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Little Book

There are some days that are very creative. Some where all I want to do is work.

This is not one of those days. This is very likely not one of those weeks.

I hope you enjoy the story.

*** EDIT ***

Something I have been thinking about and I would like your opinions. The serial story I put up here, Test Results, ended up being eleven parts and over 11,000 words. It is free to read on this blog and will remain that way. Would anyone be interested in having it as a collected story? I can publish it electronically and offer it for free without having any cost to me other than a little time. I might even edit it a bit.

Would anyone be interested? Please let me know what you think.

***

L. E. White

Little Book

Joey stretched out his short, stubby fingers and rested his rough skin against the smooth, cold ivory of the piano’s keys. He didn’t put enough pressure on them to strike a note, having long ago given up on the idea of playing, but he still loved the way the keys felt.

“You know how to play?”

“No,” he said. “I never learned. I just wanted to touch it.”

Joey turned around, putting his back to the baby grand and crossed his arms, to look at the woman across from him. She was sitting in a high backed chair that was covered in thick, velvet cushions. Her dress, a deep, dark red, matched the chair and the two blended in so that her head and hands looked like floating ghosts.

He avoided looking at her face. He didn’t want her to see his disgust, not that he cared but because it was bad manners. She was an ugly woman with the worse mix of features possible for someone of such mixed background. Her family tree had branched in so many directions, and each line had given her the least attractive trait that it had, creating a face with broad features that ended in sharp points. The only way it could have been worse was if her last name had been ‘Frankenstein’.

“So young man, how about telling me what brings you here this evening?”

Joey looked around the room, eyes darting from side to side as he considered what he would say. After a minute, the woman coughed, to draw his attention back to her and her question, but Joey still didn’t answer.

“Well?”

He sighed, having found no answer, and looked directly into her unsettling, asymmetrical eyes. “I was sent here to retrieve Mr. Morrin’s book.”

“Oh were you?” Her tone held no surprise, and as she stared at him with eyes that were three colors, each being split. “And what makes you think I have it?”

“Mr. Morrin said that you did.”

“You believe him?”

“I don’t question him, I do my job.”

She looked at him and grinned out of one side of her mouth. “So how do you think you are going to get this book from me? You plan to threaten me with that gun or just rough me up with those hands?”

Joey looked at her, his brow furrowed as he thought about his answer this time. “Actually, that was the plan,” he said. “But I don’t think it will work anymore.”

“Why not?”

“You seem way too relaxed.” Joey reached up and rubbed his eyebrow with one finger. He looked at the old broad and frowned as she continued to grin at him with one side of her mouth.

“So, do you plan to just stand there and stare it out of me? If you like to watch, I can put on a bit of a show handsome.”  She stretched out the last word, breaking it into two long syllables that sent goose bumps down his back.

Joey reached behind his back and drew out the small pistol. He sat it down on top of the piano and crossed his arms back over his chest.

“So it will be violence then will it?”

“No.”

The grin fell away and she turned her head to look at him with one eye like a bird would. “No?”

“What do you want for the book?”

She froze. To Joey, it was like watching one of those animal shows when the deer raises its head and the lion stops moving forward. The woman stopped so completely that after a few seconds Joey wondered if she was holding her breath. The first hint of life came when her eye blinked a slow, exaggerated wink. “You want to trade for the book?”

“What do you want for it?”

She turned to face him straight on and he looked into her disturbing multi-colored eyes. “I want Mr. Morrin dead.”

Joey didn’t flinch. He looked at her and waited for the laughter.

She didn’t laugh.

“Try again.”

“No young man,” she said, rubbing her hands together and leaning forward. “If you want Mr. Morrin’s book I will give it to you if you kill him for me. But, before you tell me no and reach for that gun, I have to ask, do you know why he wants the book?”

Joey shook his head.

“The book is the reason he is the boss,” she said, nodding and leaning back into her chair again. “In that book is everything you need to be the boss in his place.”

“Bullshit.”

She shook her head with such violence that her earrings slapped her cheeks. “That is why he has been sending people after the book. Without it, he is nothing but, with it he is the boss.” She smiled a leering smile at Joey and nodded again. “With it, anyone could be the boss. Any common thug could be in charge.”

Joey stared down his nose at the seated woman, and began to chew his lip.

She reached down into her dress, between the lopsided breasts that were shoved together by some overworked bra, and pulled out a tiny, brown notepad. It looked like the cover was made of brown cloth and there was a black circle on top which made Joey think someone had used it for a coaster.

“This is why he is the boss Joey. Wouldn’t you like to be the boss?”

***

“Joey!” A short, dark man in a very expensive suit stood up from behind his desk and bumped it hard enough to spill the drink sitting beside his phone. “Did you get it?”

Joey pulled the little book out of his back pocket with his left hand.

Morrin clapped his hands together once and beamed at him. “You did it!”

The other men in the room relaxed when they saw the book. The whole room seemed to calm and everyone smiled.

Except Joey.

“Give it to me and we can discuss what you will be getting for this.”

“I know exactly what I want,” Joey said as he stepped up to the desk and extended the book.

“I like the sound of that. Gotta like a man who knows what he wants.” Morrin said as he reached out and took hold of the other side of it.

The shot wasn’t muffled by the pocket the gun was tucked into. Morrin’s eyes widened and he held on for a second before falling forward. He face hit the desk, staring at the spilled coffee in front of his nose, before the blood started spreading out from under his chest.

The men in the room all stared as Joey held the little book up. “What I want is to be in charge.”

Each of the big men in the room stood up. It was slow, but one after the other, they rose from their seats and then fell to one knee. Their shapes melted, shifting and moving to reveal the truth of their forms.

Joey turned around, tucking the little book into his shirt pocket. He was surrounded by creatures that he didn’t believe in until a few minutes ago. He looked around and smiled. “Now then, I believe we owe the payment in one month. Why don’t we make sure we keep our end of the bargin?”

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Categories: Flash Fiction
  1. lizz
    September 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I absolutely LOVE your writing! I sure do hate it when you leave me desperate for more like this though! Lol

    • September 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      Well, not every story is meant to carry out over a long course.

      But I think I can re-visit this a little. I like Joey. We will see Joey again.

  2. September 25, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Yeah, this one is a tantalizing start, but it does leave the reader wanting more – which is a good thing, I think, if more is waiting in the wings!

    Regarding your question about publishing “Test Results”, I’d say go for it. If nothing else, it’s good practice for that portion of the process (editing, rewriting, polishing, self-publishing, etc.) and it doesn’t hurt to have good examples of your work out there to make it easier for potential readers to find you.

    • September 26, 2013 at 7:46 AM

      Thanks.

      Yeah, the polishing is always a good idea. I just wondered if there was any point in collecting it since it is available here. I appreciate the opinion.

      • September 26, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        If you want to find a good editor to take a look at it (a second pair of eyes is always a must) I know TWO who are fantastic. Let me know and I’ll put you in touch.

      • September 27, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        Sure, that would be great. Thank you.

      • September 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

        Sorry for the delayed response. My WordPress sign-in had expired and I didn’t get a notification that you’d replied. :-/

        Anyway, I’ll contact you privately with some info. 🙂

  3. September 27, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Intriguing opening. I like the description of the woman, and seems there’s more to her.

  1. September 28, 2013 at 9:06 AM

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