Very Rough Draft

I will probably miss the deadline for this and not submit. There are no edits, but I thought I'd throw this out there. It is complete fiction based on my experiences, but no case of mine is specifically tied to this story.

9:27 PM: I  resent the neighbors a bit. I wonder why, every time, none of them bothered get to know this person. Somebody thinks a daughter visits every couple years. From the looks of the room, it seems like this must be an off year. No one knows any names. Someone thinks he's from California meaning I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I'm tired, but that doesn't matter at all now. I'll grab every box of papers I can. I am well known for finding people, even those that don't want to be found.

9:47 PM: I am a stranger to this room, but I've seen it hundreds of times. It is cramped and dusty with the ammonia smell of cat box impregnated into every surface. The other smells just blend together in a familiar heavy fog. There is the old chair, worn through to the stuffing in places with a sheen of human oil on the head and arm rests. Next to the chair stands a short table covered with pill bottles, their yellowed labels peeling off, impossible to read. There is a dirty glass with crusty dentures resting on the bottom. There are cigarette butts in ashtrays.  There is always a remote within reach on the table as well. The T.V. is on the customary channel with a black and white episode of Perry Mason I saw once as a kid. 

10:15 PM: There are several people in the room with me. None of us have been here before, but we've seen it all hundreds of times, except for the new guy, who although he is the only normal one here, looks skittish. There are old record players, gramophones, and piles of records from the 30's and 40's. A camera flashes and we scuttle out of the way. The smell is really getting to the new guy by the failed tough guy look on his face. There is a pile of soda cans on the floor, no bin, just a pile. Next to that is a pile of mail, none of it is opened. I flip through the envelopes, some are dated back seven years. I find a photo from what appears to be from the seventies, but may be older, with "Christine" written in perfect penmanship on the back.  There are cat turds in the corner on the carpet. I find another photo with "the boys" scrawled on the back. To me this one screams Idaho in the eighties with big hair and a stuffed antelope head on the wall. These are the people I need to find.

10:29 PM: Some neighbors have gathered across the street, trying to look nonchalant while smoking and drinking cans of beer, obviously watching the spectacle, wanting to know what I see. They have never seen this room. The T.V. twinkles in the window every night. They wonder if he stays up nights and sleeps through the day. They rarely see him. The neighbors don't like how he keeps the lawn, but it isn't the fanciest neighborhood, so he gets by. An old car sits unused collecting dust and cats as usual in the drive. Kids don't like going by his house at night. There is a story about prison and violence, but no one knows the details.

9:06 PM: The phone rings, I was really wanting to go home early, but it looks like that isn't in the cards tonight. "Coroner's Office" I answer, waiting to get an address on a 68 year old male who hasn't been seen for two weeks.


  1. 1. It's amazing how many people I know who had kids because they thought it was a way to avoid this sort of end. As though kids always pay attention.

    2. Just saw The Urban Goatherder in your Favorites. I am OBSESSED with Olive and Pickle!!!

  2. @ Pensive, she's the significant other of a guy I went to high school with. Small world.

  3. WOW. is this for writers in the attic?! oh god i hope you still enter it. this is BY FAR the best entry i've read. you will get in for sure. fabulous story.

    1. I chickened, out. I didn't think it was very good. Is there any way I can get squeezed in? If not, it is my fault for selling myself short. Thanks for the nice review though. It hasn't even been edited, although I have no idea how to do that.

  4. I think it's excellent! Write more please.(also when you get called to the old hoarder dude's house who lives down the street from me I expect a phone call)


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