The Beginning of the End – SHORT STORY



I DIE, with integrity…,” he gasped, blood running through fingers.

Two bullets exited healed wounds, skin no longer red, holes non-existent. Back into the Glock chamber they spiralled, one by one, two bangs, until they rested in the magazine and the index finger went forwards as the trigger followed.

“There are no guarantees in life, except this -”

The look of surprise and fear on Tom Washington’s face vanished, as he turned his attention back to himself on TV, magically retracting shots from the hoop back into his hands as the highlights became nolights as his game high 40 points became no points, as victory became a warm up.


“Consider it done.”

“The point guard, T.W., get rid,” Dario Feretti said.

“Who’s the target?”

“We lost too much on the spread. He’s gotta’ – he’s gotta’ pay. He can make shots? So can we. I hate to do it, I do, he’s a talent, but I gotta’ keep the rest in check, I gotta’.”


Firm hand on shoulder. A nod of the head by Tom.

“Just so there’s no miscommunication. You play like you got aids, like you got ebola, cancer – tumours eating your brain, like you got mad cow disease, swine flu…. you play the worst damned game of your life!”

“What choice do I have Dario? No choice. This is it. Last time.”

$5000 goes back into Dario’s hand. “I’ll see you get taken care of. Don’t worry about your team mates. You average 25 ppg, you control the game, it’s a guaranteed loss. Get it done.”

Tom’s pensive face tightens, head lowering, as he sits in the shadow of Dario, who walks backwards left to right in the locker room.


lion around 2

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44 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End – SHORT STORY

  1. Dayum! What a send up to Nas! I know you are a hip hop head. And it was blatantly obvious by the title and reversal format. This was excellent! Great job, my man! Glad to be catching up on your work. I’ve been missing some good stuff!

    1. Correction: not the title but the rewind graphic along with the reversal format.

    2. Wow, thanks for reading so many stories, that means a lot.
      As for this, funny you mention Nas, because that actually kinda inspired this. I haven’t heard it in ages but it’s one of those tunes that sticks in the head.

  2. Great packing of action.. not a word too much…

    1. Appreciate it. I tried to keep it tight.

  3. Really, really good reversal and words. Seemed shorter too, but it was like roly poly it never stops – cram packed but that was very good, taking a dive. That would have drove me barmy trying to do that.

    1. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed the challenge. The thing is, the dialogue itself obviously can’t be reversed, so that was interesting to figure out how to place it all together.
      Thanks for your insights Anita πŸ™‚

      1. I held out adding it reverse but the sequence obviously worked, I’d sound like a pedant to want the dialogue reversed too…you could have tried though lol Was v good and different.

      2. gnikoj saw I…That was unpleasant. funnily enough I type like this largely, and I don’t know why. ‘just has eben there for yrs and other words.’ These are not ordinary typos I think.

      3. I think forwards typing is optimal πŸ™‚
        Generally if the right words are grouped together but jumbled, even backwards, the human mind will still be able to decipher the meaning. Pretty amazing, must be something to do with pattern recognition.

      4. Yes, I like reading that kind of stuff and upside down, back to front we do it so brilliantly.

  4. This was seriously clever! Stories like this are so hard to write, in my opinion, so hats off to you Fionn for attempting and nailing it. This story gets better the second time around.

    1. Thanks jade, I think if I wrote it longer it would get steadily tougher and harder to stick to the reverse nature of the story. Cheers for feedback, a tip of the🎩 ☺

      1. It definitely would. I think the length it is now is perfect. The reverse story aspect of it is just seriously so clever.

  5. I loved the feeling of ‘dislocation’, Fionn. Excellent idea, well executed.

  6. You make 200 odd words, go a long way, Lion, although I confess I did have to read it twice. Perhaps given the nature of the story, this was your intention. Anyway, another superb effort.

    1. Yes absolutely. I figured even if readers got that it is a story told in reverse, they might read it in the opposite order to maybe clarify the details of it.
      Thanking you kindly for your valued feedback Chris.

  7. Well if he knows what is good for him,he better act as if he has ebola or something. Well done.

    1. Alas, he is already dead. I think two shots is a quicker less painful death. Cheers for reading ☺

      1. I wish I could pull something like this off. πŸ˜›

      2. Give it a try. I wish I could take credit, but it’s been done before.

  8. I too read it several times. Stunning, concise and smart.

    1. Kind words, thank you very much ☺

  9. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 2:12 AM

    Ha! That’s pretty clever! I read it twice-backwards and forwards. πŸ˜€

      1. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 3:18 AM

        Hey! Why are you awake? Isn’t it the wee hours of the morning for you?

      2. *You have reached Fionn’s WordPress answer-bot. He will reply upon awakening*

      3. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 3:23 AM

        Must be a bot. You gave me a little “i” again. πŸ˜‰

      4. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 3:32 AM

        You should just call me Vic, you know. πŸ˜› It would save you so much trouble, lol. Or Victoria if you want.

      5. Is Victoria your actual name? And tbh the VIT thing is getting confusing lol

      6. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 3:36 AM

        It’s my middle name and the reason I’m VIT. You did it to yourself, Fionn, lol.

      7. I did damnit, I did… πŸ˜―πŸ˜€

      8. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 3:54 AM

        Hee hee. It’s ok, don’t fret. πŸ˜€ Hey, did you just come back from a wild night of drinking and debauchery? Or do you get up this early?

      9. Drinking and debauchery is on Saturdays in Scotland lol.
        Also I have never intentionally woken at 4am πŸ˜€

      10. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 4:03 AM

        Oh, my mistake. It’s my every night here. πŸ˜‰ Can’t sleep tonight?

      11. Haha. I’m vampiric, asleep before sun rise πŸ˜‰

      12. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 4:48 AM

        Oh, I like vampires! Well, you don’t have very long, better get the coffin ready. πŸ˜›

      13. πŸ˜‰ My coffin has wi fi! Night.

      14. VictoryInTrouble August 20, 2016 — 4:51 AM

        Wow, fancy! Enjoy your sleep. Goodnight πŸ™‚

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