The Writer
Bunny Byrne

It's all I can do to make it to the next party...

I Killed my First Person in Key West

Posted By on March 17, 2015 in Blog, Writing | 0 comments

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Key West is the Land the 80s Forgot. Trans ams and bleached blonde mullets, flip flops and day drinking. People come here to let go of it all, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle-along vibe. My dad used to take us to the Keys each winter to fish, mostly dolphin, some tuna if you can get it. We’d eat fish all week and warm up before heading back to our chilly Southern towns.

This trip it was me and my dear friends John and Irene, and RJ joined me for the last weekend. We checked out the new rum distillery, ate Key Lime Pie on a stick {you MUST}, and took in a play that was surprisingly wonderful.

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We went by the Hemingway House.

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I bottle fed a manatee fresh water – who knew they liked it?

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And completed this masterpiece, “Stache by the Sea”.

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While checking the exhibition schedule for The Studios of Key West

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…I noticed a one-day writing workshop with a nationally known instructor: crime and mystery writing. A former painter turned crime writer and teacher, Jonathan Santlofer was not your snoozy author-lecturer. We spent a lot of time on structure and voice, along with plot development. I’ve never written crime or mystery, but many of my stories have an element of both, so I thought it would be good to sharpen a bit. And, truthfully, I’ve been doing a lot more painting than writing, so it felt good to go back to the words. Santlofer says I should kill people more often.

The Voice of the Killer

“Oh, that lovely neck. The neck is my favorite. The soft, white exterior hiding all its secret riches – the voice, blood and breath. The living is there and my hands ensnare it like a soft rabbit in the woods. We always love to take the beautiful things and make them ours, don’t we?

The structure itself is beauty. A pedestal for this flawless face with orange blossom hair. Her eyes flutter as we go deeper together. Her veins tap lightly under my fingers, trying to burrow out. She sees the inside of me, and that’s the only time I ever see it, in their eyes. Always, toward the end, they soften and comfort me in their wordless way. They are lady-like and surrender gently after the struggle. The end will arrive like a train to the station at an ordained time.

Her painted pink lips move a little and suddenly I want to touch her lips with my fingers, to feel the blood trapped there beneath the surface. I want her beauty to touch me, but her arms just swim at her sides, stroking the bare floor. The darting has stopped and she is focused on me, peering into my heart which aches to be with her in this most closest place for so much longer than we’re ever allowed. That’s the real cruelty. Dancers dance as long as they like, those who make love can again and again. But we only have these moments to meet, court, love and transcend.

Oh, it’s happening and I try to capture each delicate moment before she stops loving me. Her eyes move away to the sky, like she’s watching a bird. “