Ok, for Writer's Craft I had to write a short story, and since Writing will probably be my lifetime craft, I'd like as much feedback as possible. Here ya go! The Mug Writer’s Craft Scott Zoltok The air was dank, rotten with garbage and feces. I was late. The sun beat down not 20 feet away, and yet I was trapped in a hall of darkness. It happened just past the CN Tower. Two guys, one with a bandana, the other with an afro, both with blood in their eyes. A block away, they got me. Ushered me into the alley with such force, such authority and yet with the grace as to be discernable to only the acute eye. I was but a mere minnow, plucked from a sea of fish without warning. They were experts at their craft. “Scream and your dead” That’s all the convincing I needed. Guns, knives or fists, any way they chose would mean my demise. I wasn’t about to push my luck. What luck? Well, I’m still alive, which I always appreciate. They’ve yet to hurt me, which is nice. And they didn’t try to grab my briefcase and run, which keeps my wrist intact. But before I can continue my insight, they throw me at a dumpster. Hmmm, it seems as though I must’ve missed a question, I think. And with this, the pain sets in. “Ooooooooh…” “Shut up, just shut up” says Afro. I cut my groans short, and there is silence in this nightmare. Bandana promptly takes charge. “Empty the pockets.” I am happy to oblige, wishing no quarrel with these fine men. I yield a wallet, 2 pens, a cell phone, a set of keys and a pocketknife. Bandana turns his attention to my belongings, scouring the wallet for cash, I assume. During this interlude Afro notices my briefcase, and how I refuse to let it out of my grasp. His curiosity is piqued. “What’s in the case?” “Nothing. Papers.” “Well, papers ain’t nothing. What kind of papers?” The sweat beads on my brow and the butterflies take to the air. My worst fears are being realized. Rob me, beat me, leave me for dead, just don’t take the case. As the silence perpetuates, the chain dangles from my wrist. I can’t answer the question, and this gets me a prompt kick in the testicles. The fear is replaced with pain, which is aided by incredible torment of the nth degree. He backs up, grinning at his own sadism, and asks again. “So what’s in the case?” It hurts too much for me to moan, let alone answer. He must realize this, since he backs up and draws himself a cigarette. Lights it, pauses, and then decides to offer me one. Is this repentance? Has he discovered the error of his ways? Obviously not, since he takes the pack and tosses it into the dumpster. He nearly doubles over with laughter; he is clearly astounded by his own brilliant wit. Afro has noticed the commotion, and joins his comrade. They ask, with a new sense of urgency, that forbidden question. “What the **** is in the case?!” But before they can press the issue, the distant sound of approaching sirens spooks them. They face each other, silently agree, and dash off with my wallet. Too often have I dreaded the long arm of the law, but its cry of warning has proven crucial in my well-being, at least right now. I’m left huddled over, next to a dumpster, with a few bruises and a possible inability to have children. But there’s no time for self-pity; I’m very late. I start to get up, bang my head on the dumpster’s overhang, and fall down again. Is this adding insult to injury, or is it adding injury to injury? Anyways, take 2 goes better, with me managing to make it up to my feet without inflicting further pain. I cannot stand up straight, and must keep one hand on my groin and the other on my head, but I am able to stagger out into the street. Thank god I don’t have far to go. I reach the pub and fall inside, much to the alert of everyone around me. Tripping over myself, I see Bryan at the bar and navigate my way to the adjacent stool, ordering a shot of whiskey, straight. While easing my buttocks into place he’s noticed my current condition, and makes an insightful observation. “Jesus Frank, you look like ****. What happened?” “Oh, nothing much, tripped on a sewer.” The truth is too embarrassing. This gives him a good chuckle, and I find myself wanting to punch his face in. But that would be bad for business. “As long as you’ve got that case, I’m happy.” He says, as I set it on the counter. “Did you see the commotion outside?” In my pain-induced haze I must’ve missed it, whatever it was. By now the bartender has brought me my drink, and I down it with gusto. My silence is Bryan's green light, but I take some of his nachos before he begins. “Well, from what I could see from here it looked like some guy got smoked by a cop! John Q Law had his sirens on, racing to get a cat down from a tree no doubt, and this guy came sprinting out of the alley out back. Cops are good drivers; you got to be pretty stupid to get hit by one. Some stoner gangster, you know the type.” I say nothing. All of a sudden, the nachos taste much better. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hope you liked it!