A Shitty Story


Ernest sat in his rig at the Port of Oakland devouring egg chorizo burritos while waiting for a load of cheap Chinese crap. It was taking forever. He’d called Darla three times last night, but she hadn’t answered. Too busy bumpin’ uglies with some skinny punk.

By seven he was hauling butt, eastbound and down. Ernest loved listening to historical audiobooks, particularly World War II. He slid in a CD about the London Blitz and cranked the volume. Six hours later in Barstow, he told Darla between bites of a chilidog that the shipment was delayed, so expect him home Monday. Ernest sensed she liked the weekend without his fat ass around.

By midnight he passed Albuquerque. Quittin’ time should’ve been in Flagstaff, but he wasn’t slowing down. Along with a full tank, he had his thermos full of coffee, NoDoz buzzing his brain, and Arby’s in his belly. He listened to a retelling of the Normandy Invasion. By the time he made Oklahoma City, it was eight on a Saturday morning. He headed up I-44, knowing that if Darla had been partying before screwing, they both might be sleeping in.

After refilling in Tulsa, he calculated he’d make it to Rogers before noon, drop his load and be home by one. That wouldn’t work. Even if they went another round in the morning, the bastard would be gone by then. Ernest needed to go Eisenhower on their ass. A surprise D-Day attack they wouldn’t see coming. Ernest didn’t know what he’d do, but taking the Colt from the glove box seemed logical.

Racing into the mobile home park, gravel flew six feet in the air, and the trailer nearly jackknifed when he punched the brakes. Ernest leapt out and stormed his front door. He found Darla sitting on the bed wide-eyed naked. The room smelled of stale sex. Boots and Wranglers that weren’t his lay on the floor.

“What the hell, Ernie!”

“Where is he?”


Ernest grabbed Darla by her peroxide hair and flung her off the bed. He cocked the .45 and stalked out. The living room and kitchen were empty. Darla stood in the hall trembling with last night’s mascara streaking down her cheeks.

“Ernie, p-p-please…”

Ernest raised the barrel to her forehead.

“You’re cheatin’ on me. You deny it?”

“I’m… so s-s-sorry,” she bawled. Tears and piss flowed.

He looked at this pathetic leaking woman. The center of his heart, the core of his being. He’d given her everything and she betrayed him. Yet, a pathetic piece of him still wanted her.

His finger tightened around the trigger. She raised her hands, pleading… when it hit.

It hit him hard. He darted past Darla and threw open the john door.

Twenty-nine hours of straight driving, three breakfast burritos, seven hamburgers, five roast beefs, three chilidogs, two-dozen doughnuts, and a bag of Doritos. They all needed out. He pocketed the gun, unhooked his overalls and dropped on the throne. What happened next exceeded any orgasm he’d ever experienced and crossed over into the divine. He realized the movement felt better than anything he’d ever had with Darla.

Coming back to earth, he knew what he needed to do. He glanced at the tremendous damage below. Wouldn’t be worth flushing, ‘cause it’d only clog up. Besides, it was Darla’s now. He washed up, noticing the smell rivaled Arkansas Porta-Potties in late August. Then he heard a sigh.

Earnest yanked open the shower curtain and found a thin naked dude holding his privates in one hand and covering his nose with the other. His face bore a green tint. Ernest punched him in the gut. Air exploded out of his mouth as he crumpled to the tub, gasping. Ernest aimed the pistol, but remembered the peace he’d just found.

“Guess what?”

The man looked up, tears wetting his eyes.

“Darla’s your problem now, buddy.”

Ernest turned to find Darla standing in the bathroom doorway smothering her nose.

“Don’t need this trailer or anything in it, hon. ‘Specially you.”

She reached for him as he pushed past.

“Ernie…” she called.

Ernest opened the front door and turned. “Ya’ll have a good life, hear? I’m through with this shit.”

~ fin ~

Bloodshot and Bruised is Travis Richardson‘s debut collection of short stories. He has won a Derringer Award for flash fiction and has been a nominee for the Macavity and Anthony short story awards. He has two novellas out, Lost in Clover and Keeping the Record. His stories have been published in crime fiction publications such as Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Flash Fiction Offensive, and numerous anthologies like Low Down Dirty Vote and The Obama Inheritance. A few years back, he reviewed Anton Chekhov short stories at www.chekhovshorts.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Find out more at www.tsrichardson.com.