First go at The Fence




This is my first try at a bit of the story The Fence.I’m not quite satisfied with it yet, but I think it’s important to put it out there. I think there’s a huge issue with getting the narrator’s voice right, and I don’t find him very convincing. Consider this a first stab.




At three a.m.. There’s pounding on my door. It happens every now and then. I figure it’s the neighbors,drunk or high and don’t know where they live anymore. I stumble down the stairs. I don’t even bother to put clothes on for it anymore. They’re not worth the trouble. Most people block out the sight of a fat man in his underwear anyway. Mostly asleep, I lean against the door to press my face to the peephole. I shit myself.

A shadow monster about six and a half feet tall and solid as Rushmore. Disbelieving, I see the peephole-distorted vision of his arm unnaturally huge as it swings up to start pounding again. Reality hits when his fist impacts and the door bends against the deadbolt and my nose cracks.

I panic and jump back, trembling. I stumble around my condo, frantically tossing the mess I never get around to straightening, fighting with myself to remember where I kept my fire extinguisher. I desperately wish I collected guns or swords or something useful.

More pounding. I wince every time.

I stare at the door, thinking of and abandoning plans as fast as they flip through my mind. My ears ring with adrenaline and my eyes are full of sharp stars.Is this going to be how I look when I die?

There is a pause in the pounding, but the echo of it continues in my head louder than reality. I’m desperate to move, but my legs won’t go. I twitch, stumble on nothing and crumple onto, then sliding off of the papers on the coffee table.

Rushmore doesn’t have any more patience for me. Two kicks at the frame. Just two, and my door caves and cracks away from the jam. Heavy boots step deliberately into the room. I try to shimmy my gut into the space beneath the sofa. The fingers that wrap around my ankle could have squeezed open spinach cans. As he drags me across the rug I try spinning to get a better look at him, but yanking my ankle back only made me flop around. I’m a fish in tighty whites. He stoops over and forces me, heaving and rug burned, onto a kitchen chair.

Now I see him. He really is huge. Black trench coat. Black boots and hair and expression.

“Don’t move your arse.” He pointed his finger and shoved my head back so hard the chair rocked and skidded back on the linoleum.


~ by jesstracey on August 29, 2011.

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