A Follow Up To Goodbyes


Picking up his uncle’s rolodex, Remly fingers through the yellowing cards. scanning the all too familiar names. James & Manson hasn’t had a new customer in years now, and its day-to-day survival depended entirely on the few companies unafraid of employing a little subterfuge in their dealings. Debt collectors, employment agencies and other shady businesses. They make up the entirety of the agency’s client list.

Now that both founding members of James & Manson are gone however, Remly needs to find out which of these regulars will be sticking around with the new management. Only one way to find out. He picks out a card at random and makes the call.

“Hey Wachowski, long time no hear. How’s the bailor business.”

A gruff voice on the other end answers, “Ain’t got nothing for you Manson, better luck next time.” He hangs up.

Remly picks another card. “Milo? Remly here. James & Manson. No, just calling to check if…” Same answer. He pulls out three more cards and tries again, and again, and again.

“Words out you’re flying solo now Manson. The boss ain’t too thrilled about that you know, Albus has always been the one handling our business. You lack experience kid.”

“Krippie, I know your business inside out, I’ve been working with you since I was a kid! You know my dad.”

“Sorry Remly.”

Another hang up. Five strikes in a row and Remly’s psyche is shot. He slams the receiver down and grabs for the bottle, pouring himself a double. “I’ll show em’,” Remly fumes, chugging down the whiskey. The liquid burns down his throat, forcing him to wince. “To you dad,” he croaks, raising his glass. “And so-called friends.”

The heat spreading inside Remly’s belly helps him to relax. He pours a generous helping again, gulping down the fiery liquor with gusto. Just one more. The drinks start to fly, by the time Remly stops, he had finished half the bottle. “Sorry dear, won’t happen again,” Remly slurs, chuckling as he mimics the voice of his father. Leaving the mess on the table, he stumbles out of the office, ready to call it a night. He will call again tomorrow, though the prospect of rejection looms heavily upon that promise.

But tomorrow can worry about itself. Tonight, Remly has his mind set on a steak dinner. The thought of one anyways, since he can barely afford a sandwich. Sighing at his sad state of affairs, he grabs his coat and hat off the rack, shuffling out the door. Without uncle Albus around, he makes doubly sure to lock up everything behind him. Fumbling with his keys, Remly can’t help but smile. Already he is starting to miss the old man.

<– Part 1: An Intro To Goodbyes     Part 3:

Author’s notes: 

  • So far this is my writing style, write as much as I want, rewrite the entire thing, then cut it down to size. Usually I can cut off about 25%-30% of the text without losing any context, though I have to try to slow down the pace if it reads too fast. 
  • Playing the subtext of the relationships without being too direct.
  • First time writing a scene about drinking. Lemme know if it works.
  • My constant war against “As” “And” “Before” “Then” “After” — Basically link words. I try to cut them down and just separate the sentences if I can, as long as it still reads right. I am overly reliant on the word “As”, usually I find about 10-12 of them in a 500 word chunk before I cut them down. It is incredible how versatile that word is, yet is totally meaningless and can often be replaced with something more descriptive.

Removing as to make it more descriptive: (as is usually associated with the dreaded -ly, the telling words)

  • Albus turns away, shielding his eyes. With a final pat on Remly’s back, he …
  • Albus turns away, shielding his eyes as he pats Remly firmly on the back. He…

Where it fulfils no purpose: 

  • The warmth spreading through Remly’s belly makes him relax.
  • The warmth spreads through Remly belly as it starts to make him relax.


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2 thoughts on “A Follow Up To Goodbyes

  1. I’m so right there with you. I was reading a section of my writing out loud a few weeks ago and realized how many times I use the word as. OMG. It was crazy. So I’m cutting it out! The drinking scene was good. The whole thing was good! Keep it coming. I like your short, clipped pace!

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