Monday, May 03, 2010

Flash Fiction Stories: Sweet Dreams

Here are links to the stories of some fine writers who took the challenge to write a flash piece of 1000 words using a redhead in a blue dress, an eatery of some type, and the song Sweet Dreams. Some of these may take a while to go up, but most are as I post this.
Mine and R2's is at the bottom. Thanks to all.

I FORGOT MY PASSWORD FOR POWDER BURN FLASH " but great stories, Jimmy, Randy and Cam."-
Thanks to Aldo and Gerald for their help in this.

These some terrific stories.

Ron Phillips "On the Sly"

Eric Peterson, "Electra Blue"

Cormac Brown, "Type"

Fleur Bradley, "Strapped"

Sandra Seamans, "Repeat Offenders"

Loren Eaton, "Sum"

Gerald So, "Bad Timing"

John Weagly, "Friday Night with a Femme Fatale"

Kieran Shea, "Bulls"

Katherine Tomlinson, "Dude Looks Like a Lady"

Kassandra, "Beadie and the Blesser"

Richard Prosch "A Paradigm is 20 Cents"

Evan Lewis, "Skyler Hobbs and the Sweetest of Dreams"

Paul Brazill, "Close Up"

Cameron Ashley, "Super Enka Redhead Blues"

Zipper "Looking for Somthing"

Deegan Stubbs

R2, "What He Deserved"

Sandra Scoppettone "Yesterday"

Christopher Grant, "Family"

Wellesfan "Cool Blue"

Kathleen A. Ryan "To Go"

Dana King "Lily in Blue"

Steve Weedle "Blue Dress"

Jimmy Callaway "Everyone's Looking for Elisa Ortiz"

Rob Kitchin "Sweet Dreams"

Keith Rawson "Taking Out the Trash"

David Barber "In an Instant"

"A Good Day for Redheads"

by Patricia Abbott

It took me several foggy-headed seconds to realize the redhead standing in the doorway wasn’t my ex. She was a dead ringer for Adeline circa 1985 though: same body type, same spiky hair, identical vague look in her eyes. Dressed in a shimmery blue dress, the girl couldn’t have been more than twenty-five. I turned away quickly, but her eyes had already latched onto mine, zeroing in the same way Adeline once had.

Was it the music that made me think of her? Sweet Dreams. Who was that redhead who sang it? I turned back to my third Bushmills and shook my head. A good day for redheads—always my weakness.

I felt a tap on the shoulder, but smelled her perfume first. Spicy and sharp, a concoction for sirens.

“Hey, Mister.” The scent rushed up my nose, and my pulse quickened. Damn, if I could help myself.

The bartender, hammering at some ice, looked up and frowned. I got the message—the redhead was trouble. I bore down on my drink.

“Mister,” she said again. Her voice was throaty, irresistible.

A tug on my sleeve, and I turned without thinking. Pretty much how I did everything after a few drinks. Up close, she was even younger. I straightened up a little, “Yeah?”

“Wonder if you’d take a look at my car?”

“I’m no mechanic, Miss.” Her eyes looked silvery-green in the dim light. Fox-like.

“Worked fine yesterday, but now it won’t start.”

“Kimmy, call Bud at the Sunoco!” the bartender said. “This guy’s busy.”

“Don’t look busy,” she said, catching my eye again. “You busy, Mister?”

The bartender sighed, a sigh that said I couldn’t handle Kimmy. Made me stand a bit faster. Never could resist a siren call. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Name’s Doake if you don’t see me again,” Smiling weakly, I pushed through the door.

“Did you say Dope?” he shouted after me.

Door slammed shut. “Where’s your car, honey?” I asked, blinking in the fierce light. A mosquito buzzed nearby and I slapped on my hat. Seemed to me mosquitoes will hang around all day waiting for a hairless head.

“Out at my house in Shelterville.”

“You walked into town? Why not call a mechanic like the bartender said?”

“I just need a jump.”

I’ll give you a jump alright, I thought to myself. Truth be told, I was thinking of Adeline again—remembering those days when jumping didn’t hurt my knees. But instead I drove Kimmy out to her place. A lop-sided house sat back in the trees, its steps a half-foot off the ground and the door flung open all wild-like. Someone had burned garbage not long ago and my nose stung with it.

“Can see why it won’t start,” I said, peering into the window of an old Escort. A guy heavier than me was slumped over the wheel and dashboard, dressed in a suit that didn’t look like it came from Value City. “Ever seen him before?”

“Sure,” she said. “Mayor Parker. Came out last night for a pick-me-up”

“Looks like he was disappointed.” I opened the door and pried him loose. A hole bullseyed his middle. I looked around. “He walk out here? Lots of people walkin’ in Shelterville, huh?”

She narrowed her foxy eyes in contemplation. “Look, I gotta get to work, Mister. I got a day job at Safeway’s. Can you get him outta there?”

“Well even if I do, Kimmy, I doubt you can just drive off to work. We got us a murder here.” I noticed traces of blood on the gravel. “Looks like someone dragged Mayor Parker from elsewhere.”

I began following the drops. The blood stopped just east of a large hole. I peered down. It was no natural hole. Someone had back-hoed it into being—its sides were sloped, its base cavernous. At that bottom, a huge fellow sat on a stool. At least, I think there was a stool beneath his deep stratums of fat. Had the same red hair as Kimmy—maybe a tad more orange in it. “Who’s that?”

“That’s my brother, Tiny,” Kimmy said. Tiny grinned, showing me his wall-to-wall choppers. Couple or more were missing, but I’d bet it didn’t slow him down much.

“What’s he doing in that hole?”

“Iffin Tiny gets outta there, he does bad things,” she told me. “Stays down there ‘cept when I throw ‘im that chain.” She nodded toward a chain fastened to a huge metal anchor. The links in that chain would circle a bigger neck than Tiny’s.

“You throw that chain down there last night?”

She nodded. “But it wasn’t Tiny killed Mayor Parker. Tiny just tore up his car a little. Drove it into a ditch. Chased him around some. Had hisself some fun.” Tiny roared his approval, and I stepped back from the hole.

“Tiny’s pretty hungry now. Been waiting a long time for his dinner.” She paused. “That’s where you come in, Mister.”

“Who killed the Mayor,” I asked, mesmerized with the chain of events despite my good sense.

“I did. I blew that hole clear through ‘im.”

“Why d’ya kill him, Kimmy?”

“’Cause I needed to get Tiny his dinner.” I felt her hand at the small of my back, no more than a whisper of heft to it. “Seemed like a good way to get some’un out here. Been known to work before.” She shoved, and I slid down into the hole like a Finn on skis.

“Let me get this straight,” I shouted, once I picked myself up. “You murdered that obese mayor so you could put him behind the wheel of your car, come into town, tell me it wouldn’t start, then drag me out here for dinner.” Could this be her reasoning? “Why didn’t you just feed Mayor Parker to Tiny?”

“Tiny’s not overly partial to government handouts. Ain’t that right, Tiny?”

Tiny roared, his mouth two inches from my ear.


r2 said...

OMG! What a great ending. I did not see that coming. Wow. That was hilarious.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Superb, Patti. What a story. I didn't see that ending coming, either ~ what a lot of fun this story is. Love your dialogue. Thanks for hosting the challenge.

Steve Weddle said...

Well that's just not very nice at all.

Anonymous said...

Patti - WOW!!!! This is superb! Thanks so much for sharing it. I love it! I didn't see the end coming, either, and the whole story is fabulous. I'm so, so impressed. Kudos, kudos, kudos. I think what I like best, besides the surprise ending, is the way you evoke the rural atmosphere and the rest of the setting with just a few deft "brushstrokes." I could really "see" the setting.

Unknown said...

Holy Crap! Down and dirty country noir with a cannibal twist. God I love cannibals. Great story, Patti!

YA Sleuth said...

That was great--I'm still grinning. Perfect story!

sandra seamans said...

Oh, Patti, that last line was so great!! wonderful flash!

And R2 what a great ending, loved it!

WellesFan said...

Fast food noir and redneck cannibals. Both great stories r2 and Patti!

Richard R. said...

oh my.

Evan Lewis said...

Wild. Demented. Wonderful.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Many thanks.

Iren said...

I just posted mine--

Todd Mason said...

Cool...I've been meaning to join in on this one, and might eventually...but various matters have kept me from joining on time...thanks for the challenge and posting the results.

Todd Mason said...

And, clearly, Tiny likes fresh.

Paul D Brazill said...

R2- cracking ending. Patti, you DID suprise me with this one. Loved it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'll do another in the fall, Todd. Start thinking--Phil says start with the line, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." We have a bet on whether he will remember it in September.
Thanks everyone.

Rob Kitchin said...

You do realise that no-one is ever gonna fix your car, right?

Ron Earl Phillips said...

Caught this late, as usual. Of course I'm new to this group of deviants, so maybe I'll raise my hand and say "Me, me."

The theme immediately gave me a story idea. Hope I executed it well enough in the time I took.

Cormac Brown said...


You got that one like some Halo-version of a nail-gun.


A nice bit of darkness, though please don't get offended if I won't get into a car with you, ever.

Ron Earl Phillips said...

That was a fine piece of fiction. Got to love that red head's logic.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

Wonderfully funny. And creepy. I think our protagonists are cousins.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

I loved this story. When I got to the end I had to go back and see where everything fit..nice work. And thanks for your comment on mine.

Richard Prosch said...

Nice work. "Gov't handouts." Heh. And you giving me a hard time about my pun...

Ed Gorman said...

You keep on getting better, Patti. I want to know your secret. Excellent work.

Dana King said...

That's cold. I like it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks. I'm gonna throw you guys the chain.

Loren Eaton said...

I feel justified for slacking on my stats' studying after this one. What a chilling ending.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

What's that they say about red-headed stepchildren? And what does Kimmy eat, her brother's leftovers? Creepy story and I mean that in the best possible way.

R L Kelstrom said...

Creepy and funny. Perfect combo! Loved the government bit.

Kieran Shea said...

you know what i liked best? it's what i always like about your stuff. patience and payoff.