Friday, April 10, 2015

Another Day

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now. At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

My words are: trailer, affiliates, gruesome, nasty, trash
They were submitted by:


Grant takes a look around the single-wide trailer from his spot in the open doorway. Morning light filters through the dingy, torn blinds on the windows brightening the room more than enough for him to see the details of the scene in the tiny ramshackle living room before him. Dust particles float lazily through the hazy glow landing in the pools of coagulated blood and the heaps of trash that clutter the floor—a floor full of holes and dips in the worn tan carpet. He takes it all in as he stands glued in place. Several windows are broken with duct tape warding off the elements. Cockroaches scurry around even in the full brightness of morning with no fear. The stale acrid odor of tobacco hangs in the air made worse by the several impromptu ashtrays of discarded food containers overflowing with butts. The roof was caving in over on empty corner that looked like it had become a toilet for some kind of dog or cat. Everything was falling apart, dilapidated, dirty...

No one should even be living here at all, but now, he supposes, no one did except the roaches.

The scene is absolutely gruesome…maybe even the worst he’s ever seen. Blood has pooled and splattered on just about every surface he can see. For now, the two bodies are covered, but that isn't much consolation considering how much of their internals he can see scattered throughout the room. He takes a deep breath of the pungent air hanging in the doorway and immediately regrets it. Almost gagging, he tips the black Homburg hat back on his head and loosens the cheap blue-checked Sears tie around his neck--a bad sign considering it wasn't yet 9 a.m. It was going to be a long day.

He takes a few steps back from the door and calls to one of the officers who first responded to the scene, “Miller…grab me a pair of gloves. And keep the coffee coming.” Then he sighs long and loud. It’s a habit of his, that sigh. Anyone in earshot would know it well and know what it means—that he’s already had enough for the day and to stay out of his way as much as possible. That sigh happens more and more lately.

Miller brings the gloves and assures him that coffee is on the way. For his trouble, he receives a grunt in response and a dismissing wave that tells him to get the fuck out of dodge and in a hurry.

Grant slides the gloves on his hand struggling to get his already-sticky skin into the latex. He is certain this Southern heat will kill him long before anything else ever does. He stands there, then, gloves barely on, shirt sticking to the small of his back, sunlight highlighting the nasty scene before him unable to move. He has no idea where to start and no desire to figure it out if he’s honest. The job had gotten to him a long time ago. He knew it, he knew everyone else knew it, but they just kept going along with no one really knowing what to do with that information.

“Boot covers!! Miller, I almost forgot my damn boot covers.”

Miller obliges scurrying around in a fashion that too-closely resembles that of the tiny cockroaches invading the crime scene. This time, though, he brings coffee along with the boot covers and is rewarded by a quick slash of a smile and a mumbled thanks when he hands them both over.

Grant stands back a bit not wanting the air in the trailer to taint his first cup of joe for the day. He leans against the side of the wobbly iron railing on the front porch steps wondering if he is going to go crashing through the rotted wood before he can even make it inside. The place doesn't even have
that fancy vinyl siding. It's rusted through in places, green and black with mold where it should have been white and faded to a soft brown where it should have been dark. He takes it all in, sipping his coffee, taking mental notes of the whole scene. If he's honest with himself, though, he's stalling but recognizing that fact really doesn't do much to get him motivated.

Deputies have already been inside after getting the 911 call from another trailer in the park. No one in there is alive. There’s no urgency to this, so he stays on the porch sipping his coffee and preparing for the day ahead.

This particular trailer park is a frequent stop for the county officers. One of the residents happens to be a Neo-Nazi in the American Nazi Party whose affiliates are more than a bit rowdy and always antagonizing the other residents especially those who don’t fit their standards of acceptability. It never ceases to amaze him how people seemingly dredged from the cesspools of society feel they can lay down judgment on others, but a good chunk of his job in this area deals with just's case too most likely.

People were too much for him these days, he reckons. When he started this job so long ago, he had so much pride in what he could accomplish and the ways he could help people, but that pride had faded so long ago he couldn’t remember what it ever felt like. All that is left is a weight so heavy he doesn’t think he can bear it another year until he can officially retire especially on days like today knowing what he is about to walk into…knowing there is nothing he can do to help these people and save them from their shitty lives in this shanty of a trailer or from the horror of their final moments. All he can do is try to get the right person behind bars. And at the end of the day, he has learned the hard way that putting someone in prison for the rest of their life doesn’t fix anything. Sure, it might be justice, but it’s no real help. It doesn’t give people their folks back. It doesn’t reverse time. It sure as hell doesn’t give closure or any of those other shiny words politicians seem to vomit in political speeches about being tough on crime.

He takes another sip already nearing the bottom of the cup when he notices a few pairs of eyes on him.

“I’m gonna go in when I’m good and damn ready. Just gimme a minute here. What’s the rush?”

Those eyes quickly dart away and pretend to be busy on other things leaving him in peace at least for the moment. He swirls the remaining sips of gas station brew in the bottom of the cup. This particular cup had a pretty high burnt factor. It must have been the bottom of the pot. It’s not like he can expect some gourmet blend, but he hopes the next one will be a little stronger and a little better and away from this godawful trailer park.

With that thought, he motions for Miller to grab the cup from him who quickly obliges. Then he takes a final breath of the semi-fresh air outside the entrance to the place, grits his teeth, and steps inside all while hoping this isn’t the case that breaks him.

________________________________________________________________________                                 Baking In A Tornado                          Spatulas on Parade                      The Bergham’s Life Chronicles                                          The Momisodes                           Southern Belle Charm                Confessions of a part-time working mom                   Someone Else’s Genius                 Stacy Sews and Schools                              Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                    Searching for Sanity                              Climaxed                     Eileen’s Perpetually Busy                             Juicebox Confession                                  Battered Hope


  1. The imagery in your stories is so real I feel like I can reach out and touch these places. I love how you put what's in your mind into mine.

  2. A well written to, what I hope is, an introduction? I was there in that trailer park. Thankfully, I was able to NOT smell what he did.

  3. Amazing. I could feel the heat and see it all in my mind. Hoping it continues

  4. Amazing. I could feel the heat and see it all in my mind. Hoping it continues

  5. Um.

    This isn't just another teasing snippet is it friend?

    I love how you can take a moment, a simple moment, and make the audience hunger for more, make us forget this was based off a few words, make us fall in love with your writing and look forward to the next time you write.

    1. You know, Ive kinda gotten hooked my stories dropping in on a person in the middle of a moment and leaving the reader with their imaginations running wild. I like that--imagining people in their moments--then leaving them be and letting them live their lives.

  6. I lived in a trailer park just like that, minus the Neo-Nazi. At least, I hope so.

    1. there always seems to be a neo nazi lurking in the shadows.

      ha. i dont know. that just sounded good.

  7. You never cease to amaze me with how well you paint these scenes. I'm always left wanting more when the story ends, and this was no exception. Thank you for yet another entertaining read.

  8. You had me from the first word and I thoroughly enjoyed what you did with my words -- it was a challenge and you did a fabulous job! Great story

  9. I'm nervously looking around me. Is there a bad guy somewhere..?