Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #26

TITLE: An Obscure Homicide
GENRE: Thriller

Lead-in: Jimmy stumbles across a couple of mobsters loading a body into a trunk. He ends up slamming one mobster into the trunk and has to fight the other, named Gary.

Jimmy swung the shovel into Gary's face. The tip sliced Gary's cheek and
struck teeth. Gary spit bloody, broken teeth as he spun away, freeing
his other hand--which held a gun. Jimmy swung again. The gun flew through
the air and banged against a garage door across the alley.
Gary grabbed the shaft of the shovel just above the blade. "Fun's over."
Without replying, Jimmy yanked on the shovel's handle, but Gary tucked
it firmly under his armpit. He was incredibly strong, and his eyes were
on fire.

"You can't escape," he said. "It's you or me."

Without thinking, Jimmy kicked Gary in the neck, burying his foot in the
soft part under the chin. Gary's head jerked backward but Jimmy lost
balance and fell to the pavement. Jimmy scrambled up and stared at Gary,
who was gasping for air.

He wanted to flee, but where does a seventeen-year-old kid hide from the
mob? He had to finish this. He tore the shovel free, raised it high, and
plunged it into Gary's head, burying it between the orbital socket and
the upper jaw.

Horrified, Jimmy jumped back. He stared at the blood slithering down the
sloped asphalt toward the drain. It glistened in the street light, but
he didn't see it. He didn't see Gary. He didn't see the shovel.
What he saw was his own future ebbing away. His peace of mind.
His own sanity, dripping down that rusty drain with each drop of Gary's


  1. Very strong descriptions. I felt uncomfortable reading this, probably because you make it easy to picture the scene. Not knowing anything else about the rest of the story or Jimmy, I'm surprised that a seventeen-year-old murdered the mobster so brutally. Heavy stuff.

  2. Hmmm... just a couple of things. The descriptions need to be fixed. Watch the adverbs. Is this a YA fiction or adult. Is the MC 17, or is there another character. If so, I am wondering if teens will know what an 'orbital socket' is.

    I do like the very last paragraph. Well written, just work on the rest.

  3. It's gory, but it made me react. It was impossible to feel ambivilant about it once I started reading. So good job. :)

  4. Love the ending! I can see the blood flowing down, and the metaphor is very clean.
    You really need some pronouns in here. You say 'Gary' three times in two lines, and 'Jimmy' three times in the third paragraph, which is pretty short. Try 'the kid' and 'the mobster' or even just 'him.' It's tedious to see so many proper nouns, and it takes me out of the story.
    Easily fixed though. Your prose moves quickly, just as a fight scene ought to. I'd read more.

  5. I love the connection between the blood running toward the drain and his future ebbing away. A couple parts of the fight bothered me. He'd have to kick really high to get the guy in the neck. I also think you should just use "eye" instead of "orbital socket" which doesn't really fit in with the rest of the description.

  6. The detail in who did what via their names pulled me away from the action. It can be written with more pronouns as someone mentioned, but I felt a bit out of kelter as I seemed to be on a POV shift. I'd rework so you are solidly in Jimmy's mind, watching and feeling the event unfold.

    I didn't mind the gore and in fact your last paragraph hit me hard. I would pull out the "he didn't..." parts and go directly from that wonderful 'glistened in the street light and in it saw his own future ebbing away." very powerful bit there.