Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, February 28, 2011


 This is a flash fiction suggested by Patti Abbott in her most recent challenge.  Since no good deed goes unpunished, I incorporated Patti and her husband into the story.  For more (and far better) stories written for this challenge, see Patti's blog Pattinase for links.


She had stringy blonde hair with dark roots showing, a slightly pudgy face that had gone just a bit beyond the baby fat stage, and a walk that emphasized her ill-fitting shoes.  She carried a large handbag that swung with heavy weight as she walked.  Her companion was a thin, pock-marked lad with short purple hair and an excess of earrings.  She was saying to him, "I really don't mind the scars."  He laughed and said something in return, but Patti and Phil had by then walked beyond them and Patti couldn't catch any more of their conversation.

      "Phil, let's turn around."

     "Sure," Phil said.  'Why?"

     "That couple," Patti nodded in their direction.  "Did you hear what she said?  She was saying she didn't really mind the scars.  That's a curious thing to say.  I wonder what was behind that remark."

     Phil looked at his wife as they turned around.  "So, then.  Are you going to stop and ask her what she meant?"

     "No, no, that would be rude."  Patti did not like being thought of as rude.  "I just want to follow them for a while and watch what they do.  You know, just observe them"

    Phil smiled.  "Trying to get material for one of your stories?"

     "You can never tell,' she answered.

     The couple they were following walked with a purpose, their conversation intermittent.  Patti and Phil tried to keep about half a block behind.  "The blonde seems a bit nervous to me," Patti said.

     "Or, you're imagining it."

     "Perhaps they're going to meet someone.  Someone who's horribly scarred and she's afraid of how she'll react to the scars."

     "Or," Phil said, "perhaps you misheard, and they are on their way to buy a box of cigars as a birthday gift for her father.  Or, maybe..." Phil stopped as his wife gently elbowed him.

     "Shhh," she said.  "Don't spoil it by being prosaic."

     They had been following the young couple for five minuted when the blonde stopped suddenly.  This seemed to catch her companion off-guard because he walked on a few steps before stopping and turning to her.  They had stopped in front of a coffee shop.  The blonde was pointing at the shop window.

     She was reaching into her bag with her right hand as she oopened the coffee shop door with her left.

     Patti and Phil heard three reports.  Cough, cough, cough.

     The blonde came out of the coffee house, grabbed the man's arm, and began to quickly lead him away.  There was something dark and heavy in her other hand.  Screams began to sound from the coffee shop.

    "Oh my God!" Patti yelled.  She could feel the blood rushing from her face as Phil put his arms around her and held her.


     "And they never found her?"

     Patti took a sip of her tea.  'No.  It's been five months and we haven't heard a thing.'

     "And the dead girl?"

     "She died instantly.  She had a scar; evidently it was about three inches long on the side of her face.  At least that's what an officer told us.  She had gotten it a few years before.  Some sort of gang thing."

     "As far as we can tell, they never were able to connect the blonde girl with the girl she shot," Phil said.  "They seem to have no idea who the girl was.  All the police have is our description of what the blonde looked like and the one sentence Patti heard about her not not really minding the scars.  And that tells me one thing about her that I'm pretty sure about."

     "What's that?"

     "That she's a liar."  Phil answered.


  1. I can't say it wasn't a lot of fun reading about myself. People pay money to show up in a story. Thanks! And all three were fun.

  2. A nice hat-trick of stories; all great fun, Jerry.