Good Narrative Principles

Take the Devil by the Hindmost


photo.JPGThroughout this brutal winter, Eli went diligently first thing in the morning to shovel out his car. It was generally understood on his friendly little block that this spot in front of his townhouse was his. Good manners prevailed through the end of January, right before the last Nor’easter, when suddenly, without warning, the rules changed. Just like every other snow day, Eli was out first thing shoveling. He shoveled as the snow accumulated and the plow trucks undid his hard work. He shoveled and salted so that when he came home that evening he could park, pour himself a stiff drink and call it a day. But when he arrived home that night, another car, a candy-colored Kia to be specific, was backing into his spot. Eli pulled up behind the offending car, jumped out and slapped the other car’s trunk. The other driver, twice Eli’s size, emerged from his car ready to rumble. He wasn’t exactly swinging a golf club; in fact he wasn’t swinging anything other than his square jaw, which seemed to glide back and forth in rhythm with Eli’s pounding heart. Visions of being beat up in Middle School flooded Eli’s imagination as he stood there poised, ready for battle. Having just renewed his health insurance policy, Eli felt bold, furious, and reckless. Crazy like a fox.

(Photo: Dow Sumney)

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