Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Forray into Flash Fiction

So, maybe the following is not exactly a forray in the sense of pillaging flash fiction.  It's really more like taking a dip into the genre.  But, I thought I'd post up a bit of long flash fiction I wrote based off a poem of mine.  I don't know what made me want to do it, but sometimes you get ideas in your head that you can't shake, or is it just me?  Anyway, this is not really refined at all, and I know there are a few areas that can be tightened up, words changes, phrases rearragned.  I realize flash fiction is usually shorter, but I have to say I relatively happy with the first effort.  I wanted to take the name 'flash fiction' quite literally, hence the breaks in the story.  Oh, a bit of contains bad words in it and sexual content, but it's not smut or anything nasty like no worries.

Well, hope you enjoy....if anyone is reading that is ;)  It's called Sara and the Price of it All:

        He went flying by her in a squat, white convertible, its top and windows down. The last rays of the sun to shone off the top of his bald pate. His arm, poised upon the door, revealing a brown, tailored suit that showed just the perfect amount of his white cuff. As he passed, barely giving her a sideways glance, a smirk was smeared on as if he were grimacing from some unknown pain. He swerved in front of her, just missing the tail end of the car in front of him and forcing her to slam on her brakes. Now in front of her, he tapped on the brakes twice to make some kind of signal.
        She saw his head tilt back a bit, presumably from a chortle. Then just as quickly as it happened, he zoomed away from her. She took a deep breath, and held down the scream that wanted to creep out.

     The exclaim rang out even about the loud chatter from those in the party. Sara was startled. She zipped around to see who was calling out her name. It was Harvey Kline, a gentle and fun guy Sara was always pleased to see at parties. He was a short man, as seemed to be a lot of the men in Los Angeles. His brown hair hung loose in large curls much like a dirty mop. His face was bright and round, as usual, and he came over to her with a large smile pasted across it. He carried two drinks in his hands making a locomotion action with them as he approached accompanied by a chug chug sound from jutted lips.
     “My lady,” Harvey said, bowing as much as the crowed room permitted. His voice was a rich tenor full of Shakespearean propriety as he spoke. “Put down whatever thy drink is and have a quaff of this concoction.” Sara did as commanded and took a sip of his drink.
    “Wow, this is really good, what is it?”
    “Ah, well,” Harvey’s voice altered again, taking on the combination of a maniacal scientist and Peter Lorre. “It is… a concoction of which I cannot tell you. But, I made it myself.” He paused, then added, “Oh, and it’s filled with ruffies so that I can ravish your body later without anyone knowing the better!” He laughed mischievously and Sara could not help but join in.
    “Okay, if you weren’t such a softy,” she said, placing a hand on his shoulder, “I might believe you.”
    “It’s not working, huh?” Harvey deadpanned at her.
    “Sorry hun.”
    “Oh,” and he hung his head, shoulders severely stooped over. He looked the perfect picture of pity and she laughed. “Hey,” Harvey straightened up, now serious, “did you ever get the part? You know, the one you tried out for like last week it was. What was it, the ah…”
    “The waitress role for the John Rushing comedy,” Sara inserted. She shrugged. “Mum’s the word so far, but I guess Daniel Donahue’s got the final say,” she scrunched up her nose at the name.
    “Oh God, not him!”
    “But the guy’s such a creep!” Harvey looked around him to be sure no one was listening. “How does he even get in these positions?”
    “How do they all?”
    “Good point.”

    There he was, standing across the room. Sara was all by herself, wishing for anyone – but him – to come and talk to her. He had his eyes fixed on her like a predator watching it prey, readying for the pounce. She looked around, but saw no where to escape. She was caught, and he knew it. He made his way over, interjecting a comments to people along the way, yet relentless in his pursuit. Sara could see his brain working hard as he rehearsed mental moves to make her capitulate to him. In his mind, those moves would lead into more movement: the type that would send her to the place where all men want to send women. It was instinctive, the desire to get theirs, but then ask if it was good, seeking the affirmation of a job done well, and Sara wanted no part of it tonight.
    Just then, Harvey was near. She could see his fluffy head of curls, but could not make eye contact. She scooted over to try to initiate it, but it was not happening. Harvey was lost in conversation with a young couple who she did not recognize. They barely looked old enough to be in this party atmosphere, and, knowing where she was, Sara realized they probably were not. At the last moment, Sara got Harvey’s attention. His eyes perked up, and he broke into a big smile. He started to move towards her, but it was too late. Harvey saw why she had called him over, and mouthed a ‘Sorry’ to her.
    “Susan, how are you?”
    He had looked her up and down as he talked. Sara’s flesh crawled at the sight of it. As she shivered, an internal debate started. The subject was whether to correct him about calling her by the wrong name. It was very tempting to just let it slip. He ran into many people, especially young actors who are looking for their big break, so it seemed only natural. Then, she remembered who he was.
    “Hey Daniel. It’s actually Sara.”
    “I’m sorry?”
    “My name. My name is Sara, not Susan.”
    “Oh, right.” Daniel looked over his shoulder at the crowd behind him. He looked back at her again and smiled. Sara edged to the left. There was a glare coming from his bald head that unnerved her greatly. The way he seemed to look down on her, even though he was shorter than her by a full three inches, accentuated the glare. Daniel seem to stare down his angular nose when speaking, and it helped accentuate the vulture reputation he had in the business. His brown suit jacket was unbuttoned now, and she saw there was a large, wet stain down his dress shirt.
    “Someone got a little tipsy and crazy with their drink,” he said when he noticed her staring at it. He cracked a short burst of laughter, and she forced herself to laugh as well.
    “So,” Daniel said, drawing out the word, “your test scene was very good.”
    “Oh, thanks.” There was a brief pause between the two, and Sara followed with, “You really think so.”
    “Oh yeah, for sure. No doubt about it.” He gave her a look down, and without focusing on it, reached for the straw in his drink with his tongue. His tongue hung out, testing the air, seeking the thin plastic. All the while he stared at her body unapologetically. Daniel stared as if hypnotized. Finally, he continued, reluctantly looking up at her.
    “Yeah, we see thought that you have a lot of potential. It’s why I thought I’d talk to you tonight. I’d like to talk to you about potential.”

    Sara got up, slipping out from the sheets silently, hoping not to disturb him. She needed to get out of the place quickly. The stench of the room, the heat from his body still on her skin, all of it was too much. Above all else, the guilt of failing her resolve was creeping into her mindset. The price of it all was too much, and her dignity had a value Daniel could not ever understand. She just wished she had been able to have that clarity before tonight.
    She made it all the way out of the bed and began reaching for her clothes. She picked up a shoe but it slipped out of her hand. The smack against tile flooring was painfully loud. Stirring, then a moan came from the bed. Sara looked over her shoulder slowly. Daniel was moving now, and had turned in her direction. His beady eyes stared at her.
    “Where are you going?” His voice was flat.
    “I need to go. I have an appointment in the morning.” Sara continued to pick up her things.
    “Agh, come on,” his voice was full of phlegm, and he hacked twice, coughing up something that sounded substantial to Sara. She heard him swallow it. The repulsion was greater now, and she was afraid that she might just start running, regardless to her nakedness or the effect it might have on Daniel. “Come on, baby, let’s start up round two. What do you say? It’s only five in the morning.”
    “I’m sorry. I have to go.” Think of something. Any reason what-so-ever, but just think of something to say! “I have to drive home and get washed up. I’m really sorry.”
    “Oh, come on now, Susan. Don’t give me – ”
    “It’s Sara. If you’re going to fuck me, at least get it right.”
    Daniel sat up in his bed, and then stretched out his arms, arching his back and sliding down the bed again. He scratched stomach, moving farther down, pulling the sheet down with it until he was playing with himself.
    “Come on, babe. Don’t get so upset. See, I’m almost ready.”
    Sara shook her head. By this time, she had her dress back on and was slipping on her shoes. “I’m sorry. I really can’t now. I have to get back to my apartment in order to get ready.”
    “Fuck you.”
    “Excuse me?” Sara could not believe what she heard. She stood motionless, staring at him.
    “I said ‘fuck you,’ are you now deaf too in addition to being prude?” He remained slouching, playing with himself. “Come on. Get back in bed with me.” His tone was not in a plea, but a firm command.
    “And I said I have to go, maybe your old age have damaged your ears.”
    “You dumb cunt.”
    “No," She shook her head. "Dumb no longer. That’s something you can bet on.” She started walking out of the room.
    “You know,” Daniel got up, kneeling on his bed, “you’re going to be making a mistake. You remember what I said about you having potential. Poof,” he motioned with his hand a cloud of smoke escaping his mouth, “now it’s gone. Gone.”
    She slowly shook her head. “If it means that I won’t have to fuck another limp dick like you, then so be it.” With that, Sara walked out of the apartment, ignoring the stream of insults that followed her out. The tirade became muted as the door behind her closed and finally faded away.

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