Please Read!

I wrote this about a year ago and would like to know what you think. Please comment, even if you don't have anything to say. 

The party started with a bang, streamers and balloons filled the air and the crowd chanted happy birthday in unison. George could do little more than hide his face in his hands.

People had come from all over to celebrate George's 21st birthday, people from work, people he had known from high school even a few estranged relatives. George had planned to have a quiet night out on the town with a few friends, but his friends apparently had different ideas. He had stopped in to change clothes when people had jumped out of nowhere shouting “surprise!” George was surprised.

“Ok that’s enough.” George cried out, as the song never seemed to end.

Stepping up onto a coffee table George addressed the almost unbelievably large crowd.

“Thanks for coming I guess, now if you could all get pissed and go home I’d really appreciate it,” several people laughed. George wasn’t joking.

The crowd slowly dispersed and everyone made a move for the drinks table.

“Not a very inspiring speech” His friend Beth joked.

Taking Beth by the arm George dragged her into the kitchen. “What happened to just having a quiet drink at a local pub.”

“Don’t blame me this was all Jeff’s doing, he planned this weeks ahead. Now stop being such a prude and mingle, I’m going to find Sara.” And with that Beth made her way back into the crowd.

“Jeff!” George shouted, fighting the masses for verbal dominance.

Jeff, who had been unsuccessfully chatting up one of the female guest made his way towards the kitchen, humming ‘Happy Birthday’ as he went which further infuriated George.

“No need to thank me, I thought you’d like it.”

“Five years we’ve been friends and you don’t know me at all.”

“What’s the problem?” Jeff asked dumbly.

“I’m not a party person, maybe you haven’t realized but I hate people!”

“You like me.”

“Not at the moment.”

Jeff smiled, “Just chill out ok, follow me and we’ll see if we can’t find a nice young girl who’ll give the birthday boy a real present.”

“Yeah like your some kind of player.” George laughed, Jeff lead him back into the living room.

George eyed the party goers cautiously, not only was he knee deep in an unwanted party but it was at his house and he couldn’t help but wonder how many of these people were thieves.

“What’s up!” Jeff unflatteringly introduced himself to the most beautiful women he could find.

“What do you want.” She said, George was equally as enthused to be in Jeff’s presence.

“Why so sour baby?”

“Are you kidding me?”

“Wow Jeff.” George laughed, “You really are a lady’s man, huh.”

“Shut up and let me handle this.” Jeff said staunchly.

“Please, I doubt you can handle getting dressed in the morning,” The women said. Everyone around laughed.

“You’re on your own.” Said George as he happily abandoned his friend and made his way back towards the kitchen.

“Yeah well you probably couldn’t handle me any way.” Jeff cried defensively which only fueled the growing laughter.

The party goers had spread into his refuge, the kitchen was packed, George sighed. George didn’t really hate people it was when they gathered in mass that he was lost. During every party that George had ever gone to he found himself sitting alone somewhere, Jeff became an embarrassment as he shamelessly tried to get with every women in sight so he stayed away from him, sometimes he would hang out with Beth, her friends were generally quite cool but he always felt a bit weird hanging out with a bunch of girls. And so George hoped to find a quiet spot to hide, but the kitchen was almost as full as the rest of the house. Feeling slightly flustered George resigned himself to the bathroom.

“George” Beth shouted as she hammered her fists against the bathroom door, seconds away and already there was a problem.

“What?” George poked his head halfway out the door.

“There’s a fight George, Jeff’s in trouble”

George considered locking the door and shutting out the world, but George was a glutton for being seen as the hero. It wasn’t that he didn’t want people to notice him, that wasn’t why he hid, he hid in fear of the awkward manner he adopted when strangers tried to initiate small talk. He spoke like a man whom was incapable of loosening up in front of anyone besides those he was close with. But George wasn’t afraid of anyone and relished a good fight, especially when there was a crowd gathered.

“Where is he?” Said George.

Beth led onwards.

“Your girlfriends a stupid ***** anyway.” George heard Jeff shout. Jeff was the kind of person who, like George, never backed down from a fight. And he always went after the women he wanted, that’s not to say that he ever got anywhere, in either respect.

“Hey!” George quickly stepped in between Jeff and his attacker.

“I haven’t got a problem with you bro, but that punk better shut the **** up!”

“Yeah ‘bro’,” Jeff laughed wildly over Georges shoulder.

“You *****!” The stranger tried to get past George, George without a second thought punched him hard in the face. The stranger dropped to the ground apparently knocked out cold.

“What a *****.” Said Jeff as he came out from behind George to savor the victory and mock his unconscious foe.

“What have you done?” A women from the now quiet crowd screamed as she ran to the mans side. His girlfriend George assumed, probably the one Jeff tried to chat up.

“Your boyfriends a wimp, why don’t you come and get a drink with me”

The women didn’t reply, with her jaw agape she stared at her boyfriend.

“Are you ok.” Asked Beth worriedly.

“Yeah, my knuckles hurt a little but…” “Oh my god!” The women’s shrieks cut George off mid-sentence.

“He’s not breathing, He’s not breathing!!” She screamed wildly.

“What!?”

Several people along with Beth moved in closer to inspect the body.

Beth tried in vain to find a pulse. “Is anyone a doctor, she’s right he’s not breathing.”

Georges own heart beat began to quicken, looking at Jeff he saw the same fear.

“Give him mouth to mouth or something.” Shouted Jeff.

The crowd was silent, everyone in the room was drawn to them, George could feel a hundred eyes staring him down. “It was self defense, he came at me, I was defending myself, this isn’t my fault, if I hadn’t hit him first he would have got me.”

“He didn’t do a thing to you and you killed him.” The mans girlfriend shrieked, she quickly jumped to her feet and charged at George, Jeff and Beth held her back.

“I didn’t do anything, this was just a fight that went wrong.” George continued to defend himself.

“That’s manslaughter mate.” said someone from the crowd.

“Bullshit, it’s worse than that! I was standing right there, he hit him with an open palm, pushed the bone in his nose right up into his brain, I’ve seen it on T.V, that’s not the kind of thing you do by accident, he was trying to kill him.” said another, several people seemed to nod in agreement.

“Oh that’s bullshit!” George objected.

“Why did you do it then?”

What the hell is wrong with everyone?

“I didn’t mean to kill him I was protecting my friend.”

“Yeah right, you killed out of the kindness of your heart. Where are the police?”

As everyone turned on George the temperature in the room, for him at least, seemed to rise. I didn’t kill him did I? He was going to hit me wasn’t he? George was more afraid than he had ever been in his life.

“I’ve called the police, they’ll be here any minute.” another stranger announced, George recognized her, she was an old friend from school, now she looked at George with accusing eyes.

“You didn’t do it on purpose did you?” Asked Beth, George didn’t answer, even he wasn’t sure anymore.

“Excuse me,” George said as he pushed his way though the crowd and returned once more to the bathroom. He locked the door behind him.

“I’ve killed a man, all I did was punch him and now he’s dead.” George was in shock, and with the weight of his actions bearing down on him he started to panic.

“What are you doing in there?” Beth called from outside.

“Did I really hit him with an open palm, I wanted to fight him but I didn’t want to kill him.”

George sat down on the floor.

“George!” Beth called to him.

He clutched his hands over his ears to block it all out. “My life is over and all because of one stupid fight.”

George found himself gently rocking back and forth for comfort, something he hadn’t done since he was a child. George could have sat there forever and done that, and so he forced himself up.

“George, get the hell out here.” He heard Beth shouting.

“Ok, I’m coming.” George said calmly. His voice betrayed the hectic fears rampant in his mind.

He opened the door and was greeted by two patrol officers. I guess murder warrants a quick response, he thought.

“You attacked that man over there.” One of the officers said sternly.

“Yes sir.”

The officers didn’t waste any time in taking George down to the station, one minute he was hiding in the bathroom rocking back and forth like a child and in the next he was standing before a telephone after being told that he was allowed to make one single call. By the time George had come out of the bathroom the man he had killed was gone, probable taken to the morgue. George’s life was over, with something like murder on his record he would never be able to get a job, and he would certainly be kicked out of university. George’s life had fallen down right before his eyes and all because of one single punch. George had been in many fights in his life, he was a big guy and he always won, there had never been any real consequences to his aggression, not until now. George picked up the receiver and dialed Jeff’s number, he wasn’t sure why he called Jeff. “He won’t be there, he’s probable being interrogated or something.”

“What’s up, this is Jeff.”

Of course he’s not being interrogated, he didn’t kill anyone.

“Hey man, it’s me.” George said glumly.

“George bro, what’s going on?”

George was shocked by Jeff’s upbeat attitude, has he forgotten that I’m about to spend the rest of my life in prison?

“What the hell do you think is going on you ***!”

“Jesus, calm down.”

“Calm down, you son of a *****, I’m in prison for saving your sorry *** and you want me to calm down!”

The officer watching George gestured for him to quiet down. George obeyed.

“Your not in prison **** head, your in a cell in the police station, you’ll be out in the morning, what the hells your problem.”

Jeff was getting angry, this almost sent George over the edge.

“Out in the morning? What’s the matter with you I’ll probably be in prison for the rest of my life, judges generally frown on murder.”

“You mean attempted murder.”

George was speechless.

“You still there man?”

“What did you just say?”

“I said are you still there.”

“No the other thing you idiot! What did you mean ‘attempted’ murder?”

“I was joking, everyone knows that you weren’t really trying to kill the guy, he only laid charges because of his girlfriend.”

“Wrap it up.” The officer instructed.

“He’s alive! Did you just say he was alive?”

“Yeah he’s alive, apparently he had some kind of stroke.”

“But he’s alive?”

“Yeah dude, he’s fine.”

George slowly hung up the receiver. Suddenly sweet hope rushed through him, he wasn’t a murderer, he wasn’t going to jail, he was going through a procedure that the police do with all the disorderly people. He was being put in a cell to cool off for the night.

“Let’s go buddy.” said the officer. George gladly obeyed.

He was brought to a small cell with three other men in it, he smiled at each of them as he was escorted inside.

“What are you so happy about?” One of them asked.

“I’m in for assault.” George laughed, his joy didn’t amuse the others at all but George didn’t care, he was saved. ‘Moral luck’ his philosophy teacher would have called it, like driving drunk, the potential to kill was there but by share luck he avoided it. George smiled gaily and decided right then and there that he would never risk his life or anyone else’s ever again, especially not for the cheap thrill of a simple fight.

George surveyed the faces of his cellmates, they seemed like aggressive people. “Maybe they’ll be lucky enough to get a wake up call one day soon” George thought to himself, because with the title ‘murder’ taken off his record he felt like the luckiest man on Earth.

Issac95 Issac95
18-21, M
7 Responses Mar 13, 2009

That was one of the best short stories I've ever read. It sounds like something pulled out of a special interest news article. <br />
Do you do this in other media types? I would be interested in reading more.<br />
As far as bad grammar, that's the way of the world. Lends to the believability. <br />
Thank you.

I liked it! The plot was well-developed and believable. A lot of people seem to have trouble bringing that element into short stories, but you really nailed it.

Thanks!

Short stories are good. I like how you've ended this one. Also the pace was great. The way one thing led to another was just like how things are in real life.<BR>I hope to read more from you.

No that's it. I've written alot of short stories over the years, most of them have simple moralistic endings like this.

Pretty good :) Kept me reading at least. I could relate to George in certain ways. Is there any more, or is this a short story?

Bad grammar, I know.