Hello Jones

If someone asks you if you want to see a dead body, your first instinct might be to say yes, but I’d think about it first if I were you.

Boris was always a weird kid. In grammar school we used to bully the hell out of him. We played ‘Hello Jones’. As soon as we saw him we would say “Hello, Jones” then hit him in the gut. “Hello Jones,” and knock his books to the ground. “Hello Jones,” Break his glasses. I don’t think a day went by without his underwear being yanked over his head. As kids we felt totally justified in tormenting him. I mean his name was Boris, and he dressed funny. Back then it was reason enough.

In high school we all pretty much shunned him. He would often try to befriend us by asking if we wanted his lunch or something similar. We’d take his stupid lunch then tell him to scram. No one wanted to be his friend. Until the morning he asked us if we wanted to see a dead body.

“Bullshit,” we said. But our interest was piqued to say the least. That afternoon Boris approached us again.

“So, what do you think? I found it in the woods behind my brother’s apartment yesterday,” said Boris. He gnawed on his bottom lip as he nervously awaited our answer. My friend Dan was the leader of our prepubescent terrorist cell and he always spoke for the group.

“You better not be messing with us, Doris, or I swear to Christ, we’ll kick your ass.” We all laughed but we were also a bit uneasy; I mean a real live dead body?

That afternoon we met Boris at his brother’s apartment and followed him into the woods. We walked for a while before growing impatient.

“Where the hell is it, Doris?” Dan demanded. Boris pointed to a pile of trash.

“It’s under those clothes and papers and junk. I covered it up. You have to dig through some stuff to find it,” said Boris

We dug through the small pile of junk assuming it was the last trappings of some vagrant who died out here in the woods.

“There’s nothing here,” I said.

Dan was at the end of is patience. “God Damnit, Boris, I swear to-“

Boris pulled a gun from behind his back. We stood there in the woods stupefied. Was this really happening? Boris stared unblinking at our group as we stared unblinking at the barrel of his gun. After what seemed like forever, Dan moved toward Boris with his hands in that universal sign for “surrender” but Boris made like he was going to shoot and Dan backed off. At the time, what struck me most was not the fact that Boris had drawn a gun on us; it was the look of resolve in Boris’ eyes. It seemed as if they were focused on all of us at the same time while his face remained completely devoid of emotion. He stood there like one of those wax statues from a fun house. Only there was nothing hokey or comedic about him. He was deadly serious. Slowly he moved the gun to point under his chin all the while keeping his eyes fixed on our faces. His emotionless face morphed into a smile. None of us had ever seen him smile before. It was terrifying.

“Why are you doing this?” I asked.

As his finger slowly tightened around the trigger, he answered.

“Hello Jones”

Author’s Note: This week’s flash fiction is a reworking of a story I wrote a couple months ago. The story I had originally prepared for this week is a shiver inducing 200 word horror story which I decided to keep for October. I hope you enjoyed this sad little tale. Oh, and as always, thanks to the great folks at WriteAnything for this weeks prompt. Till next week.

15 thoughts on “Hello Jones

  1. Well told. I read a tale of a similar kid who dreamed of climbing on a rooftop and opening fire. I must say that the two stories will be with me for some time.

  2. Wow, what an ending. Like Greta, I have to say how true this one rings. The dialogue was spot-on, the stare-down at the end added to the tension. You did a fine job of keeping me riveted to the screen. Good work.

  3. The opening of a short story is the clincher, the hook to drag your reader in.. and yours wholeheartedly drags them into the world you built.

    You captured the teenage angst of cliques and gangs beautifully – presenting it neatly packages as a “prepubescent terrorist cell”. Incredibly sad, poignant and striking.

    You need to get this entered into a competition! A bit of editing, fine tuning etc and this will be a polished and very strong piece.

    On my quest to try different genres each week, mine this week is influenced by Cyberpunk. http://annieevett.blogspot.com/2009/08/cold-cobblestones.html

  4. Great opening line. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen! The dialog was very real. You’ve done a great job of creating the characters in such a way I felt I kind of knew them. I could really picture the whole thing. Very nicely done.

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