Stanley – A Short Story – Part I

The following is the beginning to a short story I wrote a while ago, but was unsatisfied with and never finished. I have revised the first part and am planning on doing the same to the rest and finally finishing it. I will be posting it in weekly installments as I finish each section. That is the plan at least. If I am able to get it in direction I like. So, hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading.

Stanley – Part I

Washing his hands, Stanley watches the water turn a piss colored yellow as it runs over them and into the basin. He wonders if something is wrong with his health. That maybe he should make a doctor’s appointment. He sticks his head under the faucet to wet his hair down. Likes how the heat of the water streaming out of the faucet contrasts with the cold that has seeped into the house with the overnight chill.

Drops trickle down his neck as he towel dries and then brushes his hair. He checks his reflection in the mirror. Something catches his eye. Perhaps it is a sudden flash of insight into some lingering desperation. But not being able to place it, he quickly dismisses it, pushes it out of his mind, and moves on to brushing his teeth.

Down the stairs he walks quietly so as not to wake up Sophie. He goes to his study and takes a gun out of his desk. A pistol with a dull black handle. He removes the clip and does a quick but meticulous inspection. Reloads it. Puts it in a holster at his breast.

From the family room he hears the TV turn on. Cartoons playing. His youngest son, Pete, has just woken up. Stanley says good morning to him as he passes by the room on his way to the front door. Pete does not reply. Stanley puts on his hat and coat and whistles for Baxley. The dog walks casually up to him, and they go outside.

An early morning frost tickles the air. Clings to the grass. Burns his lungs. He surveys his property from the front porch. A long stretch of tree covered hills in an area once populated by loggers. The nearest neighbor, Mike Rinaldi, is a quarter-mile downhill. A good distance. Mike is a mechanic who Stanley trusts, and they have become friends over the years. Both enjoy the rugged solitude of the area. And they both appreciate the good fishing found in the lake that borders their properties.

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