Flash Fiction: Black Jack

Writing for me is a passion. Of all the things I have done in my life in an attempt to be creative, writing fulfills me. Because I love the process so much, I love writing exercises and the best one I have ever participated in is the Moderated Writing Exercises, part of the Google+ writing community, Writers Discussion Group.  Each week the moderator provides a prompt, could be a photograph, a collection of words, or a situation.

Below is a flash fiction piece I wrote for one of the prompts, which was the featured story for the week. This prompt required the story be written in first person, and the protagonist be inebriated by whatever means we chose.

I hope you enjoy!  Comments appreciated.

Black Jack

Black Jack

I need a drink.

Two crystal tumblers sat on the bar alongside a bottle of Jack Daniels No. 7 Black, my Christmas Eve gift for Nick. My fingers clumsy as I opened the bottle, pouring a double. I drank half down in one gulp, the normally smooth whiskey burning my throat, then refilled the glass.

Three flutes of champagne at the partners’ holiday party gave me a good buzz. Now, all I wanted was for the Black Jack to make me forget my husband wasn’t coming home. Black Jack was Nick’s favorite, his drink of choice since college. I gave him a bottle every Christmas Eve, since we were in law school. Broke and in love, I saved change for months to surprise him, and it became our tradition.

The Christmas tree cast a sparkling reflection on the balcony doors. I walked over, downing the remainder of my drink as I gazed at the Los Angeles skyline, wondering what went wrong. Nick was only supposed to be gone for a couple of months trying a federal case in Houston. The case was more complicated than initially thought, and he’d been there six months. At first, he came home often, but as the case went to trial, his trip’s home and his phone calls became rarer. I try to be understanding, but things are so tense between us.

I received his text during the party. His emotionless detached words seared into my brain. I’m not coming, have other plans. I’ll call you in a few days. Somehow, I managed to keep my composure in front of my colleagues and the office staff, but I can’t any longer. Tears stream down my cheeks, as crushing pain gripped my chest, and I sank to the floor, sobbing.

The tears eventually faded and pushing against the floor I moaned, my body aching from crying so hard. My eyes burned, my vision blurry, and I was certain a Mariachi band was playing inside my head. I needed another drink. Wobbly, I made it to the bar, grabbed the whiskey bottle and stumbled toward the couch. Collapsing against the cushions, I kicked off my heels and took a swig from the bottle. I wanted to forget.

The room began spinning before I took several more gulps. I kept my eyes closed not because the vertigo was getting worse. I closed them to keep from seeing the wedding photo on the bookcase, the music box Nick gave me, his favorite chair. My chest burned as my heart broke and hot tears flowed again. He wouldn’t be back.

I drifted into darkness, but a noise awakened me. Someone was in the apartment. I reached for the bottle, and tried to get up, only falling onto the floor.

“Ella?”

Nick’s voice.  Unsteady, I used the couch as leverage to stand up.

“Y-you said you weren’t coming.”

“What are you talking about?

I swayed, trying to remain upright, “Your text… you said you had other plans.”

“I what? I didn’t…. Oh god, I was rushing for the plane. I sent you the wrong text. I must have sent yours to Harold. Baby, I was always coming home. I missed you.”

“You were?” I fell onto the couch.

Nick sat next to me, taking the bottle from my hand, “I see you got started without me.”

“I’m drunk.”

He kissed me. “I’ll make coffee.”

The room was whirling around me, but sober or not I was happy. Nick was home.

___________________________________

Image found on Google Images. No commercial use intended.

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