Killing is Easy, Living is Hard


Length: 994 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Killing is Easy, Living is Hard


I did my best to kill Bobby Ackerman late one April night when we were both seventeen.

We were speeding down a two-lane highway, a narrow trail of asphalt that sailed off a ridge and down into a long, sweeping right-hand turn and then rushed past a white stucco house with a tile roof, a house that crowned the hill beyond a quaint covered bridge over a dry creek bed running parallel to the road. We were descending toward a little town named Crane, and we were flying.

"Geez, man," Bobby said. I looked toward the passenger seat as the Plymouth dug into the arc of the curve. Bobby’s eyes were wide.

"Slow down, slow down."

Bobby grasped the armrest with one hand and braced his left leg against the hump in the floorboard. I could smell the beer on his breath as he fought to stay in the seat.

The old sedan wallowed back toward the right lane.

It was the first time I'd driven his car. But it wasn't Bobby's car, really. It was his dad's. His dad was a railroad engineer, complete with the traditional bib overalls and cloth cap.

Bobby was my friend, trapped like me in the last year of high school. But he was different. I was secretive, sullen, and sarcastic, but Bobby was outgoing, with an ever-present desire to please sometimes amplified by a brittle manic energy. I liked beer, the drug of choice for our generation, but Bobby liked beer too much. That night he needed someone to drive him home.

Now I had the old car racing down the road and off the ridge at something close to 80 mph simply because that was all the speed I could wring out of it. I'd made one turn, but there was one more ahead before we entered the valley and the town that lay astraddle a creek. The next turn was a sharp, banking left-hander, edged by a dozen or so white posts laced together by steel cables, and oncoming traffic was obscured by a little hill.

I caught a glimpse of a yellow sign ahead, one marked with a black arrow curving around the words 35 mph, but I didn't lift my foot from the accelerator. My hands chased the steering wheel, persuading, begging the car to stay off the limestone bluff to the right, and the old sedan was reluctant, never steady, demanding one correction after another.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Killing is Easy, Living is Hard." 123HelpMe.com. 29 May 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=21164>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Too Easy Essay - The Illinois countryside was sweltering in July. The flat earth invited the harsh, dusty winds that hummed a lonely tune. The sky never took on a hue of blue but instead was always soaked in reddish yellow as if the sun was bleeding into it. There was a worn out house that stood wearily in the middle of a desolate plain. It wasn’t beautiful. The windows were covered in a veil of dry, brown dust, suggestive of its detachment from human contact for years. The roof had a gild of fading red paint that would have once looked pretty and bright....   [tags: short story,] 1420 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Systematic Killing in Darfur, Sudan Essay - A disaster is unfolding in Darfur, a region on the western side of Sudan. Currently, the people of Darfur have been continually assaulted by the Sudanese army and by other private armies controlled by Sudan’s government. One of these armed forces is called the Janjaweed and some believe it means, “Devil on horseback” or from the Persian language (Farsi) believe it translates to, “warrior”. In Darfur, families are being murdered, raped, and starved by the thousands. Innocent civilians in Darfur continue to be victims of unthinkable brutality since 2003....   [tags: Genocide]
:: 8 Works Cited
946 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Hard Time: Worse of the Worse Essay - A life behind bars is not an easy life, but a life that many people become accustom to, not because these people want to, but because they have to. The prison life is one that includes adverse challenges, dangerous situations, gang violence, and unpleasant living conditions. As shown in the documentary, Hard Time: Worst of the Worst, the inmates at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility in Lucasville, Ohio are no strangers to the prison life. Opened in 1972, the prison houses some of Ohio’s most dangerous inmates, totaling 2,200 inmates....   [tags: prison, violence, inmates, culture, safety]
:: 1 Works Cited
1273 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Constant Debate of Euthanesia in Our Society - There comes a time in life when someone dies in the family, whether it be a parent or a close relative. I got the chance to experience the hardship when I was 9 years old, when my mother died of cancer. It was a very slow, but not painful death. Back then, I did not even know the meaning or that there was such a thing as Euthanasia. Euthanasia is a constant debate between our society and is causing problems for the public and health care providers since it is a matter about life and death. Euthanasia is “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy” (Merriam-...   [tags: right to die, painless killing, lethal injection]
:: 9 Works Cited
1956 words
(5.6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Relationships and Communication: Hard to Get vs. Easy to Get Essay - Relationships and Communication It is inevitable that we meet a person who agrees with everything someone says, just to be accepted. Though it makes us feel good to have our thoughts validated by someone agreeing with our attitudes, at what point does a person’s unselective agreement begin to do more harm than good. One major influence to this study is what Walster, Walster, Piliavin and Schmidt termed the elusive phenomenon. The elusive phenomenon refers to the commonly held concept that the more elusive a person of romantic interest is, the more other people will desire that person....   [tags: romance, dating, marriage, selecting a mate]
:: 7 Works Cited
3366 words
(9.6 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Euthanasia: Living Will And Hospice Care Essay example - In today’s modern era, Euthanasia is a contentious subject, not only because there are various types of moral predicaments about it, but also what comprises its definitions. Euthanasia, which in Greek means ‘easy death’ or ‘die well’, is the process of painlessly helping a terminally ill person to die. This is also known as assisted suicide or mercy killing. When questions arises about the ethical aspects of Euthanasia, living will and hospice care play an essential role in clarifying these questions as well as explanations....   [tags: Mercy Killing Essays] 1819 words
(5.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dealing with Loss in Killing the Bear Essay - Dealing with Loss in Killing the Bear Often things that we experience as children have lasting affects on us that creep up when we least expect them. In Judith Minty's story "Killing the Bear", a woman finds herself in just such a situation. She finally deals with something that happened to her as a young child that she probably never even realized was bothering her. In this story the central character painfully comes to grips with a major loss of security from her childhood. Throughout "Killing the Bear" the author flips back and forth from the story at hand and seemingly only loosely related anecdotes about the main character and bears....   [tags: Minty Killing the Bear Essays] 731 words
(2.1 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about Stephen Blackpool in Charles Dickens' Hard Times - The book Hard Times is a book written by Charles Dickens a man that Dickens described as a man with great integrity, is introduced in this book his name is Stephen Blackpool. Stephen Blackpool lives in the town of Coketown Dickens describes this town: “In the innermost fortification of that ugly citadel where nature was as strongly bricked out as killing airs and gases were bricked in”. I think most people would agree that this is not a nice place to live in and it does not bring a nice town were the glissading sun rays were shining over every house, also the grass nourished and bright green as if it was just cut....   [tags: Hard Times Essays] 1691 words
(4.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Characterization in Dickens' Hard Times - Characterization in Dickens' Hard Times A firm character basis is the foundation upon which any good novel is built. For an allegorical novel, Dickens' has a surprisingly complex character foundation. The characters in Hard Times have both the simplistic characteristics of a character developed for allegorical purposes, as well as the intricate qualities of "real" people. These characters think and feel like we do and react to their situations in the same way that most of us would. These attributes are what give the characters life and allow us to relate to their decisions....   [tags: Dickens Hard Times Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1124 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Hard Times Essays - Hard Times In this paper I would like to discuss the possibly affects that this book might have had on the world, the time around Charles Dickens, and the fact that Charles Dickens paid close attention to the world around him. Charles Dickens, born Charles John Huffman Dickens, was born on Feb. 7 1812 in Portsmouth where his father was a clerk at the Naval Pay Office. Four years later his family moved to Chatham and then later moved to London. In 1824 Charles Dickens father went to Debtor's Prison....   [tags: Dickens Hard Times Essays] 894 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches






That's the way I remember that night. Alone within the dark, chasing a black ribbon of road, the sour stink of Bobby and the beer, the wobbling of an old car forced to its limits, an adrenalin buzz pushing fear aside while I played to a captive audience.

And I lived to remember more. Like the story of the man who owned the house at the top of the ridge, the place with the little covered bridge. He served forty-two months overseas in the big war, rose in rank to command a tank destroyer unit, and came home without a scratch. He came home, hired on with the railroad, worked twenty years or so, slipped on an icy railcar ladder, and had his legs nipped off above the knees. He built the miniature covered bridge after that.

I remember that Bobby was an only child. In a small town dependent upon the railroad, his dad, a locomotive engineer, was a working man's aristocrat. Bobby's father eventually went blind, around the time he would have retired anyway, but he still had his fiddle. He fiddled for dances, playing old tunes brought across from the moors, hills, and bogs of the old country. He fiddled for college professors who came to his house to record the old mountain music, and he fiddled simply because the music sang to him for as long as he could draw his bow. "Soldier's Joy." "Devil's Dream." "Mahoney's Reel."

I could tell you more, but the only thing you need to know to understand that night is that Bobby was drunk, and I was stupid.

I was stupid, but I knew enough not to hit the brakes and send the car spinning, tumbling off the road.

I was stupid, but I followed the instinct to turn in from the right and push the car into the apex of the curve in the left lane, the wrong lane, the blind lane, the only lane that resulted in the correct combination of mass, motion, and traction to traverse the arc of pavement.

Blind curve. Blind luck. I pointed the Plymouth in the direction of its headlight beams and let momentum and the banking of the roadway carry us home.

"Shit, shit, shit," Bobby said.

But no one was coming north in the left lane to meet us. No truck. No car. No one heading out for the night shift or home from a church or club meeting. No family who'd been to town to visit grandparents. No other fool or angel.

We traveled alone in a perfect April night. Every star was visible, horizon to horizon, and it was warm enough that we wore only light jackets and had the windows cranked partway down. We rode on in silence, the radio crackling with a song I cannot remember.

And so I drove the old Plymouth on to Bobby's house. It was late, and the house was dark. He slipped in the back door. Another friend had followed us there. I got in his car and went home.

I think about that night often. If Bobby thought about it, he never said a word about our wild flight along that deserted highway curling down the dark ridge. I think maybe he already knew what I was still learning. Killing is easy. Living is hard.

Bobby proved that fifteen years later when he killed himself with a pistol while parked in front of his ex-wife's house waiting for her lover to leave.


Return to 123HelpMe.com