I wrote this for the ending of Fig Street, then let it sit for almost a year. During that year it came back to me often, along with ending the book another way. I finally re-read Fig Street cover to cover and decided I didn’t like it as an ending and completely re-wrote the ending in a different direction. If you are a fan of reading a writer’s unpublished work, check the entire ending out below, Dell…
NOTE: This work is not edited for content or errors, but is raw, the way I wrote it initially, Dell…
Dusty Weston flicked the lights off on his old Chevy, a mile before the small stream cut into the black. The small stream that made a perfect place to fish The Black. The small stream where River Jim had his tent.
He killed the motor and coasted over the small bridge and then braked to a stop just off the road in a little turnout just past the bridge. The driver’s side window was open and he could hear crickets, frogs, and the crash of water as the Black flowed over the dam and down the river proper into Glennville.
His eyes scanned the bank that fronted the stream, and rested on the tent, a pale blob in the sparse light, except for a bright flare of light from inside the tent. A shadow moved across the light, and a second later the light went out.
Dusty reached across the seat, punched the glove box button, and caught it as it opened to save any noise it might make. He reached inside and puled out a .38, the same .38 he had shot Big John with. He flicked open the cylinder, checked, clicked it closed and carefully opened his door. He kept the button pushed in as he closed the door. A slight click as he released it, and nothing else. He turned, looked up and down the road, listened carefully, and then carefully made his way down the embankment to the waiting tent below. The light flared, and just before he reached the flatness of the bank, River Jim stepped out of the tent hunched, over, straightened and the sat down outside the tent.
Dusty held his breath for a few more seconds and then released it slowly. He took a small step, another, made the flat ground of the bank and walked slowly through the darkness toward the tent.
Over on Fig Street, twelve year old Bobby Weston was just saying his good-nights to Moon Calloway, and preparing to climb the rope that dangled before him from his second floor bedroom window.
Sneaking out at night, was a ritual for both boys, and it wasn’t like there was anyone much to catch them, they both knew. Usually their fathers were out drinking all night long.
Their mothers of course weren’t invited on these nightly forays, but both were good friends, and practicing alcoholics themselves, and usually one or the other would be at the others house, and not actually at home. They didn’t worry about leaving the boys at home alone. After all, they had been brought up the same way, and they had turned out just fine, Debbie Weston often pointed out. Rhonda Calloway always agreed.
In truth at any given time either of them would have been hard pressed to say where the boys were. In further truth, neither of them could have cared less. So long as they weren’t bothering them, or hanging around pissing off their fathers, they were happy.
Neither family had much going for it. Moon’s family lived down the block from Bobby’s, on the north side of Glennville, their fathers had known one another all their lives, but Moon and Bobby had only recently become acquainted. They liked each other though, and spent nearly all their free time together, which, considering their families lack of attention, was a great deal.
Tonight, they both knew, Bobby’s mom was at Moons house. They where both dead drunk, passed out in the living room. They knew that to be a fact, they had just come from there.
“So, you comin’ over tomorrow, man? We can ride our bikes to school,” Bobby asked softly.
“Probly. Hey, where d’ya think our dads are?”
They had walked past The Rusty Nail, where both of their fathers did their drinking, earlier, and neither car had been there.
“Dunno, hope they left, maybe they did,” Bobby replied. Both of them were known to disappear from time to time.
Moon nodded quietly. “So… Early?”
“Yeah, if they’re out this late, they’ll be really mean tomorrow. I don’t wanna be around. We can hang out down at the old coal shacks til school starts,” Bobby finished. He turned to the rope, quickly climbed it, and looked down from the window at Moon. “Early, early!,” he whispered loudly.
“Cool,” Moon whispered back. He turned, slipped into the shadows, and disappeared from view.
Bobby edged the window closed, walked to the narrow cot in one corner of the room and laid down, glad that neither of his parents were home. It was much easier to sleep. On more than one occasion his old man had dragged him out of bed and strapped him for no good reason in the middle of the night. Then of course there were always the fights. His father would come home drunk, threaten to take Bobby, and he would end up woke up, stood in the living room, and made to chose who he was staying with or going with.
It didn’t look like that would be happening tonight, though, thank God. He said a silent prayer, and ten minutes later he was fast asleep.
In Glennville, camped on a small stream that cut away from the Black River, James Singleton sat quietly outside his tent listening to the night. The kids that came down here to play, called him River Jim. He didn’t mind. He’d hitch hiked up here from Buffalo better than fifteen years ago, set up the first tent-this was the third-and had been living here every since.
He liked it. It suited him even. And if he’d stayed in Buffalo, he’d still be in jail, for rape. That’s what had put him on the road, and it hadn’t even been his fault. She’d lied, straight out and simple like. She hadn’t been no eighteen, she’d been all of fourteen was all. And Jesus had he been scared when she’d told the cops and they’d come callin’.
Lucky thing was, callin’ was all they’d come to do. They wasn’t convinced yet. They’d told him to stay close like, but fuck that. He’d cut out, not more than an hour after they’d gone. And he’d never looked back. He’d been living right here on the Black ever since.
He fished the Black, and that supplied most of his needs. Occasional he’d bargain with one of the locals for some venison, bear, whatever he could get. And he had traps all over the woods. There was nearly always a rabbit in one of them. And then there was the kids what would come down here to swim, and fish. He liked kids. He’d never touched a one of them either, although the urge had come on him more than once. Especially with a couple of the older girls.
But he hadn’t. He had it dicked here, he often told himself. He’d picked that particular expression up from Dusty Weston, who came down occasional to fish at night. It was a good sayin’. He did have it dicked, and he wasn’t about to fuck it up with one of them big-titted youngsters. No sir, he liked it here. And anyhow, now he had a friend.
It wasn’t a real big deal to catch a quick diddle, occasional. Turk Hayley was often down here, so was Dusty, and a course there was Big John Calloway too. Between them three, and a couple others, there were women bought down here, and once they was finished with them, for a beer or two, he could usually get a little. Not the best, mind you, and more than once he’d have to get a little something on the sly to take care of this or that, but for the most part it had worked out just fine.
Didn’t need it now though, he had his own now. He listened to the night song for a few more minutes, the dam was running hard too, when a soft voice from inside the tent interrupted his thoughts.
“You comin’ back in Jimmy?”
He smiled. “Comin’, Emma,” he said softly, “comin’ just now I was.”
He stood and turned back to the tent. He caught sight of something in the shadows, his heart leapt, but his heart had not yet begun to beat faster before it stopped cold in his chest and he toppled over to the ground. Somewhere slightly after the first sensation of his heart beginning its fear response, he heard the gunshot; a flat, loud crack. Its echo followed him to the ground.
Dusty turned toward the tent just as Millie poked her head out to see what was going on. “Dusty,” she managed, before he shot her in the face.
Absolute silence descended. No crickets, no frogs, it even seemed as though the river chose that time to stop cresting the dam, and the roar of falling water died away. Dusty stood listening for several minutes, long enough for the crickets to begin their chirruping again, and the frogs to return to croaking out their frog song.
He moved then. Within a few minutes he had the tent flat, and Jim and Millie laid out on top of it. A few minutes after that it was rolled and tied tight, and he was dragging it backwards up to his car. His breathing was harsh and ragged as he reached the back of the car, fished his keys from one pocket, and unlocked the trunk. The trunk lid sprung into the air. It was a little crowded, but the good thing about this Chevy was it’s ability hold more than you would think, Dusty thought. The body inside, and these two, fit with a little room to spare. He had to shove and re-position a little to get the lid closed, but it did close.
He stood for a moment, catching his breath, feeling his heart slow: Dragged a Pall Mall from his pack, spun the wheel on his Ronson, and fired it to life. He took a deep drag, coughed hard, and then took another. He liberated his pocket knife, cutting a small branch that over-hung the path as he went back down it. He reached the tent spot, kicked at some leaves and detritus with one boot, swept the area down with the branch, and then worked his way back up the path, erasing the drag-marks as he went.
He stood on the road, looking down at the tent site. No clue it had ever been there, except the yellowed and dead grass it had sat atop. He tossed the branch over the bank and into the brush. A second later the car roared to life and he made his way toward Huntingtonville a little further up the road. That would eventually take him toward Route 3, and Route 3 would take him north, out of Jefferson County.
He would take the three bodies up into the Southern Tier. A place he knew from hunting; well, drinkin’ mostly, he corrected himself. When he got back it would be time to light out. Get the family and head for Alabama… Different kind of life. Leave this place be for awhile. He pulled the knob from the dash that turned on the headlights, the darkness leapt away from the cars, falling back into the woods that bordered the road. …
I hope you enjoyed reading this scene I cut, to write a new ending. I still liked the scene and the characters it portrayed. If you want to read Fig Street you can get it at Amazon. The eBook if free today only…
The RAD Sandbox:
Option One Includes: RAD Sandbox: Rad Sandbox is a fully featured Game Maker and will run on Windows XP – 10
It is a 32 bit application. It comes with its own compiler, so you can easily compile and share the games you make.
It has many examples you can easily modify to make your own games.
Option Two Includes all of the above and the OFX 3D Modeler. OFX 3D Modeler: OFX modeler includes the OFX 3D Modeler. Sample models, the ability to open Direct X, 3DS, DXF, OBJ and more.
Export 3DS, DXF, STL, VRML. Includes built-in animation suite and complete documentation.
|Platform:||WIN XP, 7, 8, 10||E-Everyone|