Twodownmanship by Craig J. Clark

Peter was in one of his moods; Roger could tell. The best thing he could do was hang in there and roll with it.

“I’m no good to anybody,” Peter said. “I’m pessimistic, fatalistic and a total bummer to be around."

Tell me about it, Roger thought. He took a swig of his drink. “You forgot self-loathing.”

“Right! I undermine myself at every opportunity.”

“You drag other people down.”

“I do. I’m also paranoid and withdrawn.”

“You drain the life out of any party.”

“I never get invited to parties in the first place.”

“The party-givers obviously learned their lessons.”

“Word spread fast and I was branded a pariah.”

“Or at the very least socially undesirable.”

“I’m unsociable.”

“Unfit for polite society.”

“I’m run down.”

“Run out on a rail.”

“Out of options.”

“At wit’s end.”

“Between a rock and a hard place.”

“All washed up.”

“Throwing in the towel.”

“Hitting the showers.”

“What are you insinuating?”

This caught Roger unawares. They had been on a roll, rattling things off in staccato fashion. Why suddenly take offense at something so innocuous?

“Umm, nothing.”

“That’s not how it sounded from here.” Peter took off his jacket and started removing his watch, going into an aggressive stance. Roger instantly held up his hands and started backing away.

“Hey, I was just following your lead, man.”

“Were you now?” Peter was starting to advance, his hands clenched in fists.

“I was!”

Peter stopped in his tracks and slumped into a chair, the anger subsiding.

“Now I’m even turning on my friends.”

“Friend,” Roger corrected him.

“Ah, yes. Quite.”


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Man, you really gave 110% on this one, Craig. I mean, you really hit the nail on the head and you hammered it home.

I'm not sure if you're repeating characters or not, but I did recognize that you've used both Peter and Roger before. I initially thought they were the characters in "Pettiness," but then I checked "Pettiness" and noticed only Peter. Which story was Roger from? Did they cross story lines and meet to form a new story? If so, that's pretty excellent.

Yet another good one. The ending is quite spectacular.

I'm not repeating characters so much as I'm repeating character names. There's probably about a dozen or so that I keep returning to, simply because I like them.

And thanks, as always, for the kind words.

This is swell! The pacing of the talky bits is quite good and really pulls the eye down the page and/or screen very well.

The shocking conclusion is a hoot and makes me think of fine sketches-style comedy.

You've really got quite a knack for these strange vignettes. Your recent output and Weaver's previous post make the "story" I just finished look kind of weak by comparison. I'll probably still post it, though; just not with any gusto...

I like the pace on this; you can't help but read it as fast as we all know they are talking. It makes me wonder how much of a loser Roger is to be hanging out with Peter, actually.

Alex: No gusto is needed in your post. Gusto will come with more stories you write, and the better they will be. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience.

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This page contains a single entry by published on April 3, 2008 9:52 AM.

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