Flash fiction, 100 to 1200 words. Starting Labor Day, September 10.
I’ll add one of my old published stories once in a while to make it worthwhile (hopefully) checking in.
by Lester L Weil
My sister couldn’t leave the bad boys alone. She liked them rough and crude.
She wouldn’t have anything to do with any of the nice decent guys who crossed her path. It seemed like she wasn’t interested in anyone who didn’t knock her around. There wasn’t much I could do except watch. But if they got too physical, I’d have a little ‘talk’ with them and encourage them to leave town. This usually didn’t require anything more than a few bruises, although one guy did have to leave on crutches.
She had been cagey about her current boyfriend, trying to shield him from me, and it had taken me a goodly time to track down where he lived. Multiple bruises and a broken arm told of escalating brutality, and I needed to get him out of town before he hurt her seriously. But she was doing everything she could to protect him.
Tonight her roommate called and told me she was meeting Jake down at a touristy Mexican restaurant on the River Walk. And why is it that these guys always have names like Jake, Butch, Mac. Sometimes I think my sister picks them by the sound of their names.
I was almost to the River Walk when I noticed a small crowd near the entrance to an alley. Through the legs of the people I could see a familiar color—that of my sister’s favorite jacket. Approaching the group clustered at the police barrier, I began to get a bad feeling as I took in the scene beyond. The alley was a contrast of harsh halogen light and deep shadows, with police standing around. Closer now, over the heads of the crowd I could see the Medical Examiner kneeling over a body—my sister.
There are some things that you know are gonna happen, but that does not necessarily lessen the impact when they do. It was almost inevitable that my sister would get involved with one bad boy too many. But watching the scene in front of me play out… The sadness was almost overwhelming, and might have been were it not for the growing anger.
I stood and watched the ME check her temperature with a probe to the liver. I shuddered and stifled a retch. After the gurney was loaded into the coroner’s wagon, I turned and walked away. I didn’t want to talk with the police, because I had plans which did not include them.
* * *
So now I sit in Jake’s living room waiting. When he finally comes home I plan to probe for his liver temperature—repeatedly. His is going to be 98.6, but not for very long.
Published Doorknobs & Bodypaint #77 2015
Lester L Weil