Sunday Storytelling #13: Jake and Margaretfeatured

Sunday Storytelling {the ponytail diaries}

Sunday Storytelling is where I post a piece of fiction on Sunday. It might be a complete short story, a snippet of a work in progress, a character sketch, a response to one of the thousands of creative writing prompts I’ve collected through the years. Most of them won’t be polished or “final,” so feedback and criticism is welcome, but please be constructive in your comments. Read other Sunday Storytelling pieces here.

“You get anything yet?” Margaret asked as she collected the empty cans from the porch.

“Coupla pigeons,” Jake said. He flicked the tab on his Miller Lite back and forth until it broke off.

“I meant jobs.”

“I know what ya meant.” Jake carefully slid a bullet into the empty chamber.

The door slammed as Margaret retreated into the trailer. Jake tipped the rest of the contents of the can into his mouth and reached under his chair for another. Did he get a job yet…course he didn’t. What does Jake Masters have to offer anyone looking to hire somebody in this town?

A year and a half of high school with just one C and a whole lot of Ds and a couple Fs. A mother in a nursing home that was quickly siphoning his family’s bank account. A DUI and two pot arrests. Possibly a baby on the other side of town, until the paternity test – God willing – proved it was Luke Hayes’ kid.

The problem was, most everyone in town knew this, and those who didn’t, knew someone who did. So they never bothered to find out that he knew more about how to make cars run than just about everybody except Mr. Cox, the shop teacher who nearly popped him when he found out Jake was dropping out.

Mr. Cox died of a heart attack the day after what would have been Jake’s graduation, if he’d stayed in school.

Jake lifted the gun to eye level, holding it in both hands as he traced a pigeon across the sky.


The bird fell like a stone.

Jake was also one of the best shots in the county.


After a full day of threatening, the clouds finally opened up. Jake set the gun on his knee and sipped his beer, watching the rain fall steadily, heavier and heavier. He listened to the metallic pings of drops hitting the metal trailed, the plops of them falling into puddles that forms almost instantly in the gravel yard. It drowned out the sounds of Margaret making dinner and banging every pot and pan she could inside the trailer.


The door banged open. “Dinner’s on the table. Get inside before it gets cold.”

Jake usually tried not to let himself wonder why he stayed with Margaret. She never let him forget how much he was holding her back and ruining both their lives. He’d asked her once, during one of their fights, why she didn’t just leave him, if she hated staying here with him so much. She had slapped him and said, “Because I still love ya, you big idiot.”


Comments, feedback, and constructive criticism welcome…