All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

What would Breslin have thought? by Adam Kluger


Breslin was dead now.  Undeniably so. All you had to do was go back and read some of the old columns to see the talent and anger and originality. He was just another one who had made his mark and moved on.

Melvin McGrewster knew nothing about Suzanne Mishky except that she probably felt great to hold and kiss. She had about 200 more FaceBook friends, was about 25 years younger than Melvin and that he hadn’t stopped thinking about her since they were introduced at that business mixer a week earlier.

Maybe she likes girls? I don’t see any evidence of a boyfriend on FB Melvin thought to himself as he skimmed through her photos on FB.

Lemon. I bet her bath spray is lemony and that when she burps her friends all laugh because everything she does is cute.

“What’s it like being a CFO? Are there any life lessons?”

Melvin thought about Suzanne’s innocent text. Did she want a job. Was she being polite. Was the  wedding ring and talk of the three kids too much?

Why is life so fucked up?  He was no cheater. But one could daydream, right?

The short answer, McGrewster thought to himself,  was that being a CFO is stressful and challenging and terrifying when things are going great when you are makingmoney instead of losing money — and much harder to describe in polite non-four letter words–when things have gone south–when you are  being hounded by the IRS and bill  collectors. When that happens, you really need a Edvard Munch painting to properly capture the mood.

Melvin thought of Breslin.

That sonofabitch –he knew he was good.

He had the guts and talent to handle the  pressure, the deadlines, the enormity of New York City.

He wrote the truth on the biggest stage in the world.

He fought the powerful, the corrupt and fought for his truth and New York City’s ideals on one of the biggest stages around and he did it with style. That fucker would have been a pretty decent CFO too I bet.

McGrewster looked at his to-do list and realized that the big picture wasn’t pretty.

Speaking of pretty, look at this photo of Suzanne. What a face. These eyes… and that smile. Such beauty. No wonder she has more FB friends. Who wouldn’t want to be her friend she probably is a great friend.

I could just see telling Mishka (my pet name for her) a problem I was having with the Midwest Manufacturing Supervisor’s quota numbers and she would just crinkle her nose and say something profound like, “McGrewster” (her nickname for me) …just fuck me.”

The phone rang.

It was McGrewster’s 2pm conference call. It sucked. Whenever money is not being made, these meetings are a total waste, McGrewster thought to himself as he disposed of a tiny metal sculpture made up of recently twisted paperclips from his desk.

Breslin was always working the phone looking for stories.

The phone is where it all starts McGrewster thought.

You pick up the phone and it starts the wheels of business in motion. E-mails are a total waste of time.

You need to talk with people and meet with them. Face to face. Breslin probably knew that better than anybody. Bars are great places to make deals and they are probably where Breslin came up with his best stuff on mobsters, crooked businessmen and cheats.

Suzanne was due to meet Melvin at the Bar near the Bull in less than 20 minutes. That gave him just enough time to find courage in two more Grey Goose on the rocks. He had never done anything like this. No way he would go through with it. Unless she initiated. No way she’s going to do that. She has all those FB friends. She probably likes girls. I’m an old man and a failure to boot. Besides, God will strike me down dead. There is no way I am going to do anything. But maybe a kiss. Just one kiss. Maybe she is wearing lemony bath wash. Maybe she will laugh at my jokes. Maybe she likes old guys.


Through the door Suzanne Mishky walked, she looked down at the floor then she looked up slowly and her eyes –those big green pinwheels–locked onto McGrewster’s and a giant smile broke out across her face –as everything else in the bar turned fuzzy and McGrewster suddenly became very curious.

What would Breslin have thought of this fine little mess.


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4 thoughts on “What would Breslin have thought? by Adam Kluger”

  1. Hi Adam,
    You never wasted one word on this story.
    So much depth, so much character within a very small word count.


  2. Being on the wrong side of desire and Jimmy Breslin is and was like being locked in a phone booth with a rabid bobcat. McGwerster is doomed. He likes it. No doubt. Breslin and phone booths are dead. But want and bobcats live on. Very nice.


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