16 December 2010

"Truth Lies Behind the Smile" #Fridayflash

I think part of him wants this. He accepts my tenuous invitation quickly, perhaps because I haven't requested anything of him in a very long while. Agreement is struck, location established as the lake we used to go to.

In his hand, a bottle of cheap merlot; I can only think it's because he never took the time to know me, else it'd be white or even blush. A pinot. A chardonnay. I sip at the offered glass and smile.

Conversation ensues. His breaths distract. The pier creaks beneath us. Ducks quack in sporadic babbles behind the cattails. He talks in circles. I smile.

It's cold outside, but I take off my sweatshirt. I'm not wearing a bra. His breaths are more distracting. I suggest a swim. He doesn't hesitate and starts to unbuckle his belt. I press my fingers over the buckle. He asks about my warmth. Where I am headed, it is always warm. The Bible tells me so. Our eyes meet and I smile.

###

Bubbles blossom like pearls pushed out from his lips; his eyes, huge in their deepening color. The bottom never seemed any farther away than now. Fingers spread and paddle against the cold. The jacket comes off, increasing buoyancy. Arms like oars, not fins. Feet encased in weighty boots make no good rudder. The air expels again. His body thrashes and curls in on itself. The spine curves; movements quicken.

He’s got to be breathing in by now. An eruption of bubbles, small like spray, tickle my nose. He’s still so strong. His hands find mine atop his shoulders. I turn my face away from the splashes. The surface is a frothing torrent, swirls, and one big bubble.

It floats on the surface for a few seconds, in defiance of the act. One last breath held by thin miraculous walls of saliva. It pops, leaving only silence and ripples. It makes me smile.

28 comments:

Alan said...

Ooh, nasty!

Michelle said...

Gosh! that's a nasty one - eerie.

Marisa Birns said...

Wonderful words spill out in paratactic description and imagery.

"Where I am headed, it is always warm. The Bible tells me so." Liked the non-cliche way of bringing hell up.

Very good!

Sam said...

Pleasantly evil - nice!

elizabethditty said...

Oh, my. I wonder what this bloke had done to incur such treatment. You always write such dark and interesting women. Wonderful job, as usual!

Dan said...

Very nice...especially the last breath...

Deb said...

Mmm... that's a hot one :) I like how you used the elements metaphorically.

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Wonderfully nasty! Love the hell mention. And "talking in circles" - I've known some men like that. Maybe I should have taken them swimming...

Laura Eno said...

Wonderfully evil. :) Loved the descriptions!

Chance said...

Nasty ?
Evil ?
Wonderful ?
Creepy ?

Yes.

Good stuff

Eric J. Krause said...

Very cool story. Great descriptions in it.

theothersideofdeanna said...

Fantastic job as usual Carrie! Love "The Bible tells me so" line - perfect image in so few words. Great work!

shannon said...

You tell us so much about him in such few words...the fact that he never bothered to figure out what would make her happy. Selfish bastard, now he knows. *she smiles*
hehe, well done!

Weezel said...

Fantastically evil -- Loved the imagery. Nice warm story! (and I mean that in the most hellish way :)

Kim Batchelor said...

Your language and phrasing is very nice, Carrie. A lot is conveyed very subtly--I like that.

Dana said...

Intense and so well-written!

Jodi MacArthur said...

Captivating in that Carrie way - but why dammit?! I want motive! Love it anyway.

Love your description of his bubbles. "pearls blossoming" - beautifully evil.

Cascade Lily said...

I love that she's a bible-reading gal who knows she's going to hell and doesn't care anyway.

I also like the line about sipping at the merlot regardless. She was on a course.

Tomara Armstrong said...

oooo you are a sneaky one. I loved it. I loved the "Bible tells me so" line so much, I can't even express. I wasn't sure where it was going, but I am delighted where it went.

Ok call me sick, twisted... whatever. It was beautifully written, and I LOVED it!
~2

Laurita said...

So much to like - the smiling, the sipping, the talking in circles, the bible line - all so good. The descriptions in the last paragraph are so vivid. Well done!

jdanetyler said...

I'd join in the "nasty" and "evil" comments, but I'm afraid there are far too many people I've dated or been with for whom this fate is fitting to be so hypocritical.

What I will say, however, is that this is an amazing, atmospheric piece. Beautiful job on getting the point across in just a few scant paragraphs. You paint enough of a picture for the reader and yet leave so much for them to imagine as well.

Awesome work.

Karen from Mentor said...

His breath will no longer distract.

Very eerie and vivid. Nicely done!

Karen :0)

Crystal said...

Very creative... wow. Like everyone else the Bible comment was clever. Loved it.

Keith said...

Hey there. How are you today? I hope you've been enjoying the weekend. Take care. Have a great week ahead. Cheers!

livloveslit said...

So much smiling in this sinister little piece. The short sentences make it feel tense and push things along in a very taunting way that leads beautifully to the conclusion. That was great! ~ Olivia

A Writer said...

I have to say, this is a record turnout for commentary on my blog. I really appreciate each and every one of you taking the time out of your busy days to not only read what I've written, but to leave a mark, a comment, or a question.

@Jodi - She has her reasons. Perhaps for another story.

Chris Chartrand said...

Oh this is so good. She's a nasty vixen. I hope she turns up again sometime soon.

jeremiah said...

Love this. Very nice!!!