A few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in the Iron Writer Challenge in which 4 writers are asked to write a fictional short story in 4 days time and are given 4 elements to work with and a 500 word limit.  Readers then get to vote on which story they liked the best.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even know if I won or not and I’m not sure I care all that much.  I had so much fun doing this.  The Iron Writer is just a great place for a story fix. 

In any case, I’m sharing with you my story.  The 4 elements given to me were a Magic 8 Ball, garden sheers, the world’s first fully submersible air craft, and a robotic Geisha.  I do hope you enjoy it.

Happy Hour By Victoria Dougherty C. 2013

“It is decidedly so,” the Magic 8 Ball says.  I asked if I was bored – that’s how bored I am.  I stare out the goddamned window and all I see are the fish.  A school of rose red Alfonsinos that gape at me with their buggy eyes like they’re judging me for having a third martini. 

“What are you, my f*cking wife?”

I sound meaner than I actually feel.  I’m not mad at the damned fish.  None of this is their fault.  Like the fact that the only things that seem to give me one modicum of joy are (and not always in this order) beating off, unloading on Mimoko – who actually is my wife, sort of – and pruning my Meyer lemon tree with a rusty pair of garden shears that I brought down with me from my old house.  The one I shared with my real wife and not this Japanese piece of sh*t.  She doesn’t even work anymore.  At least not after the rear compartment flooded.  Now that was a full scale disaster – but hell, I’m alive and Mimoko still looks pretty good even if her eyes won’t move and her voice sounds garbled and creepy when I endeavor to turn her on.

“Never loved you anyway,” I tell her and it’s the first thing that’s cracked me up all day.  Of course, she just keeps sitting in the co-pilot’s seat and staring out into the depths with me – pretending to be interested in what I have to say.

“You like Alfonsinos?” I ask her.  “They call them Tasmanian Red Snapper down her.  Or up there, rather.”

She doesn’t care.

And she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the martini I made for her, either.

“Peeled a garnish for you from my last Meyer lemon,” I remind her.

She keeps smiling, but I know it’s fake.

How can you even try to have a relationship with a goddamned Geisha when you know it’s her job to appear enthralled by your miserable life?  It’s like loving a hooker.  But at least the hooker’s a warm body.  And a warm mouth. 

Now I’ve got to beat off again.

Still Day 243

“Signs point to yes,” the ball tells me.  My question was, “Can I maintain an erection after three martinis at 46 years of age?” Despite the encouraging answer, I decide there’s not much hope in raising the bridge.  Takes too much time.  And I’d rather have a fourth martini.  Keeps me from thinking about the crack in the cockpit window. Some fully submersible aircraft. 

F*ck.  Mr. Sunshine, my real wife used to call me.  Don’t have one positive thing to say. Ah, but the 8 Ball does.  So I ask my question – since it’s in such a fantabulous mood today.  I shake it and turn it on its ass.

“You may rely on it,” reads the little white triangle.

I asked, “Am I gonna die down here?”

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Tags: fiction, noir, thriller

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Comment by Victoria Dougherty on November 13, 2013 at 10:16am

Thank you!  Really appreciate your comment :)

Comment by kem roy neal on November 13, 2013 at 8:25am

Hi Victoria,

 I think you nailed this story. It was funny at times, a little sad, and yet I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen; and it is very visual. After reading this I now want to read some of your other work. Nice job...

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