Quiet place

A d’Verse prosery prompt

Down the block from my city apartment, the mack was pimping underage girls. The street was getting to me; all the animals; whores, hustlers, thugs, junkies, sick, venal. War had been less filthy than this hell, but I tried to keep my food down. I had been losing weight.

Only Iris sensed my despair. She sat me down to have it out, suggested some New Agey exercises to calm my mind. I smiled. Good kid, Iris. Gave me an idea, actually.

Measuring my breaths, I holstered my Ruger and turned left out from my apartment. As I walked, I visualized my quiet place, just like she’d said; I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head. I had to. The slick fuck thought I was just another customer and winked at me.

That’s when I blew his brains out.

It’s prosery time at d’Verse. The rules are simple:

  1. Use an assigned line in the body of your prose. You may change the punctuation and capitalization, but you are not allowed to insert any words within the line itself. You can add words at the beginning and/or at the end of the line; but the line itself must remain intact.
  2. Your prose can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction. YOU CAN NOT WRITE A POEM for this prompt. AND, your prose should be no longer than 144 words, sans title. It does not have to be exactly 144 words. But it can be no longer than 144 words.

The assigned line was:

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head

-William Butler Yeats, ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ (a poem)

52 thoughts on “Quiet place”

  1. Oh yikes! Yes, I’d say this is more than gritty. 😏. I suspect he’s thought of firing that gun often–but the irony of imagining a calm, peaceful place before blasting someone’s head. . .

  2. If you hadn’t, then I definitely would have! This is wonderfully vivid and poignant ❤️

  3. David,
    Oh what a great story! I could see it unfolding in Humphrey Bogart’s voice, down to the last much-to-be-desired second. This hard-bitten character with a strong sense of justice is perfectly drawn. Kudos!

  4. Well, that’s one less. Reminds me of Taxi Driver. How you have the nerve to call my prose depressing! This is the urban pits, so lusciously described. Good one 🙂

  5. Wow, dramatic use of the prompt! I like the noirish presentation, and it sounds like this guy got what was coming to him…

    1. Thank you! If you liked this, I would recommend the movie Taxi Driver, which I watched just minutes before writing this 😉 – what I wrote was heavily inspired by that movie with Robert De Niro.

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