The blue-grey clouds squished over the rooftops down the road as I warmed my hands on my mug of darker-than-clouds coffee. A good night’s sleep would have been nice, thank you very much, but no, I got to bed early, tossed like a fish till all hours, then awoke, twitching and wild-eyed, at 3:13am. I’m not superstitious, so twitching awake from a nightmare to my WalMart digital clock displaying the usual number of disasters followed by the unluckiest number didn’t bother me at all. Not one bit.
When it’s black night out here you can’t see the next house, a hundred yards up the road, unless Mort is going fishing and he’s up early. Otherwise, new moon like this, you see nothing but stars until the sun oozes up over the hills behind my cottage. Then, the stars are there one moment, gone in a blue-grey haze the next.
Except that was all in my imagination, of course, what with the thick dark cover of clouds. It would get lighter. It would not get sunny.
Matched my prospects for the day.
I swallowed the last of the lukewarm brew in my mug and went upstairs to shower, shave, and dress for my last day as an outsider.
It’s been a couple years since I posted my very first short story (vignette, actually) here: Simplicity Itself.
I wrote it on my first computer, which would have been about 1990. Long before the days of the web. (A computer with no hard drive. Just two 5 1/4″ floppies.)
As soon as it was done, another sentence popped into my head:
It was one of those days when breakfast wanted to be cheap whiskey straight from the bottle.
And we know what that led to, don’t we?
Probably time for Simplicity Itself to turn into the book it never was.
Question is, will it be Phil Brennan’s book, or some completely new character?