Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction--on a Saturday.

Okay, so yesterday I was distracted and busy. (Should be pronounced bis-SAY.) The husband and I had a good anniversary yesterday, by the way. (wink wink nod nod Know what I mean?) Note to all: My mom discovered yesterday that if you ask me what I did for my anniversary--I will tell you. I'm all about full disclosure. To say that she was shocked, would be understating it. The day was celebrated--that is all. :) Thoroughly. Very thoroughly.

I didn't really do a lot of flash fiction at Flashy Fiction, but I did some.

Here is this week's contributions.


"Hey, isn't that your brother coming out of the Pleasure Chest?"

Filling up the tank at the gas station next to the town's only strip club was never a choice--it was a "running on fumes" necessity.

Jon had run me out of gas again. So, you'd think he'd man up and put down that stupid book and pump my gas. Maybe he didn't think I knew what all of these "trips" out of town entailed, but I knew.

"Hey, isn't that your brother coming out of the Pleasure Chest?" Jon asked, rolling down his window to tell me. He probably thought his new mustache was something other than what it was. It was a pornstache. A thin wriggle of hair across his flaccid thick upper lip. It reminded me of the nasty tent worms we got every seven years, and we killed with a propane torch.

I glanced over at the strip club and shrugged. "He's the town sheriff, Jon. He probably had to break up a fight or something."

"Shouldn't he be in uniform or something?" Jon asked. There was an accompanying snicker, barely muffled.

Always with the questions. Always. Jon was the most worthless human being on the planet. Somewhere there was a squid that was maybe, possibly less useful to the greater plan for the universe. That might just be a rumor, though, much like the existence of Jon's brain.

I'd seen a few charges on the credit card statements that I'd found after Jon had left. Jon was intimately familiar with that strip club and he'd spent our money--my money at that place. At least my brother was single. Jon fit this self-righteous attitude just as well as he might a cheap green polyester suit from the big and tall clearance rack.

"Maybe he was on his way home and stopped."

Jon heaved a huge sigh, and it shimmied down my nerves like one of the Pleasure Chest's dancers on a pole made of sandpaper.

He'd left me. Jon had left me. Now he was back--like it was some huge favor to me. It wasn't. I was doing fine with him gone. I was doing freaking fantastic. I'd even met someone. I was anxiously awaiting the divorce papers. Then, he came back--like a bad case of fungus.

"I don't think he was in there breaking up a fight," Jon said, and the smugness was so thick you could practically see it. "You know how your family is. I won't call them white trash, but...."

Yes. That's right, Mr. Holier-than-thou. You were perfect. You were so perfect that you were too good for me--as you've reminded me a dozen times in various ways since you've returned. It was a sack of lies that stunk like roadkill baking on the pavement at noon.

The night was dark. The town was small enough that the gas station was closed though the pay at the pump was still working. I'd used Jon's card--and gasoline could wipe the prints off of everything. All of this flashed through my mind just before I pulled the handle from the gas tank and aimed it at my stupid, stupid, stupid husband. Gas splashed all over the inside of the car as he yelled about it getting in his eyes. I threw the match into the car and walked away.

Sliding into the car beside my brother, I tried to feel remorse for what I'd just done. I couldn't, and it wasn't the first time our family had resolved a sticky problem thus. My brother was filling out a police report but spared a look in his rearview mirror.

"Never liked Jon," my brother said.

"Yeah--neither did I," I said.

"He was a little like a rabid mutt--mean and begging to be put down."

"Yeah, well, I'd call him put down," I said, watching the fire engulf the car like the swamp mud swallowing a rock--a big, dumb, stupid rock.


Why is my toothbrush wet?

Oh! Oh! True story! It's not often I get to tell a true story.

Adam and I were in a battle for total domination. Well, not total--just king for the day really. It was unofficial. A snarky little skirmish between just us. We didn't know when it had started, and there was no way to end it.

Such is the relationship between a super intelligent older sibling and a middle-child sister forced to hear: "OH! You're Adam's sister." From teachers: "I had Adam in my class already. Are you as intelligent as your brother?"

No, I'm dumb as rocks. That's why I'm in your advanced classes. Yeah--and bite me.

Green as grass jealousy defined my tricks just as amused retaliation had become his instinct. Once he tied up my arms in too long sweatshirt sleeves and hung me from a doorknob. I was stuck in my own sweatshirt. Stuck.

The toothbrush was my epiphany of passive aggressive genius. When I first conceived its simplicity, I laughed out loud. Perfect. He would doubt his very frame of mind. His high I.Q. wouldn't be able to wrap itself around the quandary. Brilliant. He thought he was so smart.

The first week, I just got it wet--each morning. His puzzled reaction was hard to ignore.

The second week, I smuggled both lemon juice and salt into the bathroom. I alternated. I tried to hide smug smiles. It was difficult.

The third week, he switched toothbrushes--and I picked up my toothbrush to find it wet one day.

Well played, Adam. Well played.


  1. I already told you on Flashy, but that sandpaper line is golden.

    I missed the second flash! How did that happen?! Good show, Wendy. I didn't have an older brother so I missed out on being hung by my sweater or other horrors. It sounds like you gave as good as you got, which doesn't surprise me at all.

  2. I loved your answer on Janet Reid today. My number was seven, but then I remembered gambling and bumped it up to eight!! Woo hoo!

  3. That line is golden, Di. LOL. I just really like the visual.

    I couldn't believe I only scored a five.

  4. That's really funny Wendy. I didn't know about that between you and Adam, That's funny.