I was going to post this on my blog this week but other promoting took precedence. So then I realized there is something called Flash Friday where you post flash fiction and I thought Great, I'll post it Friday. Then I discovered Flash Fiction is supposed to be less that 1000 words (though I never got a confirmation on that). So I am going to post half the story Friday and the other half Saturday. Then cheat and use the whole think for Sample Sunday. You can let me know in the comments if you like this way or would rather have the whole story all at once. I'm experimenting here so really let me know. Here is the first half of
Never Bring This Up Again:
I always knew someday I would kill somebody. I knew it like I knew I wouldn’t like peas or broccoli before I ever tasted them. I’m not a bad person, just felt I had it in me.
So, like a dumb ass, I let it slip to my buddy, Bob, one night when we were drunk. Well, maybe drunk isn’t a strong enough word. We were wasted off our asses. At least I was. I didn’t even remember telling him ‘till he brought it up a few days later.
We were just sitting in The Bar (The Bar not requiring a name since it was the only one in town). We were sitting at what may as well have been our table since we were here so frequently. And he just throws it out there. I’m talking about getting ready for football to start and he just blurts it out.
“So, when you gonna kill somebody?” he asked.
“What? What the hell are you talking about?”
“You told me you were sure someday you’d kill somebody.”
“When did I say that?”
“When we were drinking the other night.”
I laughed. “What night? We’re here every night.”
“Saturday. Don’t you remember?”
“As a matter of fact I don’t remember. I do remember wishing I was dead for the first half of Sunday though.”
“Well, you said it.”
A few flashes of that night came back but I wanted to stop this now. “Whatever man,” I said and went to get another round.
But he wouldn’t let it go. He bought it up at least once every time we were drinking. He just kept asking me when I was gonna do it. Finally, one night, I’d had enough.
“Why can’t you let this go? I was drunk. I don’t even remember saying it.”
He glanced around the bar without moving his head. “Do you really think you could do it? Kill someone, I mean?”
“I don’t know?” But I knew. “Why?”
“We’ve been friends a long time, right?”
“Right,” I said, wondering where this was going.
“There’s someone I want killed.”
“There’s this guy. He’s sleeping with my wife. I want you to kill him.”
“Is this your idea of a joke?”
“I’m serious man.”
I took a long drink of my beer. Then I leaned close and looked him right in the eye. “You listen to me and you listen good. I am not a killer,” I emphasized each word with a poke to his chest, “I know we’ve been friends a long time but enough is enough.” I threw a twenty on the table and gave him my best tough guy look, “Never, ever bring this up again.”
The truth is, I was tempted. That’s why I had to end this right now. Cold blooded murder just isn’t the way I thought it would go. It had to be someone who deserved it. And no one could ever find out it was me.
But he just wouldn’t let it go. I guess my best tough guy was more John Denver than John Wayne. And it got worse.
“Okay,” he said one night, “it’s not just some guy sleeping with my wife.”
“What’s not?” I was distracted by the half naked woman playing pool at the far end of the bar.
“The guy I want you to kill.”
I reluctantly looked at Bob. “Oh my God! I told you-“
He leaned in, “I know what you told me,” he whispered, “but this is serious.” Again he looked around the bar, “I didn’t want to give you the real reason cause I thought you wanted to do it, but since you won’t I gotta tell you the truth.”
“Does this truth have anything to do with why you’re acting like this?”
“Acting like what?”
“Your leg is bouncing like it’s on hot coals and every time someone walks in here you jump.”
“Never mind,” I leaned back and shrugged like I didn’t care, “So, what’s the truth?”
“They’re plotting to kill me.”
“My wife and Tommy.”
“What makes you think that?”
“I don’t know. I just feel it,” he said.
“You’re being ridiculous.”
“No man. They really are.”
“Then get a divorce,” I said.
“That’ll just speed them up. They want me gone and they want the insurance money.”
“Then cancel your insurance. Now quit asking me before I kill you instead.” I returned to watching the pool game.
He sat back resigned. For the night anyway. I have to admit my curiosity was piqued. I knew the guy he was talking about. Tommy Hinks, kind of a low life, new in town, and seriously lacking in personal hygiene. I couldn’t picture Bob’s wife sleeping with him. Sue was beautiful, in a small town kind of way. Blond, blue eyed, soft in all the right places, but a little naïve and self absorbed. In a big city she would be pretty, but in this small town well, let’s just say, if she wanted to cheat, there was a line of men a lot better than Tommy that would jump at the chance.
So no, I didn’t believe Bob’s story. But just to be sure, I followed Tommy for about a week. I figured people having an affair would meet at least once a week. Bob thought I was avoiding him. Following Tommy was pretty easy since worked the same hours as me. Plus, Tommy’s not the brightest bulb on the tree. Bob was excited when I finally met him at the bar, but for the wrong reason.
“So you’ve thought about it and-” he started.
I held up my hands, cutting him off. “Let’s just cut the bullshit, Okay. I followed your friend Tommy all week. He never got near your wife.”
Return Tomorrow for the rest of the story.