Friday, March 9, 2012

The Iron Door of Salvation #FridayFlash

I finally got around to posting another #Fridayflash. Please let me know what you think, and as always, feel free to be extra stabby with your critiques. It's the only way to help both of us grow.

Owen ran his fingers across the iron bars overlooking the deserted cafeteria. “You said he wasn't supposed to be here.”
“Plans get fucked up. But I’ve got it covered.” Tim pressed the sharpened toothbrush handle up against the guard's neck, pinning him against the industrial sized oven. “And besides, this bitch has been harassing me for the last five years. I can’t wait—”
“Don’t fucking kill him.” Owen said as sweat from his back soaked into his orange jumpsuit. “What about knocking him out or something?”
Tim pressed the shiv in deeper, pushing the guard’s cheeks up to the stainless steel panels. “I told you, breakin’ out could get messy. Now, the way I see it, if we let him live, we’re gonna get caught.”
“But if we knock--”
“Then we might as well walk our asses straight to the warden’s office.”
Owen paced around the room with his hands pressed up on his head. “There's got to be a better way. I'm not a killer.”
“Wouldn't be my first....”
The guard struggled to get a couple words out. “I didn't hear anything. I swear. I've got a-- Wife. Kid on the way.” A tear ran down his cheek. “I won't tell anybody.”
“Keep it the fuck down!” yelled Owen in the loudest whisper he could manage. “This whole thing is royally fucked, isn't it?”
Tim nodded. “Killing him's our only choice.” He gestured towards the clock mounted above the door. “Jimmy’s been waiting in laundry for ten minutes already. He won’t stay much longer.”
“You can't kill--”
“We've go no fucking choice.” Tim said, grabbing the guard’s collar and slid him slightly up the stove.. “It's decided.”
“Please, no!” cried the guard.
“I said shut up!” shouted Owen, no longer whispering.
For a moment, stillness crept into the kitchen. It hung there with the smell of industrial strength cleaners and bleach until Tim plunged the shiv into the guard's neck. He fell down, grasping at the wound. Tim dropped the bloody weapon to the ground. “There, it's done.”
“What the fuck did you do?” asked Owen, who stood over the guard.
“I fixed our problem.”
Through the guard's fingers, blood oozed out onto the floor, forming a puddle that slowly spread out over the concrete. His mouth hung open in a silent scream, but nothing came out. His eyes pleaded for Owen to do something.
“Do you think...How long until?”
“It'll be soon. Now, let's get the fuck out of here.”
Tim swung open the heavy, iron door. “Got everything? Once this door shuts--”.
“Yea, I fucking know.” Owen picked up his pillowcase with their tools from the ground.
“Get your ass moving then!”
Owen slung the pillowcase over his shoulder, following his partner through the door. When Tim had gotten a couple steps ahead of him, Owen raced back into the kitchen before the door slammed shut. When it did, Tim looked back through the bars. “You fucking asshole! What are you doing?”
Owen ignored Tim's shouts. Instead, he emptied the pillowcase and used it to press up against the guard's wound. “Everything's going to be alright. I'll get you help.” he said.


Craig Smith March 10, 2012 at 5:08 AM  

I enjoyed it Michael, Owen going back in was a surprise, a pleasant one. Not sure why Tim wanted to kill him so badly, I'm sure the wardens would have noticed they were gone eventually. Makes me wonder if Tim got away in the end.

Larry Kollar March 10, 2012 at 8:53 AM  

The dialog & sense of urgency are well-done here, Michael.

If flaw there be, it's in the characterization. A guard who gets off on harassing prisoners would beg for his life, sure, but he'd threaten too. I'd also think Owen would know about it… so maybe Tim's making up the harassment as an excuse to kill someone? I know it's tough to cram all this stuff into a flash though!

Tim VanSant Writes March 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM  

Some nice bits in here, but I think that if Tim were that intent on killing the guard he would have done it without having a conversation first. Keeping him alive at that point was only slowing them down.

Michael Tate March 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM  

Craid, Larry, and Tim: Thanks for the stabbylove comments. Good points about some of Tim's motivations, yea it's hard to do but something I can get better at.

Adam B March 10, 2012 at 9:55 PM  

You definitely created a sense of tension and pace, the criminals questioning their motives. Nice twist at the end.
Adam B @revhappiness

Helen March 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM  

The dialogue is very good and the build up of tension between the two characters also good. I agree with Larry though, if the guard was a hard nose, who taunted them then he would be more aggressive towards them, even if they were threatening him, he would I think threatened them back. but I see that if you had done that then he wouldn't have played on the sympathy of the other character.

I think you need to make the guard a little more believable to his character, unless, as Larry suggest Tim was making it all up - but then wouldn't Owen know what the guard was like for himself?

Just a small thing here:
Is the tense right? Tim said, grabbing the guard’s collar and slid him slightly up the stove..

Shouldn't it read grabbing the guard's collar and sliding him slightly up the stove. Or Tim said as he grabbed the guard's collar and slid him etc.

I think you have a good piece of writing here, that would be remedied with just a small amount of tweaking. ^__^

PS: I see your subscribe by email to comments button has also vanished :(

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