Friday, January 28, 2011

Throwing my story out in the public domain...

So I have been thinking about it, and I am curious as to how people think when it comes to my writing. I am going to post sections of my story that I wrote, and see how well it is received. Hope you all like it!

This Vapor rub shit under my nose is not helping any with the whole dead body smell. They warned us in the Academy that our first time moving a ‘crispy critter’ would be one we would never forget. They told us if we put some Vicks under our noses, we’d smell that instead of the roasted body. They were wrong. This is the third time I vomited so far tonight after smelling them. The one thing they were right about at the Academy is the fact I’ll never forget this night.

“Hey Kyle, you have anything left to puke? How many times is this now? 6 or 7? Good grief, kid. You need to get this under control!” Mark walked away from me with a fake disgusted look on his face. I knew he was right, but to be fair, it was my first time in this situation. I had been fighting asking this for a while tonight, but had to finally give in. “Hey Dep, think I can skip on the next body? I need to go find my knees. They are a bit wobbly right now, and stairs while carrying one might not be a good idea right now.” Fran turned and looked over at me and saw me wiping the drool from my chin. “Sure kid, no problem. Just get some water, and you should be fine in a few.”

Fran is the resident Deputy Chief. He has been doing this since before I was born. He is an incredible role model for all of us newbies. Ever trying to impress the right people, I was doing my best not to disappoint him tonight. Hope asking for a break wouldn’t ruin my reputation yet. Looking around this place makes you realize how fast this shit can happen to anyone. I was just here 5 hours ago, before the shift started, getting my regular lunch from Martino’s café. Mrs. Martino always made sure she would have her daughter Carrie make my hoagie, and get everything else I needed. Now all of them were dead, killed by what looked like a bad wire in the front chilling cabinet. How fast did it go through the house that they couldn’t even get out of the bedrooms? This is the hardest thing I have ever done, carrying out the bodies of the people I had known for years. I was one of their first customers, and now fittingly one of their last ones too. Kicking some debris out of the way as I made my way back to the truck to take a few minutes to get my wits about me, I couldn’t help but tear up a little. This was the reason I never wanted to do this. I was afraid that someone I knew would die, and I would have to carry out their body. My first shift and I have it happen right away. What shitty luck.
“Hey Carl, we got any more water bottles in the box?” If anything was in this truck, Carl knew what it was, and where it was. He could literally find stuff blindfolded. I learned my trucks, but damn, that is impressive. “Third door, second shelf there should be some. We’re into our emergency spares now, I’ll call Engine 23 and have them bring some more down for us.” Nodding, I thanked Carl as I took one and gulped it down.

I looked over at Mark and wondered how bad he would crack tonight. I knew this was tough for him too, but he hasn’t slowed down yet to let it sink in. He was here almost as much as I was. He was trying to impress Fran too, but I think it will bite him in the ass if he didn’t slow down some.

“Kyle, can you believe this shit?” Mark finally realized what I had been thinking, and came for some water. Running a hand through his hair, he wiped at his eyes too. God, I hope I didn’t leave black streaks like that on my face when I wiped my eyes. “I can’t believe they died. Now where the hell are we going to get our food from?” He tried to crack a smile, but it was too soon. “C’mon Mark, really? You have to ask that now? You couldn’t wait until tomorrow, could you?” I playfully slugged him in the arm. We both knew we wanted to cry, but neither of us will do it here. I stood up, and walked back over to the door. Connecting my chin strap, I took one more breath of fresh air before heading in to carry out another member of the Martino family.

Three hours later, I finally got a chance to shower and get the Vicks out from under my nose, and sat down to eat the food I had gotten at the café. Carrie knew how to make my hoagie just the way I liked it- extra cheese, light lettuce, no onions. She was always so nice to me and such a damn good looking girl too. This was going to be tough to shake off. I kept seeing her face as I saw it a few hours ago, instead of how I saw it for the past few years. I take a bite of the hoagie, and enjoy it as best I can. “Jack, can I get some new gloves? I tore mine with that last load of trash from the store.” I flexed my hand where the nail had scraped the glove up. Thankfully, it only rubbed me red, and didn’t cut my hand. I filled out the whole incident report, making sure that I had nothing that anyone could complain to me about. I made sure that I had always crossed my T’s and minded my P’s and Q’s. Spotless records showed true concern for your image professionally. I wanted mine to be spotless, unlike Mark’s. He has only been here for two years, but his file folder was almost an inch thick. I hope my career runs better than that. “Try to let these gloves make it through the whole fucking shift this time Kyle, ok?” Fran tossed them at my head, and scored a winner, because I was looking the other way. Lucky shot, old timer. The new gloves needed to be broken in, so I went into the bathroom to get them wet. Out of the corner of my eye, I swore I saw Jack sneaking a shot out of a flask. Not my business, not as long as it was only one or two. With him driving us there, I would be a bit nervous if it was more. But I can relate to the needing a drink. Only a few more hours and then I was going to get plastered. I need to get these faces out of my head. I need to make sure I don’t go crazy thinking about how bad a scene it was.

Walking out of the store with the bottle and the skinny brown bag, I hoped I didn’t look like a sad drunk. Why couldn’t they give people regular bags, and simply lay the bottles down sideways? Did they have to draw attention to the fact that you had alcohol? I walked into my apartment, locking the door behind me in a fluid motion. I can’t wait to get the hell out of here, but that won’t happen until I make enough money to save up some too. Here’s to hoping to that can happen soon. Plopped down in my ratty couch, and opened the bottle. I need to learn to get some harder stuff to drink. This vodka stuff is getting old. Plus if I am going to spend some money to get drunk, then damn it, let me find some good stuff to do it on. Some Grey Goose would be better, but again, I need money to get it. The first drink is the sweetest, and then it all goes downhill from there. I found the re-runs of Third Watch, got a blanket to cover up with, and settled in for a long night. I don’t remember the next couple of hours, except for a big long blurry timeframe.


  1. You really have a gift. The intensity of the situation is very well captured. Thank you for sharing!