Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Land's Edge Contest- Hon. Mention- Pablo Gully

Pablo described as a solitary man. A bit of an enigma wrapped in a conundrum, akin to a cabbage roll or perhaps a jelly roll. Little is known about the man. The name implies a Mexican thread in the tapestry of the Gully family, nestled in the wilds of Northern Ireland. All I can say for sure about the man is that he is bald, like his cousin Anton, and drinks far too much tequila. Sadly, Pablo does not have a blog but refers you to Anton's blog with any messages of goodwill or perhaps gifts of money.

I can also tell you that Pablo can write creepy, family drama very well. I present to you now his story Cold Comfort, an honourable mention in the Land's Edge flash fiction contest.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cold Comfort

The window flapped and clattered in the wind, but it didn't bother her. When Gina was little she'd have flinched and whimpered at the sharp noise. She would have welcomed any excuse to stay awake, any excuse to have her father lift her, hold her tight and whisper warm assurance in her ear.

She lay on the cold bed clothes, listening. They were arguing.

The wind blew the casement, slapping it against the frame with a dull shiver threatening to burst the glass. Inside, papers flapped under a pyramid of crayons, a rag doll shivered in the breeze, and silk flowers bowed and curtsied frantically.

She heard. "Leave those alone!"

She heard. "Get that fucking dog out of here!"

She heard. "Why is this so easy for you?"

Chancy scraped at the door. He whimpered and puffed wetly at the gap, paws scrabbling on the wood.

She heard her father. "It isn't healthy. We can give them to charity. Christ, Joanie, it's February. We have to take the tree down, at least."

Gina pulled herself to the edge of the bed when she heard her mother's first raucous sob. She twisted inside, feeling her mother's anguish. There was so much emotion that it bubbled through her, rather than finding a place to lodge. It was too much. Her eye's bulged with greasy tears, even if she did not fully understand why.

Her father's voice came, soothing and strong. "Let's get these away. We'll go see your mother tomorrow."

Chancy huffed and blubbered at the space between door and floor, black nails skittering off the cheap wood.

Gina heard her mother, but the voice was too low to make out. She strained forward on the bed, hoping to hear what she said but the words were muffled.

Her father's voice was stronger. "I'm taking him out, Joanie. You know, he just misses her too."

Chancy was no longer scraping at her door. There were no voices. Gina strained to hear anything, but toppled from the bed instead. She landed wetly.

Eventually, her father spoke again. "He's outside. Please, babe, you have to be strong."


Gina dragged herself forward. She wanted to hear what was being said.

"We'll throw it all away, or give it to whoever needs it."

Hand over hand, Gina clawed her way to the door. She pressed her ear to the wood, hands pressed either side of her head. Her fingers bunched with excitement, dragging at the door loudly.

She gasped when she heard her mother say, "what's that scratching? Are you sure Chancy is outside?"

A long moment passed. She had heard her mother walk to the door, touch the door knob, could almost hear her strangled breath as she fought away the tears. Her mother did not open the door, instead she held her hand to the handle.

Gina reached up and thought she felt the warmth.


Marisa Birns said...

Ah, the family heartbreak over the loss of a child. This unfolds to the truth quite expertly. And very well done that it opens with cold and ends with warmth.

So, mysterious Pablo, congratulations on this piece!

Michael Solender said...

Creepy good

L'Aussie said...

High-end emotions, yes, very good..:)

kathryn said...

Wow. So, both stories I've read so far have this chilling edge to them...and oh so very sad.

Heartbreaking, actually...

Cathy Olliffe said...

Hey Pablo, fellow page-sharer, dark knight of happy holidays, I loved your story. It made me think. I read it through the first time, impressed by your language, but wondering what was going on. I read it a second time and tears filled my eyes as I understood.
I sent this link to a co-worker, himself a writer and an editor, and we talked online about your story for a fair bit. Only good stories provoke such discussion.
And your was pretty darn good.
Congrats, page-buddy.

Laurita said...

This was a heartbreaking, emaotional read, right up until the clawing across the floor. Then the creep factor went up about 20 notches. Still, the ending is what really sold this story to me. Such sadness encapsulated in that line.

Kat said...

Beautiful and sad...poetry in text.

Bukowski's Basement said...

Pablo... so glad to see you were a part of Alan's content. Creepy, indeed, man ... Wow.

Anton Gully said...

Am I the only one who thinks this was the work of a hack? Seriously? Pfft.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Now Anton, don't you think that you're being a bit hard on your cousin? He writes with great skill and deftly manipulates the emotions of the reader. Doesn't your heart bleed for this child and parents?

Besides, be nice or the punches will fly between you and he at the next family soiree!

Pablo Gully said...

Thanks for all the kind comments folks!

Though Alan is mistaken. I've been running my own website for years.

Please be sure to visit "The Funatorium" for lots more FUN.

David Barber said...

Pablo - Sorry for my lateness. Really enjoyed this. A great and creepy read. Well done mate.

Paul D. Brazill said...

very well done.