I’m doing a flash fiction challenge this month…the rule are simple, respond to the daily PROMPT, no editing, and it must be under a thousand words…Yeah, we don’t always pay attention to those rules, but you’ve got to have guidelines or you won’t know which rule to break!
So, the PROMPT for this day was to put “Why we can’t be friends” into the search bar. You had to pick one of the search results. This is the flash I wrote based upon my results…
The high-pitched whine in my ears deafened me. Every one was so damn quiet, the silence of the room screamed to be filled and my ears chose incessant hissing and buzzing as the sound I would be subjected to.
Old man Jimmy Johnson coughed behind me. I preemptively covered my mouth and nose. Old windbags could barely sit without releasing noxious fumes. Add a cough on top of it and anyone within a ten-foot radius had better prepare for a toxic plume.
Mrs. Stewart sat to my left, one row back in the pews, her incessant fingernail filing had me wondering if she had shortened her nails back to the bones. Her phlegmy cough won the award for most irritating, and that was taking into consideration Jimmy Johnson’s gas warfare.
Addie Warton clicked her crochet needles behind me. Tap. Tap. Tap. Her needles gathered, looped and wove scratchy wool thread it into yet another hideous masterpiece. It’d taken three months to lose my gift from her last Christmas. She’d offered to make me another, but with the Spring thaw, I received a reprieve. I fully expected two scarves in my holiday package this year.
The two seven-year-olds, Tommy and Heidi Scranton, scampered somewhere in the back, their mother, Muriel, was incapable of making the twins behave during any social event, not that this somber affair could be called the event of the season. I wanted to kill the twins, wrap an Addie Warton original masterpiece right around their tiny throats and shove each end into their squeaky mouths. Would anyone miss them if they disappeared? I wouldn’t.
I clicked my phone, lighting the screen, to glance at the time. I expected Jethro to arrive anytime now. I’d held his hand while he sobbed his heart out all week, but his hopes and prayers wouldn’t bring you back. I twisted in my seat, the white lace of my dress sliding easily on the polished wood beneath me. Jimmy Johnson claimed these pews had been polished by the asses of sinners for over a hundred years. That’s why they were hard and so damn slippery.
Where the hell was Jethro?
I was going to put him in the ground next if he didn’t show up soon. That boy was going to hold my hand through this event if it killed him.
The door swung wide, sunlight streaming down the center aisle. I squinted against the blast of light and held my breath. It was now or never. Jethro’s broad frame stood on the threshold, his features silhouetted by the sun. He took a step forward, his long legs so magnificent. My third favorite feature of his. He took another step and then another. His steady stride devouring the distance between us.
I rose to meet him, placing myself between him and the coffin. As he approached, the features of his face resolved into the ruggedly handsome man I had loved my entire life. His arms lifted from his side, folding me into his chest between one step and the next.
“How you holding up, Gemma?”
I curved my arms around his back, squeezing his muscular bulk. A single sob escaped me. “I’m good.”
I pulled back to gaze longingly into the chocolate depths of his eyes, watching them widen when he gazed down at me. Lifting up on tiptoe, I could barely reach his chin. He bent down for me and I pressed my lips to his cheek, something more appropriate than the sordid swapping of spit and other bodily fluids we’d shared the night you died.
He released me and stretched out his hand, gathering mine in his. “I can’t believe she’s gone.”
With a pat to his hand, I gave him reassurance. “She’s in a better place.” I spoke the truth. Soon you’d be resting your fat ass six-feet-under feeding the worms.
Jethro would always miss you, but he was mine now. You can’t steal him from me anymore; although you’d come perilously close. You’d certainly suffered magnificently while your lungs filled with fluid, drowning you slowly from the inside out.
But it was worth it. It was worth seeing the expression on your face when I told you why we couldn’t be friends anymore. Next time don’t steal your best friend’s man and I’ll keep my poisons locked up tight.