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Author Archives: Paul Kiernan

Mini-story Monday, Episode 6: Reason and Purpose

This was the funeral.

This was the room filled with people dealing with the loss. Asking the questions. Getting no answers. What answers could you, would you expect? He was a man who had a wife and a son and he lost his job and it all seemed useless, pointless, hopeless and so, he killed himself. There’s your answer. Which was not an answer at all.

Here was the funeral. Here was the bar after the funeral where they all gathered to drink and tell stories of the man who was now in a box, now under the ground, now covered with dirt. He was a good father. He was a good friend. He was a good driver. He will always be remembered. But always is a very long time. In that always others will go, others will feel the weight, the loss, the hopelessness and they to will end it. So, he will always be remembered rings hollow, rings false. For now,it’s fine. It’s a watch cry, a rallying point. They will sit at tables, lean on the bar, drink round after round and toast his name. He will always be remembered. His wife will sit in the corner, inert, pale, lost. She will accept the hands thrust at her, the words spilled on her. The sorrow, the grief, the understanding but, none of it will get through. She is and will remain, ten million miles away. She is trapped in a snap shot of a sea side, a hotel room, a bar table in some other place where they first met. Where they first kissed. Where they first …

Young Josiah stands at the end of the bar, hiding in plain site. Camouflaged by his age, by his awkwardness. His father’s friends move about. To the bar, back to tables, back to the bar. Now and then, one of them sees him. One of them feels him there, his heavy presence. They approach, equivocate, tell him what a great man his father was. What a good friend. What a great driver. Maybe they will share some story. Some myth…

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Mini-story Monday, Episode 5: The Coming Storm, Part 5

The two men behind Carl, looked down at their feet and then moved back towards their table. “You siding with this piece of shit,” Carl said, his anger bubbling. “No,” the man said, “I’m just making sure no one does anything stupid.” Carl thought about this and stepped back further. He put his hands upContinue Reading

Mini-Story Monday, Episode 5: The Coming Storm, Part 4

He placed the two glasses on the bar and waited for the bar tender to notice him. The room was more crowded than when he had first come in. He looked and saw a table full of ex drivers. He turned quickly, hoping that, because he wasn’t in uniform, they wouldn’t notice him. He hadContinue Reading

Mini-Story Monday, Episode 5: The Coming Storm, Part 3

Why do you have to say motor vehicle, like some kind of … I don’t know … high browed, faggot.” The word surprised Briggs. That was a word he never used. Language he heard coming from the drivers, the technicians, but, language he never used. He prided himself on being well spoken. Being precise withContinue Reading

Mini-Story Monday, Episode 5: The Coming Storm, Part 2

Tried to regain the high ground. Tried to exert his strength. He reached out and caught her by the ankle. His right hand clamped around her right ankle as she turned to leave. His intention was to stop her, pull her down onto the floor, climb on top of her and make her listen. MakeContinue Reading

Mini-Story Monday, Episode 5: The Coming Storm, Part 1

Captain Briggs sat in the back corner of Flaherty’s. The quiet table. Tucked in the back near the rest rooms. The table that you didn’t even know was there unless you needed to take a piss or wanted a quiet place to feel up the girl who you’d been feeding drinks to all night. ThatContinue Reading

Mini-story Monday, Episode 4: The Warrior Michael, Part 4

“What do you think of that,” Frank asked as they walked on slowly. “What do I think,” he said, “I think it’s an interesting idea. I think, if they are looking for pay back or revenge, they need to be smart about it. They need to have a plan. They need to have organization. TheyContinue Reading

Mini-story Monday, Episode 4: The Warrior Michael, Part 3

“Hell of a shot, Michael,” Frank Genesin said, “what is that two thousand yards?” “Twenty-five hundred,” Michael said, turning and facing Frank. “How are you, Frank?” Frank shrugged. “take a shot?” Michael handed the rifle over. Then he handed over a shell. Frank loaded the shell, put the rifle to his shoulder, took a breath,Continue Reading

Mini-story Monday, Episode 4: The Warrior Michael, Part 2

“All that fucking blood,” he said to himself. Jerry was just another casualty of the whole autodriver bullshit. They were all victims really but, Jerry, he took it the worst. They had all been given a decent severance package. He had his army pension as well as the pay off those fucking mooks had droppedContinue Reading

Mini-story Monday, Episode 4: The Warrior Michael, Part 1

They don’t have an open casket when the person inside the damn thing blew his brains out. He loaded a shell into the rifle. They don’t let the family or the friends see the remains when the head has a hole in it. A hole starting under the chin, through the brains and out theContinue Reading