This week, Chuck Wendig‘s flash fiction challenge was all about apples. Sort of.
He posted a list of apple names, and we were to pick three to include in the story (the names, not the apples). I used a random number generator and ended up with King Solomon, Orleans Reinette, and Hoover.
Sounds like an early 1930’s story, doesn’t it?
Warning: for something that started with apples, this came out really dark. Probably the darkest thing I’ve written.
I reach the Orleans Reinette as the rain picks up. Holding my clutch over her head, as if that’ll protect my brown curls from the downpour, I stare at the torrent before I enter the club. It would be convenient for this to last as long as it takes me to finish.
The Rienette could have a hundred more lights and still feel dark; maybe it was the shroud of sin that covered it. A small band plays on one side, their enthusiasm matching the overall mood of the place.
I scan the interior, looking for my target: a pompous fatass in the back corner who has the nerve to call himself King Solomon. Or that’s what his cronies call him, at least, and his following has grown since the crash. Too many flat tires lost everything, and now they scurry under the table of any big cheese who will allow it, hoping for some dropped crumbs.
As I walk to the bar, I shimmy and pull my dress down as far as it’ll go, only a couple inches below my hips. Dressing like a flapper wasn’t my choice, but Solomon likes them. Gotta play the part if I want to get close.
I order a drink and keep my eyes on him. He’s got a couple gals around him already, along with some other couples at the table. Getting him alone won’t be easy.
“What’s eatin’ you?” the bartender asks, breaking my trance. His Louisiana accent is as thick as my own.
“How about this? On the house.” He slides a shot glass of clear liquid towards me, and I down the contents without asking what it is. I don’t care. It’ll help later. Doing this never gets easier. The liquid burns all the way to my stomach.
When the bartender’s attention moves to another customer, I see my chance. I approach Solomon’s table, keeping my purse tight under my arm. Don’t need anyone accidentally seeing what’s in there.
The King looks up at me as I stand near the table.
“Hey, baby.” His cheaters scan me from head to thigh, as far as he can see with the table in the way. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Let’s say, Hoover.” I shift, making my hip stick out as a stare at him, trying to look sexy.
He laughs before he grumbles. “That piker? Cost me twice as much last year.”
These rich guys always worried about the tax rate. Get him upset; that’s how this needs to start.
I stick out my lip, like I’ve seen those other girls do, and I make a point of thickening up my accent. “Sorry, baby. I upset you. Anythin’ I can do to make it up to you?” I reach down and inch up the hem of my dress.
The girl leaning next to The King scoffs.
He pulls his arm back from around her. “Bank’s closed.” He gestures to the club with a head tilt.
“What? But I –“
“Scram. Before I call your daddy.”
She scoffs again and removes herself from the booth, kicking me on her way towards the bar. My ankle stings from the impact, but I don’t show it.
Wasting no time, I take her place. The King smells like a combination of cigarettes and low tide. I try to hold my breath while I flirt.
He leans towards me. “Seems I got something you want. Is that right, baby?”
My insides recoil, but I run my hand up his thigh anyway. Anything to speed this along. “Why don’t we go somewhere… more private.” I bite the edge of my lip and make my eyes glance towards his crotch.
He probably thinks I’m a prostitute, just another dame down on her luck. That’s likely what he thought of Margaret. It’s the perfect trap. Playing into his assumption, I ask, “You got dough?”
“Oh yeah.” He smiles and scoots me out of the booth. Grabbing my wrist, he pulls me into a back room, behind some shelving. He wastes no time dropping his pants and hiking my dress up.
“Whoa, hold on now. I want you to get your money’s worth.” I flick my eyebrow, and he shudders. “Close your eyes.”
Just like the others, he does.
I retrieve the knife from my purse. As one last act of revenge, I stroke his inner thigh before I run the blade through it.
His eyes shoot open and go to the blood spurting from his leg. “What the hell?” he yells before he falls to the floor. He sits up, trying to wrap his hands around the certainly fatal wound.
His blood pools around him. I have little time.
I kneel and put my face inches from his. “That’s for Margaret. The girl you raped. Remember her?” I run the tip of the blade along his jawline, making a scraping sound against his stubble.
He scowls at me. “If she was the only one, I might.”
Before I can stop myself, I use both hands to drive the knife into his chest. “She was my sister, and I promised her I’d kill you for what you did.” I twist the knife and pull it out, making him scream. He passes out a moment later.
That will draw attention. I have to leave.
I slide a box under a window, stand on it, and pull myself into the falling rain. It washes away the blood and my murderous act.
I put the knife back into my purse. Four down. Countless more to go.
If only Margaret had survived to tell us who attacked her.
If I can’t kill her rapist, I might as well kill them all, I figure. All it takes is a little detective work and girlish charm.
Time to start planning number five.