I’d love some feedback from you guys about my most recent short story.
It follows the jump.
Momma knows best
By Stan R. Mitchell
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author.
Copyright © 2012
Patrick Murphy had been told by his Mom at least a dozen times: “Don’t you ever go sneaking in one of those bars or dance clubs.” But Patrick had borrowed an ID and managed to get by the bouncer out front, which was not surprising given how tall and old he looked. And, now he sat, in a bar, a woman leaning on him, and life was, well, good.
“What’s your name,” Patrick asked, speaking above the band rocking out on the other side of the room.
“Call me Amy,” the woman said, leaning in so Patrick could hear her, and managing to brush her chest against his arm.
Patrick smiled. Amy took a drag on her cigarette and looked toward the band playing.
“This band is good,” Patrick said.
“No, they’re not,” Amy said. “Not when you’ve heard them as much as I have.”
“What does that mean?” Patrick asked. “I thought they said earlier they were from out of state? That they’re touring?”
Amy slammed down a shot, raised her arm to order another, and looked back at Patrick. “Nevermind,” she said. “Let’s just have a good time.”
She leaned closer and pressed her chest against his arm tighter. Amy glanced down at his arm and looked back up at him. She smiled, and Patrick could see something in that smile. It looked devious. And drunk. Slap stupid drunk. Then she looked at the band in disgust, downed the new shot the bartender brought, and smiled back at Patrick.
“You’re big and strong,” Amy said, squeezing his arm.
“I play football,” Patrick said.
“Do what?” Amy asked, pulling back.
“I said I played football,” Patrick said, correcting himself.
“Oh,” Amy said. She pushed back closer.
The band played on and Amy turned her head back toward it. Patrick managed to peel his eyes off her and watch the band rocking out. They played hard rock, and the band had more tattoos, piercings, and chains than Patrick had ever seen. Of course, this was the first band he’d ever seen. At least live.
Oh, if his Mom could only see him now.
Patrick noticed the drummer really looking their way, and he didn’t look happy. The drummer looked livid in fact. But the room was dark and smoky and Patrick’s eyes had a hard time confirming that reality.
He thought he caught Amy wink at the drummer, then she turned, ground her cigarette out, and put her arm around him. She pulled him close and now he could definitely feel her breast completely up against him. This was, well, nice. Very nice.
“You’re cute,” Amy said, her words slurring.
Patrick could no longer hold her eyes. He was blushing, and, well, getting turned on. He felt she knew this. Like this wasn’t the first man she’d ever stood next to in a bar. She started dancing up against him and he couldn’t believe his luck. And he got so into this, that he missed hearing the band wrap up its song, or the weak applause that followed, or the short announcement by the lead singer that the band would be taking a break.
Patrick didn’t even pick up on the fact that the juke box had taken over providing the background music. All he noticed, in the smoke-filled room, was Amy, and he only realized something had subtly changed in the room when she pulled back away from him.
“What’s wrong?” he yelled over the music, which now came from the juke box.
But then he saw that the drummer stood behind Amy. He was the band member who’d been staring. And Patrick saw a scarred face and a body covered with tattoos, piercings, and chains. The man had to be 30 or 35 — much older up close than Patrick expected — but before he could finish that thought, he saw the drummer grab Amy by the back of the hair and yank her around. The drummer slapped her and said, “You stupid slut.”
“Hey,” Patrick said, starting to stand. He was bigger than the drummer, easily, but lacked the worn look of experience and toughness. Still, Patrick had backed down smaller men at his school. And, well, this woman was actually in to him.
As he stood, the drummer looked up at him, snickered sickly, and then laughed. Hard. Patrick felt the anger building, but hesitated. Unsure what to do. That was his girl, sort of, and the drummer had just slapped her. And laughed at him.
He stepped toward the drummer, but then felt someone grab his arms from behind. He turned to see who it was, but before he could, the drummer landed a vicious kick into his groin. With a heavy pair of boots. As Patrick went to the ground, another heavy boot hit him from behind — right in the ribs.
He felt pain as he’d never felt before and as he rolled, trying to stand, he saw one of the other band members had been the one who’d held him and kicked him so hard in the ribs. But he had hardly processed that fact when another boot caught him in his back. This one from the drummer again. It landed right in his kidney, and he felt himself heave on the ground, throwing up beer and food in a nasty eruption.
But even that — the nasty, stinking mess all down his face, shirt, and floor — didn’t cause the two band members to stop. These men were more brutal and cruel than anything Patrick had seen, but this thought lasted only a millisecond, before the beating knocked that idea from his head.
He felt several more kicks — each vicious and deadly — before one of the boots came toward his head. It caught him square in the teeth and he roared in a scream from the fetal postion. And the last thing he remembered as he rolled to the other side and saw another boot coming at his face was Amy’s face, still super drunk, but now shocked and horrified.
When Patrick woke up in the hospital bed hours later, he saw his worried Mom half-asleep by his bed. He expected her to say she’d been right about warning him to not go into bars and clubs. And he was willing to give his Mom her due. He deserved a good lecture. Even a speech in front of others.
But then the sight of his Mom went fuzzy, completely out of focus. The room spun and he felt dizzy. An alarm started beeping from some machine to his left. Nurses burst in the room and his Mom jumped to her feet, screaming in fear. But Patrick saw none of this. Just as he’d never seen the chair that swung down and slammed him in the head, while he was half-unconscious toward the end of the fight.
P.S. I continue to get many of the same questions about my book, so I’m going to start including this at the bottom of my future posts. First, if you want to buy my ebook, Little Man, and the Dixon County War, it’s here. You can read a long sample of the book if you’re on the fence about whether you’re interested or not.
Second, some have said, “I’d love to buy it, but I don’t have a Kindle.” Well, you don’t need one. There’s a free reading application that will let you read my book and thousands of others on your computer. That link is here. (I warn you though, that’s a very addictive program to have… The price, selection, and convenience of an online bookstore will win you over quickly.)
PDF version: Momma knows best