Here is my fourth flash fiction short for Chuck Wendig's friday challenge of July 8th. This time the prompt was a bizarre photo that he called the "Lady and the Swordsman." Being the visually stimulated person that I am, defect of twenty years working as a professional painter, my mind started racing and I thought of an article I read years ago in some newspaper about a Rambogram. Here I tried to create the story through dialogue. Clic on the link to Chuck's blog to check out the photo before you read this, if you feel like it.
By Angie Brooksby Arcangioli
Flash Fiction Challenge 8 July 2011
“I’m delivering a telegram,” Dave managed to say while slobbering on the boutique window his cheek was crammed against. “Telegram,” he repeated. “Ouch, that hurt.”
They jammed his arms up high between his shoulder blades and someone held his hair so tight he could feel the knuckles whitening in their grip.
“Shut up, man,” the guy behind him said.
“You got him, Bambi?” another one said.
“This is a big mistake. You’re making a mistake. It’s all wrong,” he complained as black grease smeared across the window and his thoughts flew to Candy when the masked lady wearing a fur stole appeared. She placed a white glove in the upheld hand of the mannequin, the ugliest one he’d ever laid eyes on. What the hell were they thinking when they put that fencing helmet on it? The lady smiled and watched him from behind the glass.
“You makin’ the mistake buddy, you’re under arrest,” the man said when he tightened the plastic things around his wrists then brought his arms down and flung him around.
Dave’s heart jumped when he saw an entire SWAT team pointing guns down his throat.
“Smug bitch,” he whimpered when he felt a bee sting his shoulder then his knees bent and he peed himself as he crashed to the ground.
“Your eyes are beautiful, Candy,” Dave said. Her smile bright.
“Thanks Dave, you’re free to go.”
“Home, or if you want we can go for a drink but you must change first.”
Dave sat up.
“Take it easy, “ Candy said and touched his burning shoulder, “ they shot you with…”
“Shot me? I’m shot? Who shot me?” His head spun and his vision blurred. He let himself fall back to the cot.
A man dressed in black walked towards them and asked Candy to sign a paper on a clipboard. He remembered he’d been arrested. He was in some kind of clinic or maybe it was a hospital. Voices and hard heeled shoes banged around his foggy head. He was in a police station; the man talking to Candy was a police officer.
“Yes sir, I am responsible,” she said.
“What you did Miss Lark is grave. You will need to hire a lawyer if he wants to press charges.”
“Yes sir,” Candy responded and the man walked away.
Another officer asked him, “Need something sir, water, a coffee?”
Dave’s head seemed unattached.
“A coffee, black, jet black.”
“Right away sir.”
He walked away and Candy’s face filled the room. He could smell her lipstick. The unbecoming pink triggered his memory and his brain ticked to. Instantly he was awake.
“Who was I supposed to deliver the telegram to?” he asked sitting up.
“I see the drug wore off,” Candy said, “they told me it would happen like that, you’re eyes would open, you’d be groggy then suddenly wide awake.”
“Where you there? why didn’t you tell them I was delivering a telegram?”
“Promise if I tell you, you won’t get mad.”
“Okay, I’ll tell you because you’re going to be on the news tonight.”
“Oh shit, no.”
“Polly asked me to have you deliver the telegram to Jim and she insisted on the Rambogram. She knew that you needed money to buy me the diamond ring and you’d complained that you were sick of dressing up like the French maid because you had to shave your legs and the Rambogram was the most expensive so she ordered it and wrote that we are getting hooked and you wanted Jim to be best man. Me and Polly were going to jump out at the last minute and drop our fur coats and you guys would get such a thrill when you saw our get-ups. Remember those strawberry flavored panties. I couldn’t wait to see your face. Isn’t that just so cool?”
“I can’t believe it,” Dave mouthed.
“Oh yeah and I was in the shop window with a mask on and wearing the fur and Polly was hiding behind the curtain. You were so sexy. And then some old lady called the police. She was freaking out like you were some thief or Rambo in person. Oh you were hot, with that ripped tank top and your abs showing. You should have seen the way people got so scared and hid behind cars.”
“Candy… what?” he tried to say but she interrupted him, she was talking eighty miles an hour, he’d never seen her like that, this bimbo wasn’t his betrothed, she was someone else.
“The SWAT team came and a guy they called Bambi squished your face against the window display, oh you looked just like my little nephew when he makes funny faces, then they shot you with some drugged dart and you collapsed and that is when you peed yourself. There were tons of people, a huge crowd and the TV crews. They’d lined off the area so fast. Everything happened in a blink of an eye. Oh my Boogly-Boo, let me kiss your shoulder and the boo-boo will go away.”
She leant towards him puckering her lips with her eyes closed tight, aiming for his sore shoulder but he dodged her and stood up to accept the coffee from the officer.
“Dave, what’s got in to you?” Candy asked.
He glanced at her sideways as he sipped the black liquid that tasted like heaven, normally he hated coffee but he felt reborn when the boiling ebony liquid burned his throat.
He threw the plastic cup in the trash walked through the door and his voice trailed behind him, “Forget the ring, Candy, forget everything, it was all a big mistake, I was wrong. We’re not getting married.”