Undone

You know every week at Friday Flash Fiction hosted by Cormac Brown the good folks submit a starter sentence, vote on one, and we all pump some piece of writing out. If you don’t know, you should. And you should visit. Anyway, below is my attempt. The starter phrase is in blue and the only rule this week was we couldn’t have any violence in the story.

A kiss as sweet as

edible underwear. It was sloppy and tasted like burnt, off-brand coffee. It ran down my chin in globs.

He was one of those guys who could tell you if the burger had cheese on it just by the sound of the bag.

A large, flat nose sat atop a bushy Van Dyke moustache which framed his chapped lips. I could smell his breath mixing with mine in deep heaves, a 4×4 Jeep rumbling for mud.

We had stopped at the stoplight when he leaned over and pulled me close. There were only two stop lights in town so I was perturbed that we caught one. I read that in a book once. The main character was this woman from Jacksonville and she was perturbed at her lover for talking about moving to Clearwater. She wanted him to stick around. She wanted someone to hold on to her. I could relate. But I sure as hell didn’t want anyone to see I could relate, especially with JT.

He was the bartender at the Down N Out. The jukebox played 45’s, its strained breath gushed all night while people held their Budweisers while swaying with their lovers. After the needle slipped to the last dance, everyone kind of glanced around and a silence rose up with the lights and JT started yelling “C’mon people, I got places to be.” JT started drinking about an hour before closing up and he was a little unsteady already.

Everyone filed out and I begged for one more drink. I had nothing to go home to besides a dirty floor, and empty fridge, and a little television set my ex-boyfriend gave me when we first started going out.

JT filled up my glass with another draft and I sipped the foam off it. He swept up, threw away bottles, washed glasses, talking and giving me sidelong glances the whole time. After awhile I finished my beer and slipped behind the bar to fill it up one more time. JT smiled.

I kept an eye on the light as JT search my mouth cavity with his tongue. As soon as it changed, tapped JT’s shoulder he sat up. It took a moment to get his bearings before he pressed his Ford passed Elly’s diner in the direction of my place.

I thought about the poor fat bastard of a son he had. If JT sold him by the pound, he could by a nice place up in Rockingham. Poor kid.

When JT pulled up in front of my trailer, my heart was racing. I knew what he wanted and I wasn’t drunk enough to give it to him.

Across the way I saw some teenagers sniffing glue from plastic bags. Billy lived in the trailer with his daddy who was a doping ex-preacher. This meant Billy could pretty much do as he wanted. He’d have people over with nicknames like Catfish and Mudflap and ChooChoo. I didn’t like a one of them.

JT started to lean in and I jutted my thumb toward the boys. They shook their stringy hair, spit, and exhaled the country stink. They pressed against one another, leather to leather because of the early morning’s cold. I imagined the snot crusting on the tips of their noses and on the backs of numb hands as they passed the plastic bag. Those boys weren’t ever going to change.

I jumped out of the truck, thanking JT for the ride before he had a chance to look back in my direction.  Once inside I peeked out my window and watched him sit there trying to process what had just happened. I felt bad. A little.

Then I heard him crank up the radio, some Drive By Truckers, and slowly pull away. Their harmony diminished as I slowly became undone.

Thanks for reading and if you have any comments, nice or not, feel free to share if you wish…. 🙂

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By Chad Rohrbacher

4 comments on “Undone

  1. Chad, I enjoyed the feel of this story. The description of JT’s workplace was great, as was her feelings at the end of the story.
    A fine job, Sir!!

    By the way, I do feel sorry for JT’s kid, too. Although, for that kind of money…

  2. This was great Chad, As a woman whose been in situations as such, its always a little touchy when you have to let someone down nice and easy… Great characterization.

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