Wow, what I posted yesterday actually got some attention!

I really appreciate that. But I do want to set the record straight that this does not mean I will be posting every day. Some of the stories I write for this challenge will make their way on here. Some will not. Some will sit, untouched, in my iCloud Drive. Some may be expanded further. Maybe I’ll post in large batches. Maybe I’ll sell an ebook collection someday.

But do not expect me to post every story I write.

Now that I’ve said that, here is today’s 200-word story.

Still Life

 The folded newspaper and whiskey glass would have made nice subjects for a still life, if not for the loaded handgun sitting beside them on the age-stained coffee table. Charles sat there, sleeves of his sweat-stained dress shirt rolled up, elbows on his knees, lips pursed. The newspaper’s headline was cut off by the fold, thankfully hiding the worst of it from his view.

 What am I going to do? he thought, not for the first time. Since morning, since the words had first forced themselves into his view and into his consciousness, he’d been frantic. The bottle of aged whiskey, unopened, a gift from his late father, which had heretofore been ensconced on a high shelf, now lay on its side, devoid of its contents. 

 The firearm, foisted on him by his late wife’s hick parents, had been stowed away in a safe in the towel closet, unthought of, since they’d moved to this seventh-story apartment nearly a decade earlier. He’d balked at it when they’d given it to him: “No daughter of mine will live in a city, unprotected by the Second Amendment,” her father exclaimed. And in the closet it sat.

 Unfired until today.