FLASH FICTION FRIDAY – F3 – CYCLE 42 – I’M LATE: LATE ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING

Prompt: The aftermath of being late.  Late.  Late!
Genre: Open
Word Count: 1000 words
Deadline: Friday, 5 August 2011, 9 am EST

LATE ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING

By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

Beeep!  Beeep!  Beeep!  Beeep!

The strident plea of the alarm clock drags me up from the depths of sleep.  I poke a tanned arm out from under the covers… hand sliding across the pillow to the nightstand… fingers groping for the proper button among the myriad bumps and shapes on the plastic surface….

Beep… beep… beep… beep… beep… wrong button… fumbling for another… rush of static… chhhiiissschh…another… ‘We wanna see ya in a KIA!’  Fuck… desperate now… my arm sweeps across the nightstand, raking everything to the floor.

CRASH!!  ‘… and now, to Carrie for the traf…’  Zzzzzt!

Silence.

I sigh and burrow back under the covers… trying to pick up the trail of the dream I was so rudely pulled from… Carole… naked in the shower… soapy bubbles sliding down her breasts… my hand reaching out to the stiff nipple…

 “Ronnie!  Get your ass up… now, girl!”  Unseen hands sweep the bedcovers off, unveiling my naked body curled on the surface of the Sedona Red sea of our over-sized queen bed.

“HEY!”  Blinking the sleep from my eyes, I turn my face up to Janine… glaring down at me.  Uh-oh… someone does not look too happy.

“Ronnie, you promised!”  The disappointment is plain in Janine’s voice.

“Promised?  What are you…?”  My brain is still fogged with sleep.

“You were supposed to pick up my Vera Wang from the drycleaners!”

Uh-oh!  I knew there was something I was forgetting yesterday.  Janine has a big meeting with the new director today and wanted to wear that outfit.

“Oh, honey… I am so sorry!  I…”  I get up from the bed and pull her to me.  “I’m sorry, honey… I really am…”  Whispering in her ear… “How can I make it up to you…?”

~~**~~

We are both late leaving for work… it couldn’t be helped though.  You can’t rush make up sex!

 ~~**~~

 The MAX trains are standing room only at this time of morning.  I can’t read the latest book I got from AMAZON… Whip Smart by Melissa Febos, which I’ve waited six months for.  I can’t read standing up and hanging on to one of those straps… it makes me nauseous.

Oh well… the sex was worth it!  

My cell phone is dead, so I can’t call Kim to let her know that I am running late.  By the time I finally get to the office, the girls have already left for our morning Starbuck’s run.  Damn!

That’s okay… the sex was worth it!

 Because I was late for work, I have to work through lunch to finish a report that’s due today.  I had planned on walking down to Macy’s at lunch to pick up a birthday present for Janine.  I’ll have to stop by on the way home… probably miss my train again.

I don’t mind… the sex was worth it!

~~**~~

 Macy’s isn’t busy when I get there, so I should be able to meet Janine at Fratellli’s by six.  We have a dinner date to celebrate her recent promotion.  Just as I step up to the only open register, a woman with a huge armload of clothes cuts in front of me and dumps her burden on the counter.

“Excuse me!”  What the hell?

“Oh… you’re excused.”  She replies, oblivious to her rude behavior.

“I’m sorry ma’am… this young woman was here first.”  The clerk interjects.

“Oh, let her go.”  I say.  “Some people can’t be bothered with manners.”

The woman shoots me a look.  I shoot one right back.  Go ahead, bitch… say something!

 She thinks better of it.

The woman finally finishes her transactions and is now looking at a jewelry display across the aisle.  I place my purchases on the counter and the clerk begins to ring them up.  Just then, the register makes this funny little “ring-ring” and the clerk looks up at me in surprise.

“Congratulations Miss!  You’ve just won a $25,000 shopping spree!”  As if to confirm the clerk’s pronouncement, the store’s PA comes on, announcing their millionth customer.

Oh.  My.  God!!

I’m stunned!  I look around… then back at the clerk, who has a huge smile on her face!  We both turn and look at the woman who had cut in front of me.  The woman looks like she is going to cry.  Yeah… karma’s a bitch… isn’t it, honey!

I stick my tongue out at her and then turn back to the clerk.  I can’t help thinking… if I had not been late today…

Oh yeah… the sex was definitely worth it!

~~**~~

Janine is already seated when I arrive at Fratelli’s.   I can’t wait to tell her my good news… it should make up for me being late to the restaurant.  She smiles up at me as I walk up to the table.  We kiss and I sit down and take a sip of wine.  I love the wines from the Trentino Alto Adige region in northern Italy.

“Sorry I’m late honey… where’s your glass?”

Janine just smiles.  Okay… she doesn’t look upset… I start to speak, but she stops me.

“I’m late.”

“No you’re not, honey… I…”  Off her look… “What…?”

“I went to the doctor today.”  Again… the smile.  And then, the dawning realization… my eyes go wide.

“Oh my god!  Really?  Are you…?”

Janine nods her head… still smiling… her eyes are wet.

“Oh my god… really… truly?”  I feel the tears welling up in my eyes.  We have been trying for two years to get pregnant… well, for Janine to get pregnant.  I cannot have children.  We were just about ready to give up hope, believing that it was not meant to be.

Janine nods again and the tears really start to flow.  That sets me off.

The waitress comes over and asks if everything is all right.

“We’re going to have a baby!”

~~**~~

Beeep!  Beeep!  Beeep!  Beeep!

The strident plea of the alarm clock drags me up from the depths of sleep.

 

~~finis~~


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About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found athttp://veronicathepajamathief.blogspot.com/ andhttp://veronicathepajamathiefwritespoetry.blogspot.com/, andhttps://veronicathepajamathief.wordpress.com/
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10 Responses to FLASH FICTION FRIDAY – F3 – CYCLE 42 – I’M LATE: LATE ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING

  1. McDroll says:

    Great story…loved the Karma part! I think I would have left out the last sentence..but that’s just my preference!

    Love stories with strong women characters….I’ll read more.

    • Thank you, Fiona… I always appreciate your comments.

      The last line… yes… I went back and forth over that for several days. The first draft didn’t have it and when I read through, I wasn’t keen on the ending. So, I changed the ending.

      I liked the new ending. I liked how it created some uncertainty… was the story just a dream? Or… was it another day? After all, isn’t that pretty much how most peoples’ day starts… the strident plea of the alarm clock?

      But then, I wondered… what if everyone thought it was just a dream, and none of that happened to Ronnie. Should I take it back out?

      In the end, I decided to follow a piece of advice given to me by another writer… “… don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are smarter than your readers… you’re not. Let them figure stuff out.”

      So… I left it in. I really do appreciate that you mentioned it though… its good critique. Thank you!

    • I like stories with strong female characters too, Fiona. I would be honored for you to read some of my other stories. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Pingback: F3, Cycle 42: The Stories | Flash Fiction Friday

  3. barbara says:

    Oh no! Just as I was reading this with a silly grin on my face! I do hope Ronnie’s actual day turns out to be as stellar as her dream within a dream day. I liked her.

    What a fun ride you have taken us on with this story, Veronica! Well done!

    • (claps hands) YAY!! I really wanted to write something lighter this week, Barbara… but, you have to go where the prompt takes you, right? My first idea for the prompt was dark, but after a day, it wasn’t moving… I slept on it, and… this is what my brain gave forth overnight.

      I am absolutely THRILLED that my story “put a silly grin” on your face! I bet its kind of like the grin I have on my face right now! 😀

      Trust me… Ronnie has some incredibly stellar days!

      Thank you so much, Barbara! I am thrilled you enjoyed the story!

  4. Flannery says:

    Saucy and fun, as usual! Great job, Veronica!

  5. Beach Bum says:

    Great story, I’m a sucker for happy endings. Waking from the dream at the end was a great twist.
    “I’m sorry ma’am… this young woman was here first.” The clerk interjects.

    Had something similar happen at Disney World of all places, a dude and his wife tried to forcefully jump in front of my wife once, My size and a raised eyebrow sent then on their way.

  6. Thank you, Beach!

    Except for winning a shopping spree, that actually happened to me at Macy’s. Hey, just because I am only 5’3″… doesn’t mean you can push me around.

    🙂

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