Sample of “Cowboys and Indians” from EMPTY ROOMS LONELY COUNTRIES


Every other Wednesday, I will post a small sample from each short story from Empty Rooms Lonely Countries. If you want more information and don’t mind spoilers, you can click the commentary link below to learn more about the story itself. This week’s story is from “Cowboys and Indians”. I hope you enjoy it.

sampler “What are you doing?” asks the doorman.

I continue to pull Alan up from the ground. “I’m putting this man into the trunk of this vehicle. Fuck, man! This isn’t rocket science! Here, help me lift him…”

“I’m afraid you can’t do that.”

“What do you mean, can’t do that?”

“It’s just–”

“Just what?”

“You can’t–”

“See this man here? Do you see the state of him?”

“Yes, but–”

“And you know what he’s going to do inside of this car once it starts moving, once it starts shaking?”

“Yes, but–”

“So you’d have no problem with the interior of your vehicle getting caked in vomit?”

“Yes – I mean, no!”

“Then we’re in agreement.” I lift Alan by his shoulders, throwing his arms over the bumper into the trunk.

“Sir, I can’t have you put this man into the trunk.”

“Sure you can.”

“No, no, I can’t.” His voice is more forceful now. I let go of Alan and he lands harshly on his back; his head makes an interesting sound as it hits the gravel.

“Yes, you can,” I say matching his tone. “This man is my brother, and if I want to put my brother into the trunk of my car, I have that right, and you and no one else can stop me. Now, if you please, back off.”

There’s silence for 10 seconds. During this time, I realize that the doorman is a large man, and that he’s looking down at me from about eight inches. With this realization, it’s also clear to me that this man could easily hurt me, very badly. I wait patiently for his knuckles to make contact with my nose. Instead, the doorman sighs. “Your brother, huh?”

“Yeah,” I say.

“I got two brothers myself. Both younger. He’s your older brother, right?”

“Yeah. And I want to take him home.”

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To read the commentary for this story, click here.
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About Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.

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