Alex Will Pay For This

The shelf is hard under my chin. I am growing weary in this godawful place. Never turning, never moving at all, trapped in a death I would not wish on anyone. Alex will pay for this.

++++

As Alex approached the library in his sumptuous home, he felt a tingle in the middle of his back. The cold air from the vents in the ceiling could not dispel the beads of sweat on his forehead and the back of his neck. “What is wrong with me?” he thought as he reached for the door handle. Boris had been dead now for over a year, and the carvings on his skull were guaranteed to keep his spirit trapped inside. “So what is the problem?”

++++

I feel his presence approaching. He will pay. He will pay. Let him look this way. Then he will pay.

++++

Alex stepped inside, his eyes avoiding that hideous skull. Instinct told him not to look, but curiosity and something unavoidable pulled relentlessly at him. Maybe it was his guilt. After all, I was his best friend until I stole his wife.

++++

Fleeing the skull through the eye sockets, Alex overwhelms Boris’ life essence and takes possession. Triumph and retribution reign. I will be with my wife once again.

19 thoughts on “Alex Will Pay For This

  1. I liked the concept here, but I confess that the switching from 3rd to 1st person confused me.
    And when ‘Alex overwhelms Boris’ I am totally baffled.
    Sorry.

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      1. So Alex thought. But Boris was able to overcome the trap of the carvings on the skull. It is like trying to keep the dinosaurs on the island and making them all female so they could not procreate. They found a way despite the best efforts of those trying to control a situation. I guess I could have done a better job if I spent a few more hours trying to cram my ideas into two hundred words. With 3-400 words it would have been much easier.

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  2. Coll story, but I’m with Caer that when using italics to display different POV, switching from first person to third is confusing. It pulls you out of the story as effective as dropping an iron on the floor.

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  3. Very sinister….Worked for me; it’s the sort of style I use, narrative ‘hoping’ about all over the place. In a very broad way not dissimilar to watching a film with several strong characters.
    Picture leading in, sets the scene.

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    1. Thanks. That picture is what got me going with the skull on what appears to be a shelf. I am working on making better POV shifts and the experiment doesn’t work for everyone. I am a work in progress.

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  4. I liked the back and forth POV. For me, the italics worked well.

    What threw me was the last piece for the skull (scoundrel that he was). I believe, for consistency, it should have read something like:
    “I flee the skull through the eye sockets….” to maintain that character’s POV.

    Love the tale though! Keep experimenting!

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    1. Thanks Jesse. In my novel, my editor had me leave a blank line between POV changes. Also, since the spirit in the skull could not talk to anyone, i used the italics to indicate internal thoughts as opposed to quoted speech. We have to keep trying to find out what really works.

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  5. Interesting use on the image. I see what you mean about the pov, bt the last paragraph has two different ones. If it is because he no longer thinks in the skull, would it maybe become “Alex will be with his wife once again”

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  6. Good story. I agree it’s a little confusing but we’re all learning. I know I am. I’m working on writing longer short stories. I see you and your wife live in Greensboro, NC. Before moving to India, we lived there. Our children both graduated from Page H.S. and our son still lives near there and works in Greensboro. Our daughter is an actor so moved to Chicago. All the best in your future writing. 🙂 — Suzanne (Joshi)

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    1. Thanks, Charles. I wish I could get back for a visit. My husband is bedridden here in Pune so I can’t get back as things stand. I have a caregiver for him and have to manage things. One day I’ll probably come back there to live. My son will never live away from Greensboro. It’s home and he has a good job as a law librarian in a large firm there. I appreciate your great offer. 🙂 — Suzanne

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