The dusty Manhattan air niggled at Ruthie’s throat as she paced up and down the balcony, the contents of the glass of Scotch sloshed from side to side, her hand trembling with anticipation.  She gazed at her gold wrist watch, another one of Billy’s pointless gifts; one that said; ‘Darlin’ I’m sorry but `I’ve had another affair, but this expensive watch will solve everything.’ Ruthie swayed a little, as the potent alcohol intoxicated her system. She placed a hand to her forehead, running her fingers over her Marseille waved hair, as she did so something jagged caught a section, hooking itself to the strands. Ruthie inhaled sharply as she unhooked the costume jewellery engagement ring from her hair, cheap just like her relationship. She staggered inside, opening her jewellery box, carefully taking out the metal hair comb, one too gaudy to be her own. It was proof enough. The latch clicked on the bedroom door as Billy stumbled in, tossing his bowler hat onto the floor. He collapsed into a chair, dizzily attempting to unlace his black polished shoes. He smelt of her, that other woman with her cheap harlot perfume. Ruthie wandered over to him.

“Honey, you were out so late again I was so worried, what were ya doin’ ?”

“Big work schedule at the office.” He slurred.

They kept you there until three in the mornin’? How could they?”

Billy fumbled with his knotted tie, his head lolling against the side of the arm chair.

“You’re drunker than I am honey.” Ruthie cooed. “Let me help you unbutton your shirt. I was ever so worried ya know.”

“Wha- d’ya mean?”

“Oh Billy you’ve been working to hard, you’re worn out. Did you go to the cabaret bar again with the fellas? It that why you’re so late?”

“Yeah.”

Ruthie nodded, completely unconvinced. “You smell like her again Billy!”

  “ ‘mell like who?”

 “That little red headed harlot you were seeing! You said it was over, you told me that there was nothin’ goin’ on between the two of you anymore.”

  “There isn’t.”

  “Liar! You cheatin’ God damned liar! How dare you. How can you lie to me?!”

  “Baby, I-I.”

 “How long? HOW LONG?!”

  “Oh come on, it was nothin’.”

   “NOTHIN? How is sleepin’ around with another woman nothin’? I trusted you, you son of a bitch. I thought we were gonna have a future together you and me!”

   “It didn’t go no further than a kiss.” He lied. “I’m tired, I need to go to bed.”

    “You sly, son of a bitch! You snake! You absolute viper! You-you!”

Ruthie swung for him, an unsteady Billy toppled to the floor, lying there, stunned with fresh blood pouring from his nose. He scrambled away from her, backing towards the small en-suite bathroom.

You get the hell a way from me d’ya hear! You-you ravin’ lunatic!”

Oh I’ll show you a lunatic, you’re gonna get what’s been coming to ya.”

  “I really wouldn’t do that Ruthie baby, you’re gonna be makin’ a big mistake.”

  “Oh and why’s that cheatin’ Billy? Give me one good reason why I should save your ass!”

 “It just so happens that I’ve got me a gun in my pocket. Oh no! Where he hell?!”

Ruthie smiled slyly, stroking her fingers over the object buried in her dressing gown pocket.

“Oh dear, poor old Billy’s plan has backfired hasn’t it! What a shame. So you came in armed did you? You knew that I was gonna hit the roof when I realized that you were sleepin’ around with little miss hooker!”

  “Oh Jesus!”

  “Prayin’ to Jesus Christ aint gonna save ya now you fool! I knew what your motives were!”

“It was precautionary Ruthie! Murder was never on ma mind!”

   “Complete and utter baloney!”

   “Cool it Ruthie, I think you’re runnin’ a fever or somethin’ it- it’s too hot in here.”

   “Utter lies! You’re so full of manure my man, my god I shoulda seen it months ago. I’m such a fool, such a blasted fool! I’m gonna give you to the count of 10 to get out of here and save your own ass!”

  “What?”

  “One, two, three, four. Move Billy! Five I’m warnin’ you! Six! Ten. Too late! Too God- damned late!”

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78 thoughts on “Scotch

      1. Just the whole intensity of the drama. She gets SO fucked-off by his lame ways. Shit what a deal to be in THAT situation, gives you the shivers really. Marriage seems to be a thing to handle with tweezers!!

      2. Well, as tchekov would say, “have respect for all of the parts, because they all make the play”. Let’s not be immature now. I believe in this shit. You either sort things out amongst yourselves, or the shit hits the road, in asylums or in prisons. Marriages are a blessing. i think your case focusses on a crap one, your fears

      3. Oh God, give us a fun bit sweets. Try I don’t know, shagging the waitress at BJ’s, just a thought on getting stuck in coolers and the cell phone reception not working in the encased steel, and the scared sex games not knowing if going to be frozen, and then the fuzz shows up and breaks the door down.

  1. Hahaha. She’s gonna fill him full of holes. Bet he’ll never cheat again.

    But…but…did you have to make the whore a redhead? LOL *strokes her ginger locks* 😦 ;p

      1. It’s a bit hard to follow the tone. It’s a riot to read but if, for instance, you indicated the emotions of the husband as he approached the door, it might add texture to the piece. Just an opinion

  2. As a discussion on dialect, the story is set in New York (City) but reads more Southern. The saving grace is that Manhattan is stocked full of transplants from all over the country. It would be plausible that a couple from Texas relocated to the city. It has to do with the contractions you used (i.e. “darlin'”, “d’ya hear”, etc.). I’ve only heard that in rural and Southern areas of America.

    My two cents on a few word choices:

    “niggled” – very English. A lot of Americans get uptight about words sounding like racial slurs. I can remember a Congressman getting grilled four or five years ago for using the term “niggardly” in a sentence. It gets to be absurd, but it still happens.

    “Codswallop” – Just not in an American’s vernacular. 😉

    “bowler” – I would love to wear a bowler these days, but I can’t seem to find a good haberdasher anywhere. 🙂 I’m not totally straight on what time period this is in, but would guess the present. That would make a bowler an anachronism.

    By all means, use words most comfortable for you. Don’t think I’m trying to be hard-nosed about it. It simply felt like you were trying to capture a regional feel to the piece, and I thought I could help by adding perspective.

    1. Hi! Thanks so much for all your feedback its so helpful :). I’ll have another read of the post and make a few changes! That’s the great thing about wordpress, you can always go back and edit the post 🙂

      1. This gave me an idea. I have a writing assignment for you. It would be a challenge between the both of us. This doesn’t mean it would be competitive, but a challenge nonetheless. Interested?

      2. You write me a story in local dialect. The plot may be anything you wish, but there’s a catch. The stipulation is I get to choose the location. In turn, you tell me a place and I’ll set up a story there.

        Research is permissible, but only to technical subjects (i.e. geography, buildings, events, etc.). Mannerisms, slang, and accent-influenced pronunciation has to be based off your perception of what you think they would sound like.

        Don’t worry about being right or wrong. That’s not my goal. I want to see how it turns out.

        So, what do you say? Is it a deal?

      3. Well, the goal of the piece hinged on me being familiar with the area and vice versa. I’m not familiar with much outside of America. That’s why I suggested Chicago. Maybe if I do my piece first, you’ll understand things better?

        Looking at the map, are you familiar with Portsmouth at all?

      4. Aha! That’s better! I’ve only ever been to Leeds once, but that could be interesting! Leeds/ Yorkshire yeah I’d be up for that 🙂

      5. I totally failed with Leeds, I did give it a good go, but didn’t like what I came up with. I’ll stick to choosing another fairly local regional dialect and give it another go! How is your piece of work going?

      6. I finished the rough draft last night. Instead of hastily posting it, I decided to sleep on it. This way I might be able to proof it better. I also resolved an artistic dilemma I had this morning in the shower. We’ll see how work goes. I might be able to push it out before dinner with my friends tonight.

      7. You know what I changed my mind, I am writing something in regional dialect, but I changed it to Geordie ! **Fingers crossed** (No idea when I’ll finish it!)

  3. I really enjoy the imagery in the first paragraph. I can see the scene opening on a stage as a period piece. Maybe it’s the fact that you named it Scotch makes me think of a Roaring Twenties book? It could also be the use of the word baloney. Nice work.

  4. This reads very much like a screenplay. Even the introduction with the jewellery could be read as stage directions. I do agree with what someone said earlier about adding in a bit of flavor between the dialogue so as to make it feel a bit less one-note in terms of style. Maybe try some dialogue that isn’t in quotes. Also, why did you choose italics for the spoken dialogue? Just out of curiosity.

    1. Ah I see. I always write my dialogue in italics, it’s just the way that I write.
      Like a screenplay, I never thought of it like that, very interesting.

  5. wowza–good stuff. want to say thanks for coming by foodforfun for the irreverent chocolate cookies, but am going to stay for more drama 🙂

  6. In the case of that time period of 1920-30’s you caught the clothing and style well. The harlot term also would be appropriate, those were the “flapper days!” The drama was both serious but also, influenced by scotch, did on of them go to a speakeasy? Private wealthier homes could afford bootlegged scotch, I believe. Good job!

    1. Aha! Yes it was set between the 1920’s and 1930’s! I’m so glad that people could recognise that. 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work! I really appreciate it 🙂

  7. Sophie, you’re from North-country, nice. OK… I liked the story…of course am wanting to know what happens to Mr. Billy. If Ruthie shoots him and since she had the foresight to relieve him of his stashed weapon…she probably has a leisurely way out of town.

    Meanwhile, I like the idea of you collaborating with a male writer. I thought your brought Ruthie’s POV to bear nicely…with accurate feeling in a short space. Bravo. If you got a male writer, like Corvidae ITF, to provide the ‘pressure’ of the other character’s POV … especially if you DON’t know where it goes (hear Radiolab – TJ & Dave here – http://www.radiolab.org/series/podcasts/#) you could raise your already awesome to an exponential level.

    And yes, hair and hat specifics were immediate time placement. I love Bowlers too.
    Writers writing about the same character(s) can be VERY exciting. But first I’m going to cruise through more of your work.

    1. I love it when people give me analysis of my work! I have to say that I prefer writing longer pieces of fiction such as ‘Planchette’
      Thanks for your comments, I’m glad that it was an accurate interpretation of that time!

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