15 Minute Story #8: Desperate

Desperate 8Violence is an act of desperation. I first heard that in an interview with Martin Sheen. They had him on a show because the West Wing needed a bump but he’d talked about his own political protests as well. I liked the guy.

I like to think I’m a lot of things: Smart, creative, funny, interesting, sly. One a good night maybe I’m sexy. On a bad one maybe I’m dangerous. But the one thing I never want to be is desperate.

I remember the last time I saw desperation. I had stolen my dad’s new Lotus and taken it for a joy ride. He was in the city and I pulled it into the garage. I was Ferris Fry with all the charm of Ferris Bueller and the money of Cameron Fry. And then I saw the guy who cleaned our pool. He saw me pull it in.

So I went up to him and said, “If you say one word about this to anyone, I’m telling my dad I saw you screwing mom.”

It didn’t matter that I was lying. Turns out the pool boy didn’t matter at all. Dad pulled in behind me. I hadn’t yet turned off the car. My father beat me so hard that night I walked funny for a week. And the whole time I thought about how desperate he must be to control me.

Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas

About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.

So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story.  Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal

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