Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Line Blogfest: The Idear

This is for the last-line blogfest, hosted by your favorite stalker and mine, Mrs. Lilah Pierce.

This is from a short story I wrote a while back. I used to sit in the attic in this old chair, sharpening my knives and collecting dried snakeskins from where the floor met the eaves and reading this medical school dictionary I'd found up there.

See, this house we lived in for a while was infested with snakes, and rats, and you name it, a total shithole. I hated that house.

I used to climb up the carport, run across the roof, and then monkey-swing into an attic window that was just out-of-reach if you leaned off the second story. My parents fought a lot and this was the only quiet spot I could find.

Anyway. This short story is about Marty. One of the guys he hangs out with calls him Sugar, and Marty found a big-ass knife in the trash dump yesterday afternoon and snuck it up to his attic.

- Eric

Excerpt from The Idear by Eric Trant


The next day it rained, huge drops that fell straight-down without wind and without thunder. Marty sat in the attic next to the window as if beneath a waterfall, hidden behind clear sheets of water as the rain rolled over the eaves. He sat in a toddler's chair, one he'd found crammed into the corner of the attic when they'd moved in a year ago. The wicker seat was chewed-through, and the sharp corners of the broken straws sometimes poked him, but its legs were strong enough that Marty could lean back as he worked. The overhead light had long ago burned out and never been replaced. So Marty sat near the window. The cascading rain somehow amplified the light here.

Marty's fingers bled from where the wire brush had stabbed him; the wild-haired brush wasn't designed to be held, it was designed to spin on a grinder. He had taken a piece of his jeans (the part left over after his mom had made cut-offs) and used the fabric to pad his hands. It worked well, and during the past few hours, Marty had scraped most of the rust from the blade, and saved the rest of his fingers.

According to his mom's scale, the one she kept hidden beneath the bathroom towels so she didn't have to look at it, the knife weighed over a pound. The weight sat heavy in Marty's lap.

In his pocket was another weight, this one a few ounces he'd lifted from the knife-drawer in the kitchen: a battered and chipped whetstone.

Marty held the knife up in the shimmering light. "You're almost clean," he said. "Then I'll put an edge on you that'll cut through glass."



Charity Bradford said...

I liked how you set up the scene "huge if beneath a waterfall...rolled over the eaves." Living in the south, I'm familiar with that kind of rain. I love it!

I also liked the detail about the bleeding fingers because of the brush. I never would of thought of that.

Anyway, nice scene. I'm wondering what his plans are with this knife.

Jemi Fraser said...

Nice description - I can see the scene :)

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great imagery here. And that last line leaves me wondering what he has planned for that knife.

Jai Joshi said...

Ow, I want to know what happens next!

You did a great job describing the scene and the boy and what he was doing. I could see it all infront of me. But what the heck is he going to do with that knife? Whatever he's going to do it can't be good.


Unknown said...

You wrote a scene that poses lots of questions. It's a great ending for him but one full of endless possibilities in my mind. :)

Anonymous said...

I was right there in the attic with him--good job. Now what's he going to do with that knife??????

stu said...

I like the description, and the little details that go with it. It's very precise.

bryan sabol said...

Wow... you've got a quiet tension hear like the approaching of a thunderstorm.

Do I hear some "Deliverance" music in the background? Nice job!

Andrew Rosenberg said...

Dum dum dum!
There seemed to be a lot of planning here...the brush and the whetstone. Where did the brush come from and shouldn't it have a spindle or something?
Anyways definitely liked the last line. Wonder what the knife is for...

Susan Fields said...

Oooh...exciting! I want to know what that knife is for. Great last line!

Susan Fields said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
* said...

The only blog fests I've participated in have been poetry ones. This one looks like fun, though!

PS: I'm hosting a little writing contest over at my blog. Stop by for a waffle & check it out!

* said...

PS: Great blog title. I feel that way...much too often.

Anonymous said...

Like Charity said, I liked the details in this story... Especially the little point about his mom hating the scale... Don't we all? Crisp last line as well... Nice one.

Katie said...

Very methodical in this scene, drawing out the action just as he completes each task. I definitely "saw" it!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I love your details. You always seem to paint a complete picture of where your characters are and the setting draws me in.

I was sitting on the prickly wicker, leaning into the dim light and worrying about what Marty intends to do with that knife!

The scratch of the rusty metal, the scrape of the wetstone, the noise outside from the rain...eerie and alluring.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

So, I'm surprised that no one caught this, but Rachel is my best friend, not the host (and she's a Mrs., not a Ms.) I, Lilah Pierce, hosted the Last Line Blogfest.


dolorah said...

I caught the error Lilah, and was about to comment, but you beat me to it.

This is such intriguing characterization Eric. We get a sense of his mom from the scales, and his family by the surroundings. This guy could be a serial killer, or just going out snake hunting.

Vivid visuals, spine tingling tension. That last line was gruesome and I so want to know what comes next.

Well done.


Jessica Bell said...

Wow. This is very compelling. I really want to know what this guy is going to do!

Eric W. Trant said...

Everyone, thanks for the comments! I love hearing feedback, good and bad.

Lilah: I am soooo sorry! I had the link to your website, but Rachel's name in the link. Not sure how I got the names mixed up.

Thank you LILAH for hosting the blogfest. That was a fun one.

- Eric

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Spooky, eerie, spine-tingling. I KNOW what Marty, aka Sugar, has in mind for that knife, if your set-up is any indication. It ain't gonna be pretty if he actually does what I'm thinking. Oh no, Marty, please don't!

Eric, wow! Your writing blows me away. I echo Raquel and several other people about your detail. I find myself feeling somehow sorry for Marty and hoping against hope that he won't stick that knife in the buddy that calls him Sugar. That last line is downright wicked!