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Flash Fiction, Writing

Picture It & Write: Lonely Teardrops

Arnanda was looking forward to the New Year celebration; she knew that this year would be unlike any other.

She had tired of being the wall-flower, of being passed over for the prettier girls, the sexy girls, the girls who smelled like they might put out. After paying bills she took the remainder of her paycheck–which she usually dropped into savings–and bought a new dress, some heels, and a fancy French parfum. She listened in to the conversations of the other girls at work and found out that the hot spot this season was an unmarked club down at the wharf; it was one of those trendy places built into an old warehouse that catered to the hip and wanna-be hip 20-somethings who worked in the office district downtown. It gave them a sense of danger since it was in a so-called seedier part of the city. Having no signage made it the ultimate choice. Those other girls knew she was listening, and because they thought it was funny, left one of the oh-so-exclusive-gotta-know-the-right-people-to-get-one invitation passes on the floor near Arnanda’s cubicle like so much dropped accidental trash, which she found and clutched to her small bosom like lost treasure. She made no mention of it, but one of the girls noticed and snickered about it; vultures they were, and anxious to feed off the sadness that seemed sure to ensue.

It was 10pm on New Year’s Eve; the invitation suggested that the cheapest drinks would be served starting at 10:30 but a place in line would need to be secured by 10. Arnanda pulled at the hem of her dress in hopes of adding more coverage to her usually unexposed thighs; the dress didn’t have much to it and it excited her almost as much as it made her uncomfortable. From behind her, at the nape of her neck: “Do you want to borrow my jacket until we get inside?”

She turned and was almost nose-to-nose with the most beautiful man she’d ever seen; her experience was limited to the workers at the grocery store around the corner from her apartment complex, the guys at the office, and the stars of her favorite murder-mystery shows. “Um, no–” she stammered, lamely, “I’m cool.”

Mr. Beauty smiled. “I can see that by all the goosebumps up and down your arms,” he said as he draped his body-warm coat around her.” Oh, and my name is Bret, but the way. And you are?”

She told him her name as they inched their way into the club, and as those other girls from work watched. Bret took her to the bar. “What’ll you have? First one’s on me.”

Arnanda had never been to a place like this; there was no drink menu and the bottles were hidden beneath the bar. She thought quickly. “I’ll have whatever you are having.”

Bret ordered two Ouzo’s and while his conversation kept Arnanda charmed, slipped the powder into her glass. “Cheers, and Happy New Year,” he whispered in her ear as she tipped the glass as nonchalantly as she could. Those other girls were at a table to the left, and grinned in the darkness as Bret and Arnanda continued their conversation briefly. They could tell when the powder began to have its effect when Arnanda, and a tear from her right eye, slipped limply to the floor at the stroke of midnight.

ermilia: Picture It & Write

This is my submission for this week’s Picture It & Write.

18 Comments

  1. deanabo February 10, 2013 1:13 am

    Chilling…. Very good writing.

    • AR Neal February 10, 2013 1:22 am

      Thank you, Deana! I saw the prompt and that’s what came out 🙂

  2. themisanthropicmuse February 10, 2013 2:09 am

    Man those coworkers are absolutely evil to delight in someone they work with getting slipped a date rape drug. I would think most women put petty differences aside when it comes to things like that or at least considering the “what would you do” experiment that showed even total strangers who saw that would attempt to warn the girl about what they witnessed.

    The story was really good just incredibly sad. Poor girl.

    • AR Neal February 10, 2013 2:27 am

      There are stories regularly on the news that helped inspire this cruel little tale…sad, but true.

  3. neenslewy February 10, 2013 3:27 am

    Great ending, knew there was something not quite right. I liked a lot of your detailed descriptions especially how she felt in her dress.

    • AR Neal February 10, 2013 3:41 am

      Thank you! Sometimes I wonder if the detail serves as a good lead-in…

  4. Swirling Turnip February 10, 2013 3:58 am

    Ugh, well written, it really pissed me off! Someone needs to get to Arnanda and help her! You evoked a lot of emotion from me in very few words. Just what a writer should do.

    • AR Neal February 10, 2013 4:10 am

      Thank you! I often don’t know where the prompt will take me. Sometimes the places evoke strong emotion.

  5. Anne Schilde February 10, 2013 7:45 am

    Ack, how aggravating. Haha, I wanna kick their a^^s!

    Three stories… three pick-up men introduced so far. I’m suddenly feeling cliché, but y’all are in it with me!

    “…girls who smelled like they might put out…” had kind of a personal ring for me. And I really like how this story towed me along! Good job!

    • AR Neal February 10, 2013 4:17 pm

      Hahaha, Anne! I think there are times when the pick-up men need to be in the story. And you have done a superb job of including them!

  6. Ermilia February 10, 2013 12:02 pm

    Grrr! That is so cruel. It’s so terrible that these things happen. Infuriates me to no end. Great storytelling! Thanks for contributing this week to Picture it & write. 🙂

    – Ermisenda

    • AR Neal February 10, 2013 4:17 pm

      Thank you, Ermisenda! Love Ermilia 🙂

  7. joetwo February 10, 2013 7:34 pm

    Jaysus! What a creep!

  8. gretchenfogelstrom February 10, 2013 9:53 pm

    Awful. I hate that that is even out there. Well done. Very chilling and disgusting and sad.

    • AR Neal February 11, 2013 3:00 am

      Thank you, Gretchen…as I have said before, life gives all the inspiration we could ever want, good and bad!

  9. Pingback: Who Do You Write Like? | Sunshine Impressions

  10. kz February 11, 2013 2:12 am

    oh god.. horrifying! i always, always guard my drink. this is a sad tale but unfortunately very real.. what mean b*tches >< totally hate them. good story

    • AR Neal February 11, 2013 2:58 am

      Yes, unfortunately too true!

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