Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Don't Look Back #3.0

Happy Hump Day to one and all! Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Briefs, brought to you by the Wednesday Briefers, who love to write flash fiction and present it to you for your entertainment. Each flash runs between 500 and 1000 words, and is inspired by a prompt given to the group, whether words or a picture!

Today, in Don't Look Back, we see Lee and Marshall, and someone who is very important to them both, as plans are made for a night out. Enjoy! And don't forget to visit the other Briefers, whose links follow my tale. Enjoy! (If you notice the numbers have changed on Don't Look Back, that's just for my benefit as I'm putting each week's flash together to make actual chapters, so that when I'm done, I can make a cover and upload it as a freebie!)

Don't Look Back 3.0

Dinner was done. Evening’s shadows crept along the backyard, prefacing the darkness of night.  Nothing stirred in the grass, and the birdbath was vacant, its former occupants gone to roost.

Marshall  had decided to grill—thick pork chops he’d seasoned with a little salt and pepper. And a touch of cayenne, for a little extra kick. He’d learned everything he knew about cooking either from Lee or the Food Network.

Clad only in a pair of jeans that barely kissed his hips, Marshall finished drying the last of the dishes and put them away. He’d be glad when this week was up, and he could go back to using the dishwasher. It was his own fault, couldn’t blame anybody else. He’d wanted to be fucked so badly he’d lost by default.
But it was worth every minute of it.

He dried his hands on a kitchen towel, turned out the light, and joined Lee in the family room. Lee was kicked back in his recliner. The television was on, but Lee’s attention was focused on a book in his lap. He turned a page and looked up as Marshall entered.

“That didn’t kill you, now did it?”

“Guess not.” Marshall laughed.  “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.” He started to stretch out on the couch, just as a knock sounded on the screen door, and a familiar voice called out, “Anybody home?”

“Come on in, Roy, door’s open,” Lee yelled in reply.

Marshall rose as the sheriff entered the room. Roy Landry was a grizzly bear of a man. But anyone who made the mistake of thinking of him as soft learned the hard way that his gentle appearance belied his strength.  Roy was like a second father to Marshall, and had been instrumental in reuniting him with Lee. 
He’d been a part of their lives ever since.

“Evenin’, Roy,” Marshall greeted him. “Can I get you a beer?”

“That sounds real good.” Roy dropped onto the end of the couch, his accustomed place whenever he visited. Removing his comfortable white wool cowboy hat, he dusted off the brim and set it beside him.

“Want one too?” Marshall asked Lee, who nodded.  Marshall retrieved three longnecks from the refrigerator. He took the other end of the couch, curling his bare feet on the cushion beside him.

“How’s business?” Roy asked. He took a long appreciative drink of the brew.

“Pretty good,” Lee replied. He’d closed his book and set it on the table next to him. “No matter how bad the economy gets, people still want their computers running like clockwork.”

“It’s this generation,” Roy commented. He winked at Lee, but his words were obviously aimed at Marshall. “They’ve been spoiled so much they think they can’t live without their pcs and laptops and tablets, all those gadgets we grew up without. Never hurt us, did it?”

“Not a bit,” Lee agreed. “But I guess these are different times. You adapt, or you get weeded out.”

“Now just hold on there a second,” Marshall protested. “We’re not spoiled. Who gave this generation the computers they grew up with? They didn’t grow on trees.” Not that he’d had one. That was something his mother hadn’t provided—among other things. She was a subject never touched on among them, one Marshall had left in his past. In the dark time when he thought he’d lost Lee forever.

“I dunno,” Lee drawled. “Who was whining about missing his dishwasher, just because he has to wash dishes by hand for a week? When I was a kid, we didn’t ever have anything like that. The only dishwasher was me, and it didn’t kill me.”

“What’s wrong with the dishwasher?” Roy looked at Marshall, who pretended to scowl at Lee.

“Nothing. I just lost a bet, and now I have to do dishes by hand for a week.”

Roy laughed. “Don’t you know better than to bet against Lee, boy? Do you ever win?”

“I don’t remember. I’m sure I have. Not that it’s important.”

 Both men laughed at that. Marshall’s cheeks flamed slightly, but he was grinning nonetheless.

“Anything going on at the sheriff’s office?” Lee asked. He’d switched the TV off so they could hear better.

“Not much. Couple of speeding tickets. Had to bust up a fight at Milly’s. Some out-of-towners with nothing better to do and no place to do it in. They hit the road again quick enough when I let ‘em know we don’t tolerate that sort of thing here.”

“In other words, a fairly typical day.”

“Pretty much, Lee. Can’t complain. It’s a living, and I like it here. Glad I came.”

The reason for his coming lay unspoken between them, but it was one they were all aware of.

“You still seeing that widow in Little Bend?”

Roy shrugged. “Off and on. Mostly off. I think she’s looking for someone with better prospects. When I told her I liked being the sheriff here, and wasn’t thinking of doing something else, she kinda cooled off.”

“Her loss. Plenty more where she came from.”

“Amen to that,” Marshall agreed.

“You doing anything tomorrow night?” Lee asked.

“Not that I know of. Why?”

“Why don’t the three of us make a night of it and head up to Partners? Haven’t been for a while. Whaddya think?” His glance encompassed both Roy and Marshall.

Marshall was grinning from ear to ear. “Hot damn, sounds good to me. I wanted to show off those new boots I got. That would be the perfect chance to do it.”

“Did you break them in yet?” Lee arched an eyebrow at Marshall. “Otherwise, all you’ll end up with is blisters and sore feet. Then you won’t be able to dance, like I’m guessing you want to.”

“Hell yeah, I want to. And I will. Just you see,” Marshall replied, a little defensively.

“Want to place a bet on that?”

Marshall pushed out his lower lip in a pout as Roy began to laugh.

to be continued

Now, go see what the other Briefers are up to!

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