Another week has dribbled by and it’s time for another snippet based upon the #1lineWed theme over on Twitter. Today, it’s all about brotherhood, bands of brothers, brotherly love, etc. Interestingly enough, a bit of flash fiction I wrote on Monday fits the theme. FYI, I won the Judge’s Pet award for the following. If you are curious as to how one of the flash fiction challenges I participate in works, go check it out. This particular one is based on 3 prompts: a picture, a phrase, and a prompt by the judge–in this case a music video. Anyway, CHECK IT OUT HERE. Today’s bit is an unconnected snippet from the Russian side of my eventual Moonstruck Mafia series. I hope you enjoy.
Viktor glimpsed the back room through a door left ajar. That was more like Chinatown. Three old men, their faces wreathed by the smoke of the unfiltered cigarettes held between their lips, played cards. Out here, in the main room, he was caught in a Fellini movie—walls covered in Sixties pop art band posters, the Grateful Dead singing on the jukebox while tattooed Triad members wore their slick suits and looked tough. A sloe-eyed beauty, a rose tucked above her ear, occupied the stool next to where he stood. The bartender placed another drink in front of her and she gulped it down.
“Does it help?”
She laughed, a brittle sound that grated on his ears. “What do you think?”
“I think this is not the place for a girl like you.”
“Yeah? Goes to show what you know.” She caught the bartender’s attention with a lift of her chin and a raised finger. He returned her summons with a narrow-eyed look but delivered her drink a few moments later. She gulped this one as well. “Know what I think?”
He waited, without comment. wanting only to finish his business in this place so he could return to Brighton Beach where his Bratva brothers wore their hard-won ink like men rather than peacocks.
“I think you need to just keep on truckin’.”
One of the old men finally glanced up from the fan of cards in his hand. A soundless message passed between him and one of the peacocks, who gestured Viktor into the inner sanctum. He could now execute his orders. Mikhail had been content to let the Triads rule in Chinatown, left them to their number running, drug sales and opium dens, and protection rackets. But the ruling council had crossed the line so Viktor was here to deliver Mikhail’s message.
He shut the door in the peacock’s face and locked it. Show time.
And that’s how flash fiction works, though if you scrolled down to read my original on Cara’s blog, you’ll see that this was originally 250 words. I added a bit to the next to last paragraph. Writers, to have any brother words to share? Readers, what’s your favorite series that features brothers?
Ooo, good one!
Of course, you know Sleeping Ugly’s Jeni has some severe brother issues. Not sure what i can drop here from the WIP that wouldn’t be all spoilery for them what hasn’t read SU. Let’s try this…
“I didn’t do anything. It was Josh.”
“He wanted to punish you. It didn’t have a damn thing to do with me until you picked me up in the bar that night.” He grabbed a little knickknack off my counter and threw it. Thank god, he didn’t aim. It hit the wall next to the hallway and shattered. “If it weren’t for you—”
“You’d still be separated from your wife. I didn’t cause that. You did. Or she did. One of you is responsible for that fuckup.” I don’t know why my mouth picked that moment to have a case of verbal diarrhea. I mean, it was true, but it wasn’t something he would probably want pointed out right that second.
Imagine my surprise when he didn’t leap across the room and squash me like a bug. “I’d still be ugly half the day and out of a job.”
He had a point.
“I’m sorry. Really I am. But I can’t be held responsible for my brother.” That sounded kind of biblical, but I couldn’t help that. “The only thing I’m responsible for is picking you up in a bar. I didn’t hold a gun to your head. I just asked you if you wanted to come home with me. You said yes, and the rest is the worst stretch of history in either of our lives.”
All the fight went out of him then. He sagged against the counter and stared at me.
“Sorry about your… what the hell was that I broke?”
I glanced at the pieces scattered all over my living room. “No clue. The decorator chose it. Something totally pretty and incredibly useless.”
Gus, to his credit, did not draw a comparison between the tchotchke and myself, even if I was thinking it. It was shattered and I wasn’t, but neither it nor I were pretty anymore. Even if I was still pretty much useless.
Whoah! Nope. No spoilers but wow! Total moment of clarity for Jen! Great snippet!