This is my first shot at writing flash fiction and I have to say after I got over the trauma of cutting this little baby down to 1000 words. Well, I got to 1005 and declared every one of them necessary.
Let me introduce you to Lara, a woman who just needs a little help to make it through a blind date without maiming anyone.
“Are you sure she’s gonna help?”
“Of course, she is. She wants me to go with her to some convention, that means she needs someone to watch the shop. I told her you would watch the shop for a few days in exchange for a magic tea.”
“Wait. You want me to watch the shop for a couple of days while you two go to a convention for a single cup of tea?”
Cila reached across the counter and smacked my arm. “Hush. She’ll hear you, and then you won’t get a thing.”
I leaned over the counter for a better shot at the backroom, but the curtain blocked the way. I prayed Bailey hadn’t heard me.
“You’re right. A cup of Bailey’s tea is completely worth watching the shop for a few days.”
The curtain shifted as Bailey came from the mysterious back room of the Enchanted Cup. “Damn straight, m
y tea is worth watching the shop for a weekend.”
I nodded solemnly. “I tried to tell her it would be.”
We all knew I was lying, but thankfully no one called me on it.
I carefully studied the line of antique teacups on display as Bailey scooted a step stool to the counter. She was touchy about more than the worth of her teas. Growing up as a leprechaun in rural Tennessee wasn’t an easy thing to do. She was picked on for everything from her height to her flaming red hair, but mainly for the way she absolutely refused to wear anything green.
“Now, Lara, tell me what you need so I can mix you a special tea, and we can all move on with our day.”
I twisted my fingers as I tried to find the right words to explain what I needed. “I have a blind date tonight.”
Bailey cut me off with a deadpan expression, “I can’t make him fall in love with you.”
I shook my head. “Of course not. I just need a little help getting …”
“I wasn’t gonna say anything, but your skin could use a little help.”
I furrowed my brows and touched my cheek where she gestured. “What’s wrong with my skin?”
“Looks a little swallow from here.”
“What does that even mean?”
“Alright. Not the skin, not falling in love, what is it you want?” She tapped her fingers on the counter impatiently before she smacked it. “You want to get Lucky!”
I didn’t realize how it sounded until Cila started snickered.
“No! Not Lucky with a capital L. I need plain ol’ luck.”
“That doesn’t make sense. You want to get to first base?”
Cila was no help. She gave up on snickering and was leaning on the counter for support as she laughed.
“I don’t know if I want to get to first base or not. I guess it depends on how the night goes and how hot he is, but that isn’t it.”
“Lara, I don’t have all day. Either you want to get Lucky or not.”
I searched the wall trying to find the secret to make her understand. The problem was I didn’t want to explain to my roommate’s boss that historically I suck at dates. Not just blind dates – all dates.
“Cila, stop laughing and help me.”
I mimicked Bailey and tapped my fingers on the counter as I waited for her to get herself together.
“Sorry. Your face was priceless. I’ve never actually seen you blush like that. I mean not even that time I had to help you with that ‘at home waxing’ issue last year.”
“You promised never to mention that on pain of death.”
I wanted to throw something at her when she just shrugged. I would have to wait until she got home for payback; I was worried about what Bailey would do to me if I broke something in her shop.
“Stop planning your revenge. I got this.” She grabbed a cup off the wall and handed it to Bailey. “She needs a little help getting through the first date. She has never had one go well. In the past she’s sprained her ankle, dumped her plate in a guy’s lap, there was a time she split the back of her pants and showed the world her flowery panties. She doesn’t want to get laid tonight. Basically, she wants help not embarrassing herself.”
Bailey studied me with shrewd eyes for so long I became uncomfortable. Then without a word she climbed her ladder and started passing Cila herb jars. I wasn’t sure how many herbs one tea needed, but I was reasonably sure it wasn’t nine.
“My luck is so bad I need all of those?”
Cila shushed me. Bailey grunted.
Bailey shifted the jars around on the counter in three groups before she held out a hand in Cila’s direction and asked for a bag. I waited as she scooped a little bit of powder from the first jar, studied me again before digging some from the second. She added a pinch from the third jar before folding the top of the bag and marked it with a number one.
I glanced at Cila in confusion when she repeated the process and created two more bags from the other herb jars on the counter. The grin she gave me didn’t settle my nerves at all. It was the same grin she gave me before she beat me in Boggle.
Bailey passed the first bag to Cila and told her to make me a cup to go. She set the second bag in front of me, “You need to drink this an hour before you meet him for the regular kind of luck. You should both drink this when you’re ready to get Lucky with a capital L.” Bailey patted my hand before she climbed off her step stool and disappeared behind the curtain.
I stared at the two remaining bags wondering what she saw that prompted three different teas to get me through a single date.
If you loved my flash fiction you should check out the other indie authors in the Wild At Heart Flash Fiction group!
You can search #wildatheartpnrflashfiction to start stalking them where ever you get your social fix!
Or find links to their stories on thier Instagram feeds.