Jerry and I are dumpster diving when we find it.
He thinks it’s perfect, a genuine find. A tall armoire, deep maple finish.
“A beaut,” Jerry says. “Stop.”
I pull the truck over—we’re off the main streets here, out behind an older lot of row houses. The sun has started to set, and twilight is pouring on the shadows.
“C’mon,” I say. “Let’s get that fucking thing in the truck.”
There’s no breeze in the alley. No breeze and no god-damned light.
“Just a minute,” Jerry says. His arms are wrapped around the thing in some kind of bear-hug as he tries to walk it over to the truck.
I hop out of the cab. “Pansy.”
“No.” Jerry releases his grip. “Too heavy.”
We look at each other for a second. One of those quick moments of “hell-no”. We know we shouldn’t open the thing, but I yank the door toward me anyway.
It wasn’t that the body was in there—I almost expected something worse in that alley, behind those decaying houses. What got me was how fresh it was, how the blood dripped off the fingers when her arm tumbled out of the open door.
(a work of fiction, of course)
I plan on doing some sort of flash fiction bit on Fridays--at least during the summer. I'll reprint some things, do a little podcast or two, possibly ask for some guest writers. (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)
Call it Flash Fiction Fridays or Flash Fridays or F3 or even Friday Flash. Whatever works.