Friday, January 15, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday: The Story of Joe Nitters

First in a series of fictional short stories, I think this ideally is a good end to the week. Flash fiction, for the uninitiated is a short story with an imposed cap on words used. I've seen numbers as low as 300 and as high as 1000 being the cap so we'll just see what happens. First story here we go:

The Story of Joe Nitters

It isn't every day you find yourself staring down a barrel and wonder what it is in life you did to deserve your current fate. For Joe Nitters, it was only Monday through Friday that he did this at the Keleptown Barrelworks, from 8 to 5 with occasional overtime.

He didn’t give much thought to what the barrels were for. They mostly went to the nearby fishery to be filled with sardines, though the occasional salt packer and wine maker would put in a large order. When he had just started, such crunch times often ended with a bottle of whiskey, antiseptic, tweezers and needles to extract the splinters he’d gamely ignored ‘til shutdown. These days the skin of his mitts were as tough as good quality book bindings.

But today was ordinary and special. Ordinary in that there were no special orders and special in that it was his birthday. He expected a round of beers with Buck, Tom and Pat “Bookie” Dougan. So when they got off, his chums took him to Chuck’s, had themselves a round of beers and watched the game while gossiping, swearing and trying to toss peanuts into Old Man Pug’s pint glass, resident bum and institutionalized charity case at Chuck’s.  

After eight, or was it ten rounds, Joe insisted on walking to do a bit of thinking. His Buck, Tom and Pat “Bookie” Dougan refused to let this happen, and eight or ten rounds became fifteen. It was a better night than most.

Word count: 250

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