Oi, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important…
Let’s not go there, shall we? I see enough bunnies in the field next to my house — and sometimes in the back yard — as it is. I don’t need to see one in a waistcoat peering at his pocket watch.
This week, Free Fiction Thursday has morphed into Free Fiction Friday. Yesterday I was crunching a deadline, so the fine folks who help me provide a free story every week were kind enough to give me a one-day reprieve. Yay! I met my deadline, subbed my newly-created story to my editor, and now it’s off to the next project on my list, but not before I leave you with a free story to read.
So for this unconventional free fiction day, how about something a little different? I occasionally write under the pen name Kris Sparks. Most of the Kris Sparks stories tend to be on the edgy side either in character or content, and most — not all, but most — feature LGBT characters in significant roles, but every now and then Kris writes a story with a more mainstream, literary feel. This week’s story is one of those quasi-literary ones. I hope you enjoy “Peaches.”
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Copyright 2011 by Kris Sparks
They met at lunchtime in a busy noontime Saturday line at Subway. Henry ordered roast beef on sourdough, Marianne turkey and provolone on whole wheat, no oil or mayonnaise.
For years afterward he remembered the smells of that day — the rich yeast of bread fresh from the warmer, the campfire aroma of the smoky provolone, the sharp vinegar tang of pickles and hot peppers. The motorcycle rider in dusty leathers in the line behind Henry reeked of sweat, cigarettes, and stale beer. But most of all, he remembered the feminine smell of her perfume. Subtle, but there. It made him notice her.
He stood in line behind her looking at the back of her neck. Did she wear her perfume there? Perhaps a dab behind each ear. His mother had done that. He remembered when he was little watching his mother at her dressing table as she took the stopper out of a cut crystal bottle and dabbed the wet end of the stopper behind each ear. The crystal was clear glass, but the end of the stopper was rough and opaque.
For the longest time he’d thought the perfume had eaten away the glass, and that’s why the stopper was rough. Funny the things you remember.
He’d never known the name of the perfume his mother used. She was gone long before he was old enough to think to ask.
Ahead of them in line a young woman held a toddler in her arms. Boy? Girl? He couldn’t tell. The child was dressed in one of those unisex outfits, neither pink nor blue but shades of green and red and yellow, like a street light. The child smiled at him, the kind of sweet, innocent smile only young children can give. He smiled back. The child laughed and pointed a chubby finger at him. He chuckled and waved the tips of his fingers at her.
The woman with intriguing perfume turned around and looked at him. “She likes you,” she said.
(read the rest of the story here)