Friday, January 10, 2014

Rita, a Prick, and a BOOM #FridayFlash

My Editor Larry Kollar has been on me for a while (years) to play along with #FridayFlash It's finally happened.

Rita, just Rita, likes to tell me about Jesus through lipstick covered teeth—and I let her because she buys me coffee and a cheese danish. Every Wednesday night, seven forty-five on the dot. Outside the Starbucks, that’s always open, even when it’s too cold and too hot. I listen as she puffs on the first of two, three, seven cigarettes.

I’m often late, but she never is. She’s always at the table, two large drinks and bags of pastries that aren’t killing us any faster than our other addictions right after Wednesday Worship. She’s never late because the pastor is never late.

The pastor is never late because he’s got a blond, or a poker habit that no one expects he’ll ever give up.

Except for maybe his wife.

It’s a conundrum she tells me—and always she manages to drag a dyed red tangle through her orange red lipstick then. I am sure both faux rouges, her hair and her blood stained lips, probably bare exciting names like Sunset Strip Beach, and Serial Killer, but all I can think is fake, fake, fake.

Like everything else in this town.

It’s a conundrum she tells me because Las Vegas is a place of few principles. One of them just happens to be, that God can’t possibly see us through so many blinking, blinding, tubes of neon light. You take away the one thing people know for absolute certain and all hell would break loose—if all hell hadn’t already broken loose.

I don’t have to agree with her, I just have to eat cheese danish like I haven’t in three days—and there is a real good chance I haven’t. Time doesn’t make sense here. You forget things but only because everyone wants to forget things. Rita, just Rita, as been in Las Vegas so long I don’t even think she remembers her own last name.

But maybe that was on purpose. I don’t remember my last name either. Everyone just calls me Pete—or four letter words I don’t need to repeat right now. Know what I mean?

I open my mouth—because if there is one thing I’m good at it’s that, and the coffee aftertaste threatens to escape. I open my mouth to tell Rita I’m not sure if God exists—but then I see an angel staring at us.

So, I know I’m not about to die. Don’t ask me how, I just do. But this angel’s presence means someone is about to go, and we’re the only ones on the patio.

At least Rita went to church today.

Rita, just Rita, digs her hot pink fingernails into my the bony part of my wrist—and I just know this is it. I know she’s seen the babe that’s lounging up against the wall—smirking at me—but she hasn’t, because she isn’t. Rita is looking somewhere else—down the sidewalk, and into the crosswalk. There’s a man in a smart looking suit taking wide strides against the signal. He’s looking back at Rita.

“That’s him,” she hisses.

And I wonder about the guy. His nothing special and middle aged. He does look like a bit of prick, but I still don’t know what Rita means by him.

“My husband,” she clutches her coffee tighter, but doesn’t look like she plans on getting up. “Pastor Williams.”

I’m still looking at Rita—and she’s mess, so I figure I’ll laugh about the irony of her last statement in private later. But I do smirk at the angel against the wall, and she smirks back.

Let’s hope the prick has life insurance.

He makes it as far as the hedges that distinguish the patio from the dirty streets of Vegas. Sweat sprouts from everyone of his oversized pores. There is a cliche smudge of lipstick on his collar, and it’s more Fremont Street Hooker than Rita’s shade, so I smile at him like an idiot.

Not that it matters because he’s about to drop dead.

I’m hoping it’s awful.

He doesn’t look at me as he starts stammering apologies, and I’m still smiling when I see her. She’s topless, and while that does take some of my attention, it’s not really that weird for The Strip. The blood slipping from her rib cage however, kind of is. Know what I mean?

The minute Rita sees her, her eyes grow to the size of stop lights—and she turns as red as one without pausing for the caution signal. She clamps her serial killer colored lips closed.

The hooker is digging in her purse of all things—and I hope it’s for clothes—then I hope it’s not her that’s about to croak and out pops the littlest gun I have ever seen. It could be a toy. The barrel is as long as a tube of lipstick, but it still goes BOOM, and the prick still drops in one bullet.

Like my #FridayFlash ? Grab my brand new Anthology Coffin Nails and Other Beasts for other dark and different tales--including another story about Pete, The Underhanded Dead. Coffin Nails is just a buck.

Need something dark and tragic that's a but longer than a short story? You can grab the e-box set of Skeleton Lake, and The Skeleton Song for just $3.00
OH and BTW, you can still enter to win the Kindle Fire HDX
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Larry Kollar said...

Wow, he got what he deserved!

Welcome to the crazy world of FridayFlash, it's usually fun!

Anonymous said...

Nice bit of flash fiction. I loved the narration style.

Unknown said...

Your writing is rich with imagery: "Rita, just Rita, likes to tell me about Jesus through lipstick covered teeth—and I let her because she buys me coffee and a cheese danish." Dragged me in immediately.

Great hook of a sentence which kept me reading. I'm new to FridayFlash too, but I think you know far more people here than I do.


Angela Kulig said...

Antonna--nice to meet you. I do know a few people, but now that we are friends, my friends are your friends too ;)

Helen A. Howell said...

Looks like he had it coming! Welcome to Friday Flash!

Katherine Hajer said...

Welcome to Friday Flash!

Wow, even as Las Vegas stories go, that's messed up -- impressively so. I love that even the angel seems a bit seedy.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Nice narration!

Unknown said...

Nice to see you in Friday Flash. Wonderful tale. I like stories where little guns go boom!