Friday, October 21, 2011

Damn Real Life, Anyway

Last Wednesday, Lynn posted some words for my Flash Fiction Friday challenge, and then Real Life and the Day Job intervened, and things were far too crazy for me to scare up even a 150-word ficlet with them.

Well, I rationalized, I'll use them for my Wednesday post this week!

Except that Real Life and the Day Job were still being stupidcrazy and crazystupid (I've got the convergence of an audit for one project and the rudest customer with the tightest deadline I've ever had the misfortune to encounter on another, and my staff is having personal issues that are being reflected in performance and... like that) so I didn't get to a post on Wednesday, either.

BAD writer. No cookie!

So I'm going to do Lynn's words here now, and abjectly beg your pardon for all the silence around here, lately.

Lynn's words were: Cummerbund, blackberry (fruit or device), deluge, lush

Storybit (possibly part of a submission, if I can finish it in time) after the break!


Jamie kept her eyes closed, even though she couldn't sleep. Tired wasn't the word. Exhausted wasn't even the word. Dead on her feet came somewhere close. She'd caught a supply truck from her unit's camp that ran three hours into the city base, and then waited around for most of a day for a military transport plane that had room for her, which had flown six hours to Germany. Then it was a bus to take her to the commercial airport in Munich, where not a single ticketing agent could be found who spoke English. She'd made do, though -- a soldier made do, and she was a soldier through and through, and Germany was a friendly, civilized country, not some crazy backwater where a shovel-dug latrine was a luxury and women couldn't leave base without escort and even the kids hated you for the uniform on your back.

She'd pulled out her Blackberry and loaded up an atlas and pointed and zoomed and pointed and zoomed until she'd finally made the crisply-dressed, ultra-polite young man understand her destination. Then it was commercial transport all the way, with its annoying security protocols (didn't they understand how goddamn hard it was to get in and out of combat boots?) and its annoyed civilians, from Munich to London, and from London to New York, in and out of customs and security, retrieving and re-checking her duffel...

Thirty-four hours on the move, now, and counting, dead on her feet, but this was the last flight, and her ears were popping with the descent. Maybe another hour, now, and then she'd step out of the Atlanta airport into the lush thick humidity of proper Southern air, maybe even one of those summertime afternoon deluges and she would stand there and just let the rain soak her right to the skin. And then she'd take a bus a couple of hours down into Georgia, to a tiny little town that no one had ever heard of who hadn't been born there, and then it was only a couple of miles from the bus depot to Casey's mama's house. To Casey.

Eyes still closed, Jamie's hand stole up to her shirt pocket where she kept the most important things -- her passport and the receipts for all those planes and busses and her ID cards and the cash she'd drawn to pay for food, and her picture of her and Casey at his sister's wedding two years back -- she looked ridiculous in that bridesmaid's dress with her fresh-from-basic close-cropped hair and boyish muscles in her bare arms, but Casey had looked so very, very fine in that tux, and he'd pulled her close while they danced and told her she was the most beautiful woman there, and they'd snuck off down to the basement and almost not made it back in time to see the cake cut, and luckily the tux jacket had covered where she'd got lipstick on the cummerbund.

They were touching down, now, and Jamie's heart was pounding. Dead on her feet, but Casey was waiting, and there was no way she was going to miss a single second of their time together before she had to go back. Soon, now... Soon.

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