08 July 2010

"Too Much Rope" #Fridayflash

Photo credit: seriousfun from morguefile.com

"Give any one species too much rope and they’ll fuck it up." – Roger Waters

It was one hell of a party. Laurie stood by the homemade punch with Don Rivers, the CEO of Fargo. Don was one of those guys you didn’t forget. He was so overdone with cosmetic surgery in his sixties that he made Kenny Rogers look mild in comparison. He baked his skin golden in the tanning bed and wore a silver-link watch with the brand name so curly it was illegible.

Laurie wore fuchsia lipstick, which made Stein grin. One night at the office, he had Laurie on all fours on his desk. She had the most gorgeous moan he’d ever heard on a woman, and could go for days. She loved the paddle and—

Don glared in his direction, and Stein ripped his gaze away.

Ice floated in his drink, watering down the Skyy Vodka someone’d slipped in it. If they meant to be stealthy, the blue bottle next to the gigantic punch bowl definitely served as a distinct warning. Besides, it unbalanced the fruity taste overpowering it and shifted it into a teenage slumber party concoction created by slipping shit out of dad’s liquor cabinet to impress friends. Stein rubbed his nose, and glanced back at Laurie. He took an extra few seconds to appreciate her long legs in that minidress and headed for the mens’ room.

He engaged the lock and unrolled a baggie of white crystalline powder from his dinner jacket pocket. In the roll was a short straw and a razor blade.

“Did you see the way he looked at you?” Don said, his extra-white dental bleach job nearly blinding his date. Don had a way with women even though none of them could hardly stand to look at him. His wallet proved to be an aphrodisiac, and if that wasn’t enough, his penile pump made sure the lucky lady would never slip away unsatisfied. Laurie was fairly unchoosy about who was paying her car note. The big stiff one was merely a bonus in the situation.

“Let’s take a ride in the Beamer,” Don said, brushing his hand over Laurie’s. She jumped as if startled, and agreed eagerly. Being seen with the old codger in public was more humiliating at times than she could stand. Besides, he’d fuck her and leave her alone.

Stein emerged from the mens’ room, put back together nicely with a nice zing to his pace to boot. Don and Laurie were missing. He grit his teeth. Don made his moves like a cobra, and Stein figured it was about damn time somebody acted as the mongoose.

The parking garage shuddered in shadows as cars exited and entered the towering structure. Don popped the locks on the little tuna-blue Z3 Convertible and opened Laurie’s door for her. Her legs folded in, and she opened her tiny purse for a hair band. Don didn’t like the wind to mess up his hair, but he had a convertible. He often compromised by driving with the top down and the windows up, which Stein always felt was a douche bag trademark.

A long, low black car met Stein out of the garage elevator, and he got in. The earthen-dead scent of distressed leather rose up to meet him, smell of dead cow, his dad had always said. Yet dad always got those goddamn Mercedes with leather seats. If this was cow, Stein'd eat the steering wheel. The coke twisted in his veins, and he grinned at his eyes in the rear-view mirror. He pulled out of the parking space, just as he heard the Goodyears squeak on Don’s BMW.

Don drove fast after they’d broken out of the garage space, and Stein had to work to keep up. Then the damn car would slow down, and Stein would have to drop back to give his quarry a little more rope. He snickered at the memory of Roger Water’s song. It was after Pink Floyd had dethroned their rock-star egoist bassist. Something about rope and fucking shit up.

Out on the freeway the little convertible ahead of him rocketed away, opening up more lead. Stein cursed and stomped the gas pedal to the floor. His car, bless good ol’ Demonic steel, picked up the cues immediately, and within a few seconds he could see Don’s tail lights again. Instead of slowing to a content follow, Stein kept the pedal all the way down and sped up to run alongside the BMW.

Fuck Don. Fuck Laurie, that corporate whore. Stein sidled alongside the BMW. Don glanced, did a double take, and started shouting angrily at the tinted windows of the considerably larger sedan violating his space.

“What the fuck is your problem?” Stein heard faintly in the silent cockpit.

“Fucking lunatic! Get the fuck over!” Don shouted again and accelerated to lose the maniac that somehow decided he wanted to be in his lane while he was still in it. Stein sped up along with him. Don was rich, but he wasn’t stupid. He’d opted for the lower optioned model that gave him the looks, but had none of the horsepower. Had Don opted for the fucking Z4, he might’ve at least shaken Stein.

Don bared his teeth, white-blond hair whipping around his reddened face. Stein could see Laurie peering around Don, trying to see what’d pissed her date off so much. It was probably the most excitement she’d see all week until Don took that overseas trip to Japan. She never had fucked a Japanese man before. It was worth dealing with Don just for—

“What in the fuck is wrong with you?” Don screamed again. Stein cackled behind the deep tint and massive chrome grille of his ride. Yeah, he’d premeditated. Somehow he usually did. It was this kind of luck that kept him in business. Being Death had all kinds of perks.

They crossed over onto a bridge, and Stein jerked the wheel hard to the right.


Marisa Birns said...

This was quite a breathless ride of a read! Really great descriptions throughout.

So Stein acted like the mongoose after all.

What is even more impressive about your story is that you wrote it quickly since I saw your tweet that you didn't have a flash ready. Very good, you! :)

~ Marisa http://bit.ly/auSvN2

Linda said...

Quite a chase! Love the action in this one -- it unreeled like a movie scene. The reveal at the end - perfetto! Peace...

Anonymous said...

Wow! I really liked this one. That was a particularly good car chase.

Benjamin Solah said...

Great story. The twist in this is particularly good as well as the pacing.

Eric J. Krause said...

Loved this one a TON. Great action, and the ending was quite satisfying. Well done!

Diandra said...

A fast-paced story, with just the right amount of description.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Ooh death by sports car. There's worse ways to go! I love your descriptions of chases...and cars...basically everything.

Top work!

Sulci Collective said...

Kenny Rogers has had surgery?

Loved the snake & mongoose line

Marc Nash

Sam said...

Cinematic gorgeousness from start to finish. Loved it!

Anonymous said...

That was full on. I do believe I got a little tachycardic reading it. Now if only Death would take out a few more of these Gordon Gekko types the world would be a much better place.

Jen said...

There's such a terrific build-up of speed and momentum through the last half of this one. And that is the perfect place to end it--RIGHT at the moment of no return. You can almost hear the sudden silence of a car flying through the air, and then the BANG.

Tony Noland said...

Pitch-perfect, Carrie. This was a great ride, thrilling and sexy.

Jim Bronyaur said...

You had my eyes roaring line by line until the end. Great story. Having seen the corporate environment, I understand the feelings behind everything going on.

Well done! :)

http://tinyurl.com/2eefdw2 <--- My #ff if you care to read

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

minor point - "even though any of them could hardly stand to look at him" - think it should be "none of them"

What a ride!
Loved the descriptions of the awful Don, that sort of man gives me the creeps more than the reaper!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Is THIS what your workplace is like?
Don is a superb character - you've nailed him. And I laughed at the comparison to Kenny Rogers (he used to be good looking - why do people do that to themselves???)
I'm with Marisa - not only is this good, it was fast, and that's what impresses me most.

Laura Eno said...

I recognized the car, Carrie... ;)
Great descriptions, fast paced, flying ending!

Anonymous said...

What a ride! Great story.
Adam B

Deanna said...

I didn't even realize I was holding my breath until I released it, finally, at the end. Fantastic Carrie!

John Wiswell said...

Did you whip this up out of nowhere, Carrie? If so it's doubly impressive.


Rutalia said...

brilliant... I really hated these characters. It's easy to make someone love a character. warm and fuzzy is easy. The descriptions were succinct and thoroughly inclusive. I loved it. :) Great piece!

Pamila Payne said...

Holy crap. That was full throttle. Loved the douchebag trademarks scattered throughout. I also love the way you never hold back.

Anonymous said...

Smooth, intense, sexy... I could go on and on. Just a great piece. Wow.

Really a pleasure to read, Miss Carrie.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

"Don had a way with women even though none of them could hardly stand to look at him. . . . The big stiff one was merely a bonus in the situation."

FINALLY! A romance reading from Carrie! But wait -- what's that zoooom? Is it -- could it be -- a Z3? Why yes - an un-a-bridged Clevenger!

Agree with savvy Rutalia on wise art of creating "hateable" characters. Still snickering at Pamila's "douche bag details" - I was all wound up with the squiggly illegible watch.

SuperCool to the cruel, Speedstir,
~ Absolutely*Kate

Mari said...

Great car chase, love the characters like everyone else, but what I found most fun was how you put these tidbits of Laurie's opinion here and there. A minor distraction that made the tale all the more fun. :)

Valerie said...

Jumping in and out of the other people's perspective was a bit jarring but worked overall. Death sounds like kind of a jerk, taking matters into his own hands like that. Interesting to see a grim reaper be proactive.

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

The characters in this story fairly drip from the page. This is one of your best. Where's the "like" button?

Anonymous said...

Okay, now I have to Google Kenny Rogers and see wth he looks like.

Excellent, fast-paced ending after the building start. Nice job on the characterization in such a tight span, too!

Cecilia Dominic said...

Great flash! Your descriptions make the story come alive.

Just a small question -- was it necessary to shift into Don's POV? You could've just stuck with Stein all the way.

Nice car chase. :)