This is a snippet from a story I wrote many, many years ago. I like it, even out of context. In context it’s awful. The viewpoint character in this story is a pimp who has groomed a teenage boy and then turned him out as a prostitute. I spend a lot of the story making you hate this character. Then I do this to him. My goal is to engender a tiny speck of sympathy in the reader for a character who should be beyond sympathy. Also, this snippet is from my first long piece of fiction. I don’t know the word count. It was at 70 pages, single spaced, typewritten because I didn’t have a computer yet. I lost the manuscript, and didn’t write anything long again for more than a decade.
Four Eyes was having a bad day. First Mikey came back with his little tramp, then he couldn’t get his fix, and now these fucking storm troopers were hassling people in his path. He tried to look down, be smaller than he was, pass them without attracting attention. One of them pushed his shoulder, said “Hey boy, watch where the fuck you’re going”. He mumbled an apology, still hoping he could get by without incident. The one who pushed him stepped out of his way, but another one stepped in front of him and smashed him in the stomach.
The pain was unexpected. He’d been hit plenty of times, but never like this. Waves of nausea flew through his body, he fell, puking on the sidewalk. The one who punched him leaned over him, showed him a picture of some guy. “Hey fuckface, you seen this dude? Nobody seems to know who he is, but I know people know him.” some random boring white guy… but he knew the jacket the guy was wearing, he’d seen it on Cat. He didn’t say anything though, couldn’t really breathe. “Okay, no, how about this guy?”. This time the picture filled him with panic, it was a picture of Mikey. Why the hell would corpsec be looking for Mikey? Still, he held his tongue, even though by this point he might have been able to talk, his breath was returning slowly. The lead goon, the one who kept asking him questions, drew his foot back, smashed Four Eyes in the rib with a steel toed boot. Four eyes was pretty sure his ribs were broken. Every breath caused a sharp pain to radiate through his body, vomiting was even worse, but his body betrayed him, and he puked, and puked, and puked. After that the goons took turns kicking him, in his body, in his face… all he could do was try to cradle his face in his hands to minimize the damage. Everything was blurry, but he could just make out his glasses, one lens cracked, out of the corner of his eye. He started sobbing, saying “I need my glasses, please, give them back to me. I can’t see without them, please, I need them.”
The leader stomped down, hard, cracking Four Eyes’ skull. He turned, ignoring the blood pooling into the gutter. A single dandelion was pushing it’s way through the cracks in the sidewalk. His boot came down on it, smashing the tiny speck of life.