I finished writing a short story last week called When things Were Good. I use the word ‘finished’ loosely because everytime I look at it I change something. It’s about three thousand words in length and falls under the general heading of noir fiction.
The main character is Electric Bob, an ex-con released from prison after being declared dead. Bob was electrocuted in Elmira by a faulty grinder.
As the story opens Bob is driving a stolen pool service truck in a snow storm in upstate New York. He’s on his way to commit a major felony with his former cellmate, Marvin. Bob contemplates several things as he drives to the rendezvous. He’s intrigued by the fact the pool truck has a fish drawn on the side panel; Bob wonders if it’s art. Since his electrocution Bob struggles with abstract ideas, but he is fond of Renaissance Art.
Bob has a ‘to do list’ taped to the dashboard of the truck. Aside from crime, Bob has to pick up 2% milk and unsliced bread. He believes in forensic science but also believes that, if caught, the army will spirit him overseas and make him stand next to huge amounts of electric current or even a nuclear blast.
Bob and Marvin knock over a mob bank and steal four hundred grand.
They shoot a pair of ‘made guys’ and abandon the pool truck behind a local bar. Bob escapes in his girlfriend’s Camaro.
Bob swallows his to do list and drinks the 2% milk, so he has to get more. The store is out of 2% and Bob buys 1%, knowing he’ll catch hell. He’s driving home with his share of the loot when he sees the pool truck heading in the opposite direction. Unfortunately Bob feels compelled to follow the truck.
Bob is a minor character in a novel I’m writing called FLAMINGO DAWN.
Since I cut some of his scenes from the novel, I thought he might be a fun guy to write a short story about. The ending is kind of cool as Bob takes a hit to protect his girlfriend.
If anyone has any ideas about where to send a piece like this, I’d love to hear them. My short story craft is open to question and I’ve never been electrocuted. I’ve been to Batavia but not Elmira. Short story writers? Are you out there?