Saturday, February 20, 2010


Jarvis & Smith ~ Chapter 5

500 words based on a sentence selected by Dive. Click here for more info.

This week's sentence is from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest: "Out along the dim six-o'clock street, I saw leafless trees standing, striking the sidewalk there like wooden lightning, concrete split apart where they hit, all in a fenced-in ring."


“Hi. I’m Jarv… I’m sorry, I’m Greg and I think I may be an alcoholic.  This is my first meeting,” said Jarvis.

“Hi Greg,” the others chorused.

“I’ve always been a drinker and never had any real problems.  You know, a few beers with the guys, some wine with the ladies, a couple of drinks after work.  Once in a while, maybe a hangover in the morning.

“But lately I’ve been having these blackouts.  The first time was a few weeks ago after meeting with a client in my office.  I woke up the next morning with a huge hangover and no idea what happened.  I don’t even remember having a drink, just this really bizarre dream.

“But it keeps happening every few days and I really don’t think I’ve been drinking.  That’s the sign, right? Blackouts, loosing hours and hours at a time?  I wake up walking in different parts of the city.  No real hangover, just skewed perceptions, like my brain isn’t working right, like I’m not really sure what I’m seeing and can only relate it to other images I sort of half remember.

Behind Jarvis, Richmond quietly entered the hall and sat in the last row.

“Out along the dim six-o'clock street, I saw leafless trees standing, striking the sidewalk there like wooden lightning, concrete split apart where they hit, all in a fenced-in ring.

“In the noontime glare of Times Square I saw a mosaic of vehicles, trucks, cabs, cars, all interlocking like Legos, forming a pattern I was meant to decipher but just couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried.

“In the eight am rush I saw crowds of workers standing frozen at intersections, like those Chinese terracotta warriors, waiting for the general’s command to attack, but here they were just waiting for the walk signal to cross the street.  When the light changed, they charged down the block and then froze again at the next cross-street, again waiting for the light change to animate them and restore them to motion.

“Today I found myself a block from here, standing on the sidewalk holding a flyer from a pub in England, the Hog in Armour.  ‘Located in Saint Gregory’s Back Alley’ it says.  I’ve never been to England.  I don’t know what it means.

“They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, so I’m here.  I need help.  Thanks.”

“Would anyone else like to share?” the leader asked.

As the meeting ended, Jarvis debated lingering for coffee with the others at the back of the hall.  Since the group was supposed to be anonymous, he hesitated to strike up a conversation.

Richmond approached him, small smile on his face, hand offered in greeting.

“I’m Timothy,” said Richmond.  “I heard you’re a first-timer.  I can be your temporary sponsor if you like, until you find someone permanent.”

“Jarv… um, Greg” said Jarvis, taking the other’s hand, then snatching his back as he was zapped by a small shock.

“Sorry,” said Richmond.  “Static electricity.”

copyright(c) 2010, Lulubelle B


MarkL42 said...

You're really knocking these out. You must have the whole story plotted, just waiting for the seed sentences. And now featuring WTF Mondays? Nice.
And BTW, Happy Birthday!

Lulubelle B said...

Mark - After this week I pretty much know where Jarvis is headed and about how many steps it will take to get there, Dive willing. And a (belated) Happy Birthday right back at ya!


Robyn said...

Wow Lulu, you blended the sentence so seemlessly, I had to go back and look for it. I love reading these scenes that are like flashes—and you write them so well.

TR Woodruff said...

Lulu, you definitely have an artistic hand! I love this piece.

Psst - when you get a chance can you pop over and see that you can read my posts? My site imploded sometime yesterday morning, hence your difficulty reading it :(

dive said...

Hee hee hee, Lulu!
I can't stop grinning. The Jarvis and Smith stories are frighteningly addictive. I love them!

I'm afraid I laughed wine all over my keyboard at the Hog In Armour reference. Perhaps I should admit I have a problem: I'm a Jarvisoholic.

Wonderful! I shall have to try really hard NOT to deliberately give you an easy sentence on Thursday as that would be unfair on the others.

But I'm tempted.

Lulubelle B said...

Dive - Please don't punish the others on account of me. And how could you have known that your WTF would give me Jarvis' first name and the...well, you'll see...

dive said...

Hee hee, Lulu. And by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

TR Woodruff said...

Happy Birthday Lulu!!

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

"Located in Saint Gregory’s Back Alley’"

HAHAHAHAHAHA! You're the best!

Happy Birthday!

Vanda said...

Poor, poor Jarvis. I'm worried for him.