Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are cajole, recluse and temper.

Counter Angel
His temper had got the better of him again, this time at the corner convenience store where some snot-nose decided to make a comment behind his back; he turned and took three of the kid’s teeth out with a single punch.
Sixty days in county this time, group therapy, anger management, bla, bla bla.
A recluse by design – the cancer that pulsated in his pancreas the reason – he’d stop by the corner market for smokes, milk and never would meet her gaze.
With her eyes, she cajoled; chocolate pools where most men would happily drown. Not him. He was a hard-ass, a hard-case, bad-ass. Dead man, walking.
He placed two hardpacks of smokes, a quart of whole milk on the chipped counter and avoided those eyes, her crooked smile made more sensual by a small scar. He looked instead at the wad of money he dug from the front pocket of his jeans.
She ran a hand over her hip, jutted slightly and searched for his eyes. He tossed a wad of crumpled bills at the counter, waited for the change. He swiped it up quickly, went for the plastic sack as her hand intercepted his.
She turned it at the wrist, palm up, open. And in it, she placed a daisy.
Change bounced across the tiled floor as he gripped the counter; his neck veins popped as the red rose into his sallow cheeks.
He met those eyes; she smiled.
Sobs like hiccups caught in his throat; he swallowed, hard, and the wails came, innocent and incessant as an infant.
“Shhhhhh, it’s be OK,” she said. “It’ll be alright, you’ll see.”

20 comments:

ande said...

I like the crooked sensuous smile-if it was a man it would be Joaquin Phoenix-sans beard. I like this it has a magic to it.

anthonynorth said...

The hard edge made the ending all the more poignant.

R.V said...

I really liked this one. Fast paced and yet vivid! It was almost like I was watching a movie!

Sepiru Chris said...

"Sobs like hiccups caught in his throat;"

Great line.

Tumblewords: said...

Great tension, description and movement. I'll read this one again and again.

Fledgling Poet said...

This was an awesome read...it was touching to read this man giving up his rigid control of emotions at the end. A woman's touch can soften the hardest of hearts...

Tammy said...

You gave me chills. Fabulous!

Christy said...

i really enjoyed this story, especially liked the way it ended , there is hope

missalister said...

You did one hell of a job winding this and the reader up so tight all the way up holding our breath, that when the daisy was sprung at the peak, we were gasping, he was wailing, all of us were crashing at light speed down the other side of this thing into a heap of a conclusion.

Structure was aided by great description to make it killer. We were all the steel wall of defense because it’d hurt too much to let anyone in only to have them torn right away. But deep down we wish... And so we were all compromised by the daisy breach.

Exceptional.

Angel said...

Very nice. I could feel the emotion.

Jeeves said...

Very very nice. I read and reread.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Very nicely done, and I wasn't expecting the ending!

impudence said...

so moving and poignant. i could see it happen right in front of me.

rebecca said...

Anger is but the mask of the wounded. Nicely done.

AdellBeek said...

I like the ending the best. I also like your description of the characters,

TC said...

Oh this is great, Thomm. The end has both peace and heartbreak written all over it.

gigidiaz said...

I think it's great that you were able to develop this character in so little writing. We get a very clear image of the feelings. Really nice.

Thanks for coming by my blog! I really enjoy your writing so I'll def be back!

susan said...

As long as I've been reading you, I still am caught by the unexpected. Well done, Thom. You're one of the few writers I know who has truly mastered maximizing the power of your word choices. Never any waste and always the choices that have the greatest punch.

Deborah Godin said...

For me, this moves at a perfect pace - I could only think how many moments like this, brief but intense as gunfire, go unnoticed around us all the time, every day. This may be total fiction, but it feels as immediate as real life, keenly observed.

Patois said...

I felt my breath catch reading this. Wonderful. (I came your way from Black-Eyed Susan's.)