In case you think it’s easier to write something short, think again. If you can whip out 2,000 words in a good day of writing, it will take you two good days to cut it down to 150. I decided to have a go anyway.
N.B. If you find yourself counting, have a word with someone about OCD.
You’re Not Here
He didn’t stop, just kept charging straight to the bar, big fists balled by his side. Janine stopped talking and moved aside. Her split skirt flashed smooth leg.
‘Where’s Jim?’ he growled. Growled, like a pit bull.
‘Jim who?’ I said, and wiped some glasses. Casual.
‘Just Jim,’ Pit Bull said.
‘He’s not here.’
‘Tell that mf he better start wearing rear view mirrors because I’m coming up behind him.’
Then he was gone, like a summer squall. It was quieter in the bar than I’d seen it. Janine smoked and looked at the wall. I had something to say, something funny, but I couldn’t remember it.
‘I think his name’s Elmo,’ Irish Mike said over his Bud.
‘Nobody’s named Elmo.’
At closing time I asked if she wanted me to walk her home. She didn’t answer.
Later she said, ‘You’re not here, Jim--remember?’