Can’t Sleep There

Another Friday Fiction prompt. This seems to be the only blogging I’ve done since I got hired by the city three weeks ago. Cheer up, readers. When I get fired I’ll have more time to waste at the library.



Tom prodded the old man with his toe, careful not to get any of the blood onto his new Timberlands. The shotgun was new, too, a Mossberg the salesman said was ideal for home defense.

Until the old man groaned, Tom didn’t know if he was alive or dead. That much blood could mean anything.

The old man’s eyes flew open like one of those cartoon window shades, widened even more when he saw  the Mossberg pointing at his face.

“Where am I?” His voice was like gravel in a can.

“You are on my property. You can’t sleep here.”

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15 Replies to “Can’t Sleep There”

  1. Completely apropos of nothing, I always wonder how people keep their Timberlands always looking like new! That would work for me unless I rarely wore them. But back to the story…I wonder where the blood came from, but I especially like your description of the old man’s voice: ” His voice was like gravel in a can.” Congrats on the new job!


  2. Interesting read. I got plenty of violence… the first shot just wounded and woke him; the second might put the old man back to sleep-permanently. I’ve no idea if that was your intention… I like the ambiguity that allows for multiple interpretations. Well done.

  3. Thanks. I don’t know if the guy shot him or what. Maybe Tom makes meth. Maybe the old man is his father. TOM I AM YOUR FATHER.

    No, that’s too much.

    The Mossberg 12 gauge actually IS ideal for home defense.The sound alone. In prison if there’s a riot, the CO will cock his shotgun into the PA mic and it usually settles people right down. They use Remingtons, but the princple is the same.

  4. I don’t know about these Western references, but I got “Homeless Man” out of this. Like, so much time had passed in the final part, that we’re seeing him at the bottom of the barrel.


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