A short excerpt of “The Poet”, a work of short fiction

Posted: August 9, 2013 in short fiction

Hey there horror fans!

I hope you enjoy the opening paragraphs of a piece of my short fiction. It may not be horror in the classic sense, but what is more horrific than being the only sane homeless person in a park full of degenerates? That is where John Kaplan, the protagonist of “The Poet” finds himself.

Hope you all enjoy! If you do tell all of your friends as I am hoping to publish the complete work to iTunes or amazon as a cheap or free enovela!

John Kaplin pulled his tattered jacket around him as he looked at the city skyline. The light shown through line after line of tiny windows, they looked like zippers of fire against the night sky. He thought about what it was like to be warm and safe like the people in the far off buildings and how long it had been since he had been like them. He couldn’t quite recall how events had played out to land him in a city park late at night with only a dirty jacket and a tree canopy to shield him from the frigid probing fingers of the November night.

The wind whispered through the branches of his ‘arbor retreat’ and the cold beat into his reddened and chapped face. The name ‘arbor retreat’ made the idea of vagrancy a little easier to accept for John, much better than simply, “I live in the park.” Or, “I’m homeless, but don’t like the shelter.” The ‘arbor retreat’ made him think of a condo development set back from a university or suburban area with a nice dividing wall of lush, mature trees. The type of development that when residents were asked where they lived by a friend or co-worker they would simply smile, puff up their chest and say, “The Arbor Retreat,” with an unequivocal amount of pride.

John’s ‘arbor retreat’ was none of the things he imagined and he knew it. Facts as they were, John lived in a tree located in the city park downtown that people like the man he used to be would avoid having to pass at all costs, especially at night. They would avoid it because it was full of people like the man John was now. The broken, the desperate, and the hopeless. These people were John’s new neighbors and the branch ten feet off the ground that John belted himself to every night was like the divider of lush, mature trees in his imagined ‘arbor retreat’. Every night he would wait for sleep and prey that the deviants of the night would pass under him, oblivious.

Sometimes John would awaken to the flicking of cheap lighters as a vagrant or group of vagrants huddled beneath his tree to escape from the wind. Tonight was no exception, John heard the grind of a lighter wheel against flint. Seconds later he was greeted by the acrid smoke of a crack pipe. The smoke sat suspended for an instant, then began to coil around his branch and claw into his nostrils. He took shallow, quiet breaths. The burnt popcorn smell made him want to vomit. Just as he thought he couldn’t hold back the bile burning his esophagus a gust of wind expelled the white cloud into the inky night. This was the only time John was ever thankful for the wind.

Comments
  1. Travis says:

    Anxious to read it!

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