Sawyer

Sawyer was tired. He rubbed his eyes and finished his drink. The music, smoke and the babble of his friends was just too much tonight. He appreciated the fact that they’d been trying for so long to cheer him up, but tonight he just felt like being alone. Somewhere quiet.

Despite the loud protests from his group, he called for the tab as the exhausted bartender whizzed past with another of those seemingly endless orders.

“Sal! Will a C-note cover this one?” yelled Sawyer.

“And then some. Thanks for the generous tip!” replied Sal.

“Ah, no worries. It’s the right thing to do.” said Sawyer with a glint in his eye.

“Fuck you, Mr Charity” laughed Sal. Sawyer punched him playfully.

“Hey listen buddy, you take care a’right? It’s good to see you back.” said Sal.

Sawyer smiled weakly and nodded in gratitude. He said goodbye to his friends and stepped out into the cool night air, away from the incessant, deafening thump of the music. He took a deep breath and filled his lungs with the crisp air. Hopefully it would help lighten his head too, which was knocking around like a hammer.

It was a few blocks over to his apartment so he decided to walk home. As he rounded the corner he saw a man hunched over a garbage bag, rummaging furiously. Sawyer wrinkled his nose in disgust at the sight but couldn’t help but feel pity. Maybe a little helplessness too. He quickened his pace to put some distance between the man and himself.

He heard a ragged voice. “Turn around. Slowly.”

Sawyer did. It was the man. He had one hand in the pocket of his tattered coat and it looked like there was something pointed at him.

“Give me your money. Now.”

There was a feral look in his eyes, which were blood-red. The man looked like he hadn’t eaten or slept in days.

Sawyer knew he had to be careful. “Take it easy man. You got a gun there?”

“Yeah, I’ve got a gun. And I’ll blow your fucking head off if you don’t gimme your WALLET! NOW!”

Sawyer looked at him right in the eyes and said “It’s cool. Tell me, you hungry?” The man flinched momentarily but recovered and stared back in anger. “What do you think asshole?!”
A few seconds of silence passed uncomfortably before Sawyer quietly said “Come on, let’s get something to eat.”

The man froze, unsure of how to react. “What?”

“Come on, I’m hungry too. Let’s get something to eat. There’s a McDonald’s just round the corner and I know it’ll be open. I’ll buy you whatever you want. Come on.”

The man relaxed visibly and in a crumbling, shaky voice replied “OK.”

Sawyer led the man to the McDonald’s and opened the door. As the man entered he seemed blinded by the bright lights. The manager on duty stepped out to shoo away what clearly looked like a hobo but Sawyer intervened.

Then he turned to the man and said “Choose what you want. As much as you want. Pack it, eat it, take it away. Whatever.”

The man was in a frenzy of hunger as the smell of the burgers made him salivate. He ordered three Big Macs, two large Cokes, ice-cream, coffee and lots of fries. Sawyer paid and helped the man carry the colossal order over to a table. Then they ate.

The man’s bony fingers quivered in delight as they tore through the first burger in a matter of minutes. There was silence at the table as Sawyer watched the man devour his enormous meal.

When he was done, the man had tears in his eyes. “Dunno what to say man. Thanks. I hadn’t eaten for a week!”

“It’s OK. I understand. You running from something or just a bum?” asked Sawyer.

The man stiffened “How do you care? Let’s just finish and forget this happened, OK? You go your way and I’ll go mine.”

“Sure, sure. Just curious.” replied Sawyer.

They stepped out and started walking down the back-alley. It was shorter to Sawyer’s house from there. The man looked up at him and asked “aren’t you gonna go?”

“In a minute.” said Sawyer. “I wanted to ask you something first. Did you enjoy the meal?”

“Hell yeah, felt like the best food I’ve eaten in my life. Thanks man.”

“No problem, buddy. It’s the right thing to do.”

Then Sawyer took out his gun and shot the man. The man who had raped and killed his fiance a few weeks ago.

He looked at the crumpled heap on the ground, put the gun back and walked away with tears streaming down his face.

It seemed like the right thing to do.

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25 responses to “Sawyer”

  1. Supremus says :

    Not quite falstaff-ish but a great first start. I am always envios of people who write fiction :)

    S

  2. Vivek says :

    #Like

    Easy, flowing narration.
    Quite a shock at the end.

    Loved the ultimate line and its references throughout the story. I would have liked to title it “the right thing to do” though :)

  3. Aman says :

    Sir, I could not find a flaw, just looking forward to the prequel so as to find out about the source of Gandhian influence on Sawyer.

  4. Anne says :

    Mmm. Well, I loved the premise, the enigma of Sawyer’s character, the ending… One gripe: I wish you’d foreshadowed the set-up a bit. Why didn’t’ we see Sawyer react when he saw the man? Not ‘thou! filthy swine!’ or anything, but *some* reaction on beholding the man who’d killed his lover. Even if the actual execution was an act of impulse.

  5. Dhaval says :

    Day 2 of reading you blog between a long time consuming assingment. Good Going Sir..

    Your mix of personal parenting experiences and these cracker of short stories make a compleeling read! IS a book underway? :)

    Keep writing and keep sharing.

  6. Purnima Rao says :

    Took me a while to respond to this one….Daddy San, keep writing like this and you’ll be ready to write your screenplay. It’s such a visual piece, you can almost feel the night.
    While I don’t think the end was abrupt, I do wish it were longer so that you could give us more tantalizing hints of Sawyer’s past. Maybe your next short story shouldn’t be a blogpost at all…I am now extremely curious about Sawyer.
    …and also, I admit, about this dark side of yours :)

    ..and it makes me very curious about you :D

    • daddysan says :

      Yes, there is a pretty dark side. Maybe I’ll stretch this story a bit but when I wrote it I didn’t feel like it. Of course there are enough cynics in the world to let you know their “expert” opinion but I don’t give a fuck.

      I appreciate that you’re curious about the character and that’s the correct response to this story’s admittedly and purposefully abrupt ending. Also exactly what Giribala said.

  7. Giribala says :

    Well imagined and well written! I wanted to know how the characters looked like.

    • daddysan says :

      As I was telling Purnima in her comment, maybe a sequel, prequel kind of rejoinder will help answer those questions. Just happy that the characters piqued enough interest to merit these questions.

  8. Amrith says :

    Superb. Loved the ending. People might think that it was abrupt, but IMHO, it was the right thing to do :)

    Cheers

  9. Gradwolf says :

    Awesomeness, Mr. San. Loved it!

  10. A says :

    No. No. No. No. I want to shoot Sawyer now.
    Black. Depressing. Sadistic. Cruel. Awesome

  11. rainbow says :

    your tales remind one of roald dahl again :-)
    nice reading. keep them coming please.. i thought point of reference was missing towards the end.

  12. Rahul says :

    Was expecting another Shenoy :)

  13. Nothingman says :

    Ended too abruptly. You shot the story too :D

    N

    • daddysan says :

      Hmm, thanks for the feedback.

      I wanted to keep it short. There is a lot of inference but the reader can assume whatever they want about the history behind Sawyer’s motives. Didn’t want to get into an aftermath (because there is none) or provide a detailed background.

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