Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Happened to Albert

This week's [fiction] Friday prompt:
"Albert is Dead"
Along with romantic scenes, many writers find writing a scene which involves killing a character a challenge. Here is your chance to write a scene where a truly objectionable character dies.
Step 1. Go read "Doggone" -a Friday Fiction first draft piece from a week ago.
Step 2. Decide who, what and how Albert dies. It may be accidental, a blundered break in, monster attack - or by one of the many characters within the short story who may or may not have a motive.
Step 3. Now write . . . You can choose to be as graphic or lyrical as you like, choose to show but not tell - or just tell it all.
The only rule is - Albert must be dead by the end of the story.

What Happened to Albert

Albert was meticulously labeling his collection of discs, printing names across the shiny surfaces with a thick, black Sharpie. When he got to the last one, he tried to remember the name of the newest offender. A blonde twenty-something girl with one of those purse dogs. She insisted on letting the spindly creature defecate and urinate wherever its little heart desired. 

“Not on my lawn, missy,” Albert growled.

Albert turned in his chair and stared at the monitors of his security system as if he would find her name there. Sasha . . . Simone . . . Amberly . . . oh what is that silly girl’s name? He mulled it over. He knew it was some trendy piece of work. She was just the type with that fashionista look and those sweat pants with the word “juicy” scrolled across the ass. What was she even doing in a nice neighborhood like this? She should be out in Cali looking for her next sugar daddy. The thought of it made him cringe. He hated that gold digger type. 

“Ansley! That’s it.” Albert wrote the name across the last disc and pushed his chair back from his desk. He had decided that a hard afternoon’s work of monitoring the neighborhood had earned him a short nap. Before he could will himself out of the chair, he noticed that one of the monitors had gone black.

“That’s odd,” Albert said. He had meticulously wired each and every camera himself. There was no good reason that this one screen should be showing up blank. He cursed under his breath as he forced his back to straighten. He slowly rose and made his way to the kitchen door. The house was unusually quite with Linda out and he could hear the ice cubes dropping into the tray in the freezer. 

Albert opened the door and had to shield his eyes from the harsh light of the afternoon sun. The August heat was overwhelming and he could see steam rising from the wet grass.

“When is Linda going to fix those sprinklers?” Albert growled. “The heat of the day is not the time to be watering the grass. Look at those puddles everywhere. If the sprinklers were timed right, the flower beds wouldn’t be huge lakes of mud every afternoon. It’s a wonder anything lives around here. Incompetence.”

Albert never would have left the cool comfort of his air conditioned home if it hadn’t been that one camera that was out. The one that pointed towards Marco’s house. He needed to keep tabs on Linda’s little fling. She thought she was so smart, trying to pull something over on him. Oh she’ll see . . . one day . . . she’ll see. Albert followed the wet footpath to the corner of the house. There it was, his faulty camera, poised on the edge of the gutter.

From the footpath Albert could see the loose wire. Not a problem, he thought. Albert stepped into the flower bed and his white canvas shoe sunk into the mud.

“Piece of crap.” Albert pulled his foot up out of the mud. He realized he should have grabbed the step stool from the kitchen, but his shoe was already covered in mud. Albert let his foot sink back into the wet soil. He stepped his other foot over the row of dahlias and resigned himself to ruining his shoes. The water seeped up out of the mud creating a little brown puddle.
“Hi there neighbor.” He was surprised by the girlish voice calling from the street. He turned to look and saw that it was her, Ansley. She was jogging in one of those couture sweat suits with her little rat on a studded pink leash. 

“Afternoon, Ansley,” he begrudgingly called back as she approached.

Albert turned back to his task. Standing in the flower bed, he realized that the water had rose up above his socks and was wetting his exposed ankles. Soon it would tinge his white slacks with its murky brownish color. He let out a grunt. He had to stretch to reach the camera. He put one hand on the camera to steady it and pulled the other hand up to grasp the disconnected wire. As soon as his fingers curled around the wire, he felt it.

A jolt. All of the muscles in his body contracted at once and he could smell something burning. Hair, he thought, now that’s odd. He looked out into the neighborhood for something. He wasn’t quite sure what. The last thing he saw before losing consciousness was the word “juicy” in swirling pink letters across Ansley’s tight ass.