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Flash Fiction by Charles Dodd



:: The Storycove :: Flash Fiction ::

by charles dodd
Honorable Mention
2002 Storycove Flash Fiction Award

They were a young couple to make heads turn: tall, extrovert, with perfect teeth that glinted as they talked. She sported a mink coat-possibly a good fake fur-with a huge collar.

The coat clung tenaciously to her body, conveying the disconcerting impression that she wore nothing underneath. It came to mid-calf, and below it shapely nylon-clad ankles accompanied classic, court shoes with heels so high one had to give her credit for not tottering. She certainly did not totter. She shimmied.

He wore a black cape with a deep blue silk lining, a waistcoat in vivid blues and greens, tailored pants, and Gucci shoes. They looked good and they knew it. At the hotel's lobby desk they received immediate attention.

"We're looking for a double room. One with a view." There was a hint of the aristocrat about the man's voice. He was clearly accustomed to getting what he wanted, and he was British.

"Certainly, sir. For how many nights?"

"Two. But we have to see the room."

A porter led the way to the second floor. The couple stood in the doorway, scanning the room, seemingly undecided. The man said, "Just leave us alone for a moment, so we can discuss it, would you?"

Ten minutes later one of the lobby clerks inquired, "So what's happened to the wannabe Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley?"

The porter's mouth sagged, and he scurried back to the room. The door was locked, and rapping on it, at first gently and then loudly, elicited no response. He hammered on the door so that it rattled in its frame but without success. He had the niggling suspicion that he could hear muffled giggles.

He went down to reception for the master key, raising his eyes to the heavens in reply to a colleague's questioning look.
This time the door was open, with the man waiting to usher him in. The woman was lying face upwards on the bed, and she was showing a generous expanse of leg, including stocking tops and a hint of white thighs beyond.

The man was keen to explain, declaiming in a voice that brooked no contradiction: "Fainted. But she's coming round."

The porter tore his eyes away reluctantly from the shapely legs and suggested, "A glass of water perhaps?"

But the Elizabeth Hurley look-alike suddenly sat up, shaking her head and saying, "No, no. I'm fine now, really."

She stood up, and the disheveled state of the bed became apparent. She had not fainted. She could just conceivably have had a violent, limb-threshing seizure, but there was a more likely explanation.

Did they want the room? No, it didn't seem to agree with her, and the hotel obviously had builders working there because she had heard dreadful hammering noises.

With sunny smiles for the porter, they left arm in arm. The porter stood at the hotel entrance, watching them go, and the sound of their laughter drifted back to him as they strutted-almost skipped-up the street.


::Word Smitten's Annual TenTen Call for Fiction::
::the deadline to enter next year's competition is July 1, 2004::
::submission for reading and registration begins May 31 each year::
::this short story contest awards $1,010.00::


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