Me and the boys suited up in civvies and strutted off the carrier in style, looking to find some fine dames that loved GI's. After taking a stroll to a pay phone, we split a cabbie to downtown where the dance halls smiled out at us in a blaze of neon and sidewalk callers, all touting a drink or two on sale--that one there had ladies' night, and this one here had cold beer on tap.
It was before the television set showed up in society enough to keep us from looking at each other and just stare at that boob tube, suckin' down Bloody Mary after dry Martini. My pals knew I had some crazy tastes, and that included girls. I liked them spicy and fast; smoky-eyed, red-lipped, leggy blondes, with their pretty little skirts and their carefully coiffed hair. I enjoyed the heck out of mussing that hair-do up time after time.
This girl was different. I almost tripped over my own tongue, even though she wasn't a blonde. She was a sultry brunette and wore her hair down over her shoulders, a blue ribbon in her hair to match her eyes exactly. Ivory skin, untouched by age.
I felt like all the air had been sucked out of me and replaced with furnace exhaust. She was a pretty girl, heck pretty didn't even scratch the surface of who she was. I fell back off of my stool, staggering around like a newborn calf, with hands comprised of all thumbs and a tongue as dry and swollen as last month's stockings. Somehow I managed to reach her side where she perched on the red velor-topped-chrome barstool. The bartender smirked at me and retreated to the opposite end of his work station, content to watch me bungle this meeting up from a safe distance, far beyond the potential fallout radius. I mumbled something not in the way of thanks and rested my elbows on the bar, my brain chugging in high steam, desperately scrambling for something smooth to say.
What would Frankie say? I mumbled to myself, unaware that it was also out loud.
“If you're gonna flirt sailor, best to start with talkin' to me instead of yourself.”
She turned her body towards me, uncrossing and crossing her legs again, a gay blue scarf tied casually around her swan neck, peering at me through the sweetest blue eyes I ever did see.
“Care for a drink?” I asked, smacking dry lips before she shoved her drink towards me instead. I hesitated, eying the twin, slim red straws poking up out of it.
“Go ahead sailor. I ain't got cooties. Not any you should be worryin' about anyway. You look like you need it more than me.”
I almost could hear my neck creak as I screwed my head up and down, grinding my teeth in anticipation of some crazy dame's drink. My smile must've clued her in. It was rum and Coca-Cola.
“It's been a long time since I've tasted that,” I said, and she waved it away when I tried to give it back.
“It's ladies' night sailor. In case you don't know, all my drinks are free.”
“All the girls get free drinks tonight?”
She shrugged and looked around us. She was the only dame in there, and we were surrounded by drifting clouds of smoke, and the sweet strains of jazz filtered in through a radio in the corner playing some late night show. I never heard it before, but never forgot it.
“I'm Doris,” she said and held out a delicate hand expectantly; it was the way we treated ladies back then, when they still wanted to be sweet delicate things for us to cherish and protect. I bent my head to kiss her cool skin, taking in a noseful of air to enjoy her scent.
“Is that Frankie?” she asked, jerking her hand out of mine to leave me blinking in surprise, a kiddish smirk spreading across her perfect cheeks, like she was up to something. She pulled me off my stool, suddenly on her feet.
“Dance with me sailor,” she said in a low purr close to my ear. I shook off a shiver.
“By the way I'm And—“
My words were stifled by her finger held against my lips.
“And I don't need to know. And you don't need to tell, do you sailor?”
“Do you do this often?” I asked in a rush of breath, pulling her hand away from my mouth.
“Shh sailor—it's my song.”
Want to know what happened next? "Before Sunrise"
Want to know what happened next? "Before Sunrise"
Mysterious. I think I want to be her. :-)
Honestly, the word "dame" needs to appear in writing much more than it does.
Beautiful piece. Not what I was expecting from you, and I love that. This is one of the most realistic pieces of yours I've read so far. Absolutely gorgeous.
I love the impending doom of this flashfiction. It smears down the walls like blood in the darkness. A poem of how I would end this nautical piece of yours...
wash my soul
cleanse me of your smile
and the memory of
around your hopeless throat"
Oh you've got to love a guy in a uniform!
She's one very cool dame...
I'm figuring that you are channeling some WWII guy, Carrie! You do it so well!
Oh man, I need a shower and a smoke. You have become one of my favorite fridayflash writers.
hmmm...Just what is she up to? You read so many bar scenes now days, but rarely are they done so well, with so much steam and mystery. Wonderful flash.
Very nice. Playful, sexy, and charming all in one. I enjoyed this a TON. Well done as always!
Classy and Sexy, Carrie. I love the come hither of the mysterious brunette. And the sailor is one charismatic fool -I sure hope he can dance. What am I thinking - of course, he can. WWII came to my mind too.
Love! I totally heard a Brooklyn sailor in my head as I read that. Well done!
I love how you captured the feeling of the past with just a few words and phrases. These characters are very real and I love the main character's voice and you use it as an inner dialog and narrator...now off to read what happens next...
I amso jealous... I want to be this girl, too.
Great story... you are totally able to transport me to your world.
I love the word "dame." Not sure if anyone else agrees, but it really adds a certain feel to the story. As always Carrie, you continue to amaze me with your craft.
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