Don’t Bleed on the Floor // One Quirk Later #7

Just so you know, I’m posting this at all because I dared myself to and you can’t back down from a dare.

If it doesn’t make sense, sorry. The idea is that it’s an audio transcript. (And the recording mic seems to have been way closer to not-Andre than to Andre.)

We can also blame Jem for this little monstrosity of a short story…thing?, because she has once again posted one of her One Quirk Later flash fiction prompts…which inspired me so much that I immediately sat down and dashed this off instead of studying for that statics exam that I probably just failed. (I hope you’re happy, Jem.) Here’s a link to the post with all the info!

And, uh, I hope any of you who decide to read it enjoy the story! I will not be mad if you don’t, though. You’re probably a much more sane and balanced and healthy person than I am (or than these poor brothers are), so yeah.



Don’t Bleed on the Floor

~an audio transcript, acquired under dubious circumstances~

She is an odd girl. You know the sort, I imagine – you’re so much more experienced than me. (That, Andre, was what they call a double-entendre.) She is an odd girl, though. She asks questions not out of politeness but out of barely-bridled curiosity. She wears all sorts of styles – whatever she feels like on a particular day – sky-blue dress with a skirt made for swing-dancing – black skinny jeans, Converse hi-tops, ratty T-shirt, old baseball cap she probably got from a rummage sale. We were in a flea market, and she was staring at this set of old flower-painted porcelain dishes for four and a half minutes (I counted). I offered to buy them for her. She said thank you (she says that a lot, always in this surprised way), but she wouldn’t ever use them really. She asked if I knew what she meant that, sometimes, something is so pretty you have to look at it for a while. And then longer than a while, because a while isn’t long enough after all. That was how I felt about her (remember how much more experienced you are than me, Andre, and don’t laugh), but I suggested sunsets. “Yes!” she said. “Like that.” She was pleased.  She never talked about herself, actually. Do you realize how much more you learn about someone when she doesn’t talk about herself? I found out – not because she said so, of course – she thinks she’s boring. You know the type, I’m sure.

[indistinct]

But you get it, don’t you? I thought so. I wasn’t calling her when they dragged me out of the phone booth, by the way. I was calling her mother. I saw your guys before they got there; that’s why I hung up. You might have dragged her into it too, for all I know. I’m laughing because it was the exact same words. You’ll be amused too when I tell you. No, I know you will. You like irony, don’t you? I was chopping the salad for her mother. Cut my finger. And she said, “Don’t bleed on my floor!” Like that. And wrapped it all up for me, washed it and everything. Don’t bleed on my floor. It is funny.

[indistinct]

All right. Isn’t this floor yours too, though? I’m so sorry; I do appear to have gotten blood on it. Quite a lot of blood, actually. Well, it’s my floor too, I guess. I admit, the bloodstains wouldn’t go with the rest of the kitchen décor. It might go with the broken window pane, but that’s all behind us now, isn’t it? Your tie’s crooked. Yeah, that’s better. You shouldn’t do these things yourself, you know; it’s messy. All the great backstabbers and crime bosses have people to do their dirty work for them. That’s why their ties are so straight.

[indistinct]

Right, the girl. Well, she would have appreciated it – you’re so boring when you’re angry, Andre. “Don’t bleed on my floor” – in that voice you do so well. You look like – oh, a frat boy, the hair and the teeth and the sculpted jaw. Only a frat boy can’t be really intimidating, and you are. Truly intimidating, I mean. It isn’t one of those B-movie villain affairs – you sneer but you don’t snarl, and you don’t overdo it. And there’s just a hint – I could just suspect –

[silence]

Well, I knew it, didn’t I? Or I wouldn’t have –

[coughing]

[indistinct]

Right, the girl. Right. You know, I’m not really planning to tell you anything useful. I just like this part, where I do less unmanly shrieking and you get to practice your budding skill of patience. It’s coming along nicely, by the way. That tic in your right jaw, I can barely see it. Of course, I can barely see anything at the moment, I think I’m – I think – going to –

[coughing]

[indistinct]

I protest. I can’t talk about true love when I feel like I’m going to puke my guts out. It’s indecent.

[indistinct]

Okay, okay, okay. I can try. Let’s see. She is an odd girl. I don’t think she’d be surprised if she walked in that door – over there – there’s a door over there, isn’t there? I can’t see it. She – she won’t walk through it, because – because why the hell else are we here, like this? – but if she did she wouldn’t be surprised. Did I tell you how she always said “thank you”? Like she was so surprised. I told her about you – no, not like that. Not like that. I mean I told her about growing up. Baseball and things. Mr. Kramer’s window. So she thinks you’re a bleeding saint of a big brother. But she still wouldn’t be surprised, that’s what I mean. I was surprised. And I was an idiot, too. I’ve known you all my life, and – and I was an idiot. It wouldn’t have changed anything, probably – oh, and sentiment, sure, auld lang syne – but I’m supposed to be smart, aren’t I?

[indistinct]

Yeah. Yeah, you’re never going to find her, are you? You’re never going to find her.

[indistinct]

Don’t do that, Andre. There’s not any point. I know it doesn’t feel good to be beaten by your little brother, but consider – it doesn’t feel good to be beaten by your older brother either. (Another double-entendre. That was a pretty good one, wasn’t it?)

[indistinct]

You think I’d rather be in your place?

[coughing]

[indistinct]

No, no, I’m fine, I was just – I was just laughing – because –

[coughing]

Mr. Kramer’s window – I told her about Mr. Kramer’s window. Did I tell you that? That’s what I mean. Maybe I’d have turned into…into…well, I haven’t, though, have I? You’d face Mr. Kramer’s wrath for your little brother, but not Ferlinghetti’s. Well, maybe you would have back then. But I got her away from all of you. All of you. You won’t be able to find her, and Ferlinghetti won’t be able to find her, and you – well, you still have Ferlinghetti’s good opinion, at least, right? He has probably has a better opinion of you than ever. Business first, then family. What’s left of it.


THE END


Well. Glad that’s over with. Now I can go read everybody else’s stories, which I’ve been wild to do! (Didn’t want to before, because that usually drains me of all inspiration, and would definitely have drained me of the courage to actually post this…which I’m still not 100% sure I’m going to do…)

Oh, and this is the prompt:



It is a very cool prompt. The blood, the phone. I like.

Published by sarahseele

A Christian, cat owner, college kid, and writer. Fond of stories. Fond of rain.

19 thoughts on “Don’t Bleed on the Floor // One Quirk Later #7

    1. ah.
      ………..
      ok I don’t think I can explain what’s going on (it would help if I had more of a grasp on this, myself), but I’m really happy it intrigued you despite making no sense! And I thought the audio recording format was really fun to write and I kind of want to maybe try more? Because it IS a cool format. (Despite being…confusing if you’re not good at it. Heh.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, yes, it would indeed. 🙂

        I read a book once that was written as if it was entirely audio recordings and I thought the idea was really cool. I haven’t tried doing it extensively myself, but it’s certainly something I want to try more of in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay, your comment just made me think of a book I read a long time ago – it was like Percy Jackson but with Egyptian mythology and siblings?? And the idea was that the siblings were taking turns recording the stories, which was cool. Although I kind of want something a little more…un-staged? Like a story is told through audio recordings, but the people in the recordings aren’t necessarily aware they’re being recorded. Or something. Yeah. I think that would be cool.
        I’m curious what book it was, though! I’d be interested to read it.
        And does this mean you’ve done it on a small scale yourself??

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, I started to read that I think… The Kane Chronicles, right? I don’t think I made it all the way through the first book though. Something about it weirded me out or something…but that was a long time ago and I don’t really remember. I didn’t remember that it was supposed to be audio recordings.

        The book I read was See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng. It definitely has some of the staged aspect to it, since the premise is a kid making recordings on his ipod to send into outer space, but there are times when he leaves it on and it picks up other conversations and stuff…so yeah. It’s kind of cool.

        I think I have written some stuff that’s supposed to be audio recordings? But at the moment I can’t actually remember. Maybe I haven’t and I’ve just wanted to do it and thought about doing it. I don’t actually know…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s right, the Kane Chronicles! I read the whole first book, but I stopped after that. I was weirded out by the gods. They, like…wanted to possess the kids? Or something? The whole magic system was weird and uncomfortable, as I remember.

        That sounds REALLY cool, actually. *adds to tbr* *tbr moans like an overloaded camel and collapses on the sands*

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I am confused but delighted. (And I hope you didn’t actually fail your stats exam!)

    The repeated explanation of double-entendre. *dies* And we hear so very little about the girl, but I already like her a lot!

    Honestly, something about the whole tone of this story reminds me of Gary D. Schmidt, and Holling specifically. Which makes me very happy.

    And as Sponge said, the audio recording format is really cool, and I think it adds a lot.

    Like

    1. Confused but delighted. I’ll take it. 😛😂 (Thank you for being concerned! I actually got a B…and I was thinking I was being optimistic to hope for a C, so I’m pretty happy right now and have no grievance with Jem or her irresistible prompts!)

      Ack you’re making me grin. I’m SO glad you love the girl.

      And ack ack ACK I do not think I could ask for a higher compliment??!? I guess it’s the very specific first-person voice, and the sibling angst, or something, wherein the similarity lies??? Regardless, I LOVE THAT. Because Gary is the BEST and HOLLING and maybe I should stop before this turns into a Wednesday Wars gush?

      Thank you for your kind words, Samantha, and your confused delight! I’m really wanting to try some more audio-recording format type stuff now. It’s unexpectedly fun.

      Like

  2. SARAH???!!!??!!

    I have tears in my eyes. What have you done.

    I love this.

    I love HIM.

    I love the way it starts out looking like an ordinary conversation, and you just think, at first, “man this guy is very monologue-y but he talks well so it’s okay,” and THEN you realize there’s a REASON he’s being monologue-y, and HOW CAN I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT HIM and the GIRL and even ANDRE so much from just ONE LITTLE BIT OF STORY *breaks off and hyperventilates* *or should I say, [indistinct]*

    ….i can’t decide if i want to fall on my knees and beg you for a novel or just…tell you not to touch it cuz it’s perfect.

    Like

    1. Megan I wish you could know exactly how much this comment made my heart flutter, haha. I think at least half the reason I was so hesitant to post this was that, while and just after writing it, I had massive amounts of feelings, but looking it over in a cooler frame of mind, it was like, “I don’t…I don’t know that it actually makes SENSE, though.” So to know that it DID make sense to you (at least insofar as it did to me) and made you love the little brother (like I do) just…just Relieves My Mind.

      And TEARS? Actual TEARS? I’m SO HAPPY. Because I have feelings about my children too and I’m not alone and…and THANK YOU. For liking it and loving them (I care about Andre too, desperately) and saying nice things.

      I would opt for the don’t touch it, though. Much more likely to come to pass. 😛

      Like

      1. So I read it to my little sister the Wit and she would like to join me in petitioning (respectfully and non-pressuring-ly) for a novel. We are rather desperate, you see, to at least know the little brother’s name so that we can call him something a little more personable than “The Narrator.”

        Also, not to cast shade on my dear sister’s character (she’s really a very sweet girl, I promise), but her favorite character is Andre.

        (And that line about knowing more about a person when she doesn’t talk about herself? So good. I love that. SO GOOD, I tell you.)

        Like

      2. He does need a name, doesn’t he. I don’t know his name either. Hmm.
        (Also, my characters all live somewhat in terror of your siblings’ opinions, so Andre and The Narrator are most proud of themselves for meeting with the Wit’s approval.)

        I’m quite glad to hear he’s her favorite. I think he kinda needs to be somebody’s favorite. He needs…a lot of things.

        (^.^ The Narrator thought of that. I was surprised, but then I was like, “huh, you know…you’re right.”)

        Like

  3. Everything Megan said ^^

    I MEAN. IT WAS FINE. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT PLATES AND A GIRL. THEN WHOOP, NO, HE’S BEING BEAT UP. And the [indistinct] [coughing] breaks are so so good because they force you to fill in the blanks yourself and my mind 100% filled in the blanks with coughing blood, so that’s fun. And it’s his brother and he’s talking about how he shouldn’t have been surprised because he knew Andre but he was surprised and ahhhhh.

    (I don’t know why Andre needs to find the girl, but in short fiction I think that’s definitely something you’d leave out. Gotta leave them readers with questions, mwahaha. [Wait, I am? the reader?? why am I giving this advice, I do not want to be left with questions, I want the comfort part of hurt/comfort ahahaaa :’D ])

    This is amazing and I applaud your experiment with new styles and I applaud your ability to hURT US, THANKS SARAH—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IT WAS FINE. HE WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT PLATES AND A GIRL. THERE JUST HAPPENS TO ALSO BE (UNLRELATED) BLOOD ON THE FLOOR.
      (I’m really glad the context is at least pick-up-on-able, I must say? I was worried about that. And yes, I have vague ideas of why Andre – or technically Ferlinghetti – needs to find the girl, but even so I feel like it would’ve been way too detailed to work naturally into something this short, so I’m glad you think it wasn’t necessary for hurting people, which is, after all, my main goal here. This is still in parentheses so I DIDN’T OFFICIALLY SAY THAT.)
      Thank you for providing this prompt, Jem!! As I may have said, I had a lot of fun with it. 😀 (And the things other people did with it…..well. We’re not going to talk about the state my emotions are in.)

      Like

  4. …I have feelings.
    I love the format! When you first said it was an audio recording, I was picturing the scene was going to be a back and forth dialogue, but something about about the fact that we can’t hear what Andre is saying is SO GOOD. Ack. I love it.
    Also, these characters! I feel like I have such a clear picture of the girl, and she’s wonderful. And this very messed-up brother relationship?? FEELINGS. I would like more, please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …Good. Serves you right, after YOUR Quirk.

      It’s funny, because that’s just how it came into my head? I didn’t even think of the actual events and decide to write them in this format, I just…thought of hearing this recording. And you couldn’t hear what Andre was saying on the recording, hence you can’t hear what he’s saying in the story. (Sometimes I really want to know how my brain works because….why? I’m not mad, but why? does it feed me the things it does?)
      ^.^ I’m so glad you love the girl. And my messed-up brothers. They need it.

      Liked by 1 person

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