by Michael Brooks

Miller hit the icy walkway with a sickening slap; his head rebounded from the concrete, leaving a deep crimson smear of arterial blood behind. The rocks glass landed nearby, sweet brown liquor carving a deranged inkblot into the fresh snow. Scooping the bourbon slush back into the glass, he struggled into a sitting position. "Maybe next year," he mumbled, putting the glass to lips once again. Miller battled his prematurely aged frame and lurched to a semi-standing form, feeling the still angry glare of his younger brother on the porch from whence he came. "Merry Christmas, Bobby," he called over his shoulder, then shuffled down the walk and into the glittering nightscape of snowflakes and headlights.


Michael Brooks lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, dog, and two cats, and maintains the world's largest collection of handwritten poetry by Benito Mussolini. He also acknowledges the redundancy of the phrase "from whence," but thinks the hoi polloi won't catch it. (Or that.)


Leatherdykeuk said...

What a sad little tale. Nicely told.

Madam Z said...

Yes, Michael, this is a "sad little tale...nicely told." But my sympathies are with "Bobby," not the disgusting, stumbling drunk.

Harry said...

I like every bit of the first three sentences. Though I'm not sure anyone just shakes off "leaving a deep crimson smear of arterial blood behind". It seems to me though that Miller could maybe take the righteous high ground in spite of his obvious imparity. It's too easy to make the drunk guy the object of pity and automatically assume brother Bobby is the frustrated and saintly concerned brother. I would turn it around and make Miller the flawed but morally convicted hero who in spite of his vices...blah blah blah. Hey it's your story. I am digging the way you write though.

Brooks said...

Thanks to all for the comments. As for the disgusting, stumbling drunk...yes! Perhaps I'm too impartial, but I had no intention of casting sympathies with either Miller or his brother. This is simply what happened on one icy night.
Again, thanks.