I finally got around to editing Sheriff Woods, and I've now submitted it to the competition. Here is a little section I particularly enjoyed writing, its from, sort of, the middle I guess. Early middle, let's say.
‘So then the Sherriff stood back up and looked around. His eyes fell on a young man by the name of White, young Jimmy White it was, and the Sherriff’s spurs clicked in time with the dull thud his boots made on the boards as he walked over. His percussive tread made the steely eyes he had fixed on Jimmy somehow more threatening, and you could tell Jimmy felt it in a chill up his back from the way he squirmed under that stare. Jimmy had been leaning up against the windowsill looking out with that hopefulness only known to the young, and the Sheriff span a chair round to put his boot up on, trapping Jimmy in his little corner of sun.
‘Jimmy said, with a voice that shook as much as his hand when I saw him raise a Colt for the first time.’
“Good afternoon James.”
‘The Sheriff paused long enough for one of his rare smirks to curl the edges of his mouth, which just so happened to be the same exact amount of time that Jimmy could hold his breath in before he had to explosively exhale,
“Aw c’mon Sherriff, I’m dying here! What d’you want?! Whatever it is, I didn’t do it, I swear!”
“You know Jeremy James, James?”
“Yes sir, I do.”
“Were you drinking with him in here last night?”
“I sure was, we left around midnight, I remember because the church bell had gone off not long before. Of course, I live on ridge side and he lives down the valley so we went our separate ways at the door.”
“You sure you went your separate ways at the door?”
“Well yeah, I told him I’d meet him here today at three o’clock and said goodnight. Looks like he’s late.”
“Something tells me he’s a little more than late, Son. Jeremy James is dead.”
‘Jimmy White’s composure changed at the news, starting in his eyes and ears where the news first hit, then trickling through his body like the water up the top of the mountain where the river’s just a baby. Eventually his whole body was like a wet sack of malt and his eyes, normally as sharp as .45 slugs just pressed into the chamber, thinking excitedly of the moment they’ll be fired, were more like the empty shells that fall in the dust to be trodden on and turn to rust. He slumped against the window and slid down, spilling his drink as his body spilled limply onto the window sill.
I hope you liked it. I believe I should hear by the end of may whether I made it into the short list (of 3) which will go onto the website for further judgement. Fingers crossed till then.
Here's another (minor) redraft of a poem I posted not long ago that I revised after some constructive comments from one Christopher Littlefair (many thanks Chris). I read it at the recent reading with Joe Kriss and Kayo (I don't know how to spell his surname), and it went down very well.
When you look up from your drink
With hungover, listless eyes,
I see the sunrise on an autumn day,
crisp and hung with dew, which slowly
splashes the drowsy trees
shaking the tiredness from their leaves.
In my mouth the words taste like medicine,
as I try to explain, inarticulate and fumbling,
that I have to go away. I drain my cup,
Stand and look at this beautiful breaking day.
Oh, fuck it all. Perhaps I’ll stay.
That's all folks.