Almost every day I will come up with some idea that I don't really know what to do with. In such situations I will jot down the idea as a partial manuscript. If it has some momentum I'll generally come back to it and see if it will make a good poem, or a good short story, or a good comic book script, or a decent novel.
As you can imagine, I have saved many (manymanymany) such fragments in my life.
Every once in a while I'll stumble upon one of these notes to myself and I'm at a loss.
Such is the case with this one: "Cheetah". I suppose it was the idea for a short story. But I swear I've forgotten where it was going because I didn't follow up the fragment with a bare bones outline as I generally do when I've taken the effort to write more than a paragraph.
I might come back to this one.
A story fragment
James Robert Smith
(Copyright 2012 by James Robert Smith)
Cheetah was in the tree, above the spring. He moved smoothly from one branch to the next until he was at the base of Johnny’s favorite palm. The cameramen were waiting for the big man to arrive. Cheetah sat high on the leaning trunk—it really was a good tree from which his co-star could dive. And the water below it was almost as clear as the air. Cheetah could see fish floating languidly in that water, along with the vegetation down there that fluttered in the current as if in an easy breeze.
He shuddered. Fuck the water. You could drown in that shit. Why Johnny liked it so much was a total mystery to Cheetah. Sitting, he pondered the water and its dangers—he’d seen an alligator in it the day before; a real one and not the stupid rubber one they used so that Johnny could pretend to wrestle and kill. Apparently the rubes actually believed that shit. He'd been to the cinema a few times. Cheetah scratched his ass.
Brenda was already on the set, and they were just waiting for Cheetah’s co-star. He liked Johnny. Cheetah had decided long ago that the man was a dumbass, but he liked him nonetheless. The big goof knew how to act around chimps—that was for sure—and he shared his beer. Not like some of those other sons of bitches who swilled the cans and bottles and wouldn’t share with him if their lives depended on it. Johnny even brought him cigars when Cheetah's handlers weren't around to stop him. Yeah, Johnny was a stupid, drunken lout, but then so was Cheetah.