Dzinski – Crashing

Prompts courtesy of Cake.shortandsweet’s Wednesday Write In. I think I managed to at least brush up against each of the five prompts. Follow the link to see the challenge and to read a bunch of other great stories.

Dzinski dropped the letter into the ashtray and watched the corners and edges curl up as the flames ate up the paper. Burning it couldn’t erase the words he read, but the memory would erode eventually. He thought of waves lapping softly at a beach, dragging mouthfuls of sand out into the ocean. Dzinski pulled the bottom drawer open, grabbed the fifth and scowled.  He spun the top and watched it bounce across the desk and down onto the floor.

He took a long drink. He knew she sent it before seeing her handwriting. The envelope was pregnant with her smell, cloves and lemons and desperation. The final line of the letter flashed like a neon sign on a dark night.

“I know you left so much of yourself back at the front,” she wrote. “But you need to move on. The war was awful. But we found each other. Please say you’ll come, and that it will be like it was.”

He rolled the idea and whiskey on his tongue.

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11 thoughts on “Dzinski – Crashing

  1. You are a master. Dzinski and my main character seem like brothers. Same tough guy exterior hiding so many fears. They both have the same bottle in the desk drawer, too. Love the mood you set so effortlessly.

      1. I went back to look and don’t think any of my 100 words match up to yours. But when I made the comparison I was talking about the character in the novel I am working on. My wife has forbidden me from posting any of it but I do like your description of a much more damaged Marlowe. My detective lives and works alone after a divorce from his wife who is now married to his ex-partner on the force. He quit drinking and smoking but still keeps both around for emergencies. And his best friend is a cop who is close to retiring. All the genre elements are in place and I’m trying to mix them up a bit. I think I’ve worked in a few surprises.

  2. Fantastic.
    I really enjoyed the emotion and intensity of this story. Though as feedback:
    1) the 2nd line feels like it should be “words he’d read” instead of “he”.
    2) the last line is a perfect thought to wrap it up with but perhaps putting that sentence in language that more closely resembles the rest of it would feel better, as it is it feels short, terse and abrupt – a more poetic way of putting it perhaps?

    Nice work.
    Cheers!

  3. I love the image of fire ‘eating up’ the paper in the first line, I think it sets the tone really well. I thought the pairing of the memory eroding with the sand was good but I wouldn’t have separated it with a line break, because it makes the two thoughts feel disjointed where they should follow seamlessly. In the third paragraph I think you get your stride back, and the juxtaposition of the neon and the natural smells is great – I particularly like how you twist it with desperation at the end.

    The only thing that doesn’t work for me is the last line; I think this cheapens the story somehow, it feels like a lazy line. I think it’s partly that the alliteration feels out of place in the rest of the story, and it just seems like an easy way out to the problems raised in the previous two paragraphs.

    Just a thought :D I really like this regardless.

    1. Ah, thanks for the honest criticism. It feels good to have the weak spots pointed out. I see what you mean in both cases and pretty much agree. Appreciate you taking the time.

  4. “The pint” confused me for a bit, ‘cos I refer to pints of beer, coke or water as a pint glass of said, rather than bottles of spirits.

    I particularly like the description of her scent on the letter; vivid.

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