Another Flash Fiction Challenge hosted by Patti Abbott. This one is called “Sweet Dreams.” Patti describes the premise like this:
“It begins in a food/drink establishment of some sort. The radio/juke box/band is playing ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurythmics. A red-headed woman in an electric blue dress comes through the door. And then what?”
To see a list of all the stories, you can go here:
Here’s what I came up with.
FRIDAY NIGHT WITH A FEMME FATALE
“What do you think she’s up to?”
Billy Weston and Waylon Preston were sitting at the bar in the L & L Tavern, one of Currie Valley’s less discriminating watering holes. It was a dark, smoky establishment with Formica tables and wooden chairs, Neon beer signs and a forlorn ambiance that reminded you why you didn’t normally come to places like this. The song “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics was playing on the jukebox.
Billy shifted on his stool, trying to get the backs of his thighs to wake back up, and looked at what his friend was talking about.
A tall redhead in an electric blue dress that reached almost down to her knees had come in and sat down by herself at a table near the window. In the dingy surroundings she looked like the only thing in color.
“Why does she have to be up to something?” Billy asked.
“I don’t know,” Waylon said. “A woman looking like that in a place like this? Seems like she’s up to something.”
“She’s probably just waiting for someone. He’ll get here and they’ll go somewhere else.”
“Probably.” Waylon stood up from his stool.
“Where are you goin’?” Billy asked.
“To talk to her,” Waylon said. “Maybe buy her a drink.”
“You don’t want to do that.”
Billy took a drink of his beer. “That woman would destroy you.”
“I think I’d like that kind of destruction.”
“No you wouldn’t. Just by lookin’ at her, I can tell that woman is a bona fide femme fatale, a staple of film noir.”
“Those old movies you like?”
“Exactly. She’s a fabled legend made of curves and lips and cigarette smoke, a mythological beauty like Kitty March or Phyllis Dietrichson or Gilda Mundson Farrell.”
“I don’t know who any of those people are.”
“She’s nothing but devastation and ruin, betrayal in blue. She’ll get you to do anything for her, make you turn on those you love, get you to deceive your friends and yourself. She’s corruption. Before you even know what’s happened, before you even sense how she’s twisting you, you’ll end up in jail, dead or insane.”
“I wouldn’t want to end up in jail.”
Waylon sat back down on his stool. “She’s pretty hot, though.”
“That’s just what she wants you to think.” Waylon looked glum, so Billy added, “Don’t let her get you down. Like I said, she’s probably waiting for someone.”
The song on the jukebox switched to “Small Change” by Tom Waits. The woman in the window continued to sit by herself. Billy and Waylon drank without talking until Waylon stood up from his stool again.
“Where you goin’ now?”
“Bathroom. I’ve gotta drop the kids off at the pool.”
“Too much information.”
As soon as the bathroom door shut, Billy stood and walked over to the redhead’s table. As he got closer to her, he could detect a hint of perfume that he knew would carry him up into the clouds if he could just get close enough to her skin. “You look like you’ve been waiting for me your whole life,” he said. “How ‘bout I buy you a drink?”
The redhead shot him down so fast that Billy was back on his stool before Waylon could discover his treachery.