Spiral by Al McDermid

When I inherited the house I grew up in, the house my grandfather built, I knew the upkeep and back taxes would wipe me out. Even the renovations required to make the place truly marketable were out of the question. So, I sold it for what I could get, leaving most of the furniture.

When the pink slip arrived, I knew that I would not be able to keep the very modest place I’d bought with the proceeds from my grandfather’s house. I hung onto it for as long as I could, but months later, I was still unemployed and my money was mostly gone. I sold the house, leaving more stuff behind.

When the store where I finally found work closed, I knew I was cursed. I took what money I had, bought a van, which seemed a better plan than waiting to be evicted from my rented apartment. I donated the last of my furniture to Goodwill, then loaded up my clothes, books, and vinyl collection.

When the van broke down, I managed to get it off the road. At least it was in a good spot. I put out a sign and sold the books and records. Once these were gone, I packed what clothes I could into my old sea bag, walked to the nearest southbound on-ramp, and stuck out my thumbs.

When a blond in a Mercedes stopped to pick me up, I thought my luck had finally changed . . .


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Filed under Al McDermid

16 responses to “Spiral by Al McDermid

  1. Oh, I hope she wasn’t a murderer! I think this is going to be my life – thanks for sharing!

  2. Actually, sometimes it is good to read such stories so you can say, ‘No, this is NOT going to be my life!’

  3. Oh this is fantastic! I love the arrangement of the narrative in concise instances that drop with each level. And the ending is just priceless!

  4. I love how no matter how things seem to turn our badly, he always has such an upbeat perspective on it! Makes me wonder what’s happening with the blonde. I’m glad that it’s left unanswered though.

    Great job!

    • Al McDermid

      Thanks. Yeah, if you’re still breathing, it can always get better. :)

      As for the blond . . . he is telling the story, so I guess it’s going okay at least.

  5. Quenby Larsen

    Awesome, Al! Very tight. Thanks for a great read.

  6. interesting story format, the spiral. and then the open end – well done.

  7. guy

    What’s a blonde in a Mercedes going to see in a homeless guy?

    She stops as if to pick him up, waits as he approaches car, then floors it and drives away laughing.

  8. Great story, parable really. One of your best, Al, and I love how we can make up our own ending. Peace…

  9. Pingback: Week #25 – least favorite « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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