The Cruelest Cut

21 Nov

This is where I usually say, “100 words for Friday Fictioneers…” and go on to try to lay things out for new readers and old hands. This week any new readers are going to have to figure it out somewhere else and the old campaigners will, I hope, understand.

The Big Island is under siege by Vog and I am one of the casualties. Could not read many stories last week and was barely able to reply to comments. My sincerest apologies. My days on the summit are the only relief as we are maybe a thousand feet above the fumes. Suffice to say that I cannot wait for the trade winds to start blowing again.

Thanks for your understanding.


“What’ll it be?”

“Stoli, neat. Keep ‘em coming.”

“Slow night. Want to talk about it?”

“Wife’s gone. I’m getting drunk.”

“Gone as in…?”

“Taken a lover and gone gone.”

“Did you show her the door?”

“Didn’t have to. She split for good right after she told me.”

“You know, I hear a lot of stories like that.”

“Want to bet?”

“There’s more?”

“I was cheating on her. She found out. Confronted the woman.”

“Oh, ouch.”

“They talked. Hit it off. Started seeing each other and….”

“Don’t say it…”

“…and that’s who she left me for.”

“Bottle’s on the house, mister.”

36 Responses to “The Cruelest Cut”

  1. sandraconner November 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Just look at what can happen when a man starts cheating on his wife! I’m almost rolling in the floor here — but mainly because, for some unidentified reason, I expected something much more gruesome from you out of this picture. This unique take on it came right out of left-field and caught me by hilarious surprise. Presenting it all in dialogue is perfect, and the pace keeps the reader hanging on each word right to the end.

    Sorry to hear you’re vogged, but at least it hasn’t smothered your sense of humor.

    • dmmacilroy November 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Dear Sandra,

      I am grateful for your comments, which are a breath of fresh air and something I need right now.

      Thank you for setting my mind at ease with your reaction to my story.



  2. elmowrites November 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Never heard of vog before, but I guess there have to be a few downsides to living in a tropical paradise! Hope all is better soon.
    Loved your characters – the dry barman and the self-pitying cuckold. As I’m sure is true of many of your female readers, I don’t have much sympathy for him!

    • dmmacilroy November 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Dear Jennifer,

      Vog is a definite reality and a choking downside to living on one of the most active volcanic islands in the world. The trade off is one I’ve gladly made for many years, but, damn, I wonder sometimes.

      Thanks for not having any sympathy for my protagonist. Any at all would be a sign I hadn’t told the story well. And mahalo plenty for commenting despite me being so behind the curve of late.



  3. Helena Hann-Basquiat November 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    This reminds me of this time I was seeing this girl in the islands. We’d hit it off, we went back to my room, and I went to go to get us some more champagne, and got knocked over the head. When I woke up, she was dead and had been painted completely gold.

    Oh, wait, darling — that was James Bond, not me… god, truth and fiction are so hard to tell apart sometimes!

    I usually find that stories told entirely in pointed dialogue often lose the plot. You kept this so well contained that it worked perfectly.

    I do hope you are well, darling. Stay safe — my ego won’t survive without your weekly praise!

    • dmmacilroy November 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Dear Helena,

      You had me from the first sentence. Thanks for reading and letting me know the format worked for you. I’ve got to put together a homemade respirator mask when I get off of this hill in two hours. Then I will read your story, I promise. Think Daniel Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans (what I like to call the Triathlon movie) when I say, “I will find you.”

      Thanks for reading, Helena. I appreciate you.



  4. Carol Deminski November 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Saw your note about the volcano, and it worried me. Somehow sulphuric fumes don’t just sound unpleasant, it sounds dangerous because it’s usually a precursor for…… Please stay safe.

    • dmmacilroy November 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      Dear Carol,

      The Big Island has four shield volcanoes and one andesitic one. They’re all quite safe, historically and statistically, but Kilauea and Puu O’o vent are really gassing things up. I’ll survive. Just whining a bit.



      • Carol Deminski November 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

        Okay Doug; if anyone would know about how safe it is, it would be you since you straddle a volcano every night. 🙂

        Be well! Carol

  5. kz November 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    lol that is quite a cruel cut. i have zero sympathy for him, though 🙂 but damn, that was a blow to his great story 🙂 and stay safe, Doug.

    • dmmacilroy November 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Dear Kz,

      Yes, and viewing that ‘Ken’ mannequin and his lack of equipment put the story in my mind and I could not let go.

      Thanks for reading and commenting and for the well wishes.



  6. sustainabilitea November 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    And here I thought it was just that you were swept off your feet by the Skyping with the combination of Rochelle and me last week. 😦

    I, too, expected something darker but greatly enjoyed this one. I think, though, that rather than the bottle on the house, it would be more efficacious on his head. Just my $.02, though. And the title’s perfect (I’m big on titles.) I would have liked to work “The First Cut is the Deepest” somewhere, but it was not to be.

    Hope you have clear sailing soon (and living and searching the heavens.)


  7. Bastet November 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Oh my, what an interesting twist…I do hope the wind or what ever turns quickly, it must be awful living under the fumes of a volcano! Keep yourself well. Georgia

  8. Lindaura Glamoura November 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    If he had been my husband, Charley, he would have been delighted to see me find another woman! Even if he couldn’t have me anymore, the thought of me in another woman’s arms would have kept him warm for all future nights. I did laugh out loud though! I guess the last line, “Bottle’s on the house” did it for me!

  9. Sandra November 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I wondered, on a scale of 1 to 10, how a guy would rate his wife leaving him for a man, as opposed to her leaving him for a woman. I’ll need to think about that… I’m sorry that paradise is not cutting the mustard right now Doug, but I have faith in your persistence and stoicism. At least I think I do… 😉 Thanks for making me grin after a long journey south.

  10. bridgesareforburning November 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    Excellent turnarounds in this story and I hope that one bottle of Stoli will be enough to kill some brain cells. I’m thinking about what a great story the two women will have when anyone asks them, “How did you meet?” Ron

  11. tedstrutz November 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Hey… this was different. Interesting take on the photo, Doug. Realistic bar talk. Hope the Vog has cleared and life on your mountain is good.

  12. valeriedavies November 22, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Very funny!, so glad the boys stick together in adversity. Delightful piece of fun Doug…

    The toxic Vog sounds terrible, like something the Tryffyds would spread to subdue fractious earthlings… hope your winds come quickly, or the soaring heights help….

  13. brainsnorts November 22, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    two things. 1. i see no connection from the picture to the story. 2. doesn’t matter to me.

    well done.

    • dmmacilroy November 22, 2013 at 2:36 am #

      Dear Rich,

      The mannequin missing his package is the connection. I envisioned my protagonist feeling that way and tried to write a tale that would have produced those psychic results.

      Thanks for stopping by. Love the new pic.



      • brainsnorts November 22, 2013 at 3:28 am #

        duh. i missed that because of the direction of the rest of the story that took over my imagination. thanks. and thanks.

  14. EagleAye November 22, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    …And that’s why you shouldn’t fool around on your wife. This is hilarious and cleverly written. Kudos to you!

  15. Jan Brown November 22, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    I don’t wish the misery of rejection on anyone, but if anyone deserved it…this guy does!!! Absolutely hysterical ending, a little slice of vengeance and comic relief all in one sweet conclusion 🙂

    As to your vog, I am so sorry for you. As a life-long asthma sufferer, frequent smog breather and person who knows what it feels like to have death’s little brother jumping up and down on your chest, I sympathize! I’m glad you get some relief above the fray. All I can think to say is: Hang in there, and stay high (above the vog, that is).

  16. mike olley November 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Now I’m going to have to listen to Sinatra’s ‘One for my baby (and one more for the road)’ except the broken-hearted soul in your story will need double the amount of drinks to get over his pain. Can’t say he didn’t deserve it though.

    (And Vog sounds awful. Hope the winds blow you back on course.)

  17. unspywriter November 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Great story, and the dialogue is perfect. That’ll teach him, but I agree; I expected mayhem. 😉

    Here’s mine:

  18. Joanna (Lazuli Portals Trilogy) November 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm #


    I hope the vog clears soon and you can breathe pure air again.

    Really enjoyed your punchy dialogue sequence! Karma really does exist lol.


  19. misskzebra November 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Good for the ladies, and not so great for him. Hope he has a rotten hangover the next day!

  20. rochellewisoff November 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    I appreciate the versatility of your writing. You have a gift for making us weep one minute and laugh with the next breath.

    Speaking of breath, I hope yours returns to a semblance of normal soon. 😉


    Rochelle SD

  21. The Bumble Files November 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Dear Doug,
    Uh oh! I didn’t see that coming. Well, at least maybe someone will be happy in the end. Nice paced dialogue. What’s happening on the island? I hope all is well! I think we all do the best we can with all the stories. So, no worries!

  22. koelnerzeilen November 24, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    It has to be said and if no-one else has the guts, I’ll do it. No ist not about your Story, which is adorable in writing as well as in the wickedness of it (if thats an english word). The fog is the issue: Come over to Cologne November, we have month Long fog as well, and after it is finished there will be icecold winds and sunset starting almost ahead of sunrise 🙂

  23. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) November 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Vog was new to me.. but of course we have neither sun nor volcanos here … the thought of that rejection is actually quite good.. maybe it can give me a few drinks next time I’m out…

  24. lingeringvisions by Dawn November 25, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    Perhaps I am too cynical but I imagine them talking about the girl on girl action halfway through the bottle. :/
    Sorry about your “weather conditions”. Missed you.

  25. Dee November 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Dear Doug
    Great about face, loved it. As always with your writing I am waiting for the clever twist and you never disappoint.
    Sad to hear about the Vog and hope the trade winds come before too long. Keep safe and catch up soon.


  26. Dee November 25, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    ..was supposed to end Take care, Dee
    I too am having problems reading and replying and haven’t been able to ‘Like’ stories for weeks, must have a gremlin in the WordPress machinery…

  27. zookyworld November 25, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Snappy dialogue here to flesh out the background of the cheater being cheated on. Maybe after the Stoli numbness fades, he’ll decide not to cheat on his next partner.

    And I hope the trade winds will arrive soon for you, and clearer skies are ahead.

  28. unawarebutunderlined November 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    This prompt had many of us thinking about substances…I look forward to your take on the new photo prompt 🙂

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