Thursday, October 24, 2013

Phantom Pain

This story is in response to trifecta writing challenge 100.

This is as close to magical thinking as I like to get.

The itch would center into a pinprick, sometimes it would spin. Bobby Mann could never scratch the leg was long gone in Vietnam.

Alice was a perfect housekeeper. In the lost quiet time from her passing, Bobby kept the house an immaculate shrine to her good taste. Bobby was glad to meet someone who wanted to listen to what he said.

The doorbell startled Bobby from sleep. Laying the half read paper neatly on the end table, Bobby used his crutches to get to the door. Looking through the peephole, two clean cut men stood. He recognized Joshua James with a bottle of window cleaner.

Opening the door, the smaller one grabbed him by the shoulders, Bobby realized what was going to happen so he dropped to the concrete slab porch and pretended to faint.

“Geez, I thought the old man would put up a fight.”

“Lets grab the goods.”

His left arm shield his head from the worst of the impact of a kick.. He briefly entertained the idea of getting up to run. He couldn't get up off the floor much less start now.

“Damn, this house is 1950s. The television ain't worth anything.”

“What a waste of time.” the shorter one walks to the doorway empty handed.

Joshua knocks Alice's porcelain birds to the ground. Bobby stifles a cough from the ammonia of the window cleaner spilled on the floor.

“You fool. You said he could recognize you.”

The shorter man leaves.

Dishes and glasses crash. Bobby imagines his phantom leg lifting to trip Joshua.

“Identify me old coot and I'll be back.”

Joshua takes a leap to stomp Bobby and slips on the ammonia. His head hits the hard concrete first.

The face of Bobby's buddy killed by the land mine that took Bobby's leg flashed in Joshua's face.

Bobby could feel a hard hit on the leg that was a phantom.


  1. Now there's some poetic justice!

    Bit of crit: the prompt calls for a noun - not hard to fix.

  2. Yes! Great that one of the crooks slipped and fell. Greatly deserved :) I feel sad for Bobby, though...he's all alone.

  3. Karma is a bitch. Thanks for linking up!

  4. Loved the spooky justice in the end-would have loved to see the startled look on Joshua's face when he kicked the bucket;-)


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