Saturday, March 17, 2012

Flash Fiction II—Money In The Bank

She always works a double on St. Patrick’s Day. “You’d be an idiot not to,” she says to Meghan.

“I’m an idiot, then.”

“I don’t mean you,” though she does. Meghan barely leaves the house on St. Paddy’s, another idiot thing.

The key thing is to have two pairs of shoes; one for each shift. Oh, and don’t forget the spare in the car. She’d learned this the hard way the year it snowed and she had to dump her puke-spattered sneakers in the trunk before driving home. Even with the heat blasting she felt the frostbite ruining her toes.

They come in just after her uncle turns on the sound system and unlocks the door. Five of them, with rugby shirts, striped green and white. Five Jameson shots ($6 each), three green beers ($2.50) and two Guinness drafts ($4); they look good for three rounds, minimum. “This one’s mine,” the smallest of them gives her $60, says to keep the change.

“You’re a sweet colleen,” he says later. “What’s your name?”


The ones who can hear over the Pogues or the Chieftains “hooooooahhh” as if she’s gotten over on him. She does not move away from his hand on her ass. When the next chorus of “Danny Boy” breaks out she sings along with them all the other St. Patrick’s Day Irish.

She has over $4K in her pocket (always in her front pocket, never the purse). Eddie the bouncer walks her to the car. There will be more tomorrow after the credit cards get run. When she gets home she and Meghan share a Guinness while Meghan rubs her feet. “It’s the red hair,” she says.

“It’s the name.”

“Money in the bank.”

“Maybe I’ll work next year.”

“You’d be an idiot not to.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flash Fiction 1—Trespass

I don’t know what’s going on over there in that church and I certainly don’t know what’s going on over there in that apartment. The newspaper says she was walking around at that power plant naked, trailing my grandbabies behind her and calling up to the sky for forgiveness. The girls were naked, too.

She’s just had bad luck. All her life, bad luck. Bad luck before she was even born. But I don’t blame myself and I surely don’t blame her. She isn’t bad. Maybe I do blame that preacher. Maybe I do blame that girl who brung her to that church the first time; spent just as many hours in that place praying and singing and waving her hands in the air but she didn’t have the kinds of troubles my daughter had and she should have known troubles like that are not helped with prayers and songs and walking home with no shoes on your feet with your girls who are just 4 and just 11 following you and it was after midnight. That girl should have known. That girl should have gotten someone to drive my Greta and those babies home. That girl should have called me when Greta grabbed her children’s hands and pulled them out the door with her into the dark, into the cold.

I don’t know what Greta needs to be forgiven for; maybe for making those children take off all their clothes outside, maybe for making them follow her through that marshy grass, no shoes on their feet, on a night when mittens needed mittens. That girl should have noticed the coats left behind, and the shoes kicked off by the folding chair that Greta knocked over when she jumped up to praise Jesus. I don’t know what was in that girl’s mind. She was on the local news talking about how she knew Greta was taking comfort in the Lord. I don’t know why they even showed that nonsense on the television. And where are my grandbabies now?

This Ought To Do Something

I decided that since I don't have hours to write I ought to try writing short things. So here's a challenge I developed for myself:

Write a piece of flash writing (fiction or nonfiction) every day for a month—-March 16 to April 16, 2012—-either based on a specific event in the news or in response to a writing prompt.

Each piece must be a maximum of 365 words.

I'll post today's piece separately.