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by on November 29, 2012

This story was based on the Trifecta prompt for this week, which was to use the third definition of the word “hollow”: “lacking in real value, sincerity, or substance : false,meaningless.”  It may also have been inspired by a certain popular Christmas song. Enjoy!

It was raining in the city by the bay, a cold hard rain, colder than the water than comes from your showerhead when you’ve inadvertently used up all your hot water. Sam Consonant hated when that happened. He hated a lot of things. Sam wanted nothing more than to go back to his poorly lit office and stare out at the rain, waiting for a client to come in and plead for his help in finding her lost husband or poodle or whatever. Preferably she would be blond, not unattractive, and wildly wealthy.

But he’d run out of fedoras and he had to go and buy one. A fedora was an absolute must in his business. That explained why he stood there glowering in a line that snaked slowly towards a register. In front of him was some kid holding a pair of shoes. The kid looked like he’d had a hard day. Well, it was a hard time. Various other noir-y thoughts flitted through Sam’s mind as the kid finally got to the cashier.

Some problem had developed. The kid didn’t have enough money to pay. Tears flowed; apparently the shoes were for his old lady who was about to meet the big goodbye. The guy right in front of Sam saw the trouble and paid for the shoes himself. Sam sighed; he hated hollow sentimentality. Then something clicked. Since when do people pay for things with pennies? Especially really pricey stuff like shoes?

Sam raced after the kid, who’d left the store and ducked into an alleyway. As Sam approached, the kid’s eyes flashed an otherworldly magenta. Sam froze. Kid was an alien. Crap.

“Q’irpy snarp flaznik!” the kid said.

Sam didn’t speak alien. He guessed the kid’s meaning well enough, though, especially when it fired a phaser bolt at him. The kid missed. Sam didn’t.  He packed away his lower-tech revolver and walked away into the night, as the cold rain turned into colder snow. Sam just hated snow.

  1. Draug419 permalink

    roflmfao! xD

    When I read your description I was like, Dammit I HATE that song and now I have to read a story inspired by it and pretend to like it.

    Then you started in on the noir stuff (<3!) and the satire and then by the end with the alien I was in love with you lmao One of my favorite pieces this week for sure! (:

    • I liked that song, the first five times I heard it. By the 543rd time, I was like, JUST GIVE HIM THE SHOES ALREADY AND LET HIM GO. 🙂

  2. Ah what a joy this was to read! So many wonderful bits. “cold as the water that comes from your shower head when you inadvertently used up all your hot water” Loved that!

    Also deeply appreciated:
    “Various other noir-y thoughts flitted through Sam’s mind as the kid finally got to the cashier.”

    “apparently the shoes were for his old lady who was about to meet the big goodbye”

    “Sam didn’t speak alien.” Haha!

    I want to read much much more about noir-y adventures of Sam Consonant!!

  3. Whoa, that veered off suddenly. Very cool, and I’m not a sci-fi/fantasy fan. But I do hate snow. And I’ve been known to do some glowering in lines.

    • I like snow theoretically, but I hate being out in it. Especially driving in it. That’s enough to make anyone glower.

  4. I did not expect an alien shoot-out 🙂 (Part of the fun of your blog is never really knowing what to expect…I mean that in a good way.) I like how he casually goes back to hating stuff after offing an alien.

  5. Great work, Michael!

  6. Fedoras are important.

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