What is Flash Fiction ?
Flash Fiction is a very short story (under 1000 words). Unlike a vignette it actually has the basic elements of a story.
What’s Flash Fiction Friday?
I often use Flash Fiction and Short Stories to flesh out characters, often writing in detail about past events that are mentioned in my stories. Flash Fiction Friday is where I share one of them with you.
Can I request a specific Flash Fiction?
Um, sure. But I can’t promise to fulfill your request.
Today’s Flash Fiction is about Frank, my second favorite character to write. Frank’s a tough as nails agent with a master’s in psychology. This was written to flesh out “the drunken karaoke incident in Syracuse” which is referenced in one of my stories. The red head is Rory, my favorite character. It will be a few years though before those two actually meet.
© 2008 Suzanne Lazear
Today was a shitty day. Two years ago today my younger brother Steven had been brutally murdered on the orders of the mob boss he had been investigating. A rookie cop for the Syracuse Police Department, Steven got in over his head trying to right the wrongs of the world. He paid for it with his life.
I missed him. A year apart, we more like twins than brothers. He even graduated early so we could go to Yale together. After school he left for the SPD while I got a masters degree. I planned to join him after graduation.
That never happened.
Now I was in the FBI. One day I would find the bastard who ordered my brother’s death. Then, I would kill him.
Taking today off I visited his grave and the site where he died. I even visited my mother. I avoided my father.
Now I was at the bar, drinking to his memory, waiting for Joe. My best friend Joe grew up with us, went to Yale with us, and was also SPD.
Until then I drank alone. It was a local spot, just this side of seedy. But the bartender knew what kind of beer I drank, and left me alone to drink away my misery.
A noisy group of strangers walked in. They were quite the assortment ranging from two blonde men and a dark haired woman, who looked vaguely familiar, to a very large olive skinned man with wiry black hair who I would not want to meet in a dark alley.
The group sat down at a table. The two blonde men were teaching a young beauty to play darts. As I drank my beer, I couldn’t help but watch them.
The pretty woman playing darts intrigued me. I was glad Joe was running late. Despite the drinks she put back, she did not look twenty one. My straight laced friend would probably make it his business to check her ID.
Her auburn hair was long, thick, and wavy – the kind of hair you could wrap your hands in. There was something odd about her body language – it was both familiar and unfamiliar, out of context, like smelling pizza at a steak house. It went with her attitude which was half that of a girl who saw too much too young, and half the wonder and innocence of someone who’d been terribly sheltered.
Then there was her body itself…
All I could say was…holy shit. She was at least a d-cup, with a nice round ass and a tiny waist, like some 1950’s pin-up girl. Yet there was something about her that seemed…feral…haunted…vulnerable…
She kept looking over her shoulder like she had something to fear.
Several times she got very angry. Occasionally the olive skinned man or the dark haired woman would calm her down. Her eyes would flash with anger and her jaw would lock. She was even more beautiful when angry.
The bar had a karaoke set up in the corner and occasionally someone would make a fool of themselves. Her group discovered it. They weren’t that bad. At least their version of I’ve Got Friends in Low Places was on key.
Someone tried to get the redhead to go up by herself and an argument ensued. Finally the blond man with the short hair dragged her up. She didn’t seem happy about it. The woman with the long dark hair looked on with relish. The wiry haired man had a video camera.
The music started and you could hear the room collectively sigh. Every woman seemed to sing that song and butchered nine times out of ten. Recognizing the tune the red head flipped her friends off. The dark haired woman grinned, and flashed two back.
Closing her eyes the red head nervously began to sing. I had no idea how a woman who played darts, drank like a fish, swore like a sailor, and had a body that would make Miss December jealous, could have a voice like that. She wasn’t a saucy belter, no she had a sweet and lilting soprano. Soprano aside, I swear she gave every man in the room a hard on with her version of the Divinyl’s I Touch Myself.
The blonde man stayed up there, singing harmony, but it was unobtrusive. This was her song. About a verse in, she got more confidant and opened her eyes. She never did any real suggestive dancing like so many women did, but she didn’t need it.
When she finished everyone applauded. Drunkenness aside she nailed the entire damn song, every note. She ran off the stage and proceeded drink until she passed out.
I wished I could do that. Where was Joe? After a few more songs the visitors left, the large olive skinned man carrying out the red head.
Finally my phone rang. It was Joe and he was outside with the car. “Sorry Frank, I got stuck at work.” That was Joe for you, work first. “You’re probably too drunk to drive.” I was probably too drunk to stand. “So come out front, get in and I’ll take you to my place.” I had tomorrow off too.
Paying my rather large tab and saying goodbye to the bartender I staggered out of the bar. Joe was waiting in his Jeep and I got in.
For a moment I felt guilty. I was supposed to go to the bar and drink for Steven, but I spent most of the time entranced by the under-aged redhead.
Then I realized that it was the prefect requiem for Steven. Had he been there, he would have hit on her. Hell, another day I would have hit on her. That body was smokin'. There was something about her…
“Sorry about that bro,” Joe told me apologetically as we drove away.
I couldn’t get that performance out of my head, that body, that voice. “It’s alright Joe, you didn’t miss a damn thing.”