Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

Azure

Flash Fiction Monday!! Join in on the fun!

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It was that time again. Time to throw the week’s work off my back and enjoy the next two days off. Normally, I would be content to sit at home and lose myself in a good book but tonight I wanted a change of pace. A new bar opened a few months back called “Azure” that everyone had been raving about. Why not? Even if it’s not my type of hang out, at least I’d know what the people were referring to when they chatted it up in the office on Monday.

With keys in hand, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror debating my clothing choice. The sweater was a little snug but not too bad. In fact, it was just snug enough to flatter the “girls”. The only questionable article was the skirt. I’m a jeans and t-shirt person, so anything that shows more leg than my ankles always makes me slightly uncomfortable. However, it wasn’t like I was showing much skin anyway since the skirt stopped at my knees. One more quick glance to make sure no fly-aways were evident, flip the light switch down, and I was off. Tonight was about embracing the uncomfortable and experiencing a different side of life.

 Tall glass spires rose up through the night sky illuminated by blue spotlights. There was no way to miss this building. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the bat symbol overhead. It was relatively early in the evening still so the entry line was short. Making sure to park in a well lit area, I squared my shoulders, checked my lipstick (and teeth) in the rear view mirror and gave myself a pep talk since I was feeling more and more like this wasn’t such a grand idea.

The bouncer at the front door waved me through without so much as a glance. So much for thinking I looked young enough to card. It was obvious the owner of the club took the name to heart. The benches and stools were all differing shades of blue, as were the shades (over non-existant windows) and light fixtures. Then again, they could have been white but appeared blue thanks to the overabundance of blue lighting.

The booth closest to the bar but furthest away from the stage looked perfect to me. I would be able to see what was going on through-out the club and not have to go too far to get my refills. A small woman in snug a black crossover top was eyeballing me from behind the bar. I smiled and headed her way, thinking she looked a bit sick in this lighting. “I’d like a Greyhound, please” I told the woman as I slipped onto the stool.

“Sure. You been here before, Hun?”

“No, Ma’am. Tonight’s the first!”

“Enjoy yourself then. Word of advice, try not to walk around with your mouth hanging open and your eyes darting everywhere like you’re a country mouse in a city church,” she said with a smile that looked more like a grimace. This woman was not someone I’d care to get to know, but if she can make a good drink then I’d suck it up for the sake of the drink! She slid the glass across the bar, asking for eight dollars as she turned to start another drink.

“$8? For one drink?” Hoity Toity continued to glare at me like I had just asked if leprechans were real. Digging into my purse I handed her a ten and walked to my booth. At those prices I was going to have to make each glass last as long as possible. I was also not going to start a tab, as eventuall you have enough drinks that you don’t realize how much money you’ve piled up.

The booth was comfy and somewhat secluded. The next hour passed relatively quickly. People watching has always been a fun past time and at the bar it proved to be quite entertaining. In the corner, were two girls giggling to each other each time a cute man walked by. At the bar was an older gentleman who looked like he’d seen better days. In a ten minute period he went through three cigarattes, never making eye contact with anyone. In fact, I even spotted Mr. Delaney. Mr. Delaney was a portly, mid-forties guy who had been married for 25+ years. He was a fair employer and someone you didn’t hesitate to express concerns to. In fact, he reminded me quite a bit of my father.

I got up to get a refill when Mr. Delaney started heading toward me. His movement was slow and deliberate. I looked around for his wife, but didn’t see anyone that fit the bill. Soon enough he sidled up to me at the bar; however, he was a little to close for comfort. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asked while leaning into my personal bubble even further.

“Thanks, but I’ve already ordered. How are you doing?”

“I’m doing pretty good. I’d be doing better if you’d let me buy your drink next time,” he slurred and punctuated with a wink while running his finger up my arm from elbow to shoulder.

“Mr. Delaney? Are you feeling ok?” As soon as he heard his name he straighted up and backed a foot away.

“Do I know you?”

“I’m Susan, from collections” I said as more of a question than a statement.

 “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t recognize you. I…I…I have to go. See you on Monday.” With that, he turned and melted into the crowd.

“Is Lenny the Letch bothering you?” asked Hoity Toity as she sat my fresh drink in front of me.

“Lenny the Letch?”

“Yeah, he’s here almost every weekend trying to pick up girls half his age. Sometimes it works, most of the time it don’t.”

Suddenly goose bumps ran up may arms and raised the hair on the back of my neck. The shock of Mr. Delaney hitting on me, as well as his constantly cheating on his wife made my stomach curl. I could never look at him the same again. Monday’s company meeting should be interesting. Maybe I should call in sick…

Heat Waves

It’s Monday and a holiday, thank goodness! That means it’s time for some flash fiction again. I’d love for you to join me!

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This heat was the killing kind. The kind that snuck up on an unsuspecting victim and slapped him/her with a bad case of heat stroke while just walking across a parking lot. The heat vapors made the air appear soft and smooth, though it was far from pleasant. With humidity in the high 90%’s breathing had become a chore. The air was heavy and thick and moved like syrup into the lungs and slowly spilled out the mouth on exhale, coating the skin in a layer of sweat.

“FRANK” Bertie shouted as she opened the car door. “Are ya comin’? I’m not gonna stay out here all day waitin’ on your ass.”

Frank cringed as he heard the nails on the chalkboard again, “For cryin’ out loud Bertie, I’m comin’. Rein it in will ya?” This wasn’t unusual, Frank and Bertie yelling at each other across the lawn. The neighbors used to complain, but gave up on that after it didn’t do any good. Besides, Frank and Bertie had a way of getting back at anyone they felt unjustly attacked them. It took Mrs. Baumgartner three days to find her beloved pug, Oscar. He had been locked in a shed down the block with “ratass” painted on his side. Most people the neighborhood gave them wide berth now, however they still prayed for the day either the couple would move or find some couth, neither of which was likely.

Bertie was in a hurry to get her hair done and Frank was in a hurry to get rid of Bertie. Every Wednesday was the same routine: Frank would drop Bertie off at Curl Up and Dye while he spent a few hours on the local pub, The Backdoor. Today was different. Today was the day Frank got rid of Bertie once and for all. He had been planning for years and had the money to put the plan into place. It was supposed to look like an accident. While Bertie walked to the pub, Jake would take care of her. Frank told Jake he didn’t want to know the details, the less he knew the better. Jake would meet up with Frank after the deed was done and give him her wedding ring as proof.

“It’s so damned hot out here. Frank, would you turn the air up? My hair will fry to nothing by the time we get there,” Bertie spat while reaching for the dial.

“Sure, Sugarplum. Anything for you, my Tart,” Frank wheezed. His smile was plastered from ear to ear while he looked at his wife.

“What’s wrong with you? Did you kidnap the Baumgartner’s dog again? I haven’t seen you this happy in years.”

“Today is going to be a good day, Bertie. You wait and see. I have a good feeling in my bones!”

“That’s arthritis you dumbass!” she joked as she swatted his arm with her clutch. Twenty minutes later Bertie had been deposited in the salon and Frank was sinking down into his usual seat.

“I’d like a Jack and Coke, Tom. Make it a double!” The bartender nodded in recognition and started pouring Frank’s drink. Normally, Frank wasn’t this happy to be there. He only came in to enjoy some drinks before he had to go home with that hydra again.

“What’s the big occasion, Frank?”

“Let’s just say I hit the lottery!” The two men spent the next hour conversing, as there weren’t many patrons at 3 in the afternoon.  Shortly before 5 the door opened letting in a blinding light that temporarily stunned Frank. By this time, he had run his tab up to $50 and was feeling as though he could take over the world, whether he could walk straight or not.

“Frankie!! How’s it going my man?” Jake blurted out as he walked up to Frank. With his heart pounding and giddiness in his chest Frank turned toward the voice and jumped off his stool.

“Jake! We’re just catching up on some stories and good drinks. You want one?” As Frank’s eyes finally adjusted after the blast of light he noticed that Jake wasn’t alone. “What is this? Is this a joke?” he asked him.

“Joke? What are you talking about? Here, I brought you this.” Jake slammed Bertie’s wedding ring on the counter and turned to order a drink from Tom.

Frank looked at the ring, looked at Jake, then looked at Bertie giving him the skunk eye from over Jake’s shoulder. Bertie wasn’t saying a word. She looked as mad at the day she caught him flirting with one of the barmaids a few years ago.

“It’s not what it looks like!” Frank quickly said to Bertie.

“Frank? Are you ok?” Jake asked while looking over his shoulder to see who Frank was talking to.

“Let me just explain. I just wanted to get your ring from you so I could uh…so I could turn it in to the jeweler for some additions.” Bertie continued to glare at him and tap her foot in a staccato method. “Yeah, ya know our anniversary is comin’ up and I wanted to surprise ya!”

Jake took one more look behind him then looked back at Frank. It was obvious the man had lost it. He hadn’t been ready to get rid of his wife. Slowly, Jake walked around Frank to the other side. Frank continued to talk to thin air getting more and more hysterical. Tom was trying to figure out what was going on, but not having known the plan to begin with he thought Frank had just had too many drinks.

“Frank, let me call you a cab. When you’re wife gets here I’ll give her the car keys. How does that sound?” Tom asked the obviously disheveled man.

“My wife? Bertie’s right there. Don’t you see her?” He looked quickly between Tom and Jake. Both men shook their heads slowly and stood there in silence.

“So, ya thought ya could just off me and be rid of me that easily did ya?! Well, think again Franklin Schlemmer. We were betrothed, for better or worse, in life and death. Just because I’m dead, doesn’t mean I’m breaking my oath. You and me…we’re going to have a long marriage together.” She said as she ghosted closer to him. Frank sank to his knees, wailing like a baby “it’s til death do us part…til death do us part…”.

Candied Apples

Good Morning and Happy Monday! As mentioned in my previous flash fiction post, Mondays bring new challenges. Please join me in creating a 1000 word, or less, flash fiction piece based on the photo below. Make sure you share the link to your work in the comments!

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Candied Apples

 

“What are you supposed to be? Mothra?”

 

“Shut up, Doug. You’re just jealous because my costume is better than yours.”

 

“pfftt..Yeah, that must be it. Yours took twice the fabric mine did though!”

 

“You’re such an a…” Suddenly a vice grabbed my wrist and jerked my arm backward, pulling me to an abrupt stop.

 

“I have had enough of this. Doug, stop picking on your sister. Janelle, stop being so sensitive. If y’all don’t pull it together in the next 5 minutes we’re going home.” With that comment, Mom dropped our hands and trudged forward as though she was wanting to get as far away from us as possible. I had been waiting all year for the Halloween festival. There was no way Doug was going to ruin this for me. It took me four months to get my fairy costume perfected and I’d only be able to wear it for a few hours. True, I wasn’t the prototypical thin fairy, but I figured they came in all shapes and sizes too, just like humans did.

 

Doug was pouting as we walked toward Madame Bovine’s Fortune Telling Tent. Madame Bovine was actually Ms. Clausen, the fifth grade English teacher. Every year she’d put on her cow costume, complete with udders, and make up some fascinating tales for the kids waiting to have their future divined. I knew she was a fake. She told me last year that Doug and I would put our differences aside and become best friends. All year long I waited for Doug to stop being mean and start being a good brother, like those at school who protected their little sisters. Instead, he continued to push me into lockers, take my bags, and taunt me about my weight. That was ok though. I found ways to get back. Liquid soap is hard to see on a toothbrush but it foams up quite nicely!

 

“Mom, can I go get a candy apple? I don’t want to see Madame Bovine.”

 

“Like you need any more candy!” Doug blurted out, while at seemingly the same time Mom’s hand slapped him on the back of the head.

 

“Sure, Hon. Just make sure you come straight back here.” With that, she handed me a five dollar bill and I skulked over to the cafeteria. The best part about the Halloween festival was the large assortment of candied apples. There were chocolate covered, caramel, chocolate and peanut, chocolate and M&M, and the traditional red candy apple. The chocolate with peanuts was my favorite and I made sure I got one every year!

 

Miss Fredericks was dressed up as a witch, but instead of the typical crooked nose and black pointed hat she had on pink and black stripped leggings and bright pink hair topped with velvet floppy hat. She explained that she was a good witch and only good witches were colorful.

 

“Hi, Janelle! What will it be this year? Caramel?”

 

“No Ma’am, I’d like chocolate with peanuts please!” As Miss Fredericks ducked behind the counter to pull out my apple I could see her glancing at me.

 

“What’s the matter, Janelle? Why do you look so upset?”

 

“Oh, just Doug being a jerk. I wish you were a real witch. I’d give you my allowance for a year if you’d turn Doug into a toad!”

 

“That’s not a very nice thing to do. You should be kind to your brother. After all, he’s the only one you’ll ever have! As you get older, you’ll start getting along better. Try not to let him get to you.”

 

“That’s what Mom says too, but he never gets any nicer. Thanks for the apple. I’ll see you later.” With my apple in tow, I headed back toward Madame Bovine’s. Doug was coming out and Mom was glancing at her watch. We hardly ever stayed until the festival was over. Mom liked to get us home early, before the drunk drivers got on the roads she explained.

 

“Alright my little fairy and gremlin, let’s head home.” With a collective grumble Doug and I headed toward the car. I took a bite of my apple and closed my eyes in bliss as the combination of chocolate, peanuts, and juicy green apple played on my tongue. Suddenly, my apple was ripped from my hand. My eyes flew open to see Doug sinking his teeth into my apple. Anger took over as I turned to tell Mom what Doug had done but decided she would just get mad again. I turned back to Doug to inflict whatever punishment I could manage, but to my surprise he wasn’t there. My apple was on the ground and sitting next to it was a grey toad.

 

Smiling, I picked up the toad. “You and me are going to be best friends” I said as I slipped the toad into my pocket.