Saturday, July 30, 2011

Story: The Fighting Club

This is my first writing sample that I will share with you. I don't know when I will do it again, but we'll see.

Please note, that in this sample, I was aiming for 1000 words, so this story is incomplete. I'm just practising the writing of a portion of a story, that could be developed into a full story.

This writing sample is just a result of me practising my dialog writing skills, and trying to find a way for a character to persuade another character. I also wanted the characters to go from 1 place to another. Read the remainder of my blog entry for the sample.

Use the comments below for critiques. I'd like to know how I am doing.

The Fighting Club

by Eugene T.S. Wong

Jill sat in stunned silence. She said, “Are you sure?”

Jack looked down at the table, and nodded in small movements. He said, “Yeah.”

Jack had gone in for what they both thought was a quick check up. All of a sudden the doctor insisted that Jack come back for “some tests.” Jack pushed away any feelings of concern, and the next thing he knew, he was updating his will and trying to explain things to Jill.

Jill leaned back with her arms crossed. She gazed out the restaurant window at the lunch crowd walking by. The sunny weather was such a great thing when they woke up, but now it was meaningless.

Jack saw the waitress walking by, so he said, “Cheque, please.”

When they stepped on the sidewalk, Jack said, “I'm sorry for not telling you sooner. I didn't think that anything was happening. The next thing I know, I'm staring death in the face.”

She said, “When did you find out?”

“Last week,” he said.

“Last week? Why didn't you tell me then?” Jill said.

“I wanted to make sure everything was taken care of, so that you wouldn't have to worry about the future. I know that it's weird, but I just wanted you to at peace with everything when I finally delivered the news,” Jack said.

Jill looked towards the street, and shook her head. She began to walk to the bus stop. She said, “Well I'm not at peace with everything.”

“What? Why?” Jack said.

“I don't even know where to begin,” Jill said, almost breaking up.

Jack rubbed her back and shoulders.

Jill said, “Whatever happened to going through everything together? Together.” Jill stopped walking, and turned to him. She began to use both hands to make grand gestures, while she said “And what about actually fighting cancer? Why aren't you taking treatments, and being one of those successful people in the news and on the commercials? Why aren't you trying to take any treatments?”

“The doctor said that I have a rare kind of lung cancer and that it's too late. Honestly, even if I had a magic pill that cured it easily all at once, then I still wouldn't take it,” Jack said.

Jill blinked. She raised her voice when she said, “Wh...what?”

For once Jack looked genuinely surprised at how this conversation was turning out. He looked away from her, lifted his shoulders, and let his open palms face up. “Uhm, I thought that...” He looked in her eyes, and said, “Well, you know how it is. You know what I've been through. I'm...I'm ready to move on. I've lived a long life, and I'm ready to move on.”

Jill scolded him, saying, “Ready to move on? You're only 32.”

In a split second, this situation reminded him of a cruel joke that he played on her. He had pretended to cheat on her for an entire month, by pretending to be held up at the office, when he was really just drinking beers and watching games with the guys. He would leave clues to arouse suspicion. When he finally broke out the truth, she burst out in a mix of emotions that he never anticipated. The memory made him almost laugh.

When she saw his mouth widen and his face twitch, she said firmly, “Jack this had better not be one of those stupid jokes.”

“No. No, no. This is all real,” he said.

“Well what happened to going through sickness and health together? What happened to pushing through it all? What about having grandkids, together?” she said.

“But you know how life has been. I'm tired.”

She turned her eyes to the street, and shook her head.

They continued walking.

“I'm tired and this happened to be a way out,” Jack said.

“We weren't supposed to just bow out, like cowards. We were supposed to push through things. We looked to the future as if we knew there were going to be catastrophes, and here you are quitting like a dog with its tail between its legs.”

“That's not fair,” Jack said.

She turned to him, and said, “Yeah, I'm not fair. Your unemployment is not fair. Life's not fair, Jack, but we keep pushing on.” She paused, as if something had finally dawned on her. “You're not fair.”

Jack looked away, angry. She stopped, while he kept walking.

She said, “We never knew that you'd struggle with unemployment. We never knew that you'd struggle with your health, but we knew that something was going to happen. After all, life isn't a tiptoe through the tulips, right? We agreed to take it all head on. Now you're leaving Katy, Harry and me to fight by ourselves.”

Jack realized that she was not following him. He looked over his shoulder. He could see her looking at him, and feeling frightened and frustrated.

She walked up to him. “Please, just take any treatments.”

“There are no treatments,” he said.

“Just do something. I mean what do you think that I'm going to do after you die? Just start dating other guys, because you want to bow out?” she said.

Jack actually never thought about it that way before. He wanted her to go on, and be happy, and be with other guys, but to “just start dating other guys” due to him moving on, seemed kind of weird to him. He thought that it would almost be like supporting an open relationship, which they both detested.

Their original plan was to die in old age, and look back on the good times and the bad, and be proud of the lives they lived.

He nodded. He put his arm around her, and said, “Alright. I'll research information on the web. There might not be any cures, but it's the least that I can do.”

He could finally feel her relax for the first time, since they began this conversation.

They continued walking to the bus stop, to head home.

# # #

The walk home was quiet. The discussion had tired Jack. He saw fatigue in her, too.

She said, “You know, why don't you think about it this way?”

Jack thought, “Apparently, she still has some fight left in her.”

“Think about how hard it was for you to start wearing hosiery and shorts in public. When we both thought about it, it seemed like an idea that wouldn't work. After all, how were you supposed to convince other people that it was okay for normal guys to wear it? We thought that it was impossible, but you found a way to make it work. You went out there, and convinced people to not only accept and tolerate you, but to try it out for themselves. Now there are more guys out there wearing it, because of you.”

Jack narrowed his eyes. He looked off into the distance, and grinned a little. He said, “True...” He felt a new surge of enthusiasm. It was for situations like these, that he married such a great woman.


  1. I was at first surprised the store had nothing to do with hosiery, and here it is, at the very end. :D I enjoyed reading it a lot. Great job.

  2. :^D Yeah, it was something that I threw in, because it seemed kind of hard to fit in the beginning or middle.