Friday, September 11, 2009

#FridayFlash - "The Only Thing Left"

Lola said, “Where do you think you’ll go?” Her tone actually sounded irritated.

She sat at the kitchen table and blew into a cup of coffee, apparently waiting for his response. As if she deserved one. Looking at her—the familiar pink bathrobe hanging open to showcase the curve of her breasts and a pair of frayed panties—Clint finally understood why some men could walk away. Like the love for the desert or the mountains or the woods, it wasn't just the view that anchored them down.

“Where I go doesn’t concern you,” he said.

She took a sip of the coffee and then laid the cup down. “Fine then. Be that way.” She pulled the robe together. “But let me tell you something. This isn’t all my fault. I mean, after twenty years of working at the same place, what’ve you got to show for it? A dumpy truck and a house that’s in total disrepair. We can’t even afford to buy some nice things once in a while.”

Shaking her head, Lola continued. “Maybe one of these days, you’ll take a look in a mirror somewhere, see the ratty jeans and oil-stained shirt, and finally understand where I’m coming from. You’ve got nothing, Clint. No passion. No pride.”

He reached for the door, thinking: Blame sure gets spread pretty thin around here. Even last night, his old friend Ricky couldn’t man up. It must have been one too many beers, he said. That and the slow music on the stereo. He was sorry, though. Friends shouldn’t do that to one another. Clint agreed, and then ended their friendship with one fist to the face and another to the gut.

As he opened the door, he turned to looked Lola straight in the eyes.

“You’re wrong about that,” he said. Seeing the contempt on her face, he wondered how in God’s name he could have forgiven her before. Not just once, but twice. “The only thing I’ve got left, it seems, is my pride.”

20 comments:

  1. Ouch. I would say he should have punched her in the face too, but that would probably have gotten me in trouble with my [female] friends.

    Always a pleasure :-)
    ~2

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  2. You sure do write evil women! Good for Clint. Found his pride. Very nice pacing.

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  3. There is a wonderful gritty realness to this piece. It really makes you feel good for Clint.

    ~Chris

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  4. Here's one female that thinks that Lola could of used a punch too - just for being in the wrong AND arrogant about it. Grrr.
    Great piece, lots of feeling!

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  5. Will we find out in the sequel if that "dumpy truck" is big enough to haul his pride?

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  6. Man. I loved it. This is terrific!

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  7. This reveals a lot about both characters with just a few words. Well done.

    Carol

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  8. Excellent story. You brought out the truth about these characters in a very short space. Nicely done!

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  9. you sure nailed it with the slightly open robe and her reaction to pull it closed like her emotionless heart.

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  10. Loved the open and then closed robe. Symbolic of their entire relationship, I'd wager. But I must say, any pride Clint has is pretty thin pride if it's taken him this long to loosen his anchor from that desert of a woman.

    Jeff Posey

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  11. As someone who just escaped a toxic relationship, I applaud this piece. Very raw. Well done!

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  13. I say it's good riddance to Lola, and high time. These lines, "Seeing the contempt on her face, he wondered how in God’s name he could have forgiven her before. Not just once, but twice," were like a punch to the gut. The whole thing packs a big punch.
    ~jon

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  14. Great piece of flash that captures a revelatory moment for your character.

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  15. You got my address wrong. It's art@flashfictiononline.com, not flashfiction.com (the online omitted). But, thanks for the nod.

    R. W. Ware

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  16. All: Thanks for stopping by, as always. Your thoughts and comments meant much to me.

    R.W.: My apologies. Your address has been corrected.

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  17. The only thing Clint had left was worth a lot more than what he was leaving.

    The symbolism of the robe and the desert were most appropriate. Nicely done.

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  18. Very natural, flowing, and relatable dialogue. Eay to read, and left me wanting more. Nice work.

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  19. I liked it, although it was a bit of a tease.

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  20. Thanks for fixing the info, Stephen. I would've emailed you, but I don't have the addy anymore.

    R. W. Ware

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