Here is a short story for the theme of “New Year”
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The Gun On The Wall – Short Story
Lenny walked back into the living room of his lifetime friend, Brad, with the last can of beer out of the refrigerator. There are some alcohol bottles in the study, but no one in Brad’s family ever goes in that room. It has been a storage room for the past 20 years.
“Hey Brad, you’re all out of beer,” Lenny told his friend, who was already sitting on his large living room couch.
"How dare you say such vile things, you heartless heathen!” The fatter of the two called out.
“Eh, don’t worry, Jack is on his way over with some more.”
“Oh thank god.”
“What is that gun doing up on the wall?” Lenny asked.
“That gun. Why on earth is there a gun on the wall?”
“I don’t know.” Brad had never noticed the piece in the room before.
“I know what this means.”
“One of us is going to jail for looking at a gun we may or may not own.”
“No. We have to shoot something with it. That is why it’s up on the wall.” Lenny put his beer on the table and walked over to get a closer inspection of the gun.
“What? Says who?”
“Everyone knows that a gun is never just put up on a wall. You gotta grab it and shoot someone with it eventually in the story.”
Lenny took the gun off the wall. “Hey, I didn’t make up the rule.”
He pointed the gun directly at his friend. “Now, who do you want to shoot?”
“Don’t shoot me!” Brad pushed the gun away from his face.
“Oh right…” He put the gun down. “I have it on safety.” He pointed the firearm back at his friend.
“Not me!” Brad pushed the gun away a second time.
“Alright sorry.” Lenny pulled the piece away from his friend’s face.” My god, stop making such a big deal of this. It’s like you don’t want to get shot.”
“I am going to put the gun down on the table; that way, neither of us will get hurt.” He put the gun on the table beside the extra village house that couldn’t fit with the kitchen table that ran out of space and two used plates from the lunch that Brad ate before his friend arrived.
“That’s better,” Brad said, relieved he would no longer look down the barrel.
Lenny took a seat on the one person sofa piece as Brad sat on the large couch in the middle of the room. They both started at the gun they really want to shoot.
“Now, to who we will shoot.”
“I have a neighbor I don’t like that we could shoot.”
“The one next door?”
“No. The other one.”
“The one in the yellow house?”
“No. The other one.”
“Oh just tell me! Which neighbor do you hate?”
“Hmmm…. I hate all my neighbors.”
“We don’t have the bullets for that.”
“How about your crazy aunt?” Lenny suggested.
“No. She is in Florida; too far.”
“He’s already dead.”
“Boy, no wonder wars take so long. Who knew it would be so difficult when deciding on who to kill?”
“Maybe we should go with someone we don’t know.”
“Like the president?”
“Nah. Too much work.”
“No. I have to work.”
“That jackass from high school you saw last week.”
“That was last year, and he moved to Florida.”
Lenny got up from his seat. “Why does everyone move to Florida?”
“I don’t know; the weather?”
The third friend of the crew, Jack, entered the house with the pack of beer. “Oh hey guys, what’s going on?”
“We are deciding on who to shoot with this gun?” Lenny informed his pal.
“Oh, ok. I’m going put these in the fridge.”
“Can you bring one in for me too?”
The beer carrying friend came back into the room with a can for him and the house host. “So why are you shooting someone again?”
“Lenny found this gun on the wall, and that is the rule.”
Lenny elaborated on the rule. According to the literary principle Chekhov’s gun, “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise, don’t put it there.”
“Yeah, but that isn’t a real rule. You don’t have to follow it. Kind of like how the hero doesn’t always save the day and get the girl.”
Brad reacted to this sad news of his favorite stories. “He doesn’t? Hollywood has lied to me again with its spectacular scenes and sexy sirens!”
From the other side of the room is the child of Brad scraping the paint of a village house piece with a scissor. He stopped ruining his mom’s collection and spoke up to his father. “Why don’t you do us all a favor and shoot yourself?”
“Haha! I love your kid.” Jack said of his friend’s child.
“Yeah, but you know once he reaches a certain age, his attitude will be annoying,” Lenny said.
“Oh, of course. But for now. I like him.”
Brad addressed his kid. “Jacob, that is very mean to say to someone. You never know what the person is feeling on the inside. You should encourage them to live, not die.”
“But that’s not fun.”
The kid’s father spoke up, “It’s not about fun.”
“Then what is it about?”
“Uhhh. guys?” He looked at his friends for help teaching his kid.
They both shrugged their shoulders as if the concept was too advanced for them.
Brad ignored them and directed his focus on his kid, “It’s about being kind to someone that you don’t know.”
“But I do know you. That’s why I said it.”
“Oh my god.” He went back to sit on the large couch next to Jack. “Don’t you have kid stuff to do? Like climb a tree house or go to the arcade or something?”
“We don’t have a treehouse, and arcades aren’t really a thing anymore.”
“Oh right… Can’t you do something stupid that I have to pretend like I didn’t know about as your mother tries to defend your fleeting innocence?”
Jack directed his attention to the kid, “You should use that excuse as long as you can because once you are a teenager, people won’t think it’s cute.”
Lenny, the gun enthusiast friend, spoke up, “Yeah. Go smoke or drink beer or start an addiction that you’ll regret when you are older.”
Jack finished that thought, “And at that point, it won’t be about how much fun you can have with the vice, but all the fun the vice has taken from you. Good times.”
“Uh… ok.” The kid began to walk out, but before he left, he turned around to his father, “Does this mean that you are not shooting yourself?”
The father sat motionless, not even changing his line of vision. “No.”
“Man you really know how to ruin a kid’s day.” The child left the room.
All three of them now sat comfortably on the pieces of furniture as Jack spoke to the other two, “Hey I was thinking that this rule is not real, because what did they do before guns? You know they weren’t around forever.”
The three didn’t say anything for a minute, since up until then, they thought guns existed for all of time.
After the prolonged silence, Lenny asked, “So how much do swords go these days?”
“We’re not buying a sword!” Brad stopped his friend’s crazy idea.
Jack said, “Look, we should give this gun shooting thing a break and talk about something else.”
“Fine, but if we get to the third act, and that gun is still there, I am shooting someone.”
“So, what do you want to talk about?” Brad asked.
“Uh… what shoe do you guys put on first? The left or the right? I always put my left one on first. I think it means I’m patient or that I’m impatient. One of the two.”
“Oh come on. That is so boring! What are we going to talk about next? The benefits of toilet paper roll facing up.” Brad rolled his eyes at his face’s bland conversation topic.
Jack then crumbled up a piece of paper while the others weren’t looking that read “WHY UP IS BETTER” “No. No. That would be stupid.” He gathered himself in his seat next to the host. “How about we talk about our new year’s resolutions?”
“Jack, you know that they are pointless because no one will keep them.”
“Yeah… We could shoot the president. That would be fun.”
“No, we already discussed this,” Lenny said as he finished his can of beer.
“What? He isn’t in Florida. It’s fine.”
“So it’s settled we are going to shoot the president.” Brad clarified.
The three got up with Lenny carrying the gun and headed for the front door. Jack asked the question the two already wondered, “Hey, do you guys notice that everyone moves to Florida? What is that about?”
“Must be the weather,” Brad said.
Brad’s wife opened the door before the three men could leave the house. “Oh hey, honey. Where are you guys going?”
“To shoot the president.”
“Oh, ok…. Wait, just so we are clear, you aren’t actually doing that, right?”
Jack said, “No. We are probably going to drive down to the bar and then drink until dinner time.”
“Come on, sweety. I would never shoot the president. I love my country of red, white, and blue, and the freedom it gives me.” Brad told her his passion for the only country he ever lived in.
“Yeah, plus that is way too much work,” Lenny said of the real reason the act would not be done.
“Ok. Have fun.”
“Maybe we can shoot the bartender while we are there!” Jack called out as Lenny followed behind him.
“Wait, but he is our friend,” Brad told them about to close the door behind him.
Just as the father was about to leave the house, his son asked his mother about her approval. “Hey, mom, why did you allow Dad to take that gun outside of the house?”
She spoke so only the boy could hear her. “That is a replica gun that is broken and doesn’t have any ammo. It can’t hurt anyone.” She saw the bottle of alcohol in the boy’s hand. “Why do you have that?”
“Dad said he wanted me to start an addiction that will ruin my life.”
The wife stared at the husband before he left. He stopped and spoke softly to his son, “Oh, silly boy. I said to never drink because that could ruin your life.”
“Give me that bottle. And promise me you’ll never drink ever again.”
“Good enough.” He took the bottle from the boy and got a look of disapproval from his wife. “Oh, I mean you are grounded until you learn your lesson.”
This short story had as little to do with New Year as it could, but it was my first try, so you’ll have to give me a break.
I hope you enjoyed it either way.
Thanks for reading.
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