If you haven't yet, stop by the NOT and check out Mike Solender's echap-book, The Dog Days of Summer 2010. Many #fridayflash fav's are featured (sorry for the alliteration), and an honorable mention story from my new writing buddy, Jay Thurston. Oh yeah, if you search hard enough, you may even find a 101 word story from moi.
In other news, Barry Basden of the Camroc Press Review nominated a story of mine for the "Best of the Net Anthology 2010". It's a long shot, but I am so honored to be considered. Thank you Barry.
Here's this week's 3WW and #fridayflash.
Carl stared at the bottom of his martini glass, wondering why his olive wriggled. Air bubbles rose from beneath the olive, as if his glass held carbonated water instead of gin with a whisper of vermouth. He knew better. From some physics formula he learned in his youth but forgot in the five decades since, he understood. Movement forced air bubbles to rise. What the hell moved his olive?
"I'm not your nurse Carl."
"Would you prefer 'bar wench'?"
"Would you prefer coffee?"
"Try it and I won't tip."
Tara scrambled for the remote, pointed it at the tiny box beneath the HD television. "Did hell freeze over Carl? I didn't think you knew the word 'tip'?" Tara laughed. The news anchor's blathering replaced Journey's believing-mantra fading from the jukebox.
Carl shook his head. "With that negative attitude, what do you expect?"
Tara shushed him, turned to grab a rolled up newspaper and swatted at a fly. Carl squinted at her tight shorts, thought about how much he wanted to do her and wished he'd thought even four seconds sooner you can't handle the tip I've got. That would have topped her. He would top her. Carl wanted to gulp his martini, but he forced himself to refrain; today was the only day in the month he could allow himself a martini. Tomorrow, and for the next twenty-eight days, he could only afford happy hour beer, and linger over those until they became piss-warm.
But today he cashed his social security check, and the gin glistened and the condensation dripped and Dan Fogerty warbled about something rising as Carl felt his own something rising that hadn't risen in a very long time, not since the government suspended the contract one month before his pension and he lost his house and lost his wife and lost his confidence, but now, right now, he could savor not only the rot-gut gin but his gut-growing lust for a young girl in tight-ass shorts who should consider him a sugar daddy instead of dismissing him as a lecherous grandfather and what the hell was bursting from the pitted hole of his olive?
Carl rubbed his face with both hands, cleared his throat, clutched the wet stem of his glass. "Tara?"
She swatted at the air, then sighed. "What now Carl?"
"What's in the olives?"
"What, you think this is the capitol grille? Nothing's in the olives. And for what you pay, you're lucky you get any olives."
Carl slammed his fist against the wooden bar. "Watch it Carl," Tara warned, but he ignored her. The vibration against the bar shook his glass; the olive spun.
A tiny girl burst from the pitted hole, arms raised in a celebratory "v". Her curly blonde ringlets floated in the gin as she popped then settled, her red halter top accenting her wee-shapely breasts which settled against the smooth green. Her miniature lips formed an oh, the liquid shimmering from a diffused buzz. "Are you talking?" Carl asked.
Carl lifted his glass to eye-level, the faint pine-y scent of juniper berries tickling his nostrils. She was beautiful, proportioned perfectly, a dream woman... except for the fact she fit inside a Queen's olive. Carl snorted. It could be worse, he thought, a manzanilla olive... wish I were a pimento right about now. Carl gulped, looked around the room and wondered if anyone else saw what he was seeing.
A skinny kid sporting spotty sideburns and raging acne fed dollar bills into the jukebox. Carl heard his damn! I haven't heard the chili peppers in ages. Aggressive chords filled the room, drowning out the buzzing fly and pimento fantasy. Carl returned his attention to his glass.
The olive girl hoisted herself out of the hole and balanced on the olive-edge. She bent her wee knees and sprung, arms swimming in an upward breast-stroke as her feet kicked. Carl marveled at the tiny red dots on her toes. She rose to the surface of his martini. Before olive-bursting girl was able to grasp the glass-lip, Carl's hand shook, plopping her back through the heady liquid and into her hole.
A fly landed on the bar next to Carl's elbow. Before Carl could react, Tara swatted with her newspaper, knocking Carl's drink out of his hand. "Ah!" Carl yelped, startled by the sharp slam of newspaper and the sharper sound of shattering glass. The skinny kid sang with the jukebox, twisting and turning as the olive rolled along the bar and cold gin shocked Carl's crotch and Tara shouted "damn!" and the living pimento crawled out of her hole and Carl heard you're feelings are burning and Tara raised the newspaper and olive thumbelina shook herself and Carl shouted "no!" and the off-key kid droned you're breaking the girl as Tara smashed the bar. To Carl, the smash echoed for a very long time.
"You okay Carl?"
Carl reached into his back pocket, mopped his face with his handkerchief. "Hang on, I'll make you another," Tara said.
"Nah, that's okay. One's enough." He got out his wallet, put a couple dollars on the bar. Tara raised her eyebrows. Carl turned away before he had to explain he planned on skipping tomorrow's happy hour.