{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Alex Beyman would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Two For a Dollar

By Alex Beyman All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Two For a Dollar

The sky’s the same dull grey as always. Never seems to rain though. Bess says it’s them smokestacks. I never seen any smokestacks. A semi rumbles past, belching fumes. I can feel the particles coating my face, and flowing into my lungs. Just past the pile of old tires and big mud puddle, the same old blinking sign. “Valu-Rite Trailer Park”.

As soon as I crack the door, smoke pours out the top. We both mean to quit but it never happens. Dilapidated, grimy little tin box on wheels. Foam insulation inside of that, then loads of fake wood grain paneling inside. A box to store people in. The outside wouldn’t look so dingy if it’d just rain already.

My coughing fit subsides a minute or so after I’m in. Lungs just give up and get used to it. Like how barn smell goes away if you’re in one long enough. There’s something else. The sickly sweet smell of burning fat. “Ah made yew yer favrit” Bess warbles from her recliner. “Dem chicken fingers what has de spicy flavor packets, I gottem two fer a doller. Dey’s in de toaster oven.”

So they are. I bite down and my few remaining teeth sink straight through the limp reconstituted meat without any resistance. I hardly have to chew. Bess is spread out over that same ratty old recliner I bought in ‘89. Only gets up to use the shitter, so the cushions have permanently taken her shape. Had to widen the bathroom doorway so she could get through back in the late 90s. Then again a couple months ago. She just keeps getting fatter. We both do.

The little built in 13 inch TV VCR combo rattles on about some new show. A talking dog that solves crimes. “Dass gud teevee” Bess mutters. “I’d watch dat.” I can feel the moisture and fat molecules from the chicken fingers wafting out of the open toaster oven, coating every surface. Soon they cover my face and clothing. That scent never completely goes away.

Bess hasn’t washed recently. Her face and arms are shiny with grease. I get on her about that but her ankles give her trouble and I have to fix that power scooter she got through medicaid. She lays there like a blob, wearing her enormous stained bra and panties as it’s too hot for clothing. Her flowing folds hide cigarette butts and crumbs from her microwaved treats.

Was she always like this? No. I remember when she was a vision. It didn’t last long. A “flash in the pan beauty” they call it. I promised her I’d make sure she was always comfortable. That’s how we got to this point, I think. Whenever I had a choice, I did whatever was most comfortable. Lately it’s all started to blur together.

The soft, soggy microwave meats. The thin layer of grime coating everything that no amount of washing gets rid of. The cigarette butts. The smoke. The smell of fried food. Layers upon layers of soft, jiggling fat covered in crumbs, sticky stains and cigarette ash. Cars roaring past, adding smoke from their tailpipes to the ash grey sky. What is any of this? How did I get here? I just did what was comfortable. There’s no extracting myself from it now, that ship sailed decades ago. It’s a picture I’m painted into, that wouldn’t be complete without me.

I'm not sure when the fire started. Bess was half asleep on the recliner, mumbling “Now dat dere is jess quality teevee, I hafta watch dat”. She must’ve left the space heater on. It all went up so quickly. Cheap foam insulation, cigarette butts, everything coated in residual fat. All it took was that space heater. Bess only wanted to be warm. She’s warm now. Flailing and screaming in the other room, her skin bubbling. The sickly sweet smell of burning fat everywhere. I clench my teeth as the fire reaches me, and tears of relief roll down my face.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Alex Beyman
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

NRF: I love this story, it has a little bit of everything in it, mystery, adventure, murder, innocence, love and a surprise twist that will leave you hungry for more! Great read! NRF

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

Erica Mifflin: is very very neat and is one of my favorite novel of all time I want more stories like this please write another one. I love it so much thank you for your stories it was like a good book to my heart and I want more stories like this

elssxa: I love everything about this story. I want more...more...more. This author is superb. I am fascinated by his amazing work. I give him five stars.

Victoria Lovett: I really enjoyed reading this. The ending was a very nice twist. I never expected that. Overall this has been one of the best books I've read in a long while. Excellent work. I would buy this as a real book instead of just one on my phone if I had the chance.

Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Bradley Darewood: I really really really liked this. I just voted for you!The voice is flawless-- I can't write men as well as you do and I have a penis. Maybe I'm narcissistic but I particularly enjoyed the moment where he muses about how artists would do better in such a solitary job. But my favorite moment ...

More Recommendations

Tony Lee: Great ideas. Some mistakes here and there, but not too much to break the immersion :) This was my second book here, and I'm pretty satisfied! Well I can't think of anything else to write so I'm just gonna fill the space up with random words. Magazine holder sidney sheldon first bible shack tom ha...

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.