Prompt: Elixir

girl shotgun 3

Tequila. I will have one more, ’cause Andy is no longer in front of me at the bar, but being awakened in the middle of the night by armed men.

While she was shot eight times, I was in the truck, stuck in the mud on a side road leading to the lake. I was angry, depressed, and drunk. No one likes a fierce argument with someone they love. She accused me of shit. I can’t take shit any more so I left, with a bottle.

She went to bed.

From the truck, I called my boss at the firehall to tell him I wouldn’t be in the following morning, though I don’t remember making the call. I guess I sounded as bad as I felt, because he called the police. “Please check up on Rick. He has PTSD. He sounds like he might harm himself.”

“Is he armed?” asked the dispatcher.

“I think so. He had a fight with his wife. She’s still at home.”

She was so pretty. Her hair was the color of cocoa, straight as a sheet of iron, glossy as Pettie Lake on a still day. She was just a little thing; she loved dogs, cooking shows, and could shoot the whiskers off a groundhog.

“I had a fight with Andy,” I told my boss. “She chased me out of the house.” That wasn’t actually, physically true. I meant “drove me out of the house”.

“Is she ok?”

“Mad as hell. I can’t get home, I’m stuck. She’s alone.”

“Do you want me to check on her?”

“Nah, it’s ok. She’s got the double-gauge,” I apparently told him.

My boss told the dispatcher that my wife was armed and angry. So they sent out a patrol car to check on her, in addition to someone to look for me.

My wife was awakened by a noise. There was a man at the window. There were no flashing lights. The shotgun was leaning up against the wall in the bedroom. She picked it up. There was a knocking at the door, then a pounding.

She opened the door and raised the rifle, in that silky, expert way she had.

When they found me, I was passed out. My wife had been dead for three hours.

Shhh. Think of how she looked that night we met, how she flirted with me. How she twirled her cocoa hair around her fingers. The way she started to hiccup when she laughed. Her long eyelashes. The warmth of her body.

Shhh. Tequila.

  • This story was adapted from a RadioLab podcast about a real incident in Florida. I couldn’t get it out of my head so wrote it down with my own paltry embellishments. The actual, full story is much more detailed and complex, and you can listen to it here.

The Cravings of Fabo Cann

Prompt: Craving


Fabo Cann awoke just after two am, having had a sex dream that compelled him to get dressed and walk the two blocks to the Smilin’ Strippah, which was open 24 hours a day.

It was Thursday, so the place was quiet. He knew that only two girls covered the weekday, overnight shifts; this week they were the one with the freckles and the one with the small boobs. That was ok. This night, Fabo Cann wasn’t fussy.

They didn’t strip all the way down, but for ten bucks they would give Fabo a flash. He ordered a rum and coke and settled into a metal chair facing the runway, across from what appeared to be a foursome of drunken college boys.

The freckled one was doing her best to slither up and down the pole seductively, and pretending to revel in the attentions of about eleven people, most in dark corners. Only Fabo Cann and the college boys occupied “front row”, well-lit seats.

The rum and coke was eighteen dollars. Fabo Cann would nurse it. He didn’t require a lot of alcohol to have a good time.

At the moment, what seemed to Fabo Cann to be a good time would be to punch the blonde frat boy with the gelled hair styled into short spikes, in the face. He was irritating. Sloppy and disrespectful to the freckled one, who was no particular friend of Fabo’s but whose honour it now seemed important to defend.

So Fabo Cann waited until the gelled fratboy got up and headed to the toilets. He waited outside, and when the gelled one appeared Fabo indeed punched him in the face, then was winding up for a good kick in the ribs when the guy’s three friends arrived.

Fabo Cann felt the manager of the Smilin’ Strippah could have intervened sooner; but in any case the damage was moderate and not severe, because of the intoxication level of the college boys.

Fabo stumbled along the sidewalk, a wad of paper towelling held to his nose. The streets were empty and the street lamps made pools of sickly yellow light on the pavement. He reached his apartment building, but instead of going up he made his way between two buildings and crossed a back alley which lay behind a strip mall, which had an all-night drive-through.

Fabo Cann fancied a chocolate milkshake. Now, the drive-through rules forbade foot customers. That was too bad. Fabo Cann was not currently interested in rules and desired a chocolate milkshake.

If he had to fight somebody to get one, so be it.