Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, a blog hop where authors post 500-1000 words of free flash fiction. I am serializing a story, so this post continues with the story of Carson, who’s trying to work out whether Sir is the dom of his dreams or just a bad penny from his past.
Because I’m recovering from surgery and set this story to post ahead of time, the group kindly sent me a couple advance prompts, and I have used the Berlin Wall.
Want to read the story of Carson’s first meeting with the mysterious “Sir”? You can read “Unwrapped” here. The chapters are linked.
Want to start with the first chapter of Uncool? Click here. These chapters are also linked.
I returned to Lenie’s apartment with Chinese takeout. We’d spent the past three Christmas nights together and lo mein was our traditional Christmas night feast. She was waiting with a string of lights glowing across the window and two place settings plus a single lighted candle on her coffee table. Lenie’s all about details.
“So what’d you find out?” she asked.
“It’s worse than I thought.”
“He’s not bad looking.”
“You are so shallow.”
“I know. But that doesn’t help.” I passed one finger over a candle flame. “What sucks is I haven’t been able to unearth exactly what happened between my dad and Bradley.”
“You mean seven years ago?”
“It’s like there’s this missing piece.”
“So ask Bradley.”
“He’s already proven he can’t be trusted.”
She forked more lo mein onto her plate. “What did he do?”
“I'm not sure. There was some sort of deal for the Steelyard property. My dad met with Bradley that morning. And later that day my dad shot himself.”
“Not after meeting with Bradley?”
“No. But the same day.”
“On the day I was born, the Berlin Wall fell. The two events aren’t connected.”
“These two are. I just don’t know how.”
“Here,” she said, “have a fortune cookie.”
She was being a good friend, trying to distract me. The cookie held a hint of paper in its little crack. “So,” I asked, “how did your last Christmas’s fortune turn out?”
She chewed her final bite of lo mein, then cracked an inscrutable smile. “There’s still a week left in the year.”
“The year runs from Christmas to Christmas.”
“If that’s the case, the Chinese gods of fortune have failed again. A beautiful, smart, and loving person has not come into my life. You?”
“You mean has my success attracted many admirers? No. Just one and I’m not too sure that’s a good thing.”
“You really have to either put this guy out of your mind, like completely, or else meet him and get some answers. Because you’re not going anywhere except in circles until you do.”
She was probably right. I finished the lo mein and washed it down with sparkly cider, Lenie’s concession to holiday spirits. The sweet drink bubbled cheerfully in a champagne flute. Once the dishes were put away and the leftovers in the fridge, we sat back on the couch to open our cookies.
Lenie read hers first. “‘Not all closed eye is sleeping, nor open eye is seeing.’” She frowned. “What’s that mean? Are the Pharoahs about to go zombie on me?”
“Now there’s a thought. You could find yourself on the cutting edge of mummy research.”
“Tomorrow I’m packing heat. What does yours say?”
I cracked the cookie and pulled out the bit of paper. “‘Life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.’”
“Well you definitely have to change something.”
“Maybe something around me will change.”
“That’s not always good, you know. Change isn’t always better. But if something’s not good, change it.” Lenie lifted the bottle of sparkly, peered to see how much was left, then divided the contents between us. “You know what I think? You’re in a rut. You’re not thinking, and that’s a problem. Just because you’re set on being swept off your feet by a man whose whip you want to kiss doesn’t mean you have to stop thinking. Stew didn’t tell you to stop thinking, did he? Because if he did, he’s what you need to change.”
“No, Stewart just sets rules.”
She cocked her head. “You think you need rules? Still? How long has it been since AJB IV?”
“Almost two years. Maybe that’s why I need this so much, the bondage and control… it’s a real need I have, Lenie. I just don’t know how to find someone who will meet it. It’s not just about the sex. People are always ready to take that from me.”
Lenie held up her hand to show me four fingers. I would have laughed if it weren’t so painful. My four asshole ‘masters’. I’d given cars to those men, along with leather coats, club memberships, and expensive jewelry. My generosity hadn’t stopped them from treating me like shit, tying me up to share me with their friends and making me perform acts I didn’t want.
“Maybe you have it backward, you know.” Lenie was being careful with me, and that was irritating. “This being submissive thing of yours, it’s kind of sweet. You know I think that, right? The first time I saw you, you were trying to climb aboard a dragon because your boyfriend had dumped you. You’re like a puppy who’s always eager to please. But what about what you want?”
“Has the symbolism escaped you? I want to ride a dragon. And I want to make the man I’m with happy.”
“Same way you make me happy, with coffee and Mummer’s tickets?”
She knew better than that, but I had no clue what she was trying to say. “Not exactly?”
“See? There you have it. That’s the problem.”
“What?” All I saw was a round-faced girl with red bangs and the fierce gaze of a maternal hawk.
“Think about it,” she advised.
“Does that mean I can stay here for a couple days?”
“Suit yourself.” She pulled her laptop toward her. “I’m searching the internet for a flamethrower.”
All of the Wednesday Briefers have great stories to offer this week, so check them out!