Friday 2 September 2011

FORGOTTEN by Christopher Grant

Christopher's back to, where he calls, his... 'home away from home'...


This man, this Reginald Cutter. He's what, thirty, thirty-five? He's black, he's got more gray hair than he's got black and he's got more clothes than he needs on this hot summer night.

He's homeless. That much is apparent by the state of the three t-shirts he's wearing.

He's standing one minute, he's dead the next.

No obvious sign of trauma. Except for the bullet that has left a gaping hole in the right side of his chest. The amount of blood on the sidewalk could've probably saved a couple somebodies if it hadn't been used to paint the concrete.

Reginald Cutter. The only reason anyone knows his name is it was the first thing he said to everyone he ever met.

The crowd, they know absolutely nothing except that one little fact. Not that you'd expect them to or expect them to cop to it if they did. Safer to be silent than stepping up and saying anything, even if it's bullshit.

Reginald Cutter.

It's not like he had much more than the t-shirts and the gray ball cap that's missing. Maybe they killed him for a couple dollars. Maybe just for the ball cap alone.

The only thing certain, tomorrow...fuck tomorrow, ten minutes from the time the circus, the flashing blue lights and the men and women in blue uniforms and suits and ties, packs up, Reginald Cutter will only be remembered in a homicide file.

Christopher Grant is a crime writer and the editor and publisher of A Twist Of Noir.


  1. Poor fella, but so true.

    Poignant flash, Chris.

    Top stuff.


  2. Simple, straightforward story. Really captured the empathy/sympathy feelings I harbor toward anonymous / pauper graves and unknown soldiers. Good read and I hope you have been able to sort out some of the challenges you were facing earlier this year.

  3. Undeniably sad, perhaps even maudlin, and I echo SPR's comments regarding anonymous/pauper/unknown soldier graves. In the end, you gave us just what the crowd saw, and nothing more -- but behind every death is a story. Maybe it's simple, maybe it's tragic, maybe it's just. Maybe it was a waste. Who knows? Eloquent and well done.

  4. CG always rocks it - here a fine example

  5. That was as blunt and as straight to the point as you could get it, Chris. A fine piece of writing.

  6. Cold as a police radio report or a coronor's examination. Still there's room. Hidden little cracks in the facade that leave a tiny bit of space for sadness to seep in. That's Christopher. He sees what is with a cold, clear view -- but always the little sigh deep inside about the loss. One less of us out here in the scary dark. One less. Damn.

  7. Cold, sad and worrying. Black and white writing.

  8. Echo others sentiments...sad, poignant, cold. Great piece of flash writing.

  9. I thought this short piece was rather nasty and cruel. Interpret my words as you like.

  10. Stark and sad. I was really struck by "He's homeless. That much is apparent by the state of the three t-shirts he's wearing." Although you already told us Reginald was homeless, this second sentence is absolutely loaded with meaning.

    Tragic - and a great write.

  11. Col, thanks for your comments. Always happy to be at TKNC.

    Paul, Becky, Luca and Lily, this is as sad as it gets. Sometimes, you want them to remember your name. Sometimes, not so much. Glad you all liked what you read, even if it was sorrowful.

    AJ, I always love your comments. You get so much out of a story and point out things that I didn't even realize that I put in there until you comment and then I look back and go, "I see what AJ's getting at." Thanks, man.

    Michael, thank you, sir. I'll keep rocking it as long as you keep reading it.

    Sean, Keith and David, I love to strip down stories just to get right at the bare bones. What is this about, you know? Happy you liked it. And, Sean, I've sorted out some of those challenges, but not all.

    Last but not least, Daniel.

    I actually take your comment as a compliment. I was going for cruel and nasty when I wrote this story. This is all too often how it works. We live in a society (regardless of where you live in this world) that cares about a lot of things but people aren't one of those things. I don't know when we got off that track but we did and I don't know how we get back to it. I don't have the answer. So I just write about what is.

    If you didn't like the story because of that, I'm sorry. If you read it and it made you think about the reality that is behind this story, then cool. I didn't set out to preach or teach with this piece or make people turn away. I just put one word after the other and sent it out.

  12. This is as real as it comes and a brillantly told flash from the first word to the last. Homelessness is cruel and nasty and writers have a duty sometimes to tell it how it is not feed candy to the front row thanks for doing this Christopher.

  13. I should probably be less ambiguous in future. I did enjoy the piece. It was good.

    The police procedure regarding the homeless man was definitely soulless and downright nasty.

    I wonder what the story would be like if it was told from the point of view of a dead bum.

  14. I really liked this one, Christopher. You say a lot with so few words...

  15. There's an ice cold shower of reality. You should put together a collection of shorts like yesterday.

  16. Such a huge story in so few words. Powerful stuff.

  17. Very sad, but also very true. I work with the elderly and the poor and it is heartbreaking when people are simply dumped and forgotten. Your story reminds me of some that I have written that answer the questions: when those that have been forgotten pass away, does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Will anyone remember? I can relate to your story because of the work I do and I can tell you that this kind of thing happens much more than it should. Great job telling it like it is in so few words!