The Outlaw by Robert Vaughan

I slice my pinkie while he watches me chop carrots in his kitchen.

He’s told me endless reasons why moving in would benefit Starr and me.

He’s a good man. Wouldn’t hurt us. I know this, I believe him. But my scars run deep.

He says who makes you laugh more than I do? He opens another beer, as I run cold water from the tap.

It’s true, this outlaw.

This curmudgeon.

He’s cuddly, fuzzy, just slightly crazy.

But does he drink too much?

The water runs over my finger, the cool liquid mixes with my blood.

I watch my future run down the drain.


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Filed under Robert Vaughan

23 responses to “The Outlaw by Robert Vaughan

  1. Jeez, then don’t do it, for God’s sake! You know what will happen. This story is like a slow-moving runaway train, frustrating but unstoppable. Well done.

  2. Nice, Robert, the dialogue takes us somewhere while the action of bleeding is inevitable. Nicely done.

  3. Wallace

    Run, before it’s too late!

  4. The thing is, I can see the appeal of a fun loving, slightly crazy guy that makes her laugh. But yeah… bad idea.

    Well written.

  5. Great ending, Robert! The future runs down the drain because they stay or because they leave … I like how you let me ponder and choose my own ending!

  6. This is so subtle, every word counts. I love this little bit with its authentic inevitability.

  7. Almost poetry. Really nice story. Chilling ending. I like the tone of it, the blood is great…

  8. Randal Houle

    Nice work, again, Robert. The attraction and danger deftly presented.

  9. Amazing work. Chilling. You know what’s going to happen next, or do you? Well crafted.

  10. Missy

    I want to know what happens next.

    Strong ending, Robert!

  11. Shari

    You say mountains with so few words. But then, that is your forte, my dear. Another gem, thanks.

  12. I love how you leave us on the edge of the story. Kind of like the knife. One of your best, but I think I say this every week. Peace…

  13. Catherine Davis

    How finely rendered, this crazy character. It’s a great opposition to the cool POV of the narrator. I love a mystery, I love thinking I can solve this by reading the key words (aren’t they all?) the right way. Cool liquid mixing with the blood is so potent. That’s my answer. I don’t mind if I’m wrong. Thank you for the wonderful tease, the worry, the inducement to want to know – because you’ve made us care.

  14. guy

    Gotta be a relative. Blood is thicker than water. (But then again, he’s diluted it with water. )

    At any rate, i think the narrator should take Cousin Jeb in for the sake of our entertainment. Or if he doesn’t, some other fictional character should do it.

  15. JR Price

    This story rings with the perfect amount of danger, hinted at by lines like “my scars run deep” or “does he drink too much?” Masterfully constructed.

  16. Only a skillful story could make me want to scream at her. The sliced pinkie is a brilliant touch.

  17. Theo

    Your use of interior thoughts and running monologue in this piece made me feel so protective of her or him (not sure which, and I rather liked that ambiguity, too). Very creative short fiction.

  18. Thanks, everyone for taking the time to read my piece and adding such wise and insightful comments. What a great site this is, and I continue to be enthralled by the writers, the writing and support here at 52/250. Kudos, Michelle, John and Walter.

  19. Brilliantly done! I love the economy in this!

  20. Kim Hutchinson

    Sometimes you just know. The blood image at the end is gripping.

  21. Pingback: Week #35 – Loose connections | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  22. wonderful dialogue. i read this like a piece from beckett. i hope i get to see one of your plays one of these days. i like how you change lanes in this piece.

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