The Choice - Flash Fiction


        

         The hall light came on in a flash the moment the fifteen-year old stepped through the front door. The hand that once helped her across the street slapped her across the face. The smack rang out in the quiet house, as did the daughter’s laughter. Angel didn’t feel the pain of her mother's hit. She was high on cocaine.
         The mother screamed, “You selfish bitch! Where were you?”
         Angel’s tone was flat when she replied, “Out.”
         “I know you were out! Where? Were you with him?”
         Angel wondered if her father was really sleeping through his wife’s yelling or was he too afraid to get caught in the middle of the two of them. “You already know I was. Can you move so I can go to bed?”
         “You’re late! I was insane with worry! Don’t you give a shit about anyone but yourself?”
         Angel let out a loud sigh, “I’m not even ten minutes late, Ma.”
         “You’re grounded.” She stepped aside so Angel could move up the stairs to the solitude of her bedroom.
         “You’re kidding, right?”
         With a smug look her mother replied, “Maybe you’ll think twice about being late and laughing about it next time you come waltzing through the door.” She brushed past Angel, then said over her shoulder, “Don’t treat me like a second-class citizen. I’m your mother.”
         “Ma, I was ten minutes late, you’re really gonna ground me for being ten-“
         “Yeah, I’m really gonna ground you. Go to bed, you selfish little whore.” Her mother shut her bedroom door with a slam.
         Angel sat on the edge of her bed. She was too wired from the blow to fall asleep. Not to mention too hurt by the sting of her mother's words. As she undid the laces of her tennis shoes, she looked around the room. Her Prince and Billy Idol posters stood in stark contrast to the Barbie dolls she just couldn’t seem get rid of yet. Those dolls reminded her of a better time. A time when she played with such carefree abandon. A time before her mother started throwing verbal daggers. A time before her parents couldn’t protect her from her uncle’s touch.
         Angel was jolted from those dark memories by the crash of her bedroom door being thrown open. Her mother’s face was red as screamed, “It’s either him or us! Your choice! We give you everything you could ever need. Clothes, food, shelter, and all you do is come home to eat and sleep. Well, I’m tired of being treated like a hotel. I’m done! So it’s time to choose missy! Him or us! He can have your selfish ass!” The door slammed shut with another loud bang as her mother left her in peace again.
         Silent tears ran down Angel’s face. She reached inside her pocketbook searching for the folded piece of notebook paper she prayed was in there. She whispered, “Please God, just one bump, just til morning, just to help me get through this night alone.” She dumped the contents of her purse onto the bed. No packet of leftover coke to be found. Damn!
         As she sat on the edge of the bed again, she eyeballed the diorama she made in junior high. Yes! She flipped over one of the little dolphins, and bingo! A joint. Thank God for emergency stashes. She cracked her window open and allowed the calming effects to numb her from her pain. For now.
         As the night wore on, her mother continued to barge in and scream obscenities at her until she finally calmed down too. Or maybe, just maybe, her father had had enough. Eventually, the sun rose and with it a new day and new opportunity. Angel found a note on the kitchen table in her father’s writing:

         We’re at the diner getting breakfast. Join us if you’d like. Love dad.

         As if nothing had happened.

         Angel flipped the note over and wrote:

         I choose him.

         As she walked out the door she spotted a small white packet lying on the floor by the front door. She smiled brightly as she picked it up and snorted it’s contents. The high was instant. It was going to be a good day. It was going to be a good life. 
        Or was it?


          Remember my dear readers,"It takes a thousand 'atta girls' to erase one 'you selfish bitch'." I speak from experience.

Needeen's Love - Lost and Found: Valentine’s Edition Bloghop

click to join the fun!

When Lexi was a young girl with blonde ponytails that bounced when she ran and played, she had no idea she’d be famous before the age of thirty. Perhaps not for artist she longed to be but instead for whom she loved, but famous nonetheless. But that fame wouldn’t come for another twenty-five years. 

Right now, all Lexi wondered was if Santa remembered the watercolors she wanted. And Santa gave her that and more. Brushes, paints, canvases, and other supplies for an aspiring young artist were beautifully wrapped and left under the tiny tree. Mommy whispered that Santa had a special place in his heart for talented artists like the two of them.

Lexi would never forget that Christmas. Not because Santa had been so generous, but because cancer took mommy away that year. Lexi used her mother’s death to inspire her. She pursued her love for the arts and attended art school in New York. That passion eventually led Lexi to her second love in life, Adam Needeen. She met him in SoHo while attending an art show for her friend Anna.

Adam and Lexi were inseparable. Their love was instant. The kind people whispered in envy about as they walked by hand-in-hand. Of course, it may have been because they recognized Adam from his newfound fame. He had rave reviews of his restaurant in the New York Post and according to them “It wasn’t just a weekend excursion, it was a culinary adventure.”

The five-star review earned him a short interview on Channel 12 News, the local news station on Long Island. It caught the eye of Kelly Ripa and Adam was booked to appear on Live! with Regis and Kelly the following week.

Regis loved the concept of this restaurant experience and showcased it on the air. “Where else can you spend a weekend in Connecticut lounging by the pool, cows chewing grass in the pasture, and then be in the hustle and bustle of New York City the next day eating the same damn cow that was mooing at you just the day before?” The audience laughed hysterically while Regis mooed at them. Behind him a clip ran of him and Kelly eating rare steaks.

And it was that laughter that took the fuel out of PETA’s protests and into the rockets that propelled Adam’s success to the nation’s most sought after spot. The waiting list was months long. New York may have been riddled with crime, a rising serial killer, hookers on every corner, and loads of cocaine, but Needeen’s was soon a hit and so were Lexi and Adam. Even with all the time they spent away from each other because of work and the gallery.

Everyone expected the wedding to be at Needeen’s. Instead they wed in the rustic setting of the farm. Hundreds of family and friends were in attendance. It was a picture perfect ceremony filled with love and happiness. Even the paparazzi that showed up were invited inside the cozy stable to attend. Cameras snapped and flashed.

Life for Adam and Lexi was magical. Lexi’s artwork graced the walls of Adam’s restaurant and it wasn’t long before she too was noticed for her own talents though not quite like Adam. Finally, she had her own art show.

As they walked out of her show, police surrounded them. One of them handcuffed Adam and read him his rights. He was charged with 17 counts of first-degree and for forcing unknowing acts of cannibalism.

Adam didn’t protest but instead turned to Lexi and said, “I’m sorry, honey, I…I just couldn’t stop. I tried but I couldn’t, not after the first one, I’m sorry…I,” but she didn’t hear anything after that. She’d fainted.

For the next several days Lexi’s love for Adam was tested as the story of his double life unfolded. In the end, she couldn’t stand beside a serial killer who fed his victims to his guests as their entrees.

Lexi’s disgust and disbelief grew as she discovered that the man she loved so deeply had more compassion for the cows in their pastures then the humans walking the city streets. When Adam was shown by PETA how his cows would be brought to slaughter, Adam couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Not wanting to disappoint Lexi and close the restaurant, he became enraged at the activist, losing his temper and accidently killing him. And that’s when the idea struck him. Why not kill those that deserve killing? Drug dealers, thieves, and the like.

A new line cook eager to impress Adam dug into the head chef's supplies not knowing it was off limits to everyone in the restaurant. He also didn't why it wasn't meant for anyone else but Adam. It hadn't been boiled down enough for the restaurant's diners to eat.

And so, the line cook  didn’t see the small bone that was mixed in among the risotto but the diner, also a medical examiner, did and pointed it out to his friend, a coroner, who was dining with him. It wasn’t long before the investigation was launched, Needeen’s was closed, and Adam was spending life in prison. 

Now the cameras snapped and flashed again. Only this time it wasn’t to celebrate the wedding of the decade. It was to capture the downward spiral her life had become. Snap. Flash. Snap. Flash. Snap.

w w w

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let's hope ours is way way happier than Lexi's!! 

I usually don’t post such long stories so if you read the whole thing, thank you.  Also, if you’re a long time reader of the blog, you know I love a good twist. I just can’t help myself. I blame Stephen King.

This is part of The Lost and Found: Valentine’s Edition Bloghop so join in today if you’d like, we’d love to have you! And a big shout out to Alex and the crew for hosting it. Thank you!
 

Do you remember that special feeling of love found? And who hasn't experienced the emotional experience of love lost?  Some of you might have even lost a love only to find that person later for another go around. Tell your story about love lost or found in our special Valentine's blogfest. Your post can be a short fiction, an essay, poetry, or even a song--let your imagination run free. Any genre is fair game, be it romance, historical fiction, memoir, or even science fiction.  After all there are no limitations when it comes to love.