Home > Unfinished > Day Nineteen: [UNFINISHED]

Day Nineteen: [UNFINISHED]

Once upon a time there was a boy named Ray, and nobody liked him.

Oh, people pretended to like him. Ray had a lot of money, thanks to his father’s job at a large and successful bank. So, whenever Ray wanted something, he would just ask his father for money. Last month, for his birthday, he wanted a party with a thousand people, and beautiful dancers, a bright red Corvette, and not one, not two, but three Top Forty hip-hop artists.

Now if this were your father, he would probably say, “No.” He might say, “Absolutely out of the question,” or “We can’t afford it,” or “Are you out of your damn mind?” But not Ray’s father. Ray’s father bought his son anything he asked for, and spared no expense. The most brilliant chefs were hired to make the most expensive cakes for Ray. The most exotic women were called to do their most beautiful dances for Ray. The most talented musicians were brought in to perform their most popular songs for Ray.

Ray got everything he wanted, and the party was no exception. So when people got their invitations, they forgot how much they disliked Ray, and RSVP’d “Yes” to what was almost certainly the best party in town. Besides, with a thousand people coming to the party, they might never even see Ray.

The day of the party arrived, and the five-star hotel that Ray’s father had rented was full of people. Everyone was working hard to prepare for the party. The maids were cleaning everything, and the electricians were making sure the lights all worked. The sound techs were using their magic words – “Champagne. Chicago. Syphilis.” – and the decorator was putting out table decorations and balloons with Ray’s face on them.

A thousand people were waiting outside. In his penthouse suite, Ray was letting a beautiful woman apply bronzer to him. She was paid well to do this, but Ray didn’t care. He didn’t care that she hadn’t seen her husband in days, and was now applying a second coat of bronzer to the naked body of a kid who never asked her name.

“Make it even, bitch,” he said. And he looked at himself in the mirror and smiled.

The time for the party came. Ray get in place behind the pyrotechnic displays and turned his whiter-than-white teeth towards the skimpily-dressed dancers who were going to precede him out into the main hall. “All right, ladies,” he said. “Let’s look good!”

The music started thumping – the heavy bass of the current number one hit. And when Ray walked out…

There was no one there. No girls. No friends. No fireworks.


He called out for someone, anyone, but it looked like the room was empty.

Except for one little old man.

“Looking for your friends, Ray?” the old man said to him. He was very short, and very old. His skin was covered in wrinkles, and gray hair barely covered his head. But when he walked over to Ray, his steps were sure and strong. “Happy Birthday, Ray,” he said. “Here’s your present.” He waved his hand at the empty room, turned back to Ray, and laughed.


REASON: The style is mutating out of control, Ray is a cardboard cutout, and while I know where I want to go, I'm taking way too long to get there. This needs an overhaul, and it's too late at night for me to do that. Welcome to a new category of story for the year: the Unfinished. I'm not proud, but I'm even less proud of this piece.

Categories: Unfinished
  1. D.
    June 9, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Sometimes knowing when to pause and regroup is one of the best tools in a writer’s arsenal.

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