Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:
"If life hands you a lemon, make..."
or use Vivaldi's Four seasons in some way or
"What do you think you're doing?"
or use: hat, encyclopedia, rhythm
or have a character that says no but really means yes
or use "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"
or include a tuba player in your story or a marathon
or use a sorbet in an interesting manner.
All That He Desires #20
Anslee woke the next day to sunlight, birds singing, and a warm body in his arms. As tempting as it was to stay in bed, Anslee instead slipped out and walked to the kitchen. A quick check of the microwave clock showed it was late in the afternoon. Hungry, he rummaged around in Jules’ kitchen until he found something suitable to eat. There wasn’t much to choose from.
Shaking his head, Anslee ate his sandwich standing up. Even though Jules had won that lotto money, he still lived frugally. Jules’ small apartment was okay, but Anslee missed the creature comforts of his home. The hemmed-in spaces of Jules’ apartment were getting to him. Hell, his master bathroom was the size of Jules’ bedroom. Speaking of his bathroom, he needed a shower and fresh clothes.
It was time to change locales.
Mind made up, he strode back to Jules’ bedroom and flipped on the light. Jules had to have a suitcase around here, surely. He could pack some clothes and whatever toiletries Jules needed for an extended stay. Anslee threw open the closet—ah, there was what he was looking for on the top shelf—and started to pull clothes out.
Frowning, he noticed the condition of what he held in his hands. Old, faded, and threadbare described Jules’ wardrobe. When was the last time Jules had been clothes shopping? Most of what was in here he would’ve tossed out a long time ago.
“Okay, just what do you think you’re doing?”"
Anslee turned from the closet. “Ah, good, you’re awake.”
Jules sat up in bed and rubbed his hands over his face. “Turning on the overhead light pretty much insured I would be.”
Anslee threw some more clothes in the suitcase. “Sorry about that, but I needed to be able to see.”
“Which brings me nicely back to my earlier question of what are you doing?”
Anslee stared at the clothes in the suitcase, frowning, then snapped his fingers. He moved from the closet to the dresser and opened it. Socks and underwear soon joined the unorganized mess in the suitcase. “I’m helping you pack.”
“Helping me pack? Uh-huh. Anslee, I have to actually be packing in order for you to help. What the hell are you doing?”
“We’re going to my home.”
Jules climbed out of bed as Anslee walked into the bathroom. “Right.”
Moments later, Anslee returned, his hands full. “I thought you’d want your own shampoo and… What are you doing?”
“That does seem to be the question of the day, doesn’t it?” Jules stood at the closet, hanging clothes back.
“Do you not want to take some of your own clothes?”
Jules suddenly turned. “I’m not going anywhere, so there’s no need for me to pack.”
“We’re going to my home. I told you that.”
“You may be going home. I, on the other hand, am going to eat breakfast… right after I finish cleaning up this mess you made.”
Anslee grabbed the clothes Jules had hung up and pitched them back in the suitcase. “You can eat at my house. There damn sure isn’t anything here to eat. I happen to have a fully stocked kitchen.”
“Well, bully for you.” Jules let out a short, sharp scream as Anslee flung some socks, in the suitcase, Jules had just put back in the drawer. He pointed a finger at Anslee. “Dude, I’ve been up maybe ten minutes. I get woke up with a light glaring in my eyes, then I see you throwing my shit in a suitcase, and… and… all before I’ve had coffee! I’m not going anywhere so stop fucking lobbing my crap in that suitcase!”
Anslee put his hands on his hips and glared at Jules. “I should’ve known you’d be difficult.”
“Difficult?” Jules growled. “Did you say difficult? Buddy, you haven’t even seen difficult yet. But you’re damn sure about to.”
Anslee threw his hands up in the air. Humans! He’d never understand them. “What’s your problem? Your apartment is so small, Jules. My home is bigger, has a pool, a rec room, tennis courts, lovely gardens to walk through—”
“You didn’t ask me!”
“Oh good God, give me strength. You didn’t ask me to come with you, Anslee. You just took it upon yourself to pack my things and load me up… Just throw my ass in the car and take me home. I’m not an object like that suitcase. I have feelings and, unlike that suitcase, I am capable of thinking and making decisions.”
“I didn’t stop to think—”
“Exactly! Anslee, you just go and do whatever the hell it is you want without any consideration for anyone else.”
“I’ve never had to!” Anslee yelled finally. “This is all new to me! There’s never been someone I cared enough for to take the time to…” Anslee trailed off.
Jules and Anslee stared at each other. Time slowed to a crawl until, at last, Jules spoke. “Ask me, Anslee.”
More minutes passed. Finally, Anslee took a deep breath. “I would like for you to see my home. I would like for you to stay there for a while.”
Jules slowly nodded his head. “I… I’d like that.”
“Good,” Anslee said.
“Good,” Jules answered back.
Alrighty then. Guess that was settled.
“Why don’t you go start the coffee? I’ll straighten out this mess and finish packing. Then we can go. If you feel up to it, maybe you could fix me breakfast at your home—since you have a fully stocked kitchen and all.”
“Coffee sounds good, and I’d be more than happy to cook for you.” Anslee left Jules in the bedroom and returned to the kitchen. Jules wasn’t the only one who needed a good, strong, bracing cup of coffee now. These human emotions were going to drive him insane.