The Prompt: Write a first person story in which you use the first-person pronoun (I, me, my) only two times – but keep the “I” somehow important to the narrative you’re constructing. The point of this exercise is to imagine a narrator who is less interested in himself than in what he is observing. You can make your narrator someone who sees an interesting event in which he is not necessarily a participant. Or you can make him self-effacing, yet a major participant in the events related. It is very important in this exercise to make sure your reader is not surprised to realize it’s a first-person narration. Show quickly who is observing the scene. 600 words.
They were under the impression that someone had stolen a large bag of cash from them at a drop off point in Saint Louis about three days ago. It was well over a million dollars, apparently.
Ricky swung back, he was going for the face – it was most personal for him. He was heading this scam, after all. Their plan was to take the money and run from the very beginning without holding up their end of the deal. Ricky was a skinny little shit, with a long nose and rat like features. Back when he was younger he would spit shine shoes and serve as a human coffee table for the boss – anything to prove himself to his ol’ step-father. The boss was hardest on him for that same reason. This was his first scam. He promised the boss a million clams for the return of some kid that was abducted from this rich bastard nearly thirty years ago. Ricky raised his fist, shimmering with silver jeweled rings, all fake presumably, and he smiled down – his golden tooth shimmered before he gobbed up a ball of spit that missed and hit the pavement.
Gavin, meanwhile, was the worst henchman ever seen. About ten years ago he was a little shit that stole purses off of old ladies that couldn’t run to save their hip. He was raised by his oldest brother and sister after their mother ran off and their father died in a boating accident, or so the story goes. No one is sure how he got to the position he did so quickly, that’s between him and the boss. Gavin was getting older; he had peppered hair just over his ears and wrinkles forming under his eyes, so he didn’t get on his knees like the other two. Instead he took the midsection and kicked it with his square-toe snakeskin boots until it was raw and bleeding.
Kevin was abducted himself as a kid; he’s got a wicked split personality that no one wants to get in the middle of. He never met his real parents; instead he was raised by some old, tasteless fogey that didn’t know how to raise a kid anyway and probably should never have done any abducting in the first place, but he got scared that Kevin would tattle so he took him. So this mission was pretty personal to him, but he had a job to do and he’d pry get whacked if he didn’t perform for the boss. Kevin was wearing a suit that he obviously didn’t want to get street tar on, so he kneeled and held on tight to the ol’ knees and let the others wail around.
So here are these three idiots, assuming that someone came and stole the million bucks out of the suitcase in the trash can on an old road just a mile outside the city. Gavin is so thick he wouldn’t realize that his father that “died” in a boating accident was the same rich fuck that got his kid abducted. And the kid that got abducted was Kevin himself. And the reason that skinny fuck Ricky chose to go after this specific rich guy was because the boss said to bait him. What the ol’ step-daddy boss didn’t tell him was that he didn’t want this rich fuck parading around with the living anymore and that the same rich bastard was Ricky’s real father. And that person they assume stole their million clams was the same rich fuck that put it there in the first place: me.