Hello, hello, hello my brother and sister bloggers and flash fiction writers. The Old Soldier has the Tuesday edition of The Gazette for you. I hope everyone is doing well. The snow is slowly melting here in Pittsburgh and tomorrow my social security check arrives which means the Old Soldier can get a six-pack of beer to celebrate making it through another month. When you get to be the Old Soldier’s age and you’re still kickin’ that’s worth celebrating. I got no aches and I got no pains. I might even pay a visit to Del’s Italian Restaurant in Bloomfield later on in the week to see my peeps. They haven’t seen the Old Soldier in weeks. I’ve been MIA…
In this edition of The Gazette is a story from the archives and another poem from Lady Sunshine.
Now you know The Gazette is looking for a few good flash fiction writers to publish as Guest Writers. And every once in a while one of those Guest Writers will be awarded a $15.00 honorarium. That’s right. Enough for two cheap six-packs of beer. For all the details just click on the Open Contest/Submissions tab at the top of the page. The Gazette does not accept poetry, yet. The Old Soldier is waiting to see what the response is to the poetry of Lady Sunshine. I like her poetry. I hope you like it, too. Cick on her link to read her entire body of work. Or all of the work that she has on her site.
The next edition of The Gazette, the best damn flash fiction blog on the web, will be published on Thursday. This is the Old Solier reporting from Oakland in the heart of Pittsburgh.
Love Lies Bleeding
Where does my heart lie?
In the depths of your eyes?
Or the delicate, whispered sighs?
When your anguished soul cries?
Lay in love’s bed
Rest your weary crown
As I kiss your forehead
Slowly, your sorrows drown
Languorous lips linger
Give in to love’s lust
Yield implicitly to its trust
Delight in its torrid caress
As our twin hearts coalesce
Lady Sunshine lives and writes poetry in California.
It was a warm, sunny April morning in downtown Pittsburgh. The letter Frank Everett got the day before from the State Civil Service Commission stated that only 10 people in the County of Allegheny had scored higher than he had on the State Civil Service Test. That meant he’d probably have a good job within the year. Once he got the job nobody could say he was a loser, a loser like his old man. How his mother stayed with his father Frank could never understand. His mother and father were just from a different generation. Frank was still in his twenties, but he’d never gone to college and found he could only get dead end jobs like the one he had now. Well, all that was going to change. He’d even brought the letter to work to show Rita. Rita Lopez was the only thing he would miss from his present job. Frank started putting down the stools on the dry floor. Rita would be in any minute.
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With everything in place, Frank sat on a stool at the bar and smoked a cigarette. It was the best part of the day. Soon he wouldn’t have to work at night. He wouldn’t be on Public Assistance. When Rita came in he could always get a couple of beers on the house before the bar opened. Today he was hoping Rita would give him more than just a couple of beers. Rita might be forty-five but she was hot. She made her tips on low cut, short dresses that got even lower when she bent down to get a beer from the cooler for a customer. And there were her beautiful legs. Frank heard a key in the front door.
In a moment Rita came through the swinging doors. She was wearing her trade mark low cut, short dress with black pantyhose and white tennis shoes. “I put on the show for the customers,” she told him once. “But I’m not going to have my feet hurt.”
“Frankie, the place is so nice and clean as usual. Would you like a beer? I’ll have a cigarette with you.”
She put her things away behind the bar and then bent down into a cooler to get his beer. The neck of her dress came open. She wasn’t wearing a bra. She had never had children. Many young women would be envious of her breasts. She looked up at him and saw him looking.
“My Frankie gets his own private show.”
“You’re my private dancer.”
She opened a bottle of Iron City and put it and a glass in front of him.
He said, “I got something to show you.”
“I got the letter.” He put his cigarette in the ashtray on the bar.
“Let me see?” she said.
She came around and sat facing him on a stool. He took the letter from a pocket of his jeans and gave it to her. She unfolded it and began to read. Concentrating on the letter she crossed her beautiful legs, the short dress riding even higher. The black pantyhose accented the beauty of her legs. Frank thought of how young women didn’t seem to wear pantyhose any longer. He wondered what would happen if he reached out and squeezed her thigh. He turned to face her.
“Frankie, this is wonderful news.” She looked up at him, happy for him. “Oh, I’m going to miss you.”
“I won’t miss this place but I’ll miss you.”
“You’ll meet some nice sweet young thing and forget all about Rita.”
“No,” he said. “I really will miss you.” The bar seemed very quiet.
“That’s so sweet.”
He reached out and squeezed her thigh. There was a moment when nothing happened. There was only the thrill of the feel of her pantyhose and the warmth of her thigh. Then Frank felt a stinging sensation. She had slapped him. The entire left side of his face was stinging.
“Oh, Frankie, I’m so sorry.”
“No, no. That’s all right.”
“Why would you do such a thing?”
“I stepped out of line.”
“You don’t want to make a pass at me. Frankie, I’m old enough to be your mother.”
“No, it’s all right.”
He began to feel strangely more confident. He thought the slap had given him a certain advantage.
“You were right to slap me. But you’re not my mother. And I’m a man. And you’re a woman.”
He put his hand back on her thigh. She looked down at his hand. He saw she was breathing deeper. He got off his stool and uncrossed her legs. She was looking down at his hands as if she was hypnotized. He reached under her short dress and ran his hands slowly up and down her outer thighs, thrilling to the feel of her pantyhose and the warmth of her body.
“Frankie, what are you doing?”
“Something I’ve always wanted to do.”
“Frankie, this isn’t right.” She rested her hands on his shoulders…
Moments later Rita was on her back in a booth.
“That’s it,” she said. “That’s what Rita wants. That’s what I need.” She moaned.
“Rita, you don’t know how long I’ve wanted to do this.”
“Do me, Frankie. Do me.”
Later that day Frank Everett and Rita Lopez began to make plans for the future.
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