Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Excerpt From "Four Feet Under With My Buddies"

Here's a raw excerpt from a new short story, FOUR FEET UNDER WITH MY BUDDIES.

This is only the second round, so be prepared for a few possible mistakes. But I think it's interesting to post excerpts from raw edits so people see what the process is like.

It's also part of the fun for writers to go through these things.

The day we buried old Clyde, it rained. A slow, steady drizzle began at noon and lasted for the next thirteen hours. And the only thing I could think about was I hadn’t gotten laid in months.

I stood outside beside my mom, dad, younger brother, and housekeeper, Mattie Johnson. We all wore black and held miss-matched umbrellas with frayed edges.

The only one who actually cried was my younger brother. And that’s because we were burying his pet rat, and we couldn’t have cared less. He’d insisted we all congregate in the backyard in a show of mutual respect, and we all decided to support him. He’s only ten; he made up a shoebox to resemble a miniature casket with brown paint and tiny little cabinet handles he’d pilfered from my dad’s tool shed. He even read a short eulogy he’d written on the back of a school essay in blue crayon and expected each one of us to say a few words about Clyde when he was finished.

When I glanced at the expression on Mattie Johnson’s face as she gazed down into a dark hole that looked about four feet deep, I smiled. Her eyebrows were quirked, her lips pinched, as she searched for the right words to describe the pet rat that had always made her either jump or scream.

Mattie Johnson cleared her throat and rolled her eyes. She took a deep breath and said, “Ah well, rest in peace, old Clyde.” Then she shot me a serious, urgent glance, letting me know she was finished and it was my turn.

I reached for my brother’s shoulder and said, “He was a great little guy. We’ll all miss him. He was one of a kind, buddy.” Then I flung my father a look to let him know it was his turn.

My father cleared his throat and glanced down at the shoebox in the hole. He seemed to be at a loss for words until my brother’s little head went up with an unyielding glance that even tugged at my heart. That’s when my father softened and said, “Max is right. He was a great little guy, and we’re all going to miss him, kiddo. He was one of a kind.”


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. I like seeing other authors' work

ryan field said...


I enjoy your excerpts too.