Daniel's Jacket(Rough First Draft/Outline)

Daniel's Jacket(Rough First Draft/Outline)

A Story by Bryan Sanchez

This is the first first first draft of this short story I'm writing. I'm not adapting this one to screen, and intend to only read it. Let me know anything; any and all feedback greatly appreciated.


Daniel’s Jacket by B.D. Sanchez

An Oral History of a Weekend

“Hello! Is anyone in there?”

“Hello! Residents this is a pair of officers from the Department of Public Safety!”

“Residents, are you in there?”

(sighs)”Pull the plug…”

The light sprang open!And my eyes askew, knowing this moment had come far too soon. 

I was still weary; my feet were draped in a scarf I’d only just back. I wrang my legs from under, screeching in my mortal pain and suffering; it was quite a show. A spectacle of speckticals, it was the first time I knew I had done something wrong. Their feet escalating all the farther, rank and file. The door hinges were wrecks to forlorn; one was only grateful of government then. But who’s to blame me, the humble narrator?

“Knock-Knock, open up! This is DPS!”

I shuddered to think. I shuddered to blink.

“Open up, or wew-“

“Good Morning Officers!”

“I’m Lauretta Jones, DPS Sergeant, may we come in?” 

“Yes, of course. Please Do!”

They wasted no time knocking over my hibiscus. Nothing was all the more sacred than my room relatively clean, and the absence in out dustbins. Her first line of enquiry was just that; why so empty? She must have had a hunch I’d been in my element for quite some time now, and nothing tipped her off more than the imaquletly pristine condition I left my surroundings. 

She doubled back, and made a note to her cohort. She looked at me.

“Have you had any illicit substances this break?”, she barked.

“None, I promise.”, heart nearly giving out.

She glanced under the bead, but walked towards the door. “Will you step outside please?”. She held open the door, stamping every second I wasted. I pressed out, she pointed towards the hallway. 

11 AM.

“When was the last time you heard from Matthew?” she queried, fingers flipping through her notebook. Throats were cleared.

“I saw him last night, he was asleep.” The coffee was too hot. For whatever reason the sad excuse for a café was all these people could obsess over. I was never one for breakfast, but given the circumstances, I should have been more optimised. But the eggs were s**t, and I was ashamed to talk with my mouth open. “He’s been sick for the past few days, and he needed his rest. rest. I didn’t know who to call. He left a note saying he went to the hospital.”

“And where is this note?”

“F**k if I know, I dropped it when I went out for a smoke.” 

She scribbled away. Behind her head was a stinging migraine she still hadn’t checked out. Nothing seemed to add up thus far, nothing seemed to budge in the right way. “And you’re telling me you saw him last night?” She sat up. “We have a missing person’s report on Matthew Warner dating from 2 days ago. His ex-girlfriend called it in. We attempted to reach out to him, but found his phone off. We came by yesterday and there was no reply.” I coughed. She grimaced.

“Excuse me son, but do you know what this implies?” Her movements were a blaze. As she looked down into my shuddered eyes, he presence became all the more piercing. “Either you’ve lied, or you’ve done nothing to help us, so I have to assume there’s some sort of malicious intent. 

“I swear, he’s in the hospital!” I shot back, her hand too solid to let me slip through. 

“On another note, I smelt a faint trace of marijuana. Now you can fess up to it, keep your story; maybe someone you walked by was smoking; or maybe Matt’s been back for a bit?” The room was stuffy.

“Of course, if you don’t know, you don’t know, and I’m inclined to believe that.” 

She started towards the door, wiping her hands in her pockets. Another officer motioned towards her, when she looked back and call out.

“We’ll be in touch.” the faintness of her voice almost oppressive towards her condescension. Now I know why I hate morning so much.

I’ve her quite like the smell of Glade in the room. It never had that ability to tackle the odour, it just seemed to sit there, blown about by the fan Nick and I set up. He never seemed to mind the smell of tea in his bed, but I wasn’t one to risk it. Especially when he saw fit to play at all hours of the day. For a genius, he really missed out on the ideals of prudence. But I digress, it was all I could spare. 

I’d created a habit of tidying up as I went, because I never knew when something like this could happen. The pieces were always in the cupboards; nothing could be done about Matt’s side, but at least I wont be perjured. Dust mite after dust mite, the clothes were folded, and the floor was vacuumed. I didn’t leave a trace, except for my constant racking;

“Matt was here.

Matt is no longer here.

Where is Matt?”

No answer on his mobile. No note to use as evidence. I panicked. I knew that if Jones found out, we’d be as good as expelled. Nothing could go wrong, nothing could go wrong, nothing could go wrong.

I called Matthias, nothing could go wrong.

I sat on my bed and prayed. No, I’m lying, I was talking to myself. Whispering sweet nothings to sooth my liver passions. Nothing seemed right and everything laughed back. The clouds were coming in, rain not too far back. I was glad something would cover up my fears. It would have been weed, but I couldn’t find my lighter. 

I had hoped I dropped it somewhere on the floor, but found no trace. The lights were strong, and the floor was cleared. I thought about the vacuum, but knew I’d have already caught it. Nowhere was unturned, but it seemed to perfect. Why was she so inclined to believe me? I’d never met this person before in my life, and I had nothing to hide, but so nervous all over. I ran to the restroom. I couldn’t handle it.

By the time I came out, it was 2 in the morning. What else could I do? I forgot to smoke my cigarette.

“Allo?” a small voice ventured.

I hadn’t slept much all night. Tossing and turning, it dawned to me that maybe it was best to wash my sheets after a month. Luckily I never had enough money to bother.

“Yes Samuel? It’s Eileen, and I was calling whether my Matthieu is alright; I’ve not heard a word from him from in quite sometime.” She sat at her table, nervously flipping through her address book.

“Madame, Matthieu is is here with me, in his room. He has been feeling very ill lately, and he’s come down with the flu.” Twitching everywhere.

“Oh dear that is not good. Is he alright, can I speak with my son?”

I sighed, “He’s asleep right now. The doctor says it’s best to let him have his rest. I can tell him you called, and I’ll make sure he calls back.”

I heard a sigh of relief. “Oh thank you Sam, that is good to hear. I’ll be waiting his call, tell him not to worry, but his maman misses him.” She lingered on that last sentence. 

“Ok bye now.” How could I lie? It was his mother, she’s bound to be called soon. Maybe she was called, and that’s why she wanted to know. Maybe she knew, maybe she knew he was up to something. Matt always mentioned getting himself in trouble, and it was my inclination to always believe him. 

Sleep would have been god, but nothing was right. The stars were too late, dinner hadn’t yet settled. I miss the simplicity of it all.

And then he came.

“Where the f**k have you been?”

He managed to slip off his bag and make his way towards the piece. There were lines on his face, and his bandage needed to be changed. This was the first time I’d seen him in about 2 weeks, but it seemed too early. His fingers reached for the lighter, but found the same conundrum. He ended up pulling one from his desk, next to his wax and papers. 

“Matthew, do you have any ideas what’s going on? I’ve just had to cover for you from a cop, and any day now, she’s coming back to check!”

“What you tell her?” he asked almost immediately as the fan blew away the smoke. No cough, he was a professional.

“I told her you were sick.” I reached towards the phone. “I can tell her you’re up now..”

He leaped up and grabbed it; “don’t call her again.” grimacing. He reached into his bag and pulled a container. Inspecting it quickly, he popped the lid and took a silent sniff. Double take to me.

He whispered, but I didn’t care anymore. The air was thick, and everyone was far too tired to keep allegating; 9 pm.

“I got the money.” breaking the silence, “the deal came through.” A pile of bills landed next to my feet. He went back to stashing the gym bag under his mattress. As I bent down to pick it up, he stepped towards the window, staring out into the road beneath us. “Do you think those people down there would ever dream of this kind of money?”

“I don’t think they need to.”

“I beg to differ.”

“They have jobs. They probably make more than us.”

He kept at the window. He seemed far to transfixed on what he’d seen today, and everyday. There was no disagreeing with his temperament, but something seemed of today. Was it the fact I covered, or that I covered so well? We’d had an understanding of sorts, and in the first time it being invoked without name, I could only assume he entertained the idea of bringing me on full time. I wouldn’t have resisted. 

Jones had been searching all day. Door after door, docket after docket, no one seemed to have any word on Matthew. It was nearing the close of the window, and she knew she had to make a statement soon. ‘Goddamit!’ she’d yell at herself. It seemed that every time, something was always slipping her grasp. Some clue she hadn’t thought of, something that was staring her straight in the face. But on the door step of another motel, it seemed better than admitting defeat.

She knocked again. No answer. She was beginning to wonder if they’d been tipped off. It wouldn’t be the first time, but it was something she thought too much off. Matthew had to have some kind of connection, some kind of get out of jail free card. But all cards have to printed from somewhere, and all cards have to be thrown away somewhere, and this was too much fora university student.

She glanced back down at her notebook.

“Missing call 2 days ago”

“Inconsistent story throughout”

“Call from  mother thanking us”

“No trace”

The pressure was mounting. If he hadn’t gone out for a stroll, there was nowhere else for him to go. He wasn’t even supposed to be here, what did that matter? Looking back onto the high street, she figured he was bound to walk into her at some pint, and with that, got up to leave. Cigarettes on her coat, she bounded her way back onto the bus; it was going to rain soon, and she had no intention of return home to wash another suit

He was bound to think the same.

“Matthieu, ma cherie, are you there?”

“Oui mamán, I’m alright.”

“Oh dear, you’ve had me so worried. Your younger brother has been asking for you. You said you were going to come back this weekend to take him skiing!”

“I know, I told him I wouldn’t be able to make it this weekend”

“Well he must have forgotten; he was so annoyed when you didn’t show. You musn’t let him stay this way!”

“I’ll call him when I can. I know he’ll pick up if I tell him we’ll go next week.”

“Well don’t lie to him. If you’re going to say anything, you must mean it!”

Matthew sighed. This conversation was not one for sobriety.

“Matthieu, has Samuel taken care of you?”

His arms lurched; he hated lying to his mother, even more when others did it for him. he knew the truth would have killed her. 

“He’s done a great job, getting me medicine and all. He even stopped smoking so I wouldn’t cough whenever he walked in.”

“Well that’s thoughtful of him. Please send him my regards.” She made ready to leave.

“I will. I’ll talk to him in the morning.”

“Good, and get some rest. You’ve had a lot to sleep from.”

“I will. Avoir mamán.”

Matt tossed his phone back onto the deal. His legs stuttered; the letter was soon to arrive. If his story held, nothing would change, but his lie had to be some kind of omen. The lights were off, and the window was open. Weed wouldn’t be enough, not after what I had done. No, it didn’t seem right, but nothing could save the situation. Even with the money, there was something unsettling, riding up in Matt’s head until it laid sight on me. Sleeping. Maybe it was better that way.

He swung with full force, no holding back. The first moments were high-strung, glistening with hints of doubt. His eyes were everywhere, everywhere the blood wasn’t splashing. He’d listened to everything I’d said, my neck cut more and more while I struggled to breathe.

But I did’t want to cry out. My bones ached, my head was in a daze. All I could hear was his mutterings, how little he understood of what he was doing. As soon as he’d dropped his phone call with Jones, he looked at me and knew we couldn’t be in the same room. His skis weren’t heavy enough, but leaving hand prints was too risky. He’d learned alright.

Every blow proved it. By the time the boot straps broke my nose, I could hold it no longer, and rolled off. I was out of breath, but I hadn’t screamed, hadn’t spoken, hadn’t pleaded. The air was too heavy.

“Don’t f**k with me again!” bellowing off the walls, he stared intently with murderous eyes.

“I’m sorry.!”

He came down and picked me up by the neck; “If anyone comes asking for me again, you tell them nothing. Make me go to the hospital again, and I’ll be visiting you when you’re asleep.” his eyes glowed, his hands wringing with anger. As he lessened his grip, he closed his eyes and turned away.

“Clean up the floor.”

He walked out the door, and fell back asleep.

I don’t remember why I decided to stay in the room. I knew Matt would be gone, and that it would be best not to give anyone a reason too come in. I sat beside the window in the armchair, the piece dispersing any and all smoke left in the chamber. He could go f**k himself, I saved his a*s. If anything, that episode was too much, even for making go back to the hospital and take someone’s papers. I offered mine, but he wouldn’t have it. I should stop trying to help him. For someone so dependant, he needed to learn his manners.

But he did give me $5,000, so what could I say? Maybe I should have called him before I said anything. Maybe I should have told his mother the truth. Lying made no sense in retrospect. But the truth was nothing great either. I guess overall, it wasn’t a good decision. I mean, what makes a decision inartistically good?

It’s far easier to imagine the world as black and white, and that no matter how adamant you’ve become, you can always see what decision is better. Maybe that’s why I’ve let this go on the length it has. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so troubled here; instead of trying to be someone, I’ve hindered the whole story. I’ve made it choppy, boring, sophmoric. F**k this, I need a cigarette.

When my mother calls, I’ll tell her the weekend was simple and worthless, and that I need more money. She’s inclined to agree, no?

© 2016 Bryan Sanchez

Author's Note

Bryan Sanchez
This is a fusion of an outline and first draft. Please leave any and all notes, I will take them into my study.

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Added on March 15, 2016
Last Updated on March 15, 2016
Tags: writing, college, university, drugs, weekend, oral, oralhistory, Syracuse


Bryan Sanchez
Bryan Sanchez

Syracuse, NY

I write poetry and screenplays, and hope to one day write a decent novel. Until then, I'll be content to fill up notebooks with ideas that'll never see the light of day, haha. more..