Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge: Story: The Ready Room

...and here we go again. Me, starting a blog. I can think of no better way to start than by answering the flash fiction challenge issued by Chuck Wendig, here:

Warning, kids, herein lie hookers, BDSM references and violence. Without further ado, here is the twisted fiction resulting from Chuck's Challenge.

The Ready Room
by Reggie Lutz

Arnold’s body quivered like a wire coil as he waited for the two for one special to arrive. Every Tuesday Arnold made his way to the Ready Room at Betty’s Brothel. He’d been doing this off and on for ten years, attendance depended on what he referred to as his real-world relationship status. If he was dating, which wasn’t often, he avoided it.

Left leg shaking with the pent-up tension of an undersexed teenage boy, Arnold tried not to get over-excited. Leather and straps and spiky boots and strident instructions and no obligation other than parting with the contents of his wallet made the Ready Room ideal.

“These are the things that make my world go round,” he thought. Even the act of pulling bills out of the fold made his spine tingle with pleasure.

The Ready Room shook, disrupting the rhythm of Arnold’s shaking leg as he was tossed from the leather couch to the slate floor. He landed on his stomach.

Two pairs of black leather stiletto shoes clattered into view. “Such lovely feet,” a dazed Arnold whispered into the floor. Soft hands reached down and clutched his arms. Lacquered fingernails sharpened to points dug into his soft biceps. Arnold moaned with pleasure as the ladies rolled him over onto his back.

Two faces painted so perfectly he wouldn’t recognize them in a crowd stared down at him. These women were beautiful and utterly forgettable.

“Jesus. We thought you were hurt,” said the one closest to him.

Arnold blinked up at the woman. “Why would I be hurt?”

“Didn’t you feel that?”

“I thought I was just, um, overexcited.”

The other woman smirked, “Isn’t that cute. He’s blushing.”

“Shut up, Cake. No one who comes in here is capable of blushing.”

Cake pointed at Arnold. “Seriously, Pie. Look at him. He’s all red.”

Arnold used the belt of his terrycloth robe to wipe his forehead. “I thought there was a rule about not using names.”

Pie inhaled deeply and pointed her eyes at the ceiling fan.

Cake softly said, “I don’t think that rule matters, now. The world is ending.”

Arnold laughed. “Oh, that’s brilliant, but I’m not really into role play outside of the whole mistress and servant milieu.”

Pie took her eyes off of the ceiling long enough to slap Arnold across the face. It stung but he wasn‘t sure he liked it. “This isn’t a game.”

“Okay,” said Arnold as he explored one side of his face with his fingers. “If the world just ended then why are we still here?”

Pie and Cake exchanged glances.

“We aren’t from here,” Pie said.

“What. Nevada?” Arnold asked.

Cake sighed, “No. We’re not from the planet.”

“That doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t there have been something about contact on the news?” Arnold asked.

“There was, you stupid human. Your race just didn’t recognize it as contact,” Pie answered.

Cake added. “The only reason you are still here is because you happened to be with us. Everyone else is dead.”

“That’s not possible. How could it happen so fast? How could I not know?”

Pie kissed Arnold on the cheek. “Poor human. Cake, should we take care of this before we go?”

“What do you mean by take care of this?” Arnold asked.

Cake ignored him. “Well, we can’t leave him here in the nuclear blizzard. It’s far too cruel. We could stop his heart from the inside out, but it will take too long. We need another method. Minimal pain.”

“Well, make it quick,” Pie said. “We don’t have that much time to get back to the surface of our home comet.”

Arnold stood up and walked over to the window. He reached out to grab the edge of a velvet curtains. “There’s no nuclear blizzard.”

“Don’t do that!” Cake shouted a beat too late.

Arnold lifted the curtain just enough to peak outside for a second before he staggered backwards to the couch. The glimpse of world outside was filled with swirling ash and gray burning.

“Pie, you better start disassembling, I’ll handle this.”

Arnold looked at Pie. One corner of her mouth began to droop like melting taffy. It sagged below her jaw line and Arnold felt his stomach beginning to rebel. “Oh my god. You weren’t lying.”

Cake knelt down in front of Arnold. “We tried to warn you, human. We are very sorry.”

Arnold could not look away from Pie. Flesh that at first had appeared to be melting then began to dry out and crumble until Pie appeared a pixilated version of her former self. Her disintegration ended in a cloud of glitter that dispersed as if Pie had never existed.

Tears trickled down Arnold’s cheeks. “What happened to her?”

Cake caressed his face. “You mean them. We’re beings created by multiple engines, artificial life-forms, or in your world, perhaps you would call us nanobots. We are emissaries, sent to warn you. We have failed, so we are leaving.”

Arnold’s vision blurred as tears overwhelmed him. “I don’t understand.”

“Sh,” Cake said, holding Arnold’s head to her ample bosom. “There’s no need for understanding. Not anymore.”

As Arnold sobbed into Cake’s cleavage, she unzipped a hidden pocket on the right side of her corset and extracted a straight razor. Swiftly, she grabbed a hold of Arnold’s chin, opened the razor and drew it across his throat. Arnold’s blood gushed, splattering Cake as the razor clattered to the floor and she began to disassemble.

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