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This story is in the Ebook. It will give you a good idea of the kind of flash fiction you will get if you download the Ebook. Don’t let the $6.00 price tag scare you off. Use the Ebook as a reference. Not only does the Ebook have 31 flash fiction stories in it, but it also contains a short novel that shows how the “show don’t tell” method of writing can also work in long form fiction.
Plus, there is a lengthy essay on how and why the “show don’t tell” method works. The Ebook will not only inform but it will also entertain.
Now for our feature presentation.
The warm summer night waited outside. Inside, these two sat in the air-conditioned low lighting near the dance floor. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and now sat looking down at her hands holding the tall glass of crushed ice and mixed fruit juice on the table top. Several couples danced.
She said, “I’ve never had a stranger ask me to come home with him.”
He said, “I’ve seen you around.”
“I’ve seen you around, too.”
“We have one thing in common.”
She looked up. He nodded at their drinks.
She said, “I hate the taste of alcohol.”
“I don’t, but that’s another story. How old are you?”
“We broke up.”
She took a swallow of her drink, watching him over the glass.
Six steps lead up to the dance floor. Colored lights flashed under the dancers’ feet. A DJ in a glass booth played the music.
She said, “Any more questions?”
“Ask me some.”
“Are you married?”
“I’m thirty-three but no children. At least none that I know of.”
“Everyone here seems to know you. Is that what you do? Come here to pick up college girls?”
“I don’t do one night stands anymore.”
“Oh,” she said. “You’re looking for something steady.”
“Sure. Aren’t you?”
“Well,” she said, “I don’t know you and I’m definitely not in love with you.”
“Have you ever been in love?”
“Once,” she said.
“He couldn’t pass up any freebies.”
“How old was he?”
“At the time twenty-one. We were both juniors.”
“Well, you can’t expect–”
“Why not? Why is it so difficult for you men to keep your cocks in your pants?”
He took a drink, putting the glass back down gently.
She said, “I like you a lot less.”
She got up, picked up her drink and walked away. She walked in between the empty tables, down the two steps, across the aisle to sit at the bar.
He got up with his drink, went up the six stairs, through the dancers, down the six stairs to sit at the bar on the other side. Some people he knew came in. He sat with them at the tables. By ten o’clock it was crowded. He danced. By last call he was ready to leave.
Forbes Avenue was full of students, walking and driving. His car was in the shop and he didn’t have the money to get it out; but he started a new job Monday and he was sure he could keep this one. He had a two-year plan to get back on his feet. He was at the corner of Forbes and Bouquet when someone called, “Wait up!” He turned to see who it was. The young woman from the bar came running up to him. She didn’t look straight at him. She tried to catch her breath.
She said, “If I agree to stay with you tonight do we have to do anything?”
He thought a moment. Then he said, “I wouldn’t get any sleep.”
“Does it have to be all your way? Don’t I get any of what I want?”
“What do you want?”
“To be with someone. To know someone’s there. Just to have–” She looked away and wiped at her eyes.
Students kept streaming past. Cars made Forbes Avenue a river of lights.
He said, “What’s your name?”
“Janette. Janette Mitchell.”
Later, that night he was in his briefs on his back on the bed in the dark. She was on her stomach in her bra and panties with his arms around her and her head on his chest, an arm of hers over his midsection and one leg between his two legs. They ignored the bulge in his briefs.
She said, “Did you actually kill anyone?”
“In artillery you don’t want to be close enough for them to see you.”
“Women and children, too.?”
“Sometimes we wasted villages.”
“How old were you?”
“Do you think about it?”
“Sometimes I dream about it.”
“I could never kill anyone.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“I could never.”
“You’d let them kill you?”
He stared at the faint shadows playing on the dark ceiling. It was Sunday morning. A comforting breeze blew through the window screen. She stayed motionless against him. The heat of her body was making him uncomfortable.
He said, “When I got back to Pittsburgh I broke up with my fiancée.”
She raised her head. “Why?”
“She wanted to live in her nice safe world with all her nice safe possessions.”
He didn’t answer.
“Didn’t you love her?”
“Oh, I loved her. I just couldn’t live with her.”
After a moment, she lowered her head back down on to his chest. They stayed motionless. He closed his eyes…He caught himself falling. He stared at the faint shadows that played on the dark ceiling…
She eased out of his arms, stood beside the bed and began removing her bra and panties.
“Hush,” she said.
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