A/N: Another Gatsby homework assignment. Gawd, I haven't even read this over. I think I wrote this whole thing in the school library in the period before it was due. XD I think there are about a million grammar and spelling errors in here, but I be too lazy to fix them. When I was writing it, I remember having some fun (despite nearly convulsing in panic because the deadline was approaching). Well anyway, I'm sure you're not in the least bit interested in how I almost flunked creative writing, so here's the most crappiest story I've ever written. Cheers!
DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN THE GREAT GATSBY, BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD. DON'T SUE ME, I'M POOR.
"You're worth the whole damn bunch put together."
Gatsby was by the poolside. The water, which had captivated his wandering gaze, rippled and broke where fallen, orange-red leaves had penetrated the smooth, clean surface. Absently, Gatsby wondered if he should ask the servants to come in and clean them up, but he decided against it. It didn't matter in the end.
What he did ask for was an air mattress and—because he couldn't help it—to wait for his calls. Even as he gave these orders, with as much efficiency and charisma as he ever had, he knew he was just stalling, keeping himself busy so he wouldn't have to think about anything—especially her.
It hurt, that much he was willing to admit. Everything else...
"You loved me too?"
...he couldn't even begin to fathom.
Without any apparent purpose, Gatsby crouched down by the water's edge. Light danced across blue for an instant, and then there was pink and pale-white skin.
His reflection took in his uncharacteristically gaunt visage and countered generously with regret, confusion, and unbearable loss. It was all he'd expected, but also all he'd never wanted to see. Sleepless eyes mirrored his own pathetic desperation.
"Is it really time to call it quits?" he inquired quietly. "Eh...old sport...?"
A single yellow leaf fluttered down to distort his image. Gatsby frowned.
He heard footsteps from the house.
"Sir," the chauffeur was saying, "Your mattress."
Gatsby turned from the water and smiled genially.
"Ah, good man."
That man killed her. He knew—he'd killed his wife.
Streets and buildings and lamps and broken-down cars passed him all at once, but they went by unnoticed for the roaring chaos in his mind had filled his ears with the same sound of screeching tires and ripping flesh. He didn't even notice the sound of his own desperate sobs or the cool, deadly weight in his hands.
So he walked. He wasn't aware of how long he'd been walking, or how far. If he was, he wouldn't have cared. Whatever little life had to offer for George Wilson while his wife was alive—and it had very little to offer—was snuffed out along with her, leaving only blind rage.
With one primitive, destructive thought commanding his body, George Wilson walked out of the Valley of Ashes. He pushed through the dusty specters that had kept so many miserable souls at bay with reckless ease.
He walked into East Egg. He walked past cars that were worth dozens more than every ashen brick of his shop put together. To him, they were worthless. The painted machines seemed to move in slow motion as he continued his solemn procession.
Finally, he found it. The green light at the dock.
The clock was broken.
Nick let out a small sigh of exasperation as he inspected his desk clock. He was no expert with these sorts of things and for some reason it had just stopped ticking.
Mentally declaring it a lost cause, Nick left his desk to catch a moment of privacy by the office window. Coffee in hand, he stood and watched. He wasn't certain what he was watching for, but he watched nonetheless.
And then he saw it. The garishly enormous eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg. His eyes trailed down to the Valley of Ashes, then up to East Egg, and finally landing upon where he thought Gatsby's house might be.
He took a sip of his coffee to settle himself. He wrinkled his nose in distaste. It was already cold.
On his way out, he stopped by his desk and grabbed the busted clock. He resolved to get it fixed right away. Right after visiting Mr. Gatsby.
They were not expecting visitors, some still-sane faction of George Wilson's mind noted meekly. The lights were all on and there was movement in the upper rooms. Through the windows, he could see suitcases.
He was momentarily angered that they would think of running—but that was soon soothed by the steel rifle in his arms.
George Wilson smiled.
Gatsby was submerged now. The blue-and-white water bathed him and he resurfaced anew.
He floated. Above him were leaves—some red, some brown, but most yellow. All the green had gone and he felt no desire to reach out a trembling hand to catch what was destined to fall.
With a shudder, Gatsby climbed onto the mattress and began to contemplate his new world.
He'd tried to keep her out of it, to keep her quiet in her bedroom but she was trying to get come out for a quick drink. He grunted angrily and slammed his palm upon the staircase banister, shouting to the ceiling, "Daisy, I told you to stay in there and wait until I come get you!"
Her voice, light and fragile like class (but sharp as diamond) wafted down from their room.
"But whatever should we do with my new furs? I want to pack them, but they're all still in that chest somewhere, so-"
"DAISY! I said stay IN THERE! Will you listen to me for once in your life?!"
Tom breathed heavily, but could not keep his pulse from racing. Between his eyes was the cold, black barrel of a shotgun.
"You had better tell me, sir," said George Wilson, "Who owns that car?"
Gatsby shielded his eyes from the sun. He wanted to get away, to sell his house...and for some reason he wanted to run.
He dragged a weary hand down his face and held it to his mouth, fighting the sobs and the bile that threatened to push him over the edge of his newly discovered serenity.
He inhaled deep, pulling in greedy lung-fuls of air and holding them there until he slowly, reluctantly let them go. With them, he felt years of hope and lies and pieces of his soul he'd given to reach a height that he was never meant to reach...he felt them leave him, too.
His last sweet breaths of air—and his first bitter taste of life.
A sudden crunching sound alerted him of a presence in the trees behind him. Gatsby forced his shoulders to relax and continued to recline, undisturbed, on his mattress.
"May I help you?" he asked carefully.
There was ragged breathing and, Gatsby was sure, the gritting of teeth. The voice behind him was not loud, but the uncontained rage it carried was frightening. "It was you, wasn't it?" Ragged breathing, and then a cough. "You...you were the one that- that killed her!"
Gatsby inhaled softly in realization. The car. The woman.
He felt like laughing. Now really, isn't this absurd! thought Gatsby. Daisy, my dear, it seems I haven't been able to cut off all ties with you after all. In his mind's eye, he saw not the subject of his dreams for five senseless years, but the loving face of a young girl and her letters that kept him sane through the inferno of war.
"Yes, it was me."
He turned to glance at his own reflection one last time. "No regrets, eh, old sport?"
A terrible shot rang out through the trees and, in an instant, the man named Gatsby was dead.
Two shots. The chauffeur left his post by the phone, knowing that if a call did come, there would be no one to receive it.
With great care and a touch of newfound respect, he prepared to drain the pool.