Speakeasy #158 – Pick A Side

22 Apr

I’m lying down, snippets of things that happened so fast still playing in my head. I know I’m alone now, because no-one’s talking and I’m pretty sure I’d hear if they were and there is no new pain. I can’t get my thoughts together and I can feel the blinding white of the room suffocate me. Is this me going mad? I can’t think, these people are asking me questions and It’s driving me insane and I’m having trouble remembering my name, if this doesn’t kill me it’ll never leave me sane if they don’t stop… just stop. Shut up!

Shut up.

Calm down.

Stop bloody thinking.

If you’re uncapable of thinking about anything else then just don’t think.


That’s easier said than done.

I once had a friend who’d tell me that talking to yourself was the first sign of madness. I’d get frustrated, not because I was mad, but because I didn’t want anyone to think I was mad. Then, one day, I found an answer for her: “it’s only madness if you think you’re talking to someone else” I said, “not if you know you’re talking to yourself” I said. Bloody useful that turned out to be. For the moment I can still tell reality from the rest. But for how long?


I shiver, now feeling the pain as the panic and confusion dim… bad reflex; not only does it hurt, it hurts more. Maybe I’ll die here. What would happen then? But I know I won’t die here, maybe only because I’m too young to think otherwise but it’s a shield, to know that I’ll get out of here eventually… and one I’ll gladly keep.


I tense as I hear the door open (so I’m not deaf) then close. It’s agony as I can’t hear the silent steps probably coming towards me. That means there aren’t many people, a lot of people can’t all be that silent (can they?). I flinch involutarily as a hand touches my shoulder. I think I know whose hand it is. So I really have gone crazy. No, I remember what they said, in that case, it’s not so strange that she would be here.

“Hey… how are you?”

How are you?! I will kill this woman! I have been tortured and rendered mad as a hatter (though which hatter and how mad could be cause for debate) but in any case she would only have to look at me to know that I was not “fine”. Not even close. But I didn’t have the heart to say such things so silence was all she got from me. Sometimes, silence can say a lot.

“I had no idea of what had happened to you or what they were doing to you here…”

How convenient for you. And how convenient for them to tell you only once they had tried everything else they could (legaly speaking). How convenient for me to be underage and for my mother to work for them then. I’m lucky I’m only 17, a year later and it would’ve been much worse. And how convenient for my mother to be away when I need her.

“Take me home. Take me home and I’ll tell you everything you want”

What am I saying? Damn, see? This is me going crazy. Goddamn idiot.

“… I’m sorry…that’s the one thing I can’t do”

“It’s not the only thing” I riposte,

“They thought I knew about you, I didn’t so they told me who you really were, they didn’t hurt me.”

I sat up so I could see her when she answered.

“If they didn’t hurt you then…”

My mother’s not a spy for nothing, or she’d be dead already.

“Why won’t you say where they are?”

Looks like it’s job first, love after.

“Because you’d kill them”

SHIT. Now they know I know…

“Let’s go out a while”

That’s ambitious of you, but then I can barely walk and it’s not like I’ll go somewhere unguarded.

“Can I borrow your phone?” I ask


I write to the number I had memorised:


I only have the time to press send before her gun hits my head.

I scramble up only to get shot from in front, (she was behind me).

I had betrayed both people I loved the most and because of them I died. I suppose it was only right, and the rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.



<a href=””><img src=””></a&gt;

the prompt (along with the last line “the rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way” thanks to Janna *well done yet another win 🙂 * ) was the trailer for a film called “Love in the time of cholera” (click here to watch) and with that I was all ready to go do exactly what the film does and then I got annoyed: this is all I’ve been doing the past weeks in French (I read a book about it, saw a film of the book, wrote a short story, started another book all in the same style) so no. Yesterday night I got angry at the prompt and looked for a way to do things differently. From the media prompt I kept the idea of betrayal and rooting for the side I wasn’t supposed to and at first I hadn’t thought of going this way but it happened.

Somehow despite this being able to go up to 750 words I still managed to make it too long, I nibbled at it and now Microsoft Word says 750 words whereas WordPress says it was 746 :/

I hope you like my story ^^


Posted by on 22 April 2014 in Banzaï, Speakeasy


Tags: , , ,

15 responses to “Speakeasy #158 – Pick A Side

  1. Renada Styles

    22 April 2014 at 17:56

    This is truly a wonderful narrative! It was like I was in his head! I feel like there is more to the story, though. Nonetheless, you tied the prompt in quite well. This will definitely be one of my favorites this week. (:

    • imab00kworm

      22 April 2014 at 18:04

      Thank you! I was thinking more she but it’s true I didn’t specify gender. There is more and I wanted to write it but I’d need a much bigger word limit for it to fit 😦
      I think the prompt looks kind of awkward where I put it but I’m glad you liked it.
      You haven’t read everyone’s and I’m sure there will be much better ones than this so don’t speak (or type) too fast :p
      I’m glad you liked it though 🙂

  2. AZ Gringa

    22 April 2014 at 21:00

    I enjoyed this very much. You packed a lot of tension into a short piece.

    • imab00kworm

      23 April 2014 at 10:21

      Thank you! I always want to write more than I can :/

  3. peggyshope

    23 April 2014 at 03:43

    woah, I love where you took this. It was unexpected and dark. I would have liked to know more, but I’ll take what I get. Well done

    • imab00kworm

      23 April 2014 at 10:24

      Well that would be a good idea, I’d have to go deeper. Check next week and there might be a surprise…

  4. jannatwrites

    23 April 2014 at 07:05

    I like the twists and turns and the double-crossing of a double-crosser! This would make a intriguing longer piece as well (hint, hint 🙂 )

    • imab00kworm

      23 April 2014 at 10:30

      It’s always the ones I have to cut too much you ask for more on. Right now I hurt my thumb (I know that’s a bad excuse because I still wrote 750 words :/ ) but I’ll think about what I can do. As I said before, I’d have to go deeper so it won’t be straight away and I don’t think you’ll ever get an entire story but I will at least elaborate on this 🙂

  5. Suzanne

    23 April 2014 at 13:41

    Love the stream of consciousness style of this! And the pacing is excellent. Great use of the prompts! 🙂

    • imab00kworm

      23 April 2014 at 13:55

      Thank you! I also write poems (they’re about as bad as my stories) and I like it when there’s something poetic about things sometimes, even in prose. 🙂

  6. annbennett

    24 April 2014 at 18:13

    I think you could expand it and make a great piece. I liked the use of interior thought and the tension plus unfolding of story.

    • imab00kworm

      24 April 2014 at 18:39

      I have expanded on it if you would like to read it 🙂

    • imab00kworm

      24 April 2014 at 18:40

      Thank you 🙂

  7. Kir Piccini

    24 April 2014 at 19:57

    choose a side indeed…fast, entertaining, mad and well written.


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