Friday Fictioneers: The Hit Man

Posted: January 25, 2013 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , , , ,

copyright Renee Homan Heath

I had nothng for this until my son woke me at 4 o’clock this morning getting ready for work. Hmm… Nah. He’s a good kid! The story started out a little soft, but I think it ended up pretty hard-boiled. Ha! Okay, what do you expect at 5 a.m.? Monty Python? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

The Hit Man

Genre: Crime

My uncle had always considered the world his ashtray and human life something to be snuffed out like the unfiltered menthols he habitually left at the scene of a job. It was appropriate, perhaps, that he was found buried in the sand, vertical, head down, only his feet visible still sporting his signature white crew socks with blue stripes. It was a cosmic joke that I happened to be on duty that day, a joke at my expense that I told myself over and over again sitting by the ocean later, watching the salt water wash the white beach clean.

I hope you liked my drabble. Read more great flash fiction at Friday Fictioneersโ€™ on Rochelle Wisoff-Fieldsโ€™ blog. Or add one of your own!

  1. Buried vertically! That took a lot of work. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This feels very human, especially with Uncle’s signature socks!

  2. Dear Keli,
    I think it should be “vertically”. Aside from that…stellar and funny.

    • keliwright says:

      I wrestled with that one. I used vertical, the adjective describing the state of the body, rather than vertically, the adverb modifying the manner in which the body was buried. I think technically this is correct, but it does read kind of oddly. Maybe this is a situation where proper isn’t correct. Or maybe I should just restructure the sentence.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. keliwright says:

    I changed the burial sentence. Hopefully it reads more clearly now. Thanks to Rochell and Joanna for pointing it out!

  4. I absolutely adore the way you write. The wording is spectacular.

  5. rich says:

    when you said the salt water was washing the white beach clean, were you connecting that to the guy who was dead? as if life in general was “washed clean” now that he was gone? also, “vertical” is correct. it describes his position. “he was found buried in the sand, vertical, head down…” you can cut and jump over “buried in the sand” and say “he was found vertical.” if you were to say “he was found vertically,” that would mean vertically (adverb) is describing *how* he was found, meaning what the people did to find him. i know i’m not explaining this well. anyway, stick with vertical.

    • keliwright says:

      Thanks, Rich. And yes, there was something metaphysical in the washing of the beach. Cleansing the world, cleansing the nephew’s soul (his emotion represented in the saltiness of the water). But, hey, it can also just be a string of cigarette butt images and jokes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Anne Orchard says:

    There’s a great voice telling this story, you can imagine it sustaining a much longer piece. Sounds like uncle got pretty much what he deserved in the end.

  7. juliabernards says:

    You are such a rockin’ writer, Keli. I haven’t read anything of yours that was only so-so. I love this piece!

  8. Keli, I really enjoyed your story. Just enough edge and I love your first sentence.


  9. I really like the dry humor in the gruesome tale (especially the socks) well done.

  10. billgncs says:

    I liked this, and sensed that at the end, the beach and perhaps his life had a stain removed.

  11. Hi Keli,
    It’s amazing how these ideas come in the early hours. It’s like your brain works it out while you’re sleeping. I’ve experienced the same thing. Ron

  12. “My uncle had always considered the world his ashtray “– a great image. I also liked the ending to this.

  13. tedstrutz says:

    Absolutely loved the first line! Good story… in fact, I loved the last line too…

  14. deanabo says:

    This is really good!

  15. annisik51 says:

    He got stubbed out, eh? A great metaphor for karmic payoff.

    • keliwright says:

      That’s the word I was looking for! Being a teetotaling non-smoker can be a real detriment when it comes to writing “hard-boiled” detective fiction. Maybe I should stick with cozy mysteries. Nah. Here’s to karma! (Raises glass of lemon water.)

      • annisik51 says:

        I’m with you, though I’ve found no evidence to suggest that the massacre of lemons invites less karma than the massacre of grapes. Will stick with the grapes ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Joe Owens says:

    What a way to go! Ah the psychology of a sleep deprived mom writing about the sand.

  17. If I’m reading this correctly, both uncle and nephew are making a living out of crime – but the nephew is a cop, solving crimes like the ones Uncle commits. And he has the bad luck to find his uncle’s body, or be the first policeman called to the scene. Right? I like the details of the blue and white socks and the menthol cigarettes – makes the uncle someone we can picture.

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