Back in '91, my English class participated in a contest to parody Hemingway's style. My friend Bret and I decided to work together. We still did 2 stories, just together, to have fun. Boy, did we. I rarely remember laughing as long and as hard as that afternoon. The sun set slowly over the water. Our stomachs hurt. It was good.
The End with Nothing
by Bret Naylor and Daniel Edlen
Nick's head hurt. His head throbbed because of the drinks he had on the last day of the fiesta in Pamplona. Lying in bed, he thought of the past week, of the explosive fiesta. The fireworks still rang in his ears. Sluggishly, he pushed himself out of bed. He stood up but fell as the blood rushed from his head. It hurt. Nick exclaimed, "Ow, that hurt."
He got dressed, forgetting his shower and thus, smelling of the previous night. The wine bottle that once sat in the table was now shattered on the ground. Other bottles were strewn about the room. Nick lumbered through the door and into the hallway. Stumbling down the stairs, Nick reached the bottom with a thud and a sigh of relief.
He crossed the street that just yesterday he had run along with the bulls. He went to the bar across the street. Jake and Brett were already at a table. Nobody else was there. Waiters sat in the corner, rarely bothering to wait on customers. The chairs had been changed from the cheap folding kind to the comfortable wicker type. Brett was sipping a drink and Jake greeted Nick.
"Hello, Nick," said Jake with a smile in his comfortable chair.
"Shut up, Jake. I need a drink. I got too tight last night. You should've stopped me,Jake," Nick mumbled.
"Oh, relax, Nick, we all got too tight last night."
Brett added, "Jake definitely got too tight last night."
"Get me a drink," Nick retorted with a frown.
"Here's an absinthe to make your heart grow stronger," Brett said pleasantly as she handed Jake's drink to Nick.
Jake declared, "She's quite a bitch today, isn't she, Nick."
"I don't want your dirty absinthe, anyway," Nick said to Jake.
"Well, what do you want?"
"I don't know. What do you want?"
"I already have it. What do you want?"
"I don't want a drink. I want to eat."
"Ok, what do you want to eat, Nick?" Brett inquired pleasantly.
"I hate this bar. Let's go somewhere else."
"Those damn English have ruined it. Let's go to Harry's Bar in Venice," Jake suggested.
"That would take a while," Nick said dejectedly in the empty bar in Pamplona.
"Stop having such a bad attitude," Brett said in the hot, isolated, post-fiesta Pamplona atmosphere of the bar. The three of them sat alone in the nothingness, silent.
Thanks to my contest winner and new friend Zane for the suggestion to draw Hemingway.