Alex’s take on terrible writing ends up being a humorously bad short story that meanders pointlessly through a clichéd plot with an annoying narrator who makes us laugh despite ourselves.
THE MAN WITH THE SCARY EYES
A Humorously Bad Short Story
by Alex Braude
“Stop,” he said. I had no choice. I was backed into a corner with no where to go, I was cornered and there was no escape. I looked at my pursuer for the first time. He was the kind of man more suited to drinking coffee and here he was pursuing me which didn’t really fit with the kind of guy he was. Of course, his eyes didn’t fit either, by which I mean they did. They fit the pursuing but not the man. Or maybe it’s the other way around, except of course it wasn’t. Or was it. He started to say something but I held up a finger. I wanted to think this point through. Nup nothing, it eluded me like an elusive riddle which is a thing I hate happening to me. I also hate stepping in puddles when I am not wearing wet weather shoes.
Those eyes, they scared me, and I am a brave guy. One day, when I was a young boy I snuck into a movie theatre and watched a horror movie because on that day I decided never to be scared again. I’ve faced my share of demons, is something I would say if I knew how many demons everyone else has faces and was able to average it out.
I remember the theatre well. There were old red velvet curtains everywhere which must have been expensive and they gave way to a screen approximately fifteen metres wide and six tall. I was in the seventeenth row near the middle and there were thirty rows all up. There was another man there, he wore a lavender polo shirt and in his mouth was an unsmoked cigar. He had a red stain on his lapel. Blood. “No, this is definitely tomato paste,” he said to me when he caught me looking. I had no reason to doubt him because he was kind of man who would have been called Dennis or Frank. Or maybe not, I mean how can you generalise like that. It’s like saying a parent knows what their kid is going to turn out like when they’re born or even before because some people name their children while they are in the womb. If I had a kid I would call it John for a boy or Sarah for a girl. I guess that’s one of my flaws, I’m not very original. I had a dog growing up. I called him Dog. Then again I was four when I named him so maybe that isn’t really a great example
All those thoughts rushed through my mind as I looked at the man’s eyes. It felt like only a second had passed, but it must have been longer because he said, “Hey kid,” and snapped his fingers like I was dazed or day dreaming or not paying attention. Kid, I wasn’t no kid. I was seventeen, and about to turn eighteen. I couldn’t wait. I was my birthday in, let me think, today’s the third of December and my birthday is the seventh of March so thats four months and four days. Eighteen. A man. I would be able to do all of the things allowed by the law that 18 year olds could do. I had no feelings on the subject.