Treetops, horizon, and clouds before sunset

Easy Money

They glued the pants to the cliff, let it dry for a week, and then I got into them. They held me by my arms and lowered me down. I wanted them to let go slowly because I was terrified of the jeans coming unstuck, and they did go slow, I think because they were scared too. It was something like a fifty-foot drop.

Cody and Eric held one arm while I zipped up and buttoned—it was hard because of the cup, but I’m glad I wore it, because otherwise the jeans would’ve cut me right in half. I had a pad on my butt for chafing too. And I just sat there. That’s all I had to do, all night. Two hundred bucks.

*

They set up camp below me. Cody kept shouting “Time!” and I’d be like, “Nine-oh-nine and all’s well!”

The campfire smoke kept blowing in my face.

I could see the tops of the trees, like they were just staring at me.

*

I had to pee. But I had the cup on, so I couldn’t really do anything about it besides just let go. They heard the trickling and saw the jeans were wet, so they took a bunch of pictures. Eric told me the pee would dissolve the epoxy, and I believed him.

They had a bottle of Jack, and Cody came up and poured some in my mouth, but then it mostly got in my eyes, totally on purpose. I told him I’d break his nose when they pulled me back up.

He was like, “You could just stay up here.”

I said, “Fucker,” and laughed so he’d think I was less mad.

*

“Time!”

“Two forty-seven and all’s well!”

“It’s pretty late, I think we’ll sleep in tomorrow!”

*

My calf cramped up, and I couldn’t fix it because my legs were just straight. I yelled, and they came up to the cliff and said I was faking to get out of being there all night.

We argued for a while, but they wouldn’t pull me up, and they went back down and I still had this like rock in my calf. I stared at the moon and tried to think about how I’m up in the sky like the moon, and the moon doesn’t have legs that cramp up.

*

The trees watched me the whole time. They were all grouped up to stare at the human stuck to the rock. I kept feeling like one was gonna grab me.

*

Every time I started to drift off I felt like I was falling. And I’d wake up and feel the ground coming fast and the trees spinning, and I’d try to grab the rock behind me, and I felt like I still had to wake up to stop falling.

*

Sunrise was the warmest feeling. Everything was pink and red, and then too bright for me to stare directly at it, so I blocked the sun and looked at everything else.

The trees looked like they’d all turned around to watch the sunrise too.


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4 Comments

  1. James Moon

    You have crafted that short story really well. Your writing style is light, but vivid. You capture the feeling of being in the moment there and then really well

  2. jim ilika

    Well, I couldn’t imagine doing this for $200. Or, $2000. I don’t think that I would care to remain friends with these guys. What dicks. I have never liked bullies or casual cruelty. The drifting off and feeling like you were falling was both vivid and real. What a nightmare. Zac, if you ever need $200 this badly, call me.

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