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:
"survival of the fittest"
or use: tarragon, root, energy,
or "Please pass me the..."
or "One plus one equals..."
or use: redemption, salvage, spice,
or use a joker in your story
I’m using one plus one equals…
All That He Desires #3
He laughed slightly as the wind carried the young man’s words to him. “Guardian Angel, my ass. Oh, little one, that’s the last thing I am.”
Soon the one he’d marked would know that. All he needed was for Jules to cash in the winning ticket, and the deal was sealed. The lovely human would be his for the taking.
“Soon,” he whispered as he got in his car.
* * * *
The next morning, Jules reread the instructions on the back of his ticket. He’d been too tired and much too excited to make sense of anything last night, and the wine coolers probably hadn’t helped. He signed his name, and just to be safe, planned to make a copy. According to the ticket, he had ninety day before he’d have to claim his prize, but he didn’t intend to wait. Frankly, he needed the money too badly.
“Oh God, this is it!” His hand shook as he picked up the phone. He’d grabbed a quick shower and something to eat earlier. He was ready, by God. As unbelievable as it was, thanks to a stranger his life was going to take a turn for the better. He wondered if he’d ever find the guy who stopped by the gas station last night… and did he want to? It still worried him why a person he was unfamiliar with would do something like this.
“Maybe there really are some good people left in this world.” Shrugging it off, Jules made the call to find out what he needed to do to claim his winnings. Maybe one plus one really did equal two.
Over the next several weeks his life took a dramatic turn after he filled out the claim form. He knew the only reason he was announced as a winner was because of the ‘stranger gifts young man with winning ticket’ angle, and sure enough the local news did want to do interviews. The amount he’d won wasn’t that big in the grand scheme of things. And what do you know—even some friends he hadn’t spoken to in years came out of the woodwork wanting something. He’d been warned about this, so he was prepared.
But what he wasn’t prepared for was who else came out of the woodwork. His parents had the nerve to call him and demand the money back they paid for his first year of college. It was with an unholy delight he told them to get, ah… get lost. In so many words.
Jules paid for his last semester, found a better place to live, and bought a decent vehicle. What was left of the money, he put in the bank. And, oh yes, he quit one of his jobs.
Two months had passed since that fateful day.
* * * *
“So, what?” Jules asked his best friend Miles. They were at his apartment, it was Thursday night, and they were having pizza. It wasn’t that long ago that ordering a pizza was a special treat and he made sure to remember that. Jules bit into the delicious pie, a string of cheese running from the pizza to his mouth. He washed the bite down with a frosty Coke. That was another little pleasure he insisted on… real Coke, not that bargain brand.
“Oh, come on, dude. You have enough to get that new gaming system. It’s only a couple of hundred dollars. And, well, we’d need some new games too.”
“There’s nothing wrong with this one. So what if it’s not the greatest and latest.” Jules rolled his eyes at the sad puppy dog look he was getting from his friend. “Stop that, man. What I have left has got to get me by until I graduate and get a job. I’m not blowing any of it on some stupid gaming system.”
“Spoil sport.” Miles picked up the controller. “But I guess I don’t blame you. It’s not like you have parents to help out.”
“Yeah.” Jules munched some more pizza. “I wish…”
“Don’t stop there.” Miles waves a piece of pizza around. “Go on.”
“Aw, well, it doesn’t really matter what I wish, now does it? They hate me and that’s never going to change. I do wish they didn’t live in the same town as me, though. I ran into Mom at Walmart a few days ago and she wouldn’t even speak to me. That was… awkward.”
“Awkward? I’d say that totally sucked.”
“It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t a possibility I’d bump into her or Dad every time I ran up to the store to grab a fucking carton of milk or something. That’s what sucks.”
“Well, after we graduate, we’ll blow this place, move to the big city, get jobs that pays the big bucks, and party like… what are we gonna party like?” Miles grinned suddenly. “I know, we’ll party like it’s 1999!”
“1999?” Jules snorted, reaching for a napkin. “Really, dude? Your taste in music is horrible.”
Miles leaded back on the couch, a grin lightening his face, and winked. “It’s an acquired taste.”
“It’s something all right. Just not sure what.”
Suddenly Miles grew serious. “I am sorry, though. It must be tough. I can’t imagine my parents turning their backs on me for nothing more than my sexual preference. That’s just whack.”
“It is what it is, but yeah, you’re lucky. No one should have to go through that.”
Miles held up his Coke. “Then here’s to them moving!”
Jules shook his head, but still clinked his cup against Mile’s. “It’ll be a cold day in hell before they moved from here. Just saying. But thanks for the thought.”
“You just never know, Jules. Stranger things have happened. Look at you.”
“Yeah, look at me,” Jules said as he sipped his drink. Miles didn’t know the half of it.
Don’t forget to visit the other briefers!
Chris T. Kat m/m
Tali Spencer m/m
Victoria Adams m/f
Elyzabeth VaLey m/f