Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #19


Felipe and the narrator are in a Panamanian jungle village tracking Marcel,
an embezzler who is also part of the Colombian narco-terrorist organization
known as F.A.R.C.

Felipe smiled, stood up languorously, then looked around like a man
satisfied with his meal but needing a place for part of it to exit. The
Caribbean lilt issued from under his breath: "Yellow skin, white shirt.
You sure, mon?"

I nodded.

"Any idea who dat odur guy be?"

"No," I said. Marcel's companion was squat with pocked skin and Tonton
Macoute sunglasses. He bore an unnerving resemblance to Noriega and moved
with the finesse of a cement truck.

Felipe walked toward Marcel, every loose-jointed bone in action. His long
fingers probed his pockets for a cigarette. He began whistling a reggae

"Ey mon --" Felipe called to the Tonton Macoute man, putting on the full
Creole. "Weh di batruum deh?"

Rematerializing as quickly as they had faded into the jungle, the rest of
our group broke from their hiding spots at a dead run. Marcel instinctively
swiveled to look behind and I watched the Tonton reach in his pocket and
bring out a huge black object. As Marcel turned back, his mouth wide in
unuttered speech, I saw the deadly gun come up, registered the man's finger
contracting on the trigger--and then, as I opened my mouth to shout a
warning, Marcel's head blew apart before me into a gruesome shower of brain,
blood, and bone.

For a moment, the last of the sentient man littered the air. Then in slow
motion, the pieces submitted to gravity and settled down to earth around his
collapsed and headless body.


  1. Some phrases here i really liked - "finesse of a cement truck" made me laugh out loud.
    But I can't understand waht the Jamacian guy is saying, and that's a problem for me.
    You also had soome clumbsy phrases "issued from under hs breath" "his mouth wide in unuttered speach" "blew apart before me" and "last sentient man littered". None of these are clear.
    I'm also a little concerned about what blew the guy's head off. Not a gun, guns don't do that. Some kind of bomb?

  2. Yeah, I really liked that scene, it's the kind of writing I love, except perhaps a little overdone at some points.
    I disagree with the above comment though; some guns, at a close enough range, can definitely blow a guy's head off.
    I also liked the way Felipe talks, but it's a little too much. Especially 'Weh di batruum deh?" because that made me giggle, and not in the way you want a reader to giggle. :)
    But seriously good scene.

  3. I really loved this. I'm not a big fan of introducing a character (Marcel's companion) followed immediately by a physical description, however in this is works. I particularily loved the last two paragraphs and didn't think the writing was overdone at all.

  4. OH, Excellent.

    This is not my genre but I liked this submission.

    It put me right in the middle of the scene and I could almost smell the jungle.

    Super imagery and accent.

    Good Job!

  5. Nice touches throughout. Definitely get a good sense of place. Violence was well done, too, and that's not easy. Had a little trouble with the dialect, but I think you were using it intentionally. Couple things in the first paragraph stopped me: the adverb "languorously" and the description that follows--seems awfully specific. Not sure I can picture the expression of a guy in that situation. Out of context, I can't really tell who's the good guys/bad guys here, but it made me want to read on.