Flash Fiction: Winter
© by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
Flash fiction consists of mini-stories, complete with characters, excitement, and a story line. Strict word limits are imposed, from 150 to as few as 50 words for Hot Flashes.
The young woman sighed, watching the rain lash the windshield. The wipers were listless, smearing an oily, rainbow-colored film in oncoming headlights. The vehicle slowed as it passed her. She could see the face of the truck driver straining to see why her car was stopped. He kept going. She lit a cigarette, waiting for some more oncoming vehicles. They passed, leaving her in peace to accelerate over the river embankment into the roiling water.
“Why are you so paranoid, Mrs. Fanata?” The doctor asked the beautiful young woman. She squirmed on the examining room table. “I’m a real virgin” she said. “I’ve never done anything like this”.
“It won’t hurt a bit”. He said, arranging his instruments, then smoothing the hair back from his face. “I promise” he added. “Just a little prick” he said, smiling. He picked up the the needle. “It’s only an ingrown toenail”.
“Are you frightened, little one?” The attendant asked.”Yes”, the little one replied. She nodded. The palsied woman shook as she adjusted her position and grasped the bar as tightly as she could. “It will be all right,” he said, checking everything. “Not me, sonny,” the old lady said. “It’s my 99th birthday today and I’ve been on the Ferris wheel every birthday since I was five, like my great granddaughter here, it’s her first time.”
“Wherefore be thee hiding, O’ Princess of the night?” The dark priest roared. He held a large red candle to the sky, shadows mixing with flickering light glinting from his bejeweled blade. The woman shivered under gossamer thin cloth, trying to remain hidden, then motionless as he approached.
“There ye be!” he thundered, pausing, suddenly tearing the sheet off of the naked body
“Oh, George, you’re a wonderful role-player!” the ecstatic woman gasped, beckoning.
“It will be lonely, child,” the old black man said, “but go with your aunt as she has asked, for is it not better to be lonely and live with dignity in a strange city far away than to be tied forever in the company of slaves? With little choice but to work or die by the whip? Truth be known, I would choose differently now. Had I choice as you have opportunity, I would have fled from this hell-forsaken place when I left my mother’s paps” the old man grimaced bitterly, much pain in his jaundiced eyes. He was sweating profusely in the sweltering heat and breathing with difficulty.
“A kind man the master is not, and you shall be used in the way of America, to produce more slaves for him” the man whispered. “I may die a slave but your aunt has purchased your life of freedom”.
“‘Tis a secret one must learn” soft-spoken Belinda said, leaning into the circle, as they stitched bits of cloth into a quilt of enchanting beauty. “The secret of happiness is to ignore unhappiness”.
“Not so,” said Maude, bitterly, “one must strive for happiness by dealing with unrequited anger.”
“And how would you know?” Myrtle asked thoughtfully, threading a needle with fine, bright red thread and squinting as she adjusted the ends evenly.
“Experience, sex, and fulfilled love, is what creates happiness” Samantha pointed out, smiling, and snipping off some loose threads, eying Maude warily.
“And how would you know?” Myrtle asked again, facing Maude.
Maude snarled, leaned over and poked Samantha with her sharp needle. “Take that! That’s how I know!” She said. “Flirty Floozie!”
“Ouch!” Samantha said, poking Maude with her needle just as viciously.
“Revenge is happiness, that’s how I know.” Samantha said sweetly. “Tea, anyone?”
“Old Bobbie ain’t gonna like this” the postman was contemplative, scratching his beard. He listened to the gravel crunching underneath his boots. He walked up the lane toward the dilapidated house.
He stepped up on the worn wooden porch and scrutinized the address carefully.
Yes, it was ‘Mr. Robert S. Brisham, Esq., 1295 Brisham Road, Leftover, Oregon, U.S.A., the road having been named 50 years earlier by his own father. He knocked on the door loudly.
“C’mon, Bobbie, old boy,” he called through the screen door. “ya gotta sign. ”
The old man’s bones creaked as he approached the door.
“Hey” he said shakily. “How’ya doin, Dickie?”
“Fine, Bobbie, ‘ya gotta sign” He handed the old man the letter. “It’s from England” he said.
He scribbled and opened the letter.
“Bad news” he said, shaking his head sadly.
“My brother died and left me eighty million pounds”.
Amazed (150 )
“I am amazed, ” she told me, “that it took you forty years to get here”. My estranged wife doesn’t do details.
” It’s across the pond, I said, ” I live in Oregon .”
“Bobby,” she said, tinkling her silver spoon in the rose-covered teacup as she stirred, “do you suppose we can be reasonable now, and live as civilized man and wife?”
I did not answer. I was busy rocking, watching her ocelot jumping at the yellow canaries in the conservatory.
“Since you inherited what is rightfully mine,” Bertha Brishham-Brisham said icily, “Perhaps you will bequeath it to me when they bury you in Oregon?”.
“I have no intention of leaving you eighty million pounds after you killed my brother” I told her, smiling nicely.”It’s buried safely in Oregon.” She fainted.
“Oh well” I said. The ocelot jumped, missing the canary again.
I went back to Oregon.
Intoxicated (100 )
“Are you intoxicated , Miss Florinka?” The officer sniffed her breath.
“No” she slurred, “wine, two hours ago, I took Bobbie out, dropped him off, and…”
“Blow into this breathalizer”. She blew.
“Harder ” the officer said sternly. She turned red.
“That’ll do it” he said, reading it.
” You’re under –don’t be drinking tonight!”.
“”Not I, officer” she mumbled, “Thank you!”
“You’re welcome miss” the officer said to her.
“Take her in.” He closed the door. “We’ll get her car home”.
“Yes sir,” said the paramedic. “Good thing you found her, she would have been a goner, she’s diabetic.”
“Why are you doing laying around, young man?” His mother asked him brusquely, poking him with the broom as she was cleaning, dusting, and rearranging.
“Just wondering what the future holds,” he said, “wondering if I will marry when I get rich “.
“No woman wants a do-nothing lazy layabout daydreaming, pretending he’s a famous painter or something”. She wagged her finger.
“Hoist yourself off the couch, forget painting and being aroused by crazy delusion, and go to work now.”
“But mom…! He said, groaning. “You know I ain’t got no job.”
“So what, Pablo Picasso!” she shouted. “Paint something!”
“You never listen” she said as she scooped some mashed potatoes onto the plate in front of her husband. He grumbled. “Where’s the beef?” he asked, poking at the potatoes.
“Tamara said you left it at the checkout, remember? She said.
“That’ll teach that woman to sauce me” he said. “I don’t take sauce from anyone” he added, stabbing some carrots.
“You should have listened ” she said, “you had the wrong roast”.
“Wasn’t no reason for her to sauce me,” he said, “it was a roast. You’re never satisfied”
“Right, Harold, she said you had pork, not beef”.
“Look how much time you spend mowing grass. You’re cutting grass all the time, and other yard work, but ask if it’s necessary to mow grass three times a week,” she said, “walking on sore feet”.
“I am ashamed” he told her. ” I have to admit, I cannot do pruning, weeding, painting, raking leaves, plumbing, appliance repairs, car repairs, appointments, cleaning, and…”
“–You have to get some rest “, she said.
“– But dear, ” he said
“–Never mind, you’re eighty-eight, ” she said, wagging her finger at him. That’s enough volunteering!“
“We’re alive, that’s what counts” the old man said, banging on the frozen, locked door of the cabin. “Nobody home” he said. “We’re soaking wet, we better kick this door in”. He stood back and kicked the door. The lock held. He kicked it again. The boy shivered. “You don’t kick hard enough, I’ll kick it, grandpa!” he said.
“Well, go ahead, I hurt my foot” the old man said. The boy kicked. The lock went flying and the door flew open.
“That’s a boy!” the old man said.” You saved our lives!”
The people watching clapped.“Cut!” “That’s a take!”
“I know you’re brokenhearted, little one” the kindly woman said, “picking up is something you have to learn”. She handed the sulking girl a dishcloth. “Wipe the table now.”
“I hate this” the girl said.
“I know, ” the woman said, “that’s the way it is when you’re a waitress”.
The little man’s chest swelled up. Elated, he blushed. He looked up at the woman proudly. “I did my best”, he said, smiling, “it was pretty hard when I didn’t have all the stuff”.
“Beautiful” she said.
“I like’em, do you?…I like mud pies!” he said.
Lightning flashed. She put her arms around him. He shivered with excitement. “No wonder you’re shivering” she said. She cuddled him closer. “I feel so energized when you’re with me” she whispered. I’m not scared of anything, not even the dark when you’re with me, my little woofer.”
Is that Incoming I hear?