Insomnia

Posted: April 15, 2010 in Fiction

Here’s something. I’ll talk about real life at the end.

He leans in nice and close and I feel the cold barrel of a gun press into the underside of my chin. The smell of stale cigarette crawls into my nostrils. Here comes the tricky part.

One one thousand.

I worry that he can hear my heartbeat. It pounds in my ears like a jackhammer. My mouth tastes like pennies.

Two one thousand.

My grip tightens around the knife. I pop open my eyes just as he’s turning his head away. That’s a small blessing. My little forced nap gave my eyes time to adjust to the darkness. I loop my left hand over his right, and press the knife into the tendons on the inside of his wrist. I have his attention again. His hand springs open and I strip the bazooka he’s calling a gun. It thumps into my lap. He’s had enough time to breathe in now, and he howls. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy though. I’m so busy not having sympathy that he clocks me with a left hook. I go down like an undermined wall, but I stay conscious. He cocks to hit me again, and I stomp on the side of his knee. You always hear how the break is supposed to sound, but I don’t hear anything. Well, I hear him scream again, but there isn’t that crunch or whatever.

He crumples to the ground as I scramble away. The last thing I need is to be pinned under an angry mountain of thug. I kick the monstrous gun as I go, and grab it. I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with my left, but my freshly handicapped friend here doesn’t know that. I work my way to my feet, and inspect my work. The brute is on the ground, clutching at his knee with one good hand and moaning. I aim the hand cannon at him anyway. My toolkit is scattered all over the place. No way I’m gonna find all of it in the dark, and I don’t want to waste time trying. I spot the man’s phone. “Hey, I’ll need to make some calls.” I tell him as I take it.

“Fuck you,” he tells me. Fair enough.

“You want me to call an ambulance or something?”

“Fuck you,” he tells me again.

“Tell you what, I’ll call one anyway. You aren’t exactly going to walk that off.” I grin at my own joke. My face hurts when I smile. I turn and jog down the alleyway. It’s a long way home, and I’m in no shape to rumble right now. As I get back to the street, I tuck the big man’s gun into my belt and untuck my shirt. I roll my right sleeve back down to cover up my filleted arm. I lick my lips. They don’t feel busted. I fiddle with my new phone. It’s got some sort of passcode on it. Damn. Oh well. I wander over to the nearest bus stop and slump down. My arm thumps the bench beside me. I need time to think. At least it’s not raining.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Either I can’t fall asleep, or I wake up a dozen times during the night. I’m really high strung. It sucks. I haven’t met anyone outside of work in what feels like ages. I was interested in a girl for a while, but she blew me off. Most of all, I’ve been worried about Pablo. He’s had two rounds of brain surgery to remove a benign mass, and I’m told he’s in good shape, albeit heavily sedated. I’m going to see him Thursday morning. I’m told he won’t be very responsive, but that’s ok. I like talking to him anyway and they say he can hear me.

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Comments
  1. Shyloh says:

    Not going to lie, i dont like the first paragraph or " I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy though. I’m so busy not having sympathy that he clocks me with a left hook. I go down like an undermined wall, but I stay conscious. He cocks to hit me again, and I stomp on the side of his knee. You always hear how the break is supposed to sound, but I don’t hear anything. Well, I hear him scream again, but there isn’t that crunch or whatever." The first sentence is incomplete and the rest of the paragraph starts throwing in a teenage voice… I really like the rest of it and the story. I would just suggest a little word revising in those areas. That sucks about your friend Pablo, i hope he is doing better soon!

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