Sunday, October 25, 2009

"The Sidewalk"

It is the first ever tie in Friday Flash Fiction poll history! So we have two starter sentences to chose from...

Beach says, "The strange man dressed as Carmen Miranda walked into the bar and demanded to know who had taken his pet iguana."

And-

The Professor says, "On the sidewalk, fallen between the cracks was..."

I went with the latter. Here is "The Sidewalk."


“On the sidewalk, between the fallen cracks, was what looked like a twenty dollar bill.”

“Now, I will pass pennies right on by, and if I feel particularly limber in my advancing age on a given day, I will go after a dime. Nickels? Not even. So there was what looked like a twenty-dollar bill and I was on it like a kid hopped-up on sugar at a birthday party, in front of a freshly opened piñata.”

“Well, I hate to pass good money, but I really should have left this alone, because instead of Andrew Jackson on the bill? A picture of Pamela Anderson graced the illegal tender, and not a particularly good one. And the bill itself came with strings attached…literally, with a wire-thin metal cable that went below the sidewalk.”

“A wooden cage came down and trapped me like a lethargic and awestruck rat. Dumbfounded, I slumped down on my keister and that’s when they swarmed me. No, not bugs, but their high-pitched screams sounded similar to mosquitoes. They were blue Pygmies…or were they?”

“They were only five inches tall and they weren’t African, but they had on the same attire as Pygmies and they had blow darts…lots and lots of blow darts. It felt like a dozen beestings and I went from dumbstruck to woozy. My head felt like it weighed about one hundred pounds, and one of the miniature monsters grabbed a forelock of what was left of the hair on top of my head on my way down.”

“My skull bounced hard against the concrete and the little blue imp’s hold did not relent. I saw how they appeared out of the blue so fast, the little monsters had ropes dangling from the top of the cage that they rappelled down from. This one was brandishing a spear and he was about to poke me in my eye, when a purple cloud appeared around the cage.”

“They screamed in unison, ‘the Mauve Miasma! The Mauve Miasma!’ I laughed against my will, as their panicked running amok on my body tickled me. The swirling pale lavender cloud descended down at an alarming rate and the little fiends screeched and coughed as they collapsed on me. I soon followed them into that unwanted slumber.”

“I awoke some hours later, just how many, I don’t know. It was still daylight, yet somehow I was directly across the street from the place where I had fallen down. An elderly man stood over me and asked me if I was okay. He helped me to my feet and gave me a reassuring pat on the back.”

“As he walked away, pushing a laundry cart covered with a blanket, I thought I heard those familiar high-pitched screams again. I was too light-headed to follow the man. As I walked past the window of a closed store, I was in for a shock. I was purple! My face, my arms, even under my shirt, I was purple!”

“Murray…enough.”

“What, I’m telling you just what happened, as it happened, and…”

“Murray, stop it. That’s enough. You’re embarrassing yourself and you are embarrassing me, if you think I’m going to believe that horseshit. I’ve been stood up by better men than you, and they were at least polite enough to be honest about it.”

“How could you not believe me?”

“Because,” Dottie says as she gets up and licks her fingers, “this is why,” and Dottie rubs her fingers across Murray’s forehead. The purple above his eyes comes off. “What did you use, Murray, grape skins?”

“I’m telling you the God’s honest truth! If I’m not telling you the truth, may I be run down by an over-caffeinated waiter.”

As Murray stands up, a waiter with a tray of food comes along and bumps into him, sending the two men and the food all over the restaurant floor. Dottie takes her drink off the table and pours it on Murray’s head, washing all coloring off her sputtering never-to-be Lothario. Dottie storms away like a speeding cloud that is an omen before a hurricane.

“I suppose you don’t believe I was run over by an over-caffeinated waiter, either!”

“Give it a rest, Murray,” the waiter grumbles. “You owe me fifty for the stunt, another thirty for dry cleaning and for the food.”

“You, my friend, will receive no tip from Murray Himmelman.”


The End

10 comments:

John Donald Carlucci said...

“You, my friend, will receive no tip from Murray Himmelman.”

I don't know why that line tickled me the most, but it did.

JDC

Beach Bum said...

Dottie storms away like a speeding cloud that is an omen before a hurricane.

My wife does the same thing and it is never good. Great story,the blue Pygmies were a riot.

Cormac Brown said...

Editor JDC,

I keep forgetting to change that to "Publisher JDC."

"I don't know why that line tickled me the most, but it did."

That little Borscht Belt add-on shouldn't have been the best line, I have to retool this story.

Beach,

Thanks, and you're married, so you know exactly which storm I'm talking about and the Nation Weather Service never see it coming.

MRMacrum said...

What an image. "The Mauve Miasma" with little blue guys carrying spears. Excellent. And Murray thought this tale would work on Dottie? Everyone knows Miasmas don't come in Mauve.

Randal Graves said...

Marriage storms usually have faces of red, no? Sometimes I'm envious of single fellas like Murray.

Übermilf said...

I am at a loss for words.

"The Mauve Miasma" is stuck in my brain now. As is a Gulliver-like image of tiny blue headhunters downing a grown man with blow darts.

Alan Griffiths said...

Cormac - The Mauve Miasma, tiny blue men, blow pipes etc. Where do you get it all from. Loved it!

Cormac Brown said...

MRMacrum,

Absolutely, miasmas are always green. I've met too many Murrays that think that anything but the truth will work.

Randal,

See, I'm kind of one fence with that one. Piss off a woman for the rest of your life, or piss off dozens of women? I go for the known quantity ; )

Über,

"'The Mauve Miasma' is stuck in my brain now."

Infectious, isn't it?

Alan,

Oh, the little blue men are real.

Paul D. Brazill said...

'The drugs don't work'. cormac clearly doesn't need em! Smashing mad stuff!

Cormac Brown said...

Paulie Decibels,

Thank you and you are right sir, I'm running on sleep-deprivation.