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The desert sun baked my face and blinded me. I squinted and could see birds circling over my head. Maybe the birds knew how this was going to end for me, and they were watching and wishing me farewell. I hoped not. The cliff behind me created a drop of 300 feet, and the only thing between me and the ground below was Brock’s fist of balled up, cotton tee-shirt at my chest. Two other cronies were standing behind him at the car. They were talking about football like it was any other day, like they had seen this a million times. Then Brock talked to me in a tone that suggested we were still friends, and still working together for the same soulless bastard.
“I don’t think this will hurt a bit,” Brock said, “fall this long, and you’ll die instantly.”
“I guess so,” I said, as if I was grateful.
“I tried to warn you before,” Brock said, “never break another man’s piggy bank.”
“I guess your right,” I said. I thought about how the free fall might feel before hitting the ground. I wasn’t sure if I would panic, or if I would have some kind of revelation about my pathetic life, like a moment of divine inspiration or something.
“Don’t be scared,” Brock said, “all cowards go to hell.”
I laughed. “We’re both cowards,” I said, “and a lot worse. We’re living parasites, like life-sized leeches.”
“I never really thought of it that way,” Brock said, “I was just doing what I had to. I have to live, just like everyone else.”
I looked Brock in the face and it seemed I was seeing him for what he was for the first time: a cold-blooded sociopath.
“Let me go,” I said. He released and I grabbed his arm. We both fell, to sleep on the rocks below.

Allan Onik


The following comments are for "Desert Brothers"
by Bradburyskin

a few tiny things
I like the general energy of this little story. I'm not into the ending. The line "We both fell, to sleep on the rocks below" is a little off in my opinion. Overall, it's nicely droll.

( Posted by: paperbackwriter [Member] On: June 4, 2008 )

free fall
I like the width of this; I mean you manage to span a good deal of life in this brief piece. We've all worked for the soulless bastard, we've all done things we knew were wrong even before we did them, and we hung out with the wrong dudes even though we knew they would just as quickly toss us under a train. In that sense it reaches into my life experiences.

The one thing that seems a little cartoonish though is the scenery -- hanging off a cliff, waiting to fall. I wonder if you might manage to add just a couple of sentences that can somehow set the scene a little -- somehow describe how the characters came to the position they are in.

I like the cronies in the background talking football. That adds a realism to the sociopathic personalities that are involved.

Good job


( Posted by: bwoz [Member] On: June 4, 2008 )

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