Monday, October 6, 2008

Five-minute fiction

From "The Writer's Book of Matches," page 168: "She had the best calves I've ever seen."

John looked across the room.  A woman in her late 40's stood there in too-high heels and too-tight jeans, placing a pitcher of beer on another table.  The country song playing on the sound system seemed to fit his mood perfectly at the moment.

"Never shoulda walked away," he mumbled to the man beside him.

"What was that, John-boy?" the other man asked, leaning in to hear.

"I never shoulda left Rita," John repeated, louder this time.  Loud enough, in fact, that Rita heard him from her place across the bar.  She looked around, and saw his face, then shook her head.  With a look that was somewhere between pity and disgust, she walked back behind the bar and started pouring another mug of beer.

"That woman was the best thing that ever happened to me, Petey," John continued, lowering his voice again.  "She had it all... great body, great family, great everything.  She had the best calves I've ever seen."

"Really?" Petey asked, leaning backwards a bit, trying to catch a glimpse of Rita's legs.  They weren't all that special, not from what he could see.

"Yep, they were beautiful... Holsteins and Herefords and Galloways... her daddy was gonna leave us all of them beautiful little calves... but then I had to go and be an ass..."  John took another swig of his beer, setting the empty mug down a little too forcefully.  "Yeah, I had to tell her that them cows was as purty as her... Never, never, never tell a woman that she's as purty as a cow, Petey."

"I'll try not to, John-boy," Petey replied as hus buddy laid his head down on the table.  He certainly didn't want to end up like this poor bugger.