Home > Flash Fiction, Links, Random > An idea for breaking out of a rut

An idea for breaking out of a rut

So, a friend that I was discussing lest weeks post with had, what might be, a really good idea. He suggested that I should start forcing my writing into different genres. I write a lot of stories where monsters happen, I should start writing something different.

I like this idea. I am going to give it a try next month. Now, if you have an opinion, please feel free to share it.

This weeks story was testing using the Hemingway Editor that Jon Jefferson suggested. I love this site. It is easy to use and catches passive voice, which is something I am horrible at finding. If the writing on here does improve, we all have Jon to thank for it.

This weeks story ran long, breaking the thousand word mark. I hope you enjoy it.

L. E. White

Shift

(because no better name came to mind)

He wore cowboy boots even though he had never been on a farm. The heels made him taller, and in his mind, he believed that they turned his walk into a swagger.

The girls at the dance club just laughed at him.

He spent four hours trying to get some attention from any of them. He knew it would be hard, being a little older than they were. Now that they were college girls, five years shouldn’t have mattered. He believed that they should view him as worldly.

“Would you like a drink?”

The blonde turned to look at him and her eyes bulged. Her mouth puckered and twisted. Her nose flared with her effort not to laugh out loud at him as she lifted her eyes up to his. “No. No thank you.”

“Oh come on, wouldn’t a little company be better than sitting alone?” He tried to smile out of one side of his mouth, like that actor in the action movies.

She snorted before clearing her throat. “What’s your name?”

“Thomas,” he said. “Thomas Greene.”

“Well Thomas Greene,” she said while swiveling on her bar stool to face him. “I would rather be alone the rest of the year than to sit here drinking with someone like you.”

He had plenty of experience with getting rejected, that was the story of Thomas’s life, but she didn’t need to be mean about it.

“Good luck Loser,” she said while hopping down from the stool. “You are so going to need it.”

He narrowed his eyes and his lip pulled back from his teeth a little bit. It was all he could do to keep from snarling at her. To keep from lashing out.

“Hey buddy, I think it’s time for you to leave.”

Thomas turned around and looked up at the man standing behind him. “Why,” he asked. “All I did was ask her name.”

“You been doing that all night. Ain’t no girl liking it. I had one complaint and you was looking at her like you meant to do something stupid. Time to go.”

The bouncer was at least six inches taller than Thomas and about fifty pounds heavier. Thomas thought he had a shot, but then he noticed two other bouncers walking up. He wasn’t so sure about three, so he nodded and turned to leave.

The blonde was standing beside the door talking to some preppy guy with his collar turned up. As Thomas walked past he heard her say. “I’m Clare Ames. Nice to meet you.”

He tried not to stomp as he walked by.

***

Thomas was sitting in front of his computer, again. He was alone, again. He was mad and frustrated, again.

He hated his life.

Social networking wasn’t the same. Even then, he almost never managed to talk to anyone enough to even think of them as his friend.

He mopped his face with his hand, wiped his hand on his shirt, and looked at the search bar. Clare Ames, was easy to find.

He started looking through the pictures she shared. Every time he saw something he thought was important, he wrote it down on the paper beside him.

After a few minutes, he knew that she had an apartment off campus. Then, an app on her phone updated, showing that she had arrived at a restaurant by the river.

“I doubt that.” Thomas stood and pulled off his shirt. He stepped up to the mirror and took a long look at himself. “Time to show Clair who is a loser and who isn’t.” He turned to his open window and jumped towards it.

An owl hooted as it headed north, towards the river.

***

The big bird found two cars parked in the lot, but there wasn’t anyone in either of them. It circled the lot twice before swooping down to land on the gate post to the public access ramp.

A fat, dark grey, cat jumped off the post, and headed towards a path on the left.

As it went, the sounds of whispering grew louder. Before it turned a bend that led to a picnic area, the whispering changed to a muffled moan.

The cat sped up.

There was some kind of blanket spread out on the grass, making a big, light square on the dark ground. The guy Clare had been talking to was resting on the table, the half naked girl wrapped around him like a hospital gown.

The cat sat down and watched as the people did their thing. Every now and then, it would nod when she made a loud noise or changed positions. It didn’t take long, maybe five or six minutes all together, before they split apart and the guy started putting his clothes back on.

“That was great,” Clare said. She was lying on the table, arms spread wide, staring up at the stars.

“Glad you liked it,” the guy said.

“Maybe we could get together again sometime?”

“Sure,” he said as he started walking towards the path. “I’ll give you a call tomorrow.”

She lifted up onto her elbows and watched him disappear down the path. “I didn’t give you my number,” she said before flopping back to look at the stars some more.

Thomas didn’t move. He sat, naked and cross-legged, where the cat had been a moment earlier. He took a deep breath and sighed. Revenge wasn’t his answer.

There was a soft sound in the clearing and Clare sat up. She looked around, and then reached into the pile of clothes above her head to grab her phone. She clicked on the flashlight, and a pair of amber eyes reflected its light back at her.

“Hi kitty. I hope you are having a better night than I am.”

The cat meowed once, then turned and darted away from the clearing. Clair turned her phone off and stretched back out. “Yeah,” she said. “Everyone else leaves me alone out here. Why don’t you just leave too.”

***

The guy hopped into his car and rolled the windows down before backing out. The girl had been fun, but there was no way he would be calling some bar skank the next day.

When he wanted her, he would just go pick her up at the bar again.

He was speeding towards the highway, wondering if he would get back in time to order a pizza, when an owl came in the passenger window. Talons sank into his arm and wings smacked his face. He took his hands off the wheel, trying to cover his eyes while screaming and swatting at the bird.

As the car went off the road, the owl left through the skylight. The man’s scream was cut off by the sound of glass breaking and fiberglass splintering.

***

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Categories: Flash Fiction, Links, Random
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