Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and forty-sixth piece in this series. This week’s is a 436-worder by Christopher Farley.
Colours frozen in time
The tattoo was the first thing I noticed; it was beautiful. She sat opposite her friend drinking Belgian beer from a huge glass and I saw it as I walked past, making my way to the men’s room.
Her thin, white arms poked out from her even whiter t-shirt, then a waterfall of colour burst from the sleeves of the t-shirt. Three lotus flowers, red, green and pink, one on top of the other. But oh, the arm. How could something so pale and delicate suffer so much pain? I returned to the bar and pretended to look at the game on the big screen. Her friend rose from the table and headed for the toilet.
“Sorry, I couldn’t help noticing your tattoo.” My God, how cliché is that, I thought. “It really is a piece of art; my compliments.”
She smiled; she’d probably heard it a hundred times before. Maybe it distracted people from looking at her; her hair, long and parted in the middle, surrounding her plain face with no make-up and devoid of colour except her azure-ice eyes. The air fell silent between us. The ladies’ toilet door swung open.
“Good choice of beer,” I nodded at her now-empty glass. “Like another?”
Her eyes flickered to her friend, who was hanging back, pretending to like football or the retro Guinness signs beside the TV set.
“My friend’s about to leave so I’ll see her out. I don’t have to leave so… yes, please.”
I turned to the bar and waited to order whilst the girls kissed each other’s cheek and said goodbye. I heard laughter between them but it sounded natural enough and I stood there smiling to myself. I paid for the two beers and turned just as her friend’s shoulder passed in front of me as she made her way out, unaccompanied. Making my way to the table I down and looked into those eyes. We raised their glasses, said “cheers!” and after a few halted starts enjoyed flowing conversation and enough laughs to remember the evening by. Another beer followed as the football fans, game over, started filing out or filling up. A whisky chaser followed that beer and the one that followed and still we sat there, making each other laugh. I must have been a charmer; we finished the evening at my place and we’re still here: that was three months ago.
The tattoo is beautiful. I’m sat here looking at its waterfall of colour and touch it, delicately. Her skin is cold to the touch. It’s the only part of her left in the freezer.
Creepy as always. Thank you, Chris.
Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.
When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blogs http://christopherfarley.wordpress.com and http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com.
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