag back onto the floor and head out to the car. Getting in, I smile and laugh just a little. Yeah, I’m going to quit my job, I’m going to travel. I’ve saved up a lot of money, I need to something different.  I need to make major changes this new year, I need to start this next year off in a whole new direction. I drive to the designated meet. I get out of the car, pour the gasoline over the entire car, and strike the match. I watch the flames take hold and car ignites. I walk over to the van sitting off in the distance. 

“Jobs done” the man behind the wheel says to me.

“Yeah”, he’s just a little toasty now just like I was asked to do” I replied.

“Slight change in plans I’m afraid” the man said.

I didn’t see it coming, the knife in the back, twisted and plunged deeper and deeper. I gasped but couldn’t move. I crumpled to the ground.

“Clean his pockets” the man in the van said to the man who knifed me.

I laid there, my 9 or 10 pints of blood flowing from my wound. Slowly fading, I can hear what they are saying, but I can’t talk.

“What did you find.”

“Some kind of List, looks like the boss was right, he was going to flee the country.” He laughs. “Looks like he was writing a New Years Resolution List. Guess it’s not going to do him any good.

As I fade farther and father into nothingness, I quit my job, and I’m going to travel.

December 30, 2023 00:58

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13 comments

Mike John
18:08 Mar 03, 2024

hi i like the story can i use it for youtube video?

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Nancy Dalle
03:01 Mar 10, 2024

Use it how?

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13:56 Jan 22, 2024

Such a good short story. Amazing minds create appealing stories.

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Story Time
07:50 Jan 18, 2024

I'm a big fan of dark humor so this really appealed to me. I think if you ever want to revise it, it could definitely be trimmed in some sections to give it a little more punch, but it's a wildly entertaining read.

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Nancy Dalle
18:29 Jan 18, 2024

Thank you.

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Philip Ebuluofor
07:42 Jan 16, 2024

First class work here. Congrats.

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Nancy Dalle
18:29 Jan 18, 2024

Thank you, it was fun to write.

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Philip Ebuluofor
18:48 Jan 18, 2024

Welcome

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Mary Bendickson
22:51 Jan 12, 2024

Why is this creative non-fiction? Congrats on the shortlist.

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Martin Harp
16:55 Jan 08, 2024

This is a fun macabre tale, I always enjoy a non-happy ending to stories.

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Nancy Dalle
23:15 Jan 10, 2024

Thank you for reading my story. This was one I was sitting at the computer not sure of what I was going to write so I just started and it flowed. I had fun with it.

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Patricia Casey
14:01 Jan 06, 2024

Nancy, Your story was so entertaining. I liked the back-and-forth list from changing careers to improving your current toolkit so you can do a better job. The finale left me laughing, and the laughter continued as I typed. " I stand in front of this ugly disgusting sink washing some poor slobs’ blood from my hands." (I realize this is for fun, but for more realistic effects, if the water wasn't turned off before the place was abandoned, I would expect sounds of gurgling when you first turned on the faucet. The water would also probably be ...

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Nancy Dalle
23:16 Jan 10, 2024

I know I did not proof read it as well as I should have, this was a late night story I wrote when I couldn’t sleep. I am glad you enjoy it.

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