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The Last Second


"So are you gonna answer me or not?!?"
It's really hard to come up with an answer on demand, especially at gunpoint. And right now, that's pretty much what I was dealing with. Lisa, my ex-girlfriend for all of one day, had somehow cornered me in this parking garage and was pointing a loaded gun at me. I was guessing it was a .357 or something like that, cause the hole at the end of the barrel was big enough to put a fucking golf ball in.
"Answer me!!!" she shrieked once again, drawing back the hammer.
"Awright, awright," I yelled, throwing my hands up. "Jesus! It's not like it's one of those questions that I can come up with right off the goddamn bat! Especially when you're pointing a fucking gun at me. When the fuck did you turn crazy?" Right after I said that, I knew it was a bad idea. It's not good to call a jilted lover crazy. It's especially not good if she's holding a gun large enough to blow bowling ball-sized holes in your body. "Ignore that last comment."
"Answer. Now."
"It's really hard to maintain a coherent train of thought when you're pointing that hand cannon at me. Put yourself in my shoes: do you think you could pull it off?" Her head tilted in that way a dog's does, you know, when you think it's trying to understand what you're saying. How cute. She thinks she's people...
"I wouldn't be in this situation because I wouldn't have broken up with you. When you put as much time into making a relationship work as I have, you owe it to yourself and the other person to see that it works out, to make sure it works out." This is your captain speaking. If you'd look out your window, you can see one crazy bitch on your left. If you'd look to your right, you'd see one poor bastard about to lose a majority of his organs.
"Listen: it's not fair to you for me to stay with you when I'm not happy in the relationship. Not every relationship works out. Sometimes they-"
"Two fucking years!! I invested two years in making this relationship work and you think it can end just...like...that?!?! I got news for you, asshole. It is not going to end like that." Yep. Right over the edge. Tumbling in the ravine. Boom.
"This-" The confrontation in the parking garage, the yelling, the fucking gun. "Is not how one generally salvages a relationship. I mean, couldn't you just go with the traditional route?? We could go out for coffee, talk about why it didn't work-" Cos you're obviously fucking nuts. "We could do the friends thing for a bit. Whatdya say? Could you please, for the love of fuck, put down the gun?" She hesitated for a bit, and for a second, just one second, I could swear I saw the malice, the insanity, I thought it left her eyes. But it came back just as fast.
"Fuck that. I put the gun down, you're going to try and take it." She was right. If that gun even so much as pointed at the floor, I was going to hit her like a goddamn linebacker. Girl or not, the bitch had a gun. Tackling her to the concrete wouldn't hurt nearly as much as a slug from that gun tearing through me. "You still haven't answered my question: are we going to get back together or am I going to have to kill you?"
Two choices:
One- Lie to her; tell her yes, you will get back together and everything is going to be sunshine and roses and happy thoughts. Not only will it be like old times, it will be better than old times. You will fall back in love, you will get married, you will have 2.5 kids and the two car garage. You will go to old age loving each other. There will be simultaneous orgasms, kissing despite morning breath, and no forgotten birthdays/anniversaries.
Two- The truth; tell her the truth and get a bullet. Remember how your parents told you to always tell the truth and you'd never get in trouble? I think that bleeding to death on the cold concrete of a parking garage is worse than fucking trouble.
"Lisa, seriously now-"
"Answer." Fuck. I didn't know if I could stall her anymore. I wasn't going to lie to her. I couldn't. I knew that it would probably save my life, but I just couldn't do it. Maybe there was some part of me that was in love with her still, I don't know. She still had the same beautiful eyes(clouded with hate as they were), the same gorgeous body, and I was pretty sure that intelligence and cynical humor were still there, unless they decided to pack up and move out once the insanity moved in.
"Lisa, I don't think it's going to happen. I just can't do it. And especially not after this. You're pointing a gun at me, a loaded gun. Do you honestly expect that I'm going to go back out with you after that? I mean, really now-" Her face didn't change at all, except for maybe a little pout. I think that once it got past the armor that her psychosis had errected, my answer really hurt her. The gun wavered a little bit. She was going to shoot.
That's when I decided that I wasn't going to go down like this. If I was going to die, which I more than likely was, I was going to die putting up a fight. After I made that decision, everything slowed down. I could feel every muscle in my body contract, I could feel myself go into a crouch, and then I was lunging.
The first round tore most of my right shoulder muscle off in a spray of blood. If it hurt, I don't remember. I was too commited on my course of action to worry about it. The only thought that did register was: "the bitch just fucking shot me".
The second round caught me right in the chest, blowing a massive portion of my right lung clear out my back and splattering it all over my Golf. I figured I didn't really need it anymore, seeing as how I was probably dead in a couple of minutes, anyway. For some odd reason, I hoped that my brother didn't have too much trouble cleaning the lung off my car.
I managed to hit her before she snapped off the third round, and the look on her face was fucking priceless: complete surprise. And once I got my hands on her, something in me took over, something I didn't even know was there. That something wasn't nice, either. Cos it made me snap her wrist up(breaking it), jam the gun barrel into the underside of her jaw(with such force that several teeth were chipped), and pull the trigger(you know what this did). If the top of her head wasn't gone, I'm sure the look would have been that of shock. In the two years that we'd dated, I'd never hit her, never grabbed her forcefully...shit, I'd only yelled at her maybe five times. She sure as shit did not see this coming.
But to be fair, neither had I.
It was all over in about a minute. Her brains on the ceiling, my lung and muscle tissue on the car, the floor. She collapsed in a heap on the floor, the stink of gunpowder and insides all over the place. I soon followed. It's funny. When you're dying, they say that your whole life flashes before your eyes. There was none of that. Just the ceiling of the parking garage. I lay there bleeding and I thought to myself, "It doesn't hurt at all".

Your first job.
That one time when you thought it would be really cool to jump your bike off the skate ramp.
Sleeping with that girl from your psych class that turned out to be the best fuck you ever had, even if she was a total bitch.
Going to Canada with friends and getting so drunk that you don't remember anything after the strip club.
Watching your dad hit your mom for the first time.
Graduating.
Your first car.
The first time you ever got high.
The first time you realized you were in love.
The first time you got drunk.
The first time you did anything.
When you're lying on what's left of your back, bleeding to death in a parking garage, you realize that life is nothing more than a series of firsts. Everything after that is just filler.

Date Written: January 21, 2005
Author: el_duder
Average Vote: 1.83333

Comments:
02/8/2005 Jon Matza: Can someone else read this & tell me if it's worth reading? Christ.
02/8/2005 The Rid: An ex-girlfriend with a gun and it's 1465 words? I've got a bad feeling about this.
02/8/2005 Litcube: This time, I refuse.
02/8/2005 Ewan Snow (2): This isn't a short. Also, it has a number of problems.
02/8/2005 TheBuyer (1): I'm sorry to do this to your first attempt author, but this is not only completely devoid of any humour, irony, or surprise, it is trite and cliche.
02/8/2005 The Rid: Litcube, the length of this one must really stick in your craw.
02/8/2005 The Rid (2): Yeah. Pretty bad. Repetitive, boring. How can something so long be so underwritten? An extra star for what Pony says about one-starring shorts.
02/8/2005 Mr. Pony: Hey, author, this reads like a letter to Penthouse! Also, when you die, does your life flash before your eyes, or doesn't it? Also, did sixty seconds really elapse between the moment when the narrator charges his ex-girlfriend and and the moment he is fatally wounded? Also, a lot of other stuff. Seriously, though, this is a really ambitious work, and/but really long for this site. What made you decide to post this here? Did this actually happen to you? Do you have feelings you want to talk about? Honestly, I'm interested.
02/8/2005 qualcomm: error
02/8/2005 Dick Vomit (1): I guess it's cool that Acme's reaching high schoolers and everything, but ol' DV had to give up on this short one third of the way through.
02/8/2005 Author of The Last Second: Hey Mr. Pony: lay off, man. Just lay off. That goes for you too, Dick Vomit. I'm not kidding. You do NOT want to mess with me.
02/8/2005 Will Disney: I will read this one this evening!
02/8/2005 Will Disney: i haven't read it yet!
02/9/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (2): It had potential; I generally enjoy poignancy. The last 'graf could have really been stunning. The short was, however, trite in many places, and the smirking tone failed to make me feel the depth of character necessary for me to appreciate the final 'grafs. Choose melancholy or sarcasm; they generally do not go well together. That said, I did not dock this for length, as I would like to believe that there is a place on Acme for the occasional "tall" short.
02/9/2005 Will Disney: Now I've read it!
02/9/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: What did you think, Disney?
02/9/2005 Will Disney: Normally I would use 'cuz' in place of 'cos'. Thoughts?
02/9/2005 Dick Vomit: For the record, friends, it was not the short's "height" that caused me to quit. It was the labor of slogging through, word-to-word.
02/9/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: These people may or may not agree with you!
02/9/2005 Dick Vomit: Vehemently pro-cuz. Anti-cos. See my thoughts re Yeah, yea, yay, ya, yah, jah, which can be found someplace, on a short, in the comments, on Acme.
02/9/2005 Litcube: Hey, el_duder, say something!
02/9/2005 Dick Vomit: S'up, Cuber? I'm going to sleep! Later, bra!
02/9/2005 Litcube: Check ya, Ricco!
02/9/2005 Mr. Pony: I gotta say, I'm a fan of 'cause, which is sort of short for; sort of a contraction of 'because'. Then again, I'm a bit of a robot. el_duder? You okay?
02/9/2005 Litcube: el_duder, when were you in Canada? Duder? Serious, guy, what's wrong?
02/9/2005 Litcube: Sa-Hayrayouslay! Whatss wrong! I really ca-hare! I ca-hare abawt yew! Sa-Hayrayouslay!?
02/9/2005 John Slocum (3): I'm gonna go out there and 3 this. Trite? yes. Not a short? yes. problems? yes. I'm a cunt? yes. However, did I get a wee, little bit involved in the characters/situation and have not-so-bad of a time reading this? yes. Will I be pummeled to a black-and-blue heap anon? yes.
02/9/2005 anonymous: no, you'll be fine
02/9/2005 The Rid: Slocum: I, for one, appreciate you voting in an honest and true fashion.
03/4/2005 deliciousbrains: I hate to say "I told you so" but...don't submit something this long to a site called "acmeshorts" and expect a warm welcome.
03/4/2005 Mr. Pony: I don't think it was purely about length, DB. Some fairly long works have been pretty warmly received. The way I see it, it's all about makin' 'em awesome. That's the key. Do you know el-duder, DeliciousBrains? I mean, he's okay, right?
03/6/2005 deliciousbrains: I know that "tall shorts" have their place and are not necessarily blacklisted immediately based on length alone. I'm guilty of submitting some pretty plus-sized shorts myself. I told el_duder that although the size may not discredit the short, it's certainly not going to help. He said "fuck em" and pressed send anyway. He's recently written another short which I believe is very impressive and highlights his writing strengths much better. I made some edits and he bleated about how I was taking out all the best parts, but in the end he took my advice and agreed to send in my version. It'll be along shortly. You can all rest assured that your scathing criticism didn't drive him to suicide. He just hasn't been online in a while, and as far as I know he hasn't even read the comments yet.
06/2/2005 el_duder: Awright, here we are...not that probably anyone even cares about this anymore, but I suppose that I should comment on your comments now. 1. 'Cause vs. cos vs. cuz: I use cos for a reason that I have long since forgotten. I think I read it somewhere being used like that, liked it, and it just sort of fell into my usage. I'm going to continue to use it, I suppose, unless most of you feel that it will genuinely hurt my shorts. If that's the case, I think that most of you that feel that way should get over it. It's just one word, not the linchpin of the whole short. 2. I wrote this in one shot, didn't go back over and edit it afterwards. It was three in the morning and I'd had a little to drink. I'm not attempting to use that as some way to brush off the criticism. I'm just letting you know where my head was at the time. I really do believe in constructive criticism, but when you only drop three or four words without explaining why you're dropping those words, then it all sounds like "baaah" to me. Not to infer anything at all about any of the comments.... 3. el_duder, the reason for: I say "dude" a lot. Probably more than most people. One of my former roommates took to calling me "duder". When it came time to get a Hotmail account, I picked el_duder. I have no idea why. To this day, whenever I sign up for something(with the exception of my Gmail account), I use el_duder. I just like the sound of it. Anyway, yeah, I'll probably throw another short up here, dunno what's floating around in me.
06/2/2005 TheBuyer: hey duder, you have to learn how to trim the fat off not only your shorts but your comments as well or you will be very sad. Forever. It's true. Look at Anne Rice. Sad. Fatty and sad. Also, don't be scared of html, it is your friend. Friend.
06/2/2005 Jon Matza: el_duder provides the 'za with MUCH weed, my brothers...MUCH sacred tokelage...

thusly, friends, we must not harsh on el_duder