I had a ten-minute time limit to write something using the Freewriting style and present it to the evening’s writers critique group, and this is what I cooked up that evening.
Mr. Carrington sat in his recliner and stared into the fireplace, washing down his regrets and shortcomings with a bottle of the hardest scotch whiskey on the shelves. He held a picture of he and his wife, taken on their first date at a carnival, sometime in the year nineteen seventy-two.
The ringing of the doorbell interrupted his attempt of finishing the last bit of whiskey without vomiting. He sat the bottle next to his seat and dragged his feet toward the front door. After opening the door, he noticed a tall black fellow, dressed in a nice suit and tie with briefcase in hand.
“Mr. Carrington?” He asked politely, followed by a look of concern, concealed by a friendly smile that meant nothing.
Carrington never seen the man before but knew exactly why he was looking for him. Instead of answering, he walked away from the front door and returned to his seat. The black male took time to think of alternative ways to gain the old man’s attention, but nothing was going to get Mr. Carrington out of that chair, unless it was his wife at that door.
The black male entered the home and closed the door behind him. He sat in the loveseat next to the recliner and kept an eye on the old man as he finished the remaining swig of whiskey. Without turning to look at his guest, he spoke with his eyes staring deep into the fire once again.
“My wife and i used to sit there.” He said in a raspy drunken tone. The suited man began to stand, not wanting to be disrespecting in any way, but Carrington raised his hand, signaling that it was alright for him to remain seated.
“We would sit there and watch the beautiful flames from that fireplace there, care free with no interest in what was going on out there in the world. Our world was in here, and we made it enjoyable and comfortable for each other. There was nothing out there that could draw me away from her and the life that we made together.” Mr. Carrington spoke emotionally as his hand trembled on the arm of the recliner. The suited man notice this as Carrington continued on…
“I’ve done some terrible things in the past that i am ashamed of, things that you couldn’t imagine. I was young, ignorant and full of so much hate.” Mr. Carrington took another look at the empty whiskey bottle, knowing that the content has been consumed, but wishing that there was at least a sip left.
“Mr. Carrington, Um…” The suited man intended his palm for a handshake. “My name is Gerard Cole…” he introduced himself in a pleasant tone of voice with that salesman-like smile, but Carrington did not shake his hand, nor did he care to hear what he had to offer, if he was offering something.
“Yeah, yeah.” Carrington uttered with a grunt, like the careless drunk that he is. “Listen Mr. Cole, you seem like a nice kid. I mean, you got your fancy little suit on, your Colgate smile, and your nappy hair cut all short and greased up. Now i can only think of one reason why a boy like you would be knocking at my door… You want to kill me.”
Mr. Cole expelled a soft chuckle that was meant to pass of the thought as just silly and comical. Carrington turned his head to face who he believed was his enemy, scolding him with evil blue eyes. Cole rose from his comfortable seated position, sitting straight in the love seat with his hand reaching toward the floor, holding onto that nice black briefcase.
“You look just like him.” said Mr. Carrington.
“That tall nappy headed boy that I killed in the fields that one year.”
Cole shook his head and laughed. “Sir, I have no idea what you’re talking about, and quite frankly, i am highly offended.”
“Don’t give me that horse shit!” Carrington raised his voice while balling the picture of him and his wife in his hand. “You should know just like your old man knew that i will always be two, three, even four steps ahead of you people.”
Cole put a tight grip around his briefcase handle. “You people?” he asked in an appalling tone.
“Yeah, that’s right. Do you think that i wasn’t expecting you to show up one day, all grown up and ready to kill the guy that murdered your old man?”
Cole quickly got out of his seat, so to did Carrington, pulling a sharp hunter’s knife from in-between the recliner seat cushion. He held the weapon at his enemy. He had the eyes of a killer, one who has killed many times before.
“Listen boy, I did you and your old man wrong, hanging him up on that tree the way that we did. I’ve done a lot of your people wrong, and it, sticks in my head and replays every single day. They haunt me.” Carrington bangs the end of the blade handle onto his forehead. “And they just won’t leave me be!”
He switched hands with his eyes locked on Mr. Cole, who is standing in the same position, hands by his waist, as if he was comfortable and prepared for anything that might happen. Carrington danced from side to side, waiting for his enemy to make a move.
“I deserve this.” He cried. “I understand why they haunt me the way they do. They drove my friends away, my family, even my wife… She couldn’t take it anymore. She put up with me for so many years. I would yell at her, call her names, sometimes I’d even beat up on her, because she didn’t believe what I was telling her. Hell, I would’ve left too if I was in her shoes. Who wants to put up with a maniac?”
Cole slowly popped open the latches on his briefcase as Carrington continued his speech.
“I know that God will never forgive me for what I’ve done to those black men. I know I am going to hell. I mean, I’ve pushed away everyone and everything that I once loved, so maybe this is my own personal hell… and maybe you are the one to put me out of my misery.”
Carrington dropped the knife and falls to his knees. He crawls towards Mr. Cole and lowers his head to touch his enemy’s shoe. He cried out like a child, begging for Cole to end his suffering.
“I have lived with sorrow, misery and regrets for far too long. I can’t live through this hell any longer.” Carrington wept while raising his head, looking at Mr. Cole as if he were begging for mercy. “Finish me!” he demanded. “You have every right to.”
Carrington lowered his head and stuck his neck out, anticipating his head to be cut off, execution style. Mr. Cole opened the black briefcase and dropped a stack of stapled papers on the floor.
“I am sorry for what you are going through, you have my deepest sympathy, and if it were up to me, well, I’d forgive you, but I’m no judge, jury or executioner, I’m just a guy serving you divorce papers on behalf of your wife.”