Tag Archives: flash fiction

The Show Must Go On

1 May

show

Pamela worked for the reality television show Gotchya! The premise was simple. The producers would field requests from doubtful girlfriends to test the fidelity of their boyfriends. Pamela´s job was to be the bait. Pamela was a gorgeous woman. Even in real life she looked as though she was being photo shopped at any given moment. The show was a smash hit. Part of its success was the phenomenon that was Pamela. The other part was propensity for people to shut off their intellect and have their most base emotions tickled.

Pamela got her latest assignment. She was to seduce a young man named Ari. Ari was engaged and set to be married in a few months. His girlfriend was having unfounded suspicions, probably brought on by her own obsession with the program. Pamela´s intel told her that Ari liked to have a drink with his coworkers for around an hour every Wednesday after work. The sting was to go down in one month.

Pamela had a peculiar interest in this case. For one, Ari was an extremely handsome man. He had a fascinating background as well. He was a fighter in the Israeli special forces before coming to America and earning his business degree then MBA from a top school. Pamela poured over his files religiously after her mandatory two large glasses a wine every day. She could not get Ari out of her mind. She found herself mouthing his name randomly throughout the day.

The month passed and the set up was to go down the next day. Pamela was extraordinarily nervous. She could not sleep. She was confused by these feelings she was having. To make her job easier, she assumed the marks she was to set up were all cheating scum bags, guilty before proven innocent. She could not get into that mind set this time.

The day of the encounter, she took extra care in dolling herself up. Even the van driver took notice and told her that she was exceptionally beautiful that day. She shrugged off the compliments with a nervous smile. The bar had been previously wired for video and audio. The owner could not dream of turning down this free exposure on a hit TV show. She herself got wired up in the van. The producers noticed she was out of sorts. She convinced them it was nothing and was on her way.

As she sat down at the bar she immediately noticed Ari a few seats down. He was impeccably dressed as were the four gentlemen with him. “This looks like a goddamned Gucci perfume commercial” she thought to herself. As she normally did, she sent over a round of drinks. When the group of men asked who was the generous soul, the bar tender gave a nod in Pamela´s direction.

“My God!” said Mike, a handsome, single accounts manager. “I got this” he added with a smirk as he approached the beautiful woman.

“Thank you for the drinks, from all of us” Mike said.

“No problem” Pamela answered.

“You have a boyfriend?” he asked.

“No” she answered.

“Want one?” Mike asked, playfully.

“Sure, doesn´t every woman?” she flirted back. “I could see myself with the guy in the grey jacket and glasses” she smiled, referring to Ari.

“Oh, Ari? He´s taken. Gonna tie the knot soon”

“What a pity” she said adding “Well, maybe he and I could just have a little fun then. I won´t even be in town that long anyway”

“Good luck. Ari is so in love with his fiancé, I don´t even think he…..if you know what I mean” Mike said chuckling and he made a fist and moved his hand in an up and down fashion.

“We´ll see, could you call him over here, please?” she asked.

“Sure” Mike said as he whistled and motioned for Ari to come over.

“This young lady would like to say hi, Ari” Mike said before going back to the group.

“Hello, I´m Ari” he said.

“I know, Mike told me all about you. I´m Samantha” she said. She always used an alias for the show.

“Nice to meet you, thanks for the drink. I think I´m gonna get back to the group. Would you like to join us? A lot of shop talk but I am sure we can come up with another topic on your behalf” he said.

“No, I am only interested in one man at a time” she said, running her index finger down his chest.

“Oh, I´m very sorry. I am engaged. Did Mike tell you he´s single? He is a really good guy, too” Ari said.

“I am very good at keeping secrets. Besides, Mike is not my type, you are” she said, trying her best. This is the point where ninety percent of the marks melt. Ari was not budging. She could sense it.

“I´m sorry, I´m just, I mean, I´m not that guy. I love my fiancé” he said. He was so stoic, yet so empathetic for Pamela that it was making her crazy. Crazy for him.

“Are you sure? I won´t even be in town for long. I will be long and so will our little secret” she insisted.

A big smile flashed on Ari´s face “I am. I am very sure. But again, you can join us. Have a laugh with us. You don´t have to sit here alone.

“That´s ok. I was just leaving” she said. Pamela was crushed. Not because the mark didn´t take the bait. That has happened before and those shows were just as popular as the ones where the mark took the bait. She was personally crushed. She went out to the production van and told them it was a no go. The producers were thrilled. They told her they had enough footage and that this episode would be a smash hit. The hot, young successful businessman, faithful!

The production team wanted to shoot the reveal and get the parties involved to sign waivers so their likeliness could be shown on the program. Pamela refused to be part of the reveal. After some heated debate, the producers agreed to film the reveal without her.

That night Pamela could not sleep. She tossed and turned and Ari´s big smile kept flashing before her eyes. She could not get him off her mind. Around two in the morning and a bottle and a half of Merlot later she found herself calling Ari´s cell phone. When he answered, she hung up. She did this for half a dozen times. She forgot to block her number.

A half hour she received a call from Ari´s phone. She hesitated to answer. She had no idea what she was going to say. Finally she swiped right.

“Hello?” she said.

“Who is this? Why are you calling my boyfriend?” a woman´s voice asked.

A stroke of what Pamela thought was genius crossed her mind. “I´m Sarah. I served with Ari in the Israeli army. We used to hook up back then. I´ve been in town for the past four months and we have been hooking up almost every day since. For old times sake”

There was only a gasp from the other line. The phone hung up. “What did I just do?” Pamela asked herself.

Months went by and Pamela´s obsession subsided. So did the national scandal her actions caused. The scandal only made the show more popular, though. Pamela was made a host of the show. She became so famous that there was no way she could pull off a sting again. Pamela hired a private investigator to catch up on Ari. He was happily married.

One night, as she was halfway done with her second glass of wine there was a knock on her door. She thought it strange, the protocol for visitors in her building had the doorman call before sending a guest up. The knocking was insistent.

She opened the door. Two olive skinned men pushed their way in. “What is this” she gasped.

“Be quiet” one of them said with a thick accent as the other put a gloved hand over her mouth.

“This is for a friend” he said as he produced a silenced IMI 9mm Uzi.

Pamela didn´t hear or feel a thing.

 

 

Home Is For The Birds

28 Jul

birds

Pilot and Skye had a beautiful home, high up in the trunk of a dead tree. A wood pecker hollowed out an already rotting part in search of a meal. He found what he was looking for and abandoned the site when the food ran out. It was  a perfect home for a young couple of swallows.

One day Pilot went out to look for some food. He gave Skye a kiss on the beak and went his way. He flew almost a full mile until he found a promising location. He looked around for a perch to assess the area. He saw a branch with a wide angle view of the ground below.

Already on the branch was a beautiful female swallow.  Pilot thought he should maybe find another branch but she waved him over with a wink.

“Hello” she said.

“Hello” Pilot said.

“Name´s Libi” she said.

“I´m Pilot” he said, blushing.

“That´s a strong name. Are you a strong bird?” Libi asked.

“Well, not really, I guess I can be” he answered. Libi stayed quite. She knew that silence can drive a male mad.

Pilot´s mind raced, searching for something to say, to break the deafening silence. All he could come up was, “Do you live close?”

“Close to what?” Libi giggled. Pilot blushed again. Libi leaned over and kissed him on the beak. An explosion of emotions rushed over Pilot. The thought that rose to the top was “What am I doing?”

Swallows are hard wired for monogamy. They take a mate for life. This went against thousands of years of evolution.

Pilot pulled away. “I cannot do this! I already have a female”

Libi said with a devilish look, “You do and you don´t now”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the moment you return home, your “ex” will smell my pheromones on you, so you don´t. But, you have me now” she said.

Pilot wanted to protest but he couldn´t. She was right. Dejected, Pilot asked “Where do you live?”

“I don´t have a home, dear” she answered. “You have to make one for us”

“Oh great…” Pilot thought.

Over the course of a week Pilot made a home just as good as the one he left.  Two days after, Libi kicked him out.

“I thought we were going to be together forever” Pilot said.

“That´s so old fashioned. That instinct must have passed over me” Libi said.

“What am I going to do?” Pilot cried.

“I don´t know. Do the same as the others. Go crawling back to your old home” Libi said.

“Others?” Pilot asked.

“Yeah, the others that I tricked into building me a house. I´m just going to flip it for some quick cash” Libi said.

Pilot wanted revenge but realized this would just get more of her pheromones on him. In fact, he was so busy working, he hadn´t had contact with Libi for days. He flew off to see if he could get his life back.

Pig Deal!

17 Jul

pigs

Sammy and Frankie were at the slop trough. Frankie could tell Sammy was upset. He usually had his snout deep in the slop. Sammy was barely pecking away at the day´s offerings.

“What´s wrong Sammy?” Frankie asked.

“Phil wants to fight before sundown” Sammy said.

“What happened?” Frankie asked.

“Nothing really. Sara, his girlfriend, just got done rolling in the mud and she looked good. I mean real fine. But I wasn´t disrespectful or nothing” Sammy said.

“What´d you say Sammy?” Frankie said with a worried look on his face. “You know how Phil is!”

“I just said ‘looking good, Sara’, that´s all, I swear” Sammy said.

“Man, you know not to do that. Phil is a hot head. He´s gonna kick your ass you know?” Frankie said.

“Yeah, I know. But I didn’t mean nothing by it. She just looked so fine. I felt like she pulled those words out of my mouth” Sammy said.

There was a sudden stir in the pen. Farmer John entered the pen with a rope. He was walking funny as he tends to do when he´s been drinking. He forgot to close the gate behind him. He went right for Phil who was sunning himself on the far end of the pen. He must not have heard the commotion because he didn´t move.

As Farmer John got closer Phil figured out what was going on. Before he knew it the rope was around his neck and immediately cinched tight. He recoiled in horror. Farmer John was drunk but the whiskey only diluted his judgment, not his strength.

“Should we help him Sammy?” Frankie said.

“Well, I´ll get out of an ass kicking if Farmer John takes him away” Sammy pondered.

“That´s not right. We always help each other when we can. Look, the gates open. It´s only him. His helpers ain´t around. We can all make it” Frankie said.

“Ok” Sammy agreed.

Frankie and Sammy trotted up to the back side of Farmer John. Phil felt some relief. For a moment he felt he could be saved.

“Go” said Frankie and with that the two pigs took as big of bites as they possibly could out of the back of Farmer John´s thighs. Farmer John screamed in agony and fell to the mud.

“Run” Sammy said to the stunned Phil. “The gate. It´s open! Run to the gate”

The three pigs ran for the gate and the others followed suit. Phil checked to see if Sara was in tow. She was. He caught a glimpse of Sammie doing the same.

As they made their way to the tree line Sammy turned to Phil and asked “Are we cool?”

Phil looked at him and said “I´m still gonna kick your ass. But we cool”

Till Death Do Us Part

9 Jul

Death

Dan and Carol were together for many years. They fought a lot. Carol thought that Dan´s lack of ambition made him a loser and was vocal about this. Dan thought Carol was cold and incapable of loving anyone. Their fights were never over anything of substance. They just didn´t like the way the other talked. It was a very volatile relationship. One or the other giving an opinion on a current even could lead to a knock down drag out fight resulting in them not talking to one another for a week.
They finally came to a point where they had enough. The both agreed to go their seperate ways. They were able to remain friends for the most part, as long as their contact was short and far between. Dan felt a responsibility to Carol. He didn´t´feel she was truly capable of taking care of herself.
About one year after the break up Dan got a call from Carol. She was hysterical.
“Hello?” Dan answered confused. He knew it was her but was perplexed by the volley of sobs be thrown over the phone.
“I just got back from the doctor” she said.
Dan knew this was not going to be a pleasant call. Carol was a strong person. She rarely cried so he knew this was serious. “Do you want to talk?”
“Of course I do, stupid. That´s why I called” she said.
Dan was about to attack but pulled back. He realized she must be very upset about something. “Ok, then tell me”
“I have cancer. Very agressive cancer. I have to start chemotherapy immediately. The doctor thinks that will only buy me….” she trailed off.
“Oh my god that´s….” he was cut off.
“Months. The chemo will only buy me a few months. I´m going to die” Carol said.
There was silence. Dan had no idea what to say to this. “Can I see you?” he asked.
“Sure. Let´s have dinner tonight” she answered, her sobs coming under control.
That night they met at their favorite restaurant. Carol gave Dan more details about the doctor visit. Carol decided that she was going to forget about the diagnosis, just for the night. She was going to throw caution to the wind. She ordered a bottle of wine. Then another, then another. Although Dan was not comfortable with that but he understood and after the first bottle his level of comfort grew.
They paid the bill and made their ways to their respective cars. In the parking lot Carol turned to Dan and said “Come home with me. I cannot be alone tonight” Dan obliged. He got in his car and followed her home.
They made love that night for the first time in over a year. It was like the first time only better. Carol asked Dan to move in with her. She would need him as the chemo sapped her strength. Dan was weary about this. In the back of his head, even though he was ashamed to admit it, he knew she would not be here too much longer so there was a way out. He did still love her after all and she needed his help so he agreed.
The fighting started almost immediately. Carol complained about the things Dan brought from his apartment. Daily she would remind him how much of a pig she thought he was, she insulted the food he prepared for her and would frequently threaten to kick him out if he didn´t stop fighting with her.
Dan pushed through it. He knew she needed him. He knew of her limitations and again, he knew this was not permanent. Three months in, Carol´s health deterioted rapidly. She lost so much weight that Dan was afraid of breaking her when he put her in bed. She asked him to marry her because she did not want to die single. Dan agreed. They had a minister come to the house to perform the ceremony. It was official, they were married.
Around the sixth month a remarkable thing happened. Carol started to gain weight. Her skin started to look healthy and resumed its normal color. The life was coming back into her eyes. With this new life came more ire thrown Dan´s way.
Each month Carol´s health improved. Her blood exams were confirming what the eye could see. She was getting better. At the one year mark, the doctor told her she could stop chemo. The cancer was completely contained and could possibly go into remission.
Dan thought that with this rebirth maybe Carol would change. He was now contractually obligated to be with her, after all. He was horrified of the thought of giving Carol half of his considerable assets after having nursed her back to health over the past year. He would have to make this work.
A few tortuous months passed. To Dan they felt like an eternity. How did he ever get himself into this situation? He asked himself this every day. One day Carol came home with a grave expression on her face. She told Dan they needed to talk. She informed him that she was seeing another man. It was serious. She was going to divorce him, leave him the apartment and not ask for a dime from him. Everybody involved lived happily ever after.

Game Over!

8 Jul

footvolley

Foot volley, which is a mixture of soccer and volley ball is a way of life in Guarã, a small city in a remote part of the Amazon valley in Brazil. Players use their legs, feet and head to get the ball over a net. It sounds like a fun way to pass the time and it can be, just not in Guarã. There, winning a game can mean you get to live another day or will be burned alive bound by old car tires and doused in gasoline. It harks back to the worst days of the Roman empire but instead of Caesars presiding over the tournaments, there are drug dealers deciding the fates of athletes.

If parents see that their child is particularly good at foot volley, they sometimes will sell all their possessions to ensure their child has a bus ticket, one way, out of Guarã. The child will sometimes grow up in the company of relatives without their parents because the parents are too poor to make the bus fare to get themselves out. In some cases, parents end up dead for sending away a good prospect.

José had no parents to care for him or to sell possessions to get him out of Guarã. José lived on the street in a pack of about 10 boys. He was the best of around 4 really good players. When they weren´t playing foot volley, training foot volley or trying to get something to eat from the trash, the pack was usually either sniffing glue or trying to get their hands on it. Not José. Some time ago, José found some text books in the trash while looking for dinner. José was taught to read by the church and he was grateful and did not want their gift to go in vain.

José had won so much that he had built himself quite the name in Guarã. He was like a local celebrity. He was forced to go to the big outdoor “funk parties” as they were called, thrown by the local drug dealers. He was paraded around like a mascot. He despised them all. He despised the drug dealers who he saw as poisoning the community. He despised the party goers and useless people lowered even further in his eyes for idolizing such horrid people. He despised the cops who were easily bribed by the drug bosses and would abuse street children in every sense of the word for their own pleasure.

One night José lay in his concrete bed, in reality a sewer tunnel opening, trying to get the images out of his head of what he saw that day. He had won a major day long tournament closed with not only the murder of every loser but their depraved torture as well. José had seen a lot up to this point but this was worse than anything he had seen. His mind went back and forth from the torture to the faces of the spectators who watched in ecstasy and cheered on the torturers. He was forced to watch from a rickety homemade throne that was spray painted gold and had worn purple pillows fixed to it to make it look like a real king´s chair.

As he laid there, tears rolling down his eyes, he smelled smoke. It was not the usual smell of bonfires which were frequent during the nights after a tournament. It had a more chemical smell. He went out from his makeshift bedroom and climbed an electrical tower. A few thatched roofed houses were on fire. There was little to no response, probably because of the level of intoxication of the people. For the most part of the population, they were passed out drunk.

José thought quick. He knew how he could help. Help himself, help his city, help his country, help the world. He made his way to the police precinct which looked no different than the front office of a land fill. He went to the patio where the few broken down vehicles were parked. He grabbed two 20 liter canisters and went running. As he approached the burning huts he poured some of the liquid from the canisters into discarded water bottles and aluminum cans. He then proceeded to throw them near the flames.

Where the bottle and cans hit, great little explosions took place and the flames quickly spread. He was throwing containers of gasoline into the flames! He then moved on to huts that were not on fire and started to throw flaming soda cans onto the roofs. When they were sufficiently ablaze he went to the only houses in the village, slipshod building decorated by what looked like by psychopathic children, and started to fling his mini Molotov cocktails over the walls. In no time they were on fire as well.

José, satisfied with his work, started for the outskirts of the village. It was getting hot as the fire was spreading rapidly. He was surprised by the lack of commotion on the street. Surely some people were not so drunk as to burn to death without waking. He didn´t care either way. He made his way to the outskirts of the village, climbed a little foot hill and watch the fire do its cleansing.

The Connection

18 Jun

Remote-desktop-connection

Beverly´s only real skill in life was being attractive to the opposite sex. She honed this skill the way a fighter hones various angles of his game, only with less hard work, dedication and honor involved in the process. She was constantly changing looks. Beverly didn´t really like men. She was not a lesbian, but she was in not sexually attracted to men. In fact, she really didn´t like much of anything about them. There was one thing she like in a man, money.

Beverly´s lack of attraction didn´t matter because she could fake it like an academy award winning actress. She could make a man feel like he was the only man she had ever truly loved. Many men to this day think of her as the women who fell the hardest for them.

In her younger days, Beverly would just drift from city to city spending a few months here, a few years there. She always found her way into the most posh apartments, finest restaurants and rubbing elbows in the highest social circles wherever she was. But now her years were catching up to her.

It was not that her looks were diminishing. She seemed to become more beautiful with age. It was that moving so often was getting tiresome and lonely. She wanted to stop. She wanted to live in familiarity for once. New was becoming boring.

She created a profile on a website specifically for women looking for men with money. She went to the trouble to buy a few expensive outfits and had professional pictures taken. She threw the bait out. Now she waited to land her whale.

Among the many messages she received over the first week. One caught her eye in particular. His name was Henry. His profile stated he was an entrepreneur, a very wealthy one at that. Beverly was not destitute by any means. She was smart over the years creating various accounts, depositing gifts from her suitors.

Beverly exchanged many messages with Henry and became very interested. He might be able to provide the soft landing she was looking for. And strangely, she felt that she might like him.

After a few weeks of back and forth they decided to meet. They decided to do it in a big way. They were to rendezvous in Cancun for an extended weekend. Henry had given Beverly a long story of how he had some funds frozen due to litigation in Europe and he asked her to spot him. He would pay her back as soon as the matter cleared. Beverly obliged. It was a mere investment in her eyes.

They spent the most fabulous weekend imaginable. Beverly was more sure than ever that she was on the right path. Henry, besides demonstrating great wealth, was handsome and fun to be around. His legal woes in Europe had increased and now a Chinese court was looking into a business of his. Beverly did not think twice about helping him out. Help him out now, help me out in the future, she thought.

After a few more sob stories and a few more wire transfers, Beverly´s funds started to get alarmingly low. When Henry asked for help again, Beverly had to deny. She hadn´t the funds he required. Soon after, Henry disappeared. He no longer answered e-mails. His cell phone was disconnected. Beverly was devastated.

She took what little funds she had and hired a private investigator to track Henry down. After a few weeks, the investigator found all he needed and closed the case. He brought his findings to Beverly. Henry, or Roberto, his birth name, had a criminal record thicker than Beverly´s passport from all the extra pages she needed. All of his crimes were of the white collar ilk. He had never done time. He was good. Apparently, better than Beverly.

Floating Towards the Future

7 Jun

floating

Marcus has had a crazy idea simmering for months. As of late, it has started to boil over. He wanted to float a truck inner tube from his city to the next one over on the river. The trip would be around 35 miles with varying levels of difficulty. Marcus wrote for a hobby and he felt that this would give him something to write about.

Marcus procured himself an inner tube. Given the danger in a few parts of the river along the way, his family and girlfriend were dead set against this. It had been raining fairly hard in the past few months making the volume of water even greater than usual and the force of the current, stronger.

This did not dissuade Marcus. Despite his 35 years of age, he still felt as indestructible as he did at 21. He could be described as slightly reckless. Marcus felt that a life not lived, red lining the RPM’s, as he often joked, was not worth living at all.

One Saturday morning, Marcus woke up early. He got his stuff together and put it in his car before his girlfriend even noticed he was no longer in bed with her. He then gently woke her up. She was to drive him to the starting point, then drive to where he was hoping to end his successful little journey.

They got to the opening in the tree line where Marcus was to shove off. They said their good byes, Marcus wide eyed and electric, his girlfriend sleepy and yawning. He was off. It was not long that he was out of sight of his girlfriend as he rounded a bend. She got back into the car, gave one more big yawn, turned the key and was off to the final destination.

Marcus was enjoying himself. This part of the river was barely touched by the hands of man. It was fairly virgin wood. It was beautiful. He thought to himself, this is what it is to truly live. He could see some rough rapids in the distance but he did not want to worry himself with the future, he wanted to bask in the now.

In the quickly approaching rapids there were two distinct sides. One has flat smooth rocks that are, for the most part, laid over for precarious, but otherwise safe passage. The other side has jagged, sharp rocks the shoot up from the river bed taunting anything raging down its lane to be ran through.

Marcus turned his back to the rapids as to put them out of sight. They were making him nervous, and that made his enjoyment of the present all the more difficult. He could hear them and just the sound of the water smashing against the rocks made his heart beat faster so he covered his ears. His smooth floating started to rapidly pick up speed. He thought about turning around as to look at the rapids and make a choice but he wanted to savor the serenity in which he was enveloped in for just a few moments more.

Finally, the serenity was gone. His gracious floating became more and more turbulent. He had to face the fact the rapids were upon him. He turned the inner tube to access the situation and he was in horror. He know that the first rapids had two sides and that he had to choose the side with the smoother rocks. But, he could not. It was too late. He was now getting sucked into the rapids and there was no way to steer the inner tube away from the side with the sharp rocks jutting out of the white foaming water.

His last thought as he was violently torn apart upon the millennia old meat grinder was that he should have thought about the future just a little more.

His girlfriend waited for him in the neighboring city until nightfall. When Marcus never arrived the cops were called. Rescue teams were put into action. His inner tube was found floating along the river only a few miles up from the city he was rendezvous in. Some of his gear was found near the first rapids that took his life, his body was not.