A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

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thewritergal
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Re: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby thewritergal » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:46 pm

Broken Promise
February 6, 2011, by The Writer Gal

Only two weeks into the New Year, and Tim had already broken his first resolution. Don’t. Kill. Anyone.

It was not just a resolution, but also a promise that he had made to himself for the New Year. It had to stop. The little voice inside his head had to go away. Oh, how Tim prayed for quiet, but the quiet never came. Not at night when he slept. Not when he ran full-speed at the track. Not even when he swam deep underwater at the pool at the YMCA after work.

Nothing would make the little voice inside his head go away.

The problem was that the little voice always said the same thing. “You’re not good enough.” “That guy is better at your job that you are.” “That guy dresses better than you do.” “That guy has a cooler car than you.” “That guy has a gorgeous woman to go home to, and what do you have? NOTHING!”

“Shut up…shut up…SHUT UP!” Tim yelled, grabbing his head and stopping for breath on the track. The runners around him gave him a wide berth, startled by the outburst but not enough to interrupt their own routines.

Realizing he had to get off the track and into a more solitary situation, Tim headed for the indoor pool.

He went from the door to the inside lane without stopping. When he finally came up for air, Tim was halfway down the Olympic-size pool and swimming hard. Stroke after stroke, kick after kick, and it seemed to be working.

The voices shouting in his head were now just a dull whisper. Tim’s ears filled with water as he furiously swam freestyle down the lane and quickly turned and pushed off the wall to head back to start.

He didn’t feel tired – only invigorated. So, he pushed himself harder and harder. He had to be breaking some sort of speed record here. End of the lane, and he quickly turned and pushed off the wall again to head down the lane again.

His limbs weren’t tired, but his lungs began to burn. Tim did care. He pushed his body harder and faster than he ever had before. The voices finally stopped. End of the lane, and he turned one last time and pushed off the wall for one last lap.

Tim didn’t realize that he was no longer swimming in a straight line. He was no longer in the lane he began in but swimming diagonally in the water, under the ropes, and completely submerged.

His limbs began to feel heavier and heavier as he pushed harder to reach the edge of the water. His lungs felt like they were going to burst inside his chest. “You’ll never make it. Everyone else did.”

Only two weeks into the New Year, and Tim had already broken his first resolution. Don’t. Kill. Anyone. But, he did that afternoon in the pool. The guilt of all those lives he held in his hands in the operating room had been too much. All the good he could have done had he only tried a little harder, studied more, worked more.

It was too much for Dr. Timothy Wilson to stomach in the end. With his last breath underwater, as the water rushed into his lungs, it washed away all the disappointment and guilt that came with being a surgical resident.

Depo
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RE: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby Depo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:52 am

Tim is covered in blood. He looks around for something, anything he can use to clean himself off with. His eyes surveying the leaf strewn yard, he sees that his wheelbarrow is half full of dirty rain water. It had rained for almost a week, but the weather had been nice for the last couple of days. That's why he had hired the gardener in the first place. The body of Roberto the Gardener, lays crumpled on the lawn.
Tim had specifically told him not to plant anything in the right rear corner of the yard. Roberto obviously hadn't listened, and had discovered the the remains of the of the Senator's family and his last groundskeeper, in their shallow grave.
Realizing that he is still holding the metal rake that he has used to kill Roberto with, there is still clumps of the man's hair and scalp stuck between, and hanging from the tines, Tim throws it to the ground and makes his way to the wheelbarrow. He has to figure something out fast. The other member's of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee will be here in fifteen minutes. Worse still, they are expecting to have a barbecue here in the back yard. All the food is prepared and set out already. After killing the gardener, he had to also dispatch his chef and the caterer. Collateral Damage, they liked to call it. It was too bad. Tim had rather enjoyed Juan's cooking. The Chef and The Gardener were no long term problem. Both were undocumented illegals. The Caterer Bitch, that is going to take some looking into.
Stripping down naked, The Senator balls up the soiled clothes and stuffs them into a yard bag that is half full of leaves and branches. Cupping his hands, he takes scoops of water from the wheelbarrow and starts with his hair and his face.
As Tim washes the blood from his body, his mind tries to figure out what to do about all of the dead. There is six altogether. The Senator had to kill his maid and the two man Secret Service detachment also. It was a domino effect that he hadn't intended. After he'd killed Roberto, Tim was getting ready to drag his body into the tool shed, but the Chef had walked out to the back yard. Seeing The Gardener down on the ground and Tim covered in blood, his first instinct was to help them. As The Chef knelt down to check on The Gardener, The Senator bludgeoned him to death with a large rock. Next came The Caterer, finding him much the same way that The Chef did. She didn't make an attempt to help, but froze. The horror clear on her face. Tim had walked toward her, hands up, saying, “ Help me.”, as he carefully picked up the Chef's two-pronged grilling fork and then jammed into the Caterer's eye, driving the utensil through her brain. The woman jiggled and bucked on the end of it like a speared fish, her mouth hanging open, a look of surprise in her one good eye. Next, Tim walked to his back door and called for Maria, his maid. He waited out of sight. As Maria walked through the threshold, he seized her neck and choked her to death. Dropping her body, The Senator withdrew his .38 Smith&Wesson that he kept with him at all times. Using the intercom on the wall in the small mud room, he called for the two Secret Service Agents to come to the back patio and try the food. Returning to the patio, Tim waited with his backed toward the door, for the two agents. As he heard them approach, The Senator spun and shot both men in the chest at close range, and once down, shot them both in the head, saying, “ That's what happens when you relax, boys. Best in the Business, my ass.”
As The Senator finished cleaning himself, his thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the other senator's from the Intelligence Oversight Committee. All staring at Tim, one of them asked, “ What happened, Tim. Are you alright.”, he shook his head no. Another asked, “ Did you do this, Tim?”, he shook his head yes. Yet another said, “ Well, that's alright. We've all done things that we are not proud of. Thing's the American public just can't know about. Let's help you get this mess cleaned up. We'll talk about what happened later over dinner.”

Keeping it real
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RE: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby Keeping it real » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:49 pm

Tim couldn't belive that only two weeks into the New Year he had broken his resloution. "Don't kill anyone." But it really was an accident. He was playing Checkers with his sister, opening and closing his favorite pocket knife. Susie (his sister), was winning by one. And he was the only one kinged. Tim was paying too much attention to the pocket knife, then the words hit "King me," his sister had made it. Tim looked up at Susie and tried to keep his anger in. He kinged her and walked away. Coming back with a different pocket knife, sharper he sat back down across from his sister and smiled his best fake smile at her. They played on and the game ended. Tim smiled at his sister, she had won, and walked off. Next thing Tim knew a pocket knife was in Susie's back and he was standing over her, smiling evilly. He took the pocket knife out, walked to the kitchen and cleaned off the blood, thinking. He walked back to the dead Susie and layed her on her back. Making the blood unseen. He closed her eyes, grabbed a few pillows from his bedroom and propped her head up so it looked like she was sleeping. He cleaned up the Checkers game and put it in the living room closet. He went to his room and started to read a book. When he heard the door open and shut he knew his parents were home. He walked outside of his room and walked to his parents. He smiled at them and they smiled back. They all went to bed.

 The next day his parnets tried to awake Susie but she didn't they turned her over and saw the stab wound. But Tim was already off to his next set of parents. Swearing he wouldn't kill another person.

OOC: Anyone who reads please give me some feedback. Old to writing,new to writer's digest.


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RE: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby theSkilled » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:42 pm

I could have done it, I thought. I really could have done it. This was true. I didn't have to do what I did. No one said it was neccisary. Why had I done what I did? It was pride, my dear Watson. It was my own darn compluses. My entire life had been a lie. I had lied to my Mother almost every night as a teenager saying I was just going out for a soda. I had lied to my best friends when I promised to pay them back. I had lied to my beautiful wife, Marissa. My eyes glazed over. I could have done it.

"Tim, honey, come up from the basement! You've been down there for nearly an hour!" I could hear Marissa call from upstairs. "I don't want you to catch a cold." I shook my head sarcastically. Catch a cold? I thought. Catching a cold was the least of my worries. I stood over the body with a sad expression on my face. I knew that I could have stopped myself before my temper escilated and the world turned into a blur. Marissa was pregnant with our first child and I knew that my collecting hobby was not healthy for family-life. Oh well, I sighed in my head, in with the rest of them.


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RE: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby dbgk32 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:17 pm

Damn it!

You know, sometimes I just can’t help myself. Temptations are always around and sometimes, well sometimes they are just too damn strong. This one, oh boy, this one was tempting the hell out of me. She was standing there at the bar, twirling that one lock of hair in her finger for way too long. She was begging for me. I couldn’t disregard the way she looked my way each time she put that straw in her mouth, the way she managed to turn both her ass and her lips at me when she laughed at her friends’ jokes.

I tried. In fact, I had almost managed to leave it be. I was getting ready to walk out, to leave and forget the glint in her lip as it puckered around that straw. I almost managed it, but that bar tender ****ed up the bill. He overcharged my card twice before he managed the menial task of sending me off. Maybe if he had only douched the job once that would have been something, but twice? Come on, the temptations had just grown and grown.

One quick little talk, I swore I would only make some polite conversation and leave. It would be enough to get off on later, I hoped.

I sidled over to the bar and she turned a bit to allow me in. She wanted it, everything I had for her. She held her drink close to her mouth, mousy and shrinking. She wanted me to feel powerful. I knew the game. Make the man feel in charge, what a slut.

I figured I’d be forward, direct as hell and maybe she’d shoot me down; perhaps she’d let me off the hook. “That’s quite the dress you’re wearing.” My voice was thick with testosterone and desire. She sipped the drink, the straw close enough to her mouth that she simply needed to pucker to reach it. She let her eyes roam the length of my body, but she didn’t say a word. I craned my neck and continued, “Really shows off that ass of yours.” I crinkled my brow at it and smacked my lips.
Please tell me to **** off, throw your drink.

“Thanks” she said it in almost a whisper, then she licked her lower lip. Her friends giggle some then started backing away. This bitch and her worthless supporting cast were unreal. I knew, even as I slid closer and reached to grab her drink that I was going to break my promise. I guess two weeks was more than I’d expected anyway.

Finally, resigned to the temptation at this point, I let the glass shatter on the floor between us as I slipped my hand around her waist and pulled her close. She gave a little grunt and, for a moment I thought she might take this escape, but the grunt turned to a giggle as she then bit that plump lip of hers. I pushed her hair from her neck and pressed my cheek to hers. I whispered into her ear, soft enough that she had to press her body to mine to hear. “Follow me.”

I let go then and, without turning back, I walked to the back door of the bar. I sighed hard when my back was to her, releasing myself from that promise, that resolution and resigning myself back to what I knew. She was quick join me outside. I don’t think the door had a chance to shut before she slipped out and leaned back into it, one foot on its aluminum, her head resting on it as well. She shivered a bit and her chattered breath clouded in front of her.

I listened as her body asked for what I could give her and I delivered, as I had before and as I surely would again.

Now I stand looking down at another failed resolution, another girl, whore dead by my hands. Her blood flowed in a smooth and erotic arc from those lips and I shuddered at the beauty of it. I both thank her and damn her for her sacrifice as I turn, pull my collar up against the cold and start the walk back home.

Orion
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Re: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby Orion » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:13 pm

At least he had made it into the second week of the year. Standing in the rain, he shrugged his shoulders. New Year’s Resolutions were made to be broken anyway, right?
As he stared down at the body, he began to wonder about this man’s life. He had a wife; Tim had known that much when he had plucked the wedding band from the man’s finger. He would probably go see her next, because, you see, he had the man’s driver’s license tucked safely in his coat pocket. It was recently issued, so the address would be correct.
And children. He shivered when he thought about them, the rain having absolutely nothing to do with it. They were young. A girl and a boy. That much he knew from the wallet photos. Bright, startlingly blue eyes, inherited from their lovely mother. He wondered what they would look like, bound and gagged, terror etched into their small faces, struggling uselessly against the ropes chafing fragile wrists. He shivered again.
They would never know what happened to their father. Didn’t need to know. Sometimes the truth was painful for small children, and he wished to spare them that. He wasn’t heartless. He’d probably tell the wife, though. She was an adult and deserved to know the truth. After all, if she was going to be his, even if for just a little while, there should be no secrets between them.
Cold rainwater pelted his hat, found its way through, and snaked lazily down the back of his neck and in between his shoulder blades. Absently he tried to reach his back to scratch, but his coat sleeves constricted him, his muscular arms to big for it. The itch intensified, and he couldn’t reach, and the rain continued its trail, and then he was mad mad mad that he couldn’t reach, and with a screech that sounded more womanly than he would’ve liked, he strained until he felt the stitching give way.
Itch taken care of, his rage still ignited, Tim turned his attention to the corpse below him. Channeling his fury, Tim gave the man a few well-deserved, well-placed kicks, screamed again, stomped around a bit, and then felt better. “Sorry,” he muttered, not really sorry, but apologizing for his rudeness anyway.
The dead man respectfully kept silent.
For the first time that evening, Tim felt cold. The remnants of the coat he had destroyed lay in a pale puddle around him, and now the cold, hard rain was able to bite his skin. It was almost invisible in the black night, little surprise attacks originating from outside his periphery.
Tim glanced back at the man’s car. The driver’s side door was ajar, so the overhead light was on, and the engine was still running. It hummed invitingly to him. It was a nice, four-door sedan, much classier than what he was used to. He smiled to himself.
New car.
New wife.
New family.
All his.
He tipped his hat in the dead man’s general direction, an arrogant, thanks-for-everything type of gesture, and nearly skipped over to his new wheels, feeling like a kid in a candy store. He was glad the seats were leather, hoping they would be easier to clean. And he was really excited about the seat warmers, cranking them up as high as they would go. Even the passenger side. He wanted his new wife to know immediately what a gentlemen he was.
His new ride also featured a new GPS. He was pretty sure he could’ve found his new home without it, but he was appreciative of what They did for him. Always looking out for him.
Tim adjusted the seat to his liking, turned off the crap on the radio, shifted out of park, and began the journey home.

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RE: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby rufflesandpearls » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:50 pm

The calender on the wall proclaimed "January 5" as I walked down the stairs to my boyfriend, Tims, room. Last year he had seemed so dark and shady. But it seemed since he made his resolution to not kill a soul this year, he seemed happier.
"Tim? You down here?" I asked, my voice said, cracking.
"Yeah." Came his plain reply.
"Tim, i know that you have been depressed ever since your mom's passing a month ago, but you need not worry...she's in a better place now." I said, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"I suppose. But you know what?" He said with a creepy chuckle
"Um, no, what?"
"I think if mom's gone, and dad has gone and died of heartbreak, then you should too, eh?" He said, and i heard a gun pinky.
I swallowed hard, trying to mantain a calm tone.
He stood up and pointed a gun to my chest.
"You're making a big mistake!"
"Nah, i don't keep resolutions anyways!"
I felt the bullet tear through my flesh and leave a panging feeling through my heart. I dropped to the floor and tried hard to breath. "Why?" I whispered.
His lip turned down and said, "I don't know." He sat down and cried, putting his head in between his legs. My eyes fluttered until i couldn't stand the pain anymore. I brought my pale hand to my chest and saw blood on my hand. Darkness hit. Then light. A stunning and gorgeous light. It seemed i was walking on fog, no, clouds and angelic voices and harps came from somewhere. Tim was walking toward me. "Tim, are we in Heaven?" I asked, my voice seeming echoey.
"Yeah, we are."
"Why are you here? I was the only one shot!" I said, confused.
"I couldn't leave you. I had to go as well."

The Underwood
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Re: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby The Underwood » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:38 pm

"Well, there was that one year that you said that you were going to learn to play the mandolin, right?"

"Yeah, well..." Tim hunched over the steering wheel and peered through the mud-spattered passenger-side window. Rog drew on his Fanta.

"And then there was that year that you were going to start running in the mornings, right? Every day?"

"Sure," said Tim. "But in January? Come on. I think I actually did go out a couple of times in March." He took his left. The truck hesitated, growled, and then responded. Gravel and ice particles bounced off the windshield as they picked up some speed. It hadn't snowed two weeks and the snowbanks by the side of the highway looked lumpen and grimy. The sun shone blearily into the cab. Rog and Tim winced in unison. With his free hand, Rog put down his visor.

"A bit late, don't you think? They call them 'New Year's resolutions' for a reason. March hardly counts" Rog took another swig of Fanta. He waited for a reply.

"Right. Of course. But I still think there's nothing wrong with me making them." He felt himself growing defensive again. In what he hoped was a persuasive tone, he continued. "It's not a crime to want to better yourself. Everybody makes some every year. Even people who keep them do."

"I don't," said Rog. "Things happen when they happen, and not before. And not always for a reason, either. And certainly not because you want them to." He went for the Fanta again and missed. A bit of orange soda dripped down his chin and was absorbed by the scarf that was knotted at his neck. The heating in the truck hadn't worked all winter.

"Yeah, well this year I'm scaling it back. I figured I'd just live and let live." The light at the three-way stop turned yellow.

"Aw, c'mon," said Rob. "What kind of resolution is that? That's like, from a Beatles song."

"No, really. I read on the intenet, on this site about like, the Buddha and stuff. It said that right intention precedes right action. And what more do I want? I want to live and let live." Now the light was red. They stopped.

"No," said Rog. "You want more hours at the shop. And you want to get the heating in the truck fixed. And then you want a new bike, and maybe a couple of days in the forties. We haven't even gotten started on what I want."

Tim said nothing. Rog, turned and looked across the bench seat, where Tim bit his lips and gripped the steering wheel with both hands. Tim went to fiddle with the radio, but that hadn't worked for months, either. He cocked his head back, seemingly directing his words at the truck's ceiling.

"Look, man," Tim said, "I'm no good at these damn things. One year when I was seventeen my resolution was to keep my lights and darks separated. In the laundry? poop unicorns and rainbows, I couldn't even do that past February. I know everyone's like," he waved his left hand in front of his face now, his voice turned mocking, "'I want to lose ninety pounds and run a marathon! I'm gonna feed starving children!' Man, I'm not there. I need something a bit more basic. I figure not, you know, starting a war or killing anyone might be enough for this year."

He thumped the steering wheel with his right fist and shot Rog a warning look. The light turned green, and he punched the gas so hard that the truck jolted.

"No, man, you..." Rog began. Then he felt the truck lurch forward, and, still looking to his left as inertia carried his head toward the dashboard, saw Tim spin the wheel to the right, hand over hand in a curiously exaggerated motion, like a drunk making his way out of a crowded bar. His eyes had gone wide. Rog prepared himself to speak, but surprised himself by just watching Tim try to pilot the now reeling truck instead. He noticed Tim had been biting his fingernails again. The truck's worn brakes made a plaintive groaning sound, a pitiful mechanical cry, and then then they felt the front wheels of a truck roll over something in the road, a small, soft speed bump. He waited for the back wheels to follow, but they never did. The truck spun, and Rog felt the seat belt grab him tight around the chest. By the time Rog righted himself enough to look out the windshield again, the truck was sitting astride the right lane and the traffic behind them had stopped. He became conscious of a warmth spreading over his lap and remembered his Fanta. He reached for fast-emptying bottle and had just begin to consider where its cap might be when he heard Tim, beside him.

"Man, no! Not this again. Man, is there any credit on your cell phone? Mine's dead again."

apershing
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RE: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby apershing » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:58 pm

Don't kill anyone.

Tim was hiding crouched behind the dumpster. The dark alley was cramped and filthy. Rocking on the balls of his feet, Tim cursed under his breath. A body slumped in the corner stained the snow red. He had done it again, and so soon after he promised to stop.

"It was only a vagrant," he mumbled "Would have been dead soon anyway. No! Shut up! You said you wouldn't kill anyone! There's no justifying it!"

The night air was crisp and Tim stuck his nose up to smell it. A snowflake landed on his upper lip. He wiped it away, feeling the stubble on his face. A chill breeze blew down the alley. Tim pulled the strings of his jacket. The hood closed up leaving only his nose and mouth to be seen. The snow began to fall harder. He had to move now if he didn't want to leave tracks. But it was too busy on the street. someone would surely see him.

Panic set in. Tim felt like an animal trapped in a cage. He looked up at the buildings. No way to climb out. He would have to wait for the right moment to walk out onto the street. A noise overhead startled him. A woman had slid the door to her balcony open and stepped out. Tim could hear her chatting on a cell phone and watched her light a cigarette. Hopefully, she didn't have a porch light up there. If she turned that on, he would be caught for sure.

Tim felt he absolutely deserved to get caught, and wouldn't be surprised if he did. But deserving to and actually wanting to were very different things. The woman above smoked her butt and talked on her phone.

A shuffling noise came from the corner where Tim's latest victim was. One of the corpse's arms flopped down and hit the snow with a wet slap. Tim screamed in his head, and didn't utter a sound. He looked up at the woman. She didn't see it, and Tim breathed a sigh of quiet relief. The woman threw her cigarette down into the alley where it landed in the snow and died. She went back inside and shut the door. Tim stood up. Get out of here and get out of here now, he told himself.

He crept to the end of the alley and saw that there was no one to see him. He walked his best casual walk and crossed the street where passing traffic would eventually obliterate any path made by him walking through the snow.

Tim walked three blocks and caught a bus that would take him home. He paid the fare and took the seat directly behind the driver. they were separated by a plane of plexiglass. This was the only seat on the bus where the driver, and the camera up above, couldn't get a good look at someone.

"Looks like another couple of inches." the driver said.
"Can't wait until spring."
"Yeah, you and me both."
"This bus goes to Canal Street, right?"
"Sure does. If you don't mind going all the way to the terminal and walking another two blocks. The bus to Canal stopped running about half an hour ago."
"No prob."

Tim sat back and tried to enjoy the ride. The driver wasn't very talkative either. Both men just wanted to go home. Two miles down the road, the bus drove into the terminal. The driver let Tim ride all the way to it's parking spot in the yard. A big no-no, but the driver explained that if Tim went through the gate in the yard instead of going through the terminal building, he would get home that much quicker. Tim thanked him and walked off the bus.

The night air was just as crisp and as cold as it was in the alley. Tim felt something terrible stir within him. He looked around the yard. The place was deserted save for a light in the small office building on the other side of the yard. He walked up to the driver.

"Thanks again," Tim said.
"Anytime." the driver looked a bit nervous. Did that man's eyes just flash red?
"Here we go again." Tim said and went for the driver's throat.

He had broke the resolution twice that night.

The Underwood
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Re: A Broken (Deadly) Resolution - 1/18

Postby The Underwood » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:51 am

"Well, there was that one year that you said that you were going to take up the mandolin, right?"

"Yeah, well..." Tim hunched over the steering wheel and peered through the mud-spattered passenger-side window. Rog drew on his Fanta.

"And then there was that year that you were going to start running in the mornings, right? Every day?"

"Sure," said Tim. "But in January? Come on. I think I actually did go out a couple of times in March." A break appeared in the quitting-time traffic cruising southbound on Route 18. He took his left. The truck hesitated, growled, and then responded. Gravel and ice particles bounced off the windshield as they picked up some speed. It hadn't snowed two weeks and the snowbanks by the side of the highway looked lumpen and grimy. The sun shone blearily into the cab. Tim sat back in his seat and drove with his fingertips.

"A bit late, don't you think? They call them 'New Year's resolutions' for a reason. March hardly counts" Rog took another swig of Fanta.

"Right. Of course. But I still think there's nothing wrong with me making them." He felt himself growing defensive again. In what he hoped was a persuasive tone, he continued. "It's not a crime to want to better yourself. Everybody makes some every year. Even people who keep them do."

"I don't," said Rog. "Things happen when they happen, and not before. And not always for a reason, either. And certainly not because you want them to." He went for the Fanta again and missed. A bit of orange soda dripped down his chin and was absorbed by the scarf that was knotted at his neck. The heating in the truck hadn't worked all winter.

"Yeah, well this year I'm scaling it back. I figured I'd just live and let live." The light at the three-way stop that they were approaching turned yellow.

"Aw, c'mon," said Rob. "What kind of resolution is that? That's like, from a Beatles song."

"No, really. I read that right intention precedes right action. And what more do I want? I want to live and let live." Now the light was red. They stopped.

"No," said Rog. "You want more hours at the shop. And you want to get the heating in the truck fixed. And then you want a new bike, and maybe a couple of days in the forties. We haven't even gotten started on what I want."

Tim didn't reply. Rog, turned and looked across the bench seat, where Tim was biting his lips and gripping the steering wheel with both hands. Tim went to fiddle with the radio, but that hadn't worked for months either. Tim cocked his head back, seemingly directing his words at the truck's ceiling.

"Look, man," Tim said, "I'm no good at these damn things. One year when I was seventeen my resolution was to keep my lights and darks separated. In the laundry? poop unicorns and rainbows, I couldn't even do that past February. I know everyone's like," he waved his left hand in front of his face now, his voice turned mocking, "'I want to lose ninety pounds and run a marathon! I'm gonna feed starving children!' Man, I'm not there. I need something a bit more basic. I figure not, you know, starting a war or killing anyone might be enough for this year."

He thumped the steering wheel with his right fist and shot Rog a warning look. The light turned green, and he punched the gas so hard that the truck jolted.

"No, man, you..." Rog began, and stopped. He felt the truck lurch forward, and, still looking to his left as inertia carried his head toward the dashboard, saw Tim spin the wheel to the right, hand over hand in a curiously exaggerated motion, like a drunk making his way out of a crowded bar. His eyes had gone wide. Rog prepared himself to speak, but the air seemed to have left his lungs. The truck's worn brakes made a plaintive groaning sound, a pitiful mechanical cry, and then then they felt the front wheels of a truck roll over something in the road, a soft speed bump. As Tim jammed on the brakes, the truck came to a painful, juddering halt, as if the tires had decided to stop rolling and were trying to do a stutter-step. The normal hum of traffic had ceased, at all had gone quiet. The truck had come to a stop astride the intersection at an unnatural angle almost perpendicular to the highway's double yellow.

Rog became conscious of a warmth spreading over his lap and became suddenly afraid for his own life. A map of the circulatory system that he remembered seeing in a sixth-grade science textbook flashed before his eyes, but then remembered his Fanta. He reached for fast-emptying bottle and had just begin to consider where its cap might be when he heard Tim, beside him.

"Man, no! Not this again. Man, is there any credit on your cell phone? Mine's dead again."

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