Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Children of Chance and Luck

Author's note: I've done several edits, as of 9:25pm.

The lady, sultry as can be in a slinky red dress, stepped down the dark alleyway trailed by two small shadows. A bum was laying in a puddle and surrounded by filth, his head propped up on a brick wall. He thought better of it but whistled after her anyway.

She stopped at the sound, then turned around and sauntered back a few steps. She slowly leaned over him, watching his eyes as they followed her curvaceous and nearly naked bosoms looming close to his face. Closer than he had ever hoped and dreamed they would.

"For luck," she said, and kissed him on the forehead. Stunned, he watched as she sauntered back down the alley until she disappeared into the dark.

The two shadows followed, stopping just behind as she came up to and stood in front of a dingy black door. She tapped on it, and even the bum was startled by the loud echo that bounced down the alleyway. As she stood there, the overhead light grew brighter the longer she waited, and the bum was able to just make out the sign that read, "Last Chance Mercantile, LTD", before shading his eyes. A viewport in the door slid open.

"Password?" came a terrified and meek voice from behind the door. The lady pulled a glove from one hand and raised an open palm to her lips.

"Let me blow you one," she whispered. The viewport slammed shut before she could breathe a kiss. She heard scraping noises and the door creaked open. She stepped in, followed closely by the two small shadows, and when she turned around she saw a grizzled old midget close and bolt the door behind them. He was trembling.

"He'll be glad to see you brought the kids," the midget said, "They've gotten big since the last we saw 'em."

"And so have you," the lady said as she reached to pat the pink belly that bulged out from under the midget's green shirt. But he moved too quickly out of reach, waggling his finger at her as he skipped down the hallway.

"Still as quick as ever though," he called back to her. She smiled and followed after him, down the long hallway and into the main warehouse. As large as it was, there was only one table and chair set in the middle of that vastness. A single light glowed a sickly yellow above the faded green felt of the old poker table. A man stood to greet her but kept the table between them as she approached.

"Well, if it isn't Mr. Chance himself," she called out as she pulled off the last glove and let it slip to the floor behind her. "I see not everyone has deserted you yet." She looked back at the midget, who kept a good distance away from her and the two small shadows at her side.

"So good of you to come my dear," the man said. He smiled at the shadows and finally stepped out from behind the table, opening his arms in a welcoming gesture. The two came out from behind their mother and ran to hug him.

"My sweet, sweet little ones," he said as they tackled him to his knees and allowed him to bear-hug them both. "And you too, wife."

The lady batted her eyelashes at him for old time sake, one delicate hand following a waft of bright red hair that had curled up and around her breast, her hand finally coming to rest on a well-placed hip.

"They couldn't wait to see you as soon as I told them," she said in her best sultry voice. "Perhaps they're ready for their papa to show them a little bit of life on his side of the world."

The boy and girl looked cautiously back to their mother.

"Thank you," was all he could think of to say.

"I always pay my bets," she replied softly. She knelt down and reached her arms out to her children. "Fate, Destiny, one last hug for mommy before I go?"

The little girl immediately ran back and swooped into her mother's arms. Just for a moment, the woman choked up at the warmth that flowed between them.

The boy hesitated by his father's side until the man leaned down to whisper in his ear and nudge him forward.

"Go say goodbye to your mother. You'll not see the Lady again for quite awhile."

The boy slowly approached the woman, and then held out his hand. She winked at him, and as the static charge began to build, took his hand and pulled him in close, along with the girl. The woman cradled them both in her arms, and the two shadows returned her embrace in kind.

"I love you," she whispered into their ears, as the static built up and a shower of golden sparks passed from mother to daughter to son, and surrounded all three of them. The midget disappeared deeper into the recesses of the warehouse, while the man stepped protectively forward, then hesitated.

The woman finally released her children and stood up, and with one last kiss on each of their foreheads, pushed them back towards their father.

"Just improving their odds," she said as she turned to go, not wanting him to see the tears forming in her eyes. "And maybe yours too."

She walked out of the warehouse, her stiletto heels tapping as she went down the hallway and towards the dull flashing red exit sign. The midget had gone ahead of her, and was fiddling with the bolt when she came up. She stopped and waited.

"No hard feelings?" she asked.

The midget kept silent.

"For my kids," she said, reaching out to him. The midget stepped back.

"The last time I shook your hand," he said, "was the last time I saw a rainbow."

"And I'm sorry for that. Truly I am."

Moisture colored in her eyes when she spoke, and he stepped tentatively forward. Quickly, barely, he brushed the woman's outstretched fingers with his own, and then just as quickly stepped back. But her last golden spark was quicker, and he watched fearfully as it danced across his fingers and enveloped his arm. It spread up his shoulder onto his head, and surrounded him in a aura of gold. The sparkle returned to his eyes, and a grin finally appeared on the midget's face.

"Thank you, M'lady," he said reverently, bowing as low as any Leprechaun could go.

"Take good care of them, Seamus," she whispered, and then the lady in black brushed her auburn hair back from her face and walked out the door. The outside light suddenly winked out, leaving the sign above unreadable in the deep, dark of night.

<word count: 1130>


Margaret Miller said...

I followed your share from the new Flash Fiction Google community and I'm so glad I did. This story will stay with me for quite a while I think. The first thing I did after finishing it was check your "flights of fancy" tag just to make sure there was a collection of more stories to read when I'm settled down after this one. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Love it, love it, love it.

Anonymous K

Parabolic Muse said...

Enchanting. Thank you so much for letting me know there is something new and just as absorbing. I always want to read...more!