ChowderHead: The Beginning


…so I’m sitting in this cafe, slumped over a piss-warm cup of dark roast coffee, casually tossing ashes into the tray at the end of the table.  The lighting is inadequate where I’m image.jpgseated, making it difficult to study the entrees on the menu.

I pick up on a one-sided conversation coming from the booth adjacent to me, involving a pig-headed suit and tieyammering into a phone about a stock deal gone sour.  The woman seated in front of the man appears emotionally detached, which is indicated by her body language.  She ignores the man and blankly stares off at a young female clearing the surrounding tables.

I’m overcome with remorse for the woman and her situation, finding myself privately analyzing the dysfunctional correlation between the two. Clearly, she’s numb inside; another wandering soul, financially bound to some corporate meat head

The murmur throughout the diner adds to the endless chatter taking place in my head, but the humming is abruptly halted when, without warning, an explosive discharge of profanities and pent-up rage erupts out of the woman.  

The man immediately stands up and begins violently shouting back, exchanging threats with the fragile aggressor.  The conflict quickly escalates, and I find myself growing increasingly discomforted by it.  My gut screams of something horrible about to happen, yet I’m unable to flee.  I can’t move.  I’m stuck.

My instincts are validated when the women reaches into the cleavage of her blouse and draws a concealed pistol from it.  My anxiety is now at a rolling boil.  Her hands tremble as she extends the cold, steely weapon in front of the man’s face at point-blank range.  Her lips quivering, tears streaming down the crevasses of her swollen face.

With her finger firmly pressed against the firing mechanism, she stutters off an impromptu eulogy.  From what I can recall, it went something like this:

“You see this?  I traded in my wedding band for it.  I couldn’t stomach looking at it anymore.  It was nothing but a constant reminder of what a cold-hearted pig you are.  This…this right here?  This is all you do: pretend to be some big-shot with your fancy suits and loud-talk. I’m sick of it.  I’m sick and tired of you dragging me around like some kind of a god damn trophy.  You don’t respect me.  You don’t care about me.   Today is the day that it ends, Norman.  Today is the day that I make everything right.  But before I do, I want you to know this: you’re a lousy, selfish, half-witted creep that ain’t even worth the cost of that napkin dispenser…”

The last thing that came out of her mouth:

“…Eat lead, Chowderhead.”

And that’s when I woke up…

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110 comments

  1. twindaddy

    Holy shit, Adam. This is extremely good. You should do fiction more often. Seriously. Well written. I loved the descriptions, voice, and narrative. Well done all the way around.

  2. SocietyRed

    Adam,
    This is awesome; should be chapter one. It’s a great start to gripping novel (and a new blog).
    Well written, and not totally clear who was shot in the end…
    Red

  3. Katie

    Dude, this is awesome. I want to read more of this. I’m so glad I was here when you first started out. You’ve come a long way, Adam. Keeps getting better.

  4. sondrabrooks

    Sounds exactly like my ex-husband and me when we’d go out to dinner. He enjoyed talking to me about banking regulations. He might also give a hole-by-hole description of his golf game that day.
    That’s why alcohol was created. It helps up tolerate such husbands—at least for a short while— and keeps us from taking them out of this world with a frying pan to the back of the head.
    Keep writing. Your short story was interesting.

    Sondra

  5. Cathy Ulrich

    So I’m looking at my email notifications and thinking: “Who the hell is Chowderhead? I don’t remember following any blog by that name.” Then it dawned on me (mind you, it was only a couple nanoseconds): “Must be Adam’s new blog!” Congrat’s, Mister. Great short story and I love the new look!

    • Adam S

      Thanks, Judo Doc Cathy. I figured it would throw everyone for a loop, but it’s all part of a master plan. I’m talkin like, Area 51 classified info. \m/

  6. Jean

    It does seem like it came out of you like loose stool, except it smells better . .

    Great job making me late from lunch yet again. I was just going to do a quick looky-see to find out what this Chowderhead was all about. Figured it was some cooking blog for which I absent-mindedly clicked follow. Keep cooking up the good reading!

    • Adam S

      Thanks, Jean. What does it smell like exactly? Be descriptive. You know how I roll.

      P.S. I make you late often, it seems. On a scale from 1 to 10, how badly does your job suck ass?

      • Jean

        I held a party at my parent’s house once when I turned 19. When I turned 19, that was the legal drinking age. My parents were out of town. Obviously they credited me with more trust than I deserved. The party got out of hand. My friend and I cleaned all night but the place still smelled like a bar. That’s how it smells. Like someone’s had a really good time, and the more you clean, the more it just smells like someone’s trying to cover up stale beer with Pine-Sol.

        Some people might not find that a compliment, but I trust you know me well enough to know that means I want to read more.

        The place I work is a 9. My boss is an 8. My job is a 3. So it sucks just bad enough to want to stay home, but just good enough to want to keep it. Wait . . can something suck good? Don’t answer that.

      • Adam S

        Jean, I’m flattered. Thank you very much for the compliment by comparing me to your That 70’s Show party aftermath scene.

        I never got away with shit by the way. Just throwing it out there. Every time I ever tried to throw a party, I always ended up getting busted, or some asshole would launch a Fourth of July mortar into the garage…wait, that was me…

        I’ll keep it coming, and I’m sorry that your exotic dancing job sucks good.

      • Jean

        Yeah, well, it’s not that I’m not appreciated, I just need to be able to prove there’s more to this blonde head than good looks.

        I didn’t say I got away with the party. The stench kind of gave it away, and of course there was the police report . . .

    • Adam S

      Slow down, crazy lady. Buy a squirt gun or something!

      By the way, one time I got seperated from my hiking group on the edge of the Mojave. I was on my own for almost four days. I had to ration my water supply and supplement my fluid intake by recycling my own urine. Water scarcity is a terrifying thing to be up against. It was pretty brutal, but you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.

      I totally just made that shit up…

  7. blatherbubbleblog

    I was beginning to relate to the woman, worried that she would actually have a gun then I wanted to smack you ( lightly) on the arm for making me worry about you and her! Damn you, Adam! LOL
    Lots of love from San Diego to you and yours!

  8. Maddie Cochere

    You know the old 40’s noir movies, with the awesome saxophone music in the background, and the gumshoe narrator telling the story over the scene? Yep, that’s what I had going on while I read this with you as the sexy narrator voice. Loved it!

  9. anitadesignstudio

    Go back to sleep!!! Go back to sleep damn you!!! A hawt dude in leathers with a big….HUGE…..MASSIVE bike better sweep her off her feet….I’m serious!!! I WANT and NEED some action. I’m referring to your storyline. Not my life. Obviously. *coughs*

      • anitadesignstudio

        Yes Adam, it’s a great and very descriptive piece of writing. Well done. You’re doing the write thing (see what I did there, huh?!) by putting yourself (and your writing) out there for all to appreciate. And that’s quite a difficult thing to do – takes guts amigo 😉

        P.S. I invited you to work your image editing magic on a photograph I uploaded in a recent blog post!! Do you accept this challenge??! Well, do you?!

      • Adam S

        Well, now it sounds like I was fishing for a compliment…*thanks*. (Really, thanks)

        I accept your challenge. The image is being doctored right now, as I type. Where should I send it?

      • anitadesignstudio

        Is it pathetic that I’m so excited by this??! I’ll do a wee blog post about it tomorrow – you know, the merits/perils of collaborative working with a creative genius and all that…;)

      • Adam S

        That would be killer! I’m stoked that you’re stoked, seriously. Oh, and if you link back in the future, you have to link to a post, not a homepage. Otherwise it WordPress won’t send a notification.

      • anitadesignstudio

        Ha, I’m stoked, that you’re stoked, that I’m stoked. Ahhhh….I see what you mean. Roger that.

    • Adam S

      Thanks, Kiran. That’s what I always try to do when I write. I hope you’ll follow as it unfolds. It’ll be an interesting read. I’m sure I’ll interject some fiction again at some point.

  10. lillianccc

    Fun stuff, Adam! My favorite phrase is “fragile aggressor.” That speaks a lot about who the woman is and her position in regards to the man. Er, Norman I should say. (I agree with someone else who said of COURSE his name would be Norman. Not sure why,but I got that feeling too.) I’ll stop now before I go full-on into literary analysis mode (this is what happens when you write too many essays in college).

    • Adam S

      Hell yeah, thanks chick! I like that one too. This stuff is fun. I don’t write fiction all that often, but I dig it with a shovel. Wait, does that make sense? I was trying to be cool…

      I would welcome your literary analysis! Seriously, break it down! At least explain the dream. What is your interpretation of it?

      • lillianccc

        Well, since you asked for it…..

        When the woman started yelling and aiming the gun at Norman, I thought for a second that maybe what she was saying was how you were feeling about life in general (or the speaker at least). And so maybe Norman was your/the speaker’s version of life personified? I dunno….. maybe I’m reading into things too much. I’m kind of an analysis nerd.

  11. ramblingsfromamum

    You had me at so
    You have written well my new virtual friend – obviously this has to be continued. Does the Manager come out and throw her on the table and have his wicked way as he’s french and his emotions got the better of him? 🙂 Great story loved the close.

  12. Lady Lovely

    Hell of a great story! Dude, seriously, I was drawn in. I want, no wait, demand more after that! When is the novel being released mother! Holy smokes man. I know I went into your archives when I first started following you-I found some great reads…but this my friend, hands down my fave! Bravo!

  13. Wendy Brydge

    Adam, you’ve impressed me. This was very well done. I enjoy all of your writing, but this truly showcased your talent. And make no mistake, you’ve got talent. I really hope you’ll continue to explore this side of your writing. Today, I salute you. \m/

    And thanks again for making me post of the week!

    • Adam S

      No problem, Wendy. You’re a hell of a writer and artist. And thank you, I really appreciate that. It’s always been a passion of mine, the prose-heavy fiction stuff, I mean. I’m glad that you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoy writing it. More to come, I’m sure.

      Salute \m/

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  17. Deanna Herrmann

    This is awesome Adam! I loved it and it definitely seems like it should be (or was) a great start to something more. I could’ve kept reading more and more. If you’ve stopped writing, you should start again.

    • Chowderhead

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! This stuff is really fun. I have a second installment written for it, but never posted it. I haven’t stopped writing, it’s just that other things have kinda taken over for the time being. I’ll definitely be coming back to it though. \m/

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