Tag Archives: relationships

Wine and Cigarettes (Revision)

“Don’t throw them away!” Stacie cried. ”They were so young! Life hadn’t burned them out yet!”

She dropped to her knees, pleading for her lost cigarettes.

Karen, holding a small trash bin in her hand, was not moved. “You mean you were going to burn them out!”

Stacie’s angelic pleas turned to devilish grin. “Tee hee.”

Pfft. Don’t ‘tee hee’ me! You told me you were going to quit!”

Stacie countered her patented puppy dog eyes and kitten pout. “But I needs ‘em! Puh-leez don’ take mah baybees away! I wud jus’ die.”

Guh! You’re awful, Stace. Tell you what…” Karen took the bin to the fire escape, dumping its contents to the dumpster below. Stacie clutched at Karen’s clothes, screaming for her to give her back her babies, that she was an awful, horrible woman for taking them away, an unrepentant murderer of innocent lives. A man having a smoke in the alley below looked both worried and disturbed.

“Hi!” They chimed, retreating back into the apartment. Stacie began giggling to the point where Karen thought she wouldn’t stop, so she beat her over the head one good one with the trash bin.

“Ow! Hey, Kare bear! That hurt!”

“Yeah, well that wasn’t funny! I have to live here, you know!”

“I live here, too!”

“You squat here, you mean.” Karen rubbed her temples, afflicted by her frequent migraines. “Gah. I need a drink.”

Stacie, eager to get back on her friend’s good side, went scurrying in to the kitchen.

“I’ll open us up some wine!”

“Yeah, like you need it.”

“I do! I’ll be going through nicotine withdrawals any minute now! Need something to keep the edge off.”

“Just trading one addiction for another.”

“Look who’s talking, drunkie. Here.” She handed Karen a glass. The red wine sloshed to the brim.

“What kind is this?”

“Dunno.” She turned the bottle and squinted. “Something with a French name.”

“Ah.” Karen took a liberal first sip. She didn’t actually care what it was, but it seemed the right thing to ask. Careful not to spill her good mood, Karen slumped into the couch. Stacie remained standing, pacing around with her wine. Her constant energy made Karen agitated. “Well, they do make good wine.”

“I don’t know if I like the French,” Stacie paused to keep her wine from sloshing about. “I mean, they’re so hoity toity, you know?”

“Hmph. That’s what they want you to think, Stacie my love.”

“Well, they’re doing a good job, then.”

“They’re just putting up a face to keep everyone from moving in and drinking up all their wine without paying to extra to import it.”

Stacie put out her lower lip and crossed her eyebrows. She did that when she was thinking hard. Karen thought it looked ridiculous. “I guess that makes sense,” Stacie nodded. “Maybe that’s why they can sell it to us for so much money.”

“Amen to that, sister.” Karen took another big swig and stared at the glass for a while. “You know, I really like drinking out of a wine glass. It makes me feel like I’m delicately choking a tiny person.”

“Psy-cho.”

“Hey!” Karen regretted showing her vulnerable side and began confiding in her wine. “She’s so mean to me, isn’t she?” she said, stroking the top of her glasses head. It sang a high tune back to her.

“Oh, come on, Kare Bear. I was just bein’ silly! Here. My little man’s empty. Want me to fill yours up?”

“Yes, please,” she said, watching Stacie prance into the kitchen.

“I wonder if it will always be like this?” Karen mumbled to herself. When Stacie came back with her glass, Karen drank deep and graciously.

“A toast to good friends!” Stacie smiled, her teeth stained with wine.

Salut,” Karen replied, and they delicately clinked their glasses together.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXIV

Mungo Jerry Philosophy

“What if I said your girl had your dick wrapped around her little finger?”

“I’d punch you in the face.”

“Then I’m not sayin’ it.”

“Yeah, whatever. Like you’ve never fallen for a girl.”

“No, man. I follow the Mungo Jerry philosophy.”

“Mungo what-y what-a?”

“If her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel.”

“So you bang poor girls.”

“Shit yeah! You see me complaining ever? I’m not the one bitchin’ about his girl. Rich girls got expectations that are way too high. Let some sugar daddy fuck her with his old man balls.”

“Okay. Now I’m really going to punch you in the face.”

“I’m just tellin’ you to stop and smell the roses. And by smell I mean fuck and by roses I mean…”

“Stop! Just stop!”

“See? You’re already freaking out. She got you whipped. Whutcha!”

“No. No. That’s not how it is at all. That’s just not how it is.”

“Then how is it? Tell me how it be?”

“It’s… fuck, man. She’s incredible.”

“Incredible… at what?”

“What? No, she’s just an incredible person.”

“So, she’s a bad lay.”

“She says it’s her blood sugar. She gets tired.”

“I feel sorry for you. You need help.”

“She… she just doesn’t like my breath until I’ve brushed.”

“Please stop telling me things.”

“She just… she’s amazing. She’s incredible.”

“Stop… what are you, crying? Stop that! Guys don’t cry! What is wrong wit’chu?”

“I don’t want to be alone!”

“Stop! Get–get off me! You need help, man. Like, a shrink or somethin’.”

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

Where Do I Belong?

When I was a tadpole, we all swam around together and played together. Every one of us was just learning to wiggle and explore our surroundings. We played together and we all looked almost exactly the same. We were all little bumps with little spindly tails. I belonged.

Then we all began to develop our hindlegs. I was so proud, but I felt left out because most of the others were already developing their forelegs by that time. I was left out of a lot of the games, and I began to see that I was separating from a lot tadpoles who were my friends just yesterday. All of a sudden, we just didn’t have as much in common anymore. I began to wonder if I belonged there at all.

When I was a metamorph, and starting to become an adult, I was a little awkward in my stumpy, almost-frog body. My tail felt awkward on me and I was a little bowlegged. I admired the adult frogs, who could leap high in the air. I wanted to do that. The few tadpoles that stayed my friends turned out to actually be female frogs. I still tried to hang out with them, but they kept secrets from me and didn’t want me in their group. They would kick me back into the water so I wouldn’t hear them talk. But I knew what they were talking about. They were watching the adult frogs, too. They admired them, too. But the girls admired them differently, I guess, so I couldn’t join in. But where did that leave me? Where did I belong?

Finally, I became an adult. I croaked with the rest and I jumped with the rest. We were equals again, but not really. Some jumped higher than others. Some croaked a little softer. But no matter how much I thought I belonged, the real test came during mating season. I saw love all around me, but I was ignored. Even though I was a man, I was smaller than most and my croak was even considered effeminate. I began to resent the friends I’d grown up, how they made me aware of how females feel. I resented my parents, too. Why was I spawned to be this way? Or was it the way I developed? Did something go wrong? No matter how hard I tried, I just didn’t belong.

I began to stay up late at night, listening to the croaking sounds, trying to mimic them. But with all the croaking happening at once, my own voice felt very small. For a while, I just slept all night.

But then, a large storm came. It was so invigorating, I forgot myself and all my troubles. I just kept hopping. I hopped and hopped until I didn’t know where I was and I couldn’t see home anymore. I came to a tiny pond and jumped in before the morning sun came out. It wasn’t long before the locals began to notice me. I introduced myself, and they let me stay, but they were wary of strangers. I scooted around the pond, happy to explore my surroundings, until I saw a lone frog wrapped up in the grass and mud.

“Hello,” I said.

“Hey,” the frog sighed.

“I’m new here.”

“I can see that,” the frog said. “You should leave.”

At first I was sad that frogs could be so cruel no matter where I went, but then I was just angry. “I’m not going anywhere!” I cried. “I know I don’t belong here, but I happen to like it here, so you’ll have to deal with me.”

I was even surprised to here myself say that I enjoyed this place. It hadn’t occurred to me that I would ever be happy again.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” the little frog said. “Everyone here is terrible. They all ignore me. I don’t belong at all. I wish everything was like it used to be…”

I blinked and swallowed. This frog was exactly like me. I had mixed feelings about this. Even though I’d always wanted someone to find someone like me, I found that I really didn’t want that after all. I didn’t want this frog to suffer like I had, to be friendless and alone.

“I don’t belong either,” I said, extending a pad. “Would you like to be friends?”

The little frog looked up at me and slowly emerged from the grasses. After eyeing my pad, the frog extended a pad out to me and we touched.

“I’d like that.”

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

No Face

My boyfriend has no face. At first I thought it was kind of creepy, having just a mound of flesh where his face should be, but then we got to talking and he’s such an excellent listener. He’s caring and attentive, the strong and silent type. He doesn’t really drink or even eat, for that matter, but he knows how to tango. I have to lead, but he always holds me real close. My boyfriend is not really good at oral, but he’s a master with his fingers, and he knows how to use my toys, too. When we’re cuddling, I love the way he runs his fingers through my hair and how his heart hammers in time with mine. But sometimes… sometimes I wish I could feel the rise and fall of his breaths or the flutter of his eyelashes on my cheeks. I miss that feeling sometimes.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

Closure (revision and new ending for “Worst Mistake”)

“Let’s just get some coffee.”

Aiko sighs, as if to say, “Yes, let’s go but I still hate you.” Yeah, well the feeling’s mutual.

The Starbucks is too crowded. The line goes to the door and the seats are all taken up. “Man, I hate lines.”

“Well, you wanted to go here.”

“Yeah, this was a mistake.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. Should have never met up with you,” I mumbled.

What?”

“Nothin’.”

“No, I discretely heard you say…” Distinctively. Get it right. “What?”

“What do you mean ‘what’?”

“It looked like you were about to say something. You get that look on your face.”

“No. I wasn’t going to say anything.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Whatever!” I sigh, throwing my hands into the air.

Aiko’s face gets fireball red. “Don’t do that. Don’t you do that!”

Someone pokes me in the back. “Hey! You’re next in line. They’ve been calling for you.”

I take a deep breath. “Oh. Sorry.” Everyone around is looking at us. Let’s just get this over with.

Aiko nudges me out of the way. “Grande Chai tea with soy, no water. Five pumps. He’s paying.”

Shit. “Um, I’ll have a… pumpkin latte. The cold version.”

“Iced pumpkin latte?”

“…yeah.” I hand her the card.

“Size?”

“I’ll take the small.”

“Tall?”

“Yeah, the small one. Tall.”

I hold out my card. “Uh, debit.”

“Here or to go?”

“Here. I mean, to go.”

She glares at me and changes something on the register. “Name?”

“Huh?” I’m waiting for her to take the card.

“Your name?” She could probably look at the card and get my name. “It’s Kouta. What’s your name?”

“…Tara.”

“Pretty name. I feel like we go through the same conversation every time, Tara.” I expect Aiko to get jealous but she’s already hitting on some graybeard in a suit.

Tara flashes me a fake smile. “Your coffee will be ready in a minute. Next please!”

I bring back the drinks. Tara managed to procure the old guy’s table and slip him her number. She thinks she’s sly, like a little female ninja and shit. She has money, sure, but she never bothered to learn the trade.

“Here,” I throw the drink to her side. “So, when can I pick up my shit from your dad’s? It’s kind of embarrassing that it’s there at all.”

“I’ll have my people drop your stuff off. Just give me your address.”

I take a sip. It scalds my tongue. I try to swallow it fast, which was just as bad an idea for my throat. “You can understand if I’d rather you not know where I live,” I say hoarsely.

“Hmph. Well, good luck getting your stuff back.”

I run my hand through my hair. “Just set a place and time. That’s all.”

She sits back, probably thinking about how best to take my balls away from me.

“Well… maybe—”

A shuriken chops into the table.

“Ninjas? You really hate me that much?”

“No, I—”

No time to talk. The ninjas leap out from the ceiling, one from the back, where they’d been lurking. Only three. Good. I can probably take three as long as there aren’t more waiting to ambush me.

The first leaps down, chops the table in half. No time to grab anything with my hands. I kick the chair into his face and he chops that in half. I stomp his sword to keep it down and uppercut his jaw. Ninja are trained not to pass out, so I know it will take more than one well-placed punch. Still, I have to duck under another sword swishing toward my ears and let this first one go free. I kick back but he’s already gone. These guys aren’t going to let me finish the fight fast.

#2 swings again and I turn to the side, jump above the next swing, and duck beneath the third. I roll over the remaining half of the table to the area where the couches are. Tara is frozen in fear, so I push her to the back room. “Move!”

I am an eel, twisting around their blades. Ninja swords are fast, yes, but the human body can twist and turn like a mirage. Intuition has to read moves in addition to what the eyes see. I toss the coffee machine at them, followed by the register. They chop out with their swords to move through, as expected. I take my knives out of my pocket and throw them out.  #2 is able to block the one heading for his neck but not the one that skewers his liver. #3 throws his own projectile, a shuriken aimed at the back of my head. I duck and back flip over the counter. I launch an obvious sweep kick, which he easily jumps over. The ninja points his sword down to impale me. I do a kangaroo kick from the ground and catch him in the stomach. Even with the wind knocked out of him, he tries to impale me but I catch it in my palms. #1 flies over the counter, also aiming to impale me. I twist and slide my head out of the way, spinning to tear the wakizashi out of the #3’s hands. I smack #1 with the hilt, using the change in momentum to slide the hilt up into my own hands. I stab behind me to catch #3 in the stomach, removing the sword to catch #1’s next strike. I backpedal, backpedal, flip back over the couch, smashing through the front window. The ninja flips after me to bury his sword into my head. I block upward and he plants his foot into my chest. I think I hear a rib crack. I raise the sword above my head as a distraction and return a kick of my own. He sees the feint, steps back and throws a shuriken. I move slightly so it catches my arm and not in any vital areas. I pull it out and toss it aside.

“Hyaa!” I cry, tearing the wakizashi down, only to cut air. My wounds have made me slow. The ninja flips back and pulls his sword back for a killing blow. I raise my arm to block, though I know a stab like this will mortally wound me if I don’t disarm perfectly. To my surprise, a body rises up behind the ninja. He looks back to meet the new challenger, but too late. A knife slides aptly into his neck and out again, creating a fountain of blood, splattering across an outdoor table.

“Aiko?”

“Father!” she screams, blood spattering her face. “Come out!”

A dark-haired man walks out, coffee cup in hand. “Dooshite, Aiko? I thought I was doing you a favor? We both want to be rid of Kouta.”

“That’s not true!”

“I thought you hated this man. Why do you kill my men so needlessly, child?”

“I… I don’t… I…”

“Hmph. You still love him.” He looks down on her in disgust. Aiko kneels to the ground, hiding her face in her hands.

I breathe heavily, now fully feeling the cracked rib and shuriken wound. I really don’t need this right now.

“Look, I’m just here for my stuff. Aiko and I are through.”

“And why should I believe you?” I see his hands moving slightly toward his beltline. “You meet my daughter in private and think I won’t know. You insult me!”

“Sir, I don’t—” I barely have time to raise my arm to my gut before I have another shuriken enter my already-pierced arm. The cracked rib has slowed me down.

“You think I’m a fool? Men like you and I don’t give up. We take what we want.”

“Father! Stop it!”

He steps over and slaps her to the ground. Not that I care about Aiko specifically but some very primitive sense of chivalry demands that I step up to defend a woman being slapped.

“Hey! Your fight’s with me!” I’m a moron.

“Hmph.” His eyes are the eyes of a killer. Like, a guy who would sooner slit your throat than have you breath on him. Like a hardcore, kill puppies for fun kind of dude. Wait. I’m a killer, too… aren’t I?

“Let’s,  um… let’s take this out back.” I point the sword to the kitchen and accidentally smash it into what little unbroken glass their was. Oops.

“Fine.”

We walk through the kitchen, myself taking the lead since I suggested it in the first place. I try not to think too hard about the man behind me ready to cut me in half. The workers are all huddled  up in various corners looking like terrified mice. I guess we’re pretty terrifying, us carrying swords and me all covered in various people’s blood, including my own. I must look like something out of a Japanese horror film or something, like the one with the guy who gets off on stabbing girls in bags while raping them. Tara screams in horror at the sight of us and starts sobbing. Oh well. I guess I never had a shot with her anyway.

I’m not sure what I expected from going to the back. It’s not much more isolated really, and I didn’t come up with any sort of plan to get out of this during the short walk from the front to the back. Time to face the piper, I guess.

The sword in my good hand feels heavy, like it’s mocking me. I could still be at home. I didn’t have to be here with a ninja sword killing ninjas. I just wanted to get my stuff back…

Aiko’s father takes the jodan stance, sword raised above his head. He wants to cleave me in half, though maybe he’s being overconfident. At least I hope he is. I take the gedan stance, if only because I don’t have the strength to hold the sword much higher.

“Father!” Aiko bursts out and we make our moves in the distraction.

Admittedly, I would have a large amount of steel going through my brain right now if I didn’t have the shuriken still tucked up my sleeve. With his neck exposed, I toss star right into his throat. He pauses mid-swing to feel at his neck. If he wasn’t gurgling from the blood collecting in his throat, I would almost have sworn he was trying to laugh.

“Father! No!” Aiko races toward her dying father. He tries to push her out of the way but is too disoriented from all the blood escaping from his neck wound to have any sort of strength or balance. Aiko removes the ninja star from his throat to put pressure on it, though by doing so, she probably has sealed his fate. The blood is too much for her hands to stem.

“Oh my God! Father! No! Stop! S-s-stop!” She is bawling over her dying father, who has stopped trying to laugh now as he grows paler by the second.

“Um, Aiko…”

“Shut up! Go away!”

I consider asking her about getting my stuff, but this may just be one of those times to cut my losses.

Sorry Aiko. We were never going to work out, but I never intended to hurt you this badly. I don’t expect you to forgive me but hopefully someday you’ll be able to move on. Preferably without sending your ninjas bring back my severed head for closure.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXI

Worst Mistake

“Let’s just get some fucking coffee.”

Aiko sighs, as if to say, “Yes, let’s go but I still hate you.” Yeah, well I hate you too, bitch.

The Starbucks iss too crowded. “Man, I hate lines.”

“Well, you wanted to go here.”

“Yeah, I really regret doing this.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. Should have never met up with you,” I mumbled.

What?”

“Nothin’.”

“No, I discretely heard you say…” Distinctively. Get it right. “What?”

“What do you mean ‘what’?”

“It looked like you were about to say something. You get that look on your face.”

“No. I wasn’t going to say anything.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Whatever!” I sigh, throwing my hands into the air.

“Don’t do that. Don’t you do that!”

Someone pokes me in the back. “Hey! You’re next in line. They’ve been calling for you.”

I take a deep breath. “Oh. Sorry.” Everyone around is looking at us. Let’s just get this over with.

Aiko nudges me out of the way. “Grande Chai tea with soy, no water. Five pumps. He’s paying.”

Shit. “Um, I’ll have a… pumkin latte. The cold version.”

“Iced pumpkin latte?”

“…yeah.” I hand her the card.

“Size?”

“I’ll take the small.”

“Tall?”

“Yeah, the small one. Tall.”

I hold out my card. “Uh, debit.”

“Here or to go?”

“Here. Or, to go.”

She glares at me and changes something on the register. “Name?”

“Huh?” I’m waiting for her to take the card.

“Your name?” She could probably look at the card and get my name. “It’s Kouta. What’s your name?”

“Tara.”

“Pretty name. I feel like we go through the same conversation every time, Tara.” I expect Aiko to get jealous but she’s hitting on gray-heard guy in a suit.

Tara flashes me a fake smile. “Your coffee will be ready in a minute. Next please!”

I bring back the drinks. Tara managed to procure the old guy’s table and slip him her number. She thinks she’s sly, like a little female ninja and shit. She has money, sure, but she ain’t secretive.

“Here,” I throw the drink to her side. “So, when can I pick up my shit from your dad’s? It’s kind of embarrassing that it’s there at all.”

“I’ll have my people drop your stuff off. Just give me your address.”

I take a sip. It scalds my tongue. I try to swallow it fast, which was just as bad an idea for my throat. “You can understand if I’d rather you not know where I live.”

“Hmph. Well, good luck getting your stuff back.”

I run my hand through my hair. “Just set a place and time. That’s all.”

She sits back, probably thinking about how best to take my balls away from me.

“Well… maybe—”

A shuriken chops into the table. Ninjas.

“You sent your ninjas?!”

“No, I—”

No time to talk. The ninjas leap out from the ceiling, one from the  back, where they’d been lurking. Only three. Good. I can probably take three.

The first leaps down, chops the table in half. No time to grab anything with my hands. I kick the chair into his face and he chops that in half. I put my foot on the sword as it is down and uppercut his jaw. Ninja are trained not to pass out, so I know it will take more than that. Still, I have to duck under the sword swishing toward my ears and let this first one go. I kick back but miss. These guys aren’t going to let me finish the fight fast.

#2 swings again and I turn to the side, jump above it, and duck again. I roll over the table half to the back table. Tara is frozen in fear, so I push her to the back room. “Move!”

I am an eel, twisting around their blades. The coffee machine goes flying out, as does the register. They chop out with their swords to move through, as expected. I take my knives out of my pocket and throw them out. It hits one in the neck, but the other dodges. #3 throws his own projectile, a shuriken aimed at the back of my head. I duck and back flip over the counter. A sweep kick which he jumps over and points his sword down to impale me upon. I do a kangaroo kick from the ground and catch him in the stomach. Still, he tries to impale me but I catch it in my palms. #1 flies over the counter, also aiming to impale me. I twist and slide my head out of the way, spinning to tear the katana out of the #3’s hands. I smack #1 with the hilt, using the change in momentum to slid the hilt up into my own hands. I stab behind me to catch #3 in the stomach, removing the sword to catch #1’s next strike. I backpedal, backpedal, flip back over the couch, smashing through the front window. The ninja flips after me to catch his sword on my head. I block upward and he plants his foot into my chest. I think this cracks a rib, but I can’t stop to cry about it. I spin the sword above my head as a distraction to give a kick of my own. He steps back and throws a shuriken. I move slightly so it catches my arm and not in any vital areas. I pull it out and toss it aside.

“Hyaa!” I cry, tearing the katana down, only to cut air. My wounds have made me slow. The ninja flips back and pulls his sword back for a killing blow. I raise my arm to block, though I know a stab like this will mortally wound me if I don’t disarm perfectly. To my surprise, a body rises up behind the ninja. He looks back to meet the new challenger, but too late. A knife slides aptly into his neck and out again, creating a fountain of blood, splattering across an outdoor table.

“Father!” she cries. “Come out!”

A dark-haired man walks out, coffee cup in hand. “What’s wrong, Aiko. I thought I was doing you a favor? We both want to be rid of Kouta.”

“No!”

“I thought you hated this man. Why would you kill one of my men, child?”

“I… I don’t… I still…”

“Hmph. You still love him.” He looks down on her in disgust as she kneels to the ground and cries.

I breathe heavily, now fully feeling the cracked rib and shuriken wound. “Say what?” I really don’t need this right now.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX

Dark Obsession

Black lines running down her cheeks. They glisten like the holy river Ganges. Her lower lip quivers, like the fire of a candle warding a home from the night. A hum from her throat, a muted angel song. I want to bathe myself in her light. She moves to cover her face. She’s ashamed of her tears.

“No. No. Shhh. It’s okay,” I tell her, wiping away the glistening rivers with a delicate thumb. “He can’t hurt you anymore.”

Her lip stops quivering. Her eyes meet my gaze. They are beautiful, two blue worlds, shadowed by formless space all around. She is a beautiful soul, a feminine other to complement my darkness. I reach in for the kiss. Like the sky meeting the earth, we are complete now.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX