SmokeyKitty's Short Story Collection

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SmokeyKitty's Short Story Collection

Postby SmokeyKitty » July 2nd, 2017, 11:23:20 pm

Hello! This is just a thread created to get critiques on my writing and something to help me get back into writing in general. I haven't really written any stories for several years and I miss it, so I thought this would be a good place to start. Anyways, these are just going to be short stories - they won't be connected to each other all the time, though there may be a few 2 or 3 part stories here and there.

Comments are welcome, and please remember to be kind and helpful in your critiques! Everyone has a different writing style/technique.

(p.s. I know I have a bad habit of constantly switching between past/present tenses - I try not to but I can't always catch myself)


"Hey, pig! Don't eat all of it!" Anita exclaims as the dog devours half the pepperoni stick.
"Jerk..." she mutters under her breath. "Might as well have it now, seeing as you slobbered all over it."

Odin's nub wags wildly as he quickly snatches the rest of the stick, nearly swallowing it whole. "One day you're going to choke, and I don't know the heimlich for dogs...if there even is one." She reaches over and scratches behind his ear, his reddish coat gleaming in the sweltering afternoon sun. Thankfully, the A/C works - barely.

"Few more miles and we'll stop somewhere." Anita tells him before smiling as he barks softly.

Twenty minutes later, the white Chevy rattles into an old gas station. The pumps are rusted over and look like they haven't been used in over 50 years. There's a shack a few feet away with barely any paint left, and dozens of metal signs. One is for Kodak cameras, another for Camel cigarettes, while there are several for 7up as well as Coca-Cola. A man sits in a rocking chair outside of the shack; he appears older than the shack and pumps combined. His hands calloused and worn, his face full of wrinkles.

"Is he..." Anita whispers, moving closer to the man before she and Odin immediately jump backwards. A large, scruffy dog stands at the end of his chain, barking and snarling menacingly at them. This causes the man to finally stir.

"Huh..wha?" he sits up quickly before his eyes land on Anita and Odin, studying them for a moment. "Well do ya want some gas or are ya gonna just stand and gawk at an old geezer all day?" his voice is rough, but reminded Anita of her grandfather. The dog is simply staring at them, a low growl escaping his throat.

She stumbles over her words, trying to think of what to say. "Yes..."

"'Yes' what?" he demands, staring at her intently.

"I-I need to..fill up my truck..." she starts, straightening herself out quickly. "With gas, I mean." He's just an old man with a dog, what is there to be afraid of? Aside from the fact they were in the middle of nowhere.

Anita watches as he pulls out a small calculator, which looks surprisingly new. "Let's see...carry the four, add the two..." he continues muttering to himself before looking up at her. "That'll be $24.93."

"Oh, I don't think I have that much." Anita tells him before the man shrugs and leans back in his chair. "Well if ya ain't got the money, than kindly allow me to return to my nap."

He closes his eyes and starts to drift off to sleep again. She narrows her eyes, looking him over a bit and taking a step closer. "Hey.." Her voice stern and demanding, which makes the man open his eyes. "I've driven one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty five miles so far. I am not about to let some sour, grumpy, wrinkly old man ruin the last 300 miles for me."

Anita moves towards the pump and tries to figure out how to work the ancient relic. "Can you believe him? Jeez, I don't think you were ever that grumpy. Maybe during Christmas when you got socks instead of the Harley you wanted..." She mutters before smiling to herself. "But then grandma pulled up on it in the driveway and..." Anita stops when the old man speaks again.

"Who in the sam hill are ya talkin' to, young lady?" he asks as he surveys the truck, looking for any other person that could be inside.

Anita feels a chill run up her spine when she hears him, becoming frozen in place. "Hello? I asked ya a question, missy." the man says before Anita sighs. "My grandpa..."

"Grandpa? Missy, don't play games with me. The only ones in that truck were that hound of yours and..." he stops and watches her as she opens the truck, reaching in and pulling out a lustrous metallic blue urn.

"My grandpa...." she explains, holding the urn close to her chest as if she's afraid of dropping it.

"Oh...I'm sorry, miss. I am known for bein' a little mean spirited at times." he says before shaking his head and walking towards the pump. "Nevermind the cost, little lady. Just let me fill it up and ya can be on your way."

Anita stops as she looks up at him, shaking her head slightly. "But mister...don't you need the money? I mean, it's just you in this shack with your dog, isn't it?" she cradles the urn in one arm while she retrieves her wallet, pulling out her last thirteen dollars. "Here, take it. I know it's not enough for a full tank, but I can't just leave without giving you something."

The man studies her for a moment, hesitantly taking the money from her. "Well...thank ya. Thank ya very much." he tells her, turning to full up the tank.

As he stands there, her eyes take in the minute details of his person. Gray hair is poking out from underneath a ragged Texas Longhorns hat that desperately needs to be replaced. He's wearing a red plaid shirt that is neatly and securely tucked into the waist of his jeans, a pair of dirty, worn Levi's. There's also his boots - a pair of black steel toes that look like they've just come out of the box.

The truck is almost full when Anita finally notices the faded tattoos on his arms. Some are portraits of what one can only assume are his wife, kids, grandkids, or all of the above. Others consist of flowers, a few quotes, but Anita stops when she sees the eagle behind an old U.S. Air Force insignia.

"Were you in the air force?" she asks curiously, still studying the tattoo until he turns to look at her.

"How did ya know that?" his tone almost defensive as he looks her over. "Don't ya know ya shouldn't ask people questions like that?"

Anita blinks a few times as she looks up at him, shaking her head. "I didn't mean...I was only asking because my grandpa was too. He fought in the Koran War." The words escaping her mouth almost in a whisper. "I saw your tattoo and I just assumed..."

He looks at her for a moment before turning back to top off the tank, refusing to speak another word. "I'm sorry if I upset you, that wasn't my intention." she tells him, but he stays silent.

A cool breeze blows past as they stand there, neither one daring to utter another word. When the tank is full, he replaces the nozzle back on it's stand and heads back towards his chair. Anita watches him closely a few seconds more. "Come on, Odin." she moves back over to the truck with him, allowing him in the cab before moving in herself and placing the urn back to it's previous position on the seat.

She buckles herself in and slips the key into the ignition, stopping when the man finally speaks. "What was his name? Your granddad..." Anita looks out the window at him, moving her hands to the steering wheel. "Bruce Williams. He operated an F-84 Thunderjet."

"Bruce Williams..." he mutters to himself, racking his brain for the source of where he knew this name. Soon enough, he stands up and moves into the dilapidated shack. He disappears for a few moments before returning to his chair, this time with a large photo album in his hands. Anita sits and stares for a few moments before allowing her curiosity to get the better of her. "Stay." she tells Odin, getting out of the truck and moving to pull an old milk crate up next to the man.

He feverishly flips through the album, scanning every photo carefully until he slaps his hands against the pages. "Bruce, my ol' pal!" he exclaims as he stops on the pages with photos of himself and Bruce.

"You knew my grandpa?" she asks while leaning closer to study the photos. "Sure pilot in our ranks. We were friends all through high school." he moves his fingers over the photos, his expression becoming more forlorn. "We lost touch after the war...I didn't know he passed."

Anita glances up at him for a few moments. "Are you Richard?" He stops and looks up at her, his eyes brightening slightly. "Ya know my name?"

"Of course I do." she finally smiles as she looks at him. "Grandpa never stopped talking about you. He told us all stories of his best friend Rich all the time."

Richard sits tall as he listens to her, an elated smile taking over his withered face. "I figured he'd just plain forgot me." he tells her, his demeanor changing completely.

She shakes her head and turns to face him. "How could he? He told us all once that you saved his life." Richard looks down at the album with a bashful smile. "Oh he was exaggeratin', he always liked to do that.. 'Sides, it's a long story and I don't think ya have the time to listen to an old coot like me jabber on forever."

Anita moves a hand to his arm, looking up at him with a smile. "If you have the stories, I have the time."
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Re: SmokeyKitty's Short Story Collection

Postby Deumos » November 26th, 2017, 4:07:59 pm

That was a great story thanks for sharing!!!



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