Survivor, by Kelli Stanley

by audreyhoman

#27: “Survivor” by Kelli Stanley

Synopsis: How to fight for survival, for the 99% set.

“Sir, there’s no need to use profanity, I’d be happy—”

“You want profanity? These eggs are the fucking profanity. You know who I am?”

She nodded, already tired of the fight, scanning the room for the brunette who belonged to the section, the one who’d suffered the misfortune of taking his order. Gordon dug his back against the seat, pointing a long, hairy finger at his empty coffee cup.

“This over-priced dump’s got the worst service in New York. Get me some cooked eggs and coffee if you want to keep your miserable fucking job.”

I’ve gotten really interested lately in the mechanics of short stories, what makes them tick: worldbuilding, character development, a killer ending. The premise of this longer short unfolds slowly: a Wall Street fat cat playing with a blackmailing mouse, each of them determined to make it to the finish. For me, the pace could’ve been a little zippier and I had trouble relating to the mouse, but the ending really nails it.

“Survivor” appears in the new crime fiction anthology, Scoundrels, and is currently free online at Criminal Element.