Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #65 (16.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, as Marshall and Lee and Denver and Dustin head back to Burnham, it's obvious that something is afoot, but what can it be? Find out in this week's episode of Moving Forward. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Moving Forward #65 (16.1)

Something was definitely up with Denver and Dustin, Marshall decided on the long trip back to Burnham from Galveston. Denver was texting someone on a regular basis, and every so often he and Dustin would exchange shit-eating grins. But when Marshall asked what was so amusing, they refused to explain. Lee just shrugged it off, and Marshall tried to do the same. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was up, though.

“You guys hungry? We can stop and get something to eat,” Lee suggested.

“Naw, let’s just wait till we get back to Burnham,” Denver quickly said.

Marshall half turned in his seat and gave him a curious look. “You won’t get much to eat there, unless you go to the diner.”

He noticed Lee looking at the two men through the rearview mirror. “We can eat at Milly’s, if you like. Food’s always good. You can rest a spell before you head back to Tucker Falls.”

“Um… um… yeah. Sure.” Another exchanged glance. “Why don’t we see how everyone feels about it when we get back to your place?”

“You’re acting awfully jumpy,” Lee commented. “You got a hot date waiting for you or something?”

Marshall snickered. If Denver had been seeing anyone even halfway seriously, he wouldn’t have brought his cousin along on the cruise, would he? That seemed like a no-brainer.

“Something,” Denver waffled. “You guys didn’t have any plans, did you? I mean, for when you get back?”

Marshall looked at Lee, who glanced at him briefly before returning his attention to the road.

“Not really,” Lee said. “Get unpacked. Make sure everything at the house is good. Maybe pick up the mail from Roy, if he’s around. Get a drink.”

“Those are good plans,” Denver said, and Dustin agreed with him.

Marshall was growing more suspicious by the minute. But those two weren’t talking, and he wasn’t in a position to accuse them of anything because he had no clue what to accuse them of.
Before he could think of anything to ask them, Denver got a text. He read it, then glanced up. “What time do you think we’ll be back? Like about three, right?”

“That sounds about right,” Lee said. “Are you going to tell us what’s going on or do I have to pull over and stop the car right here until you do?”

“Haha, funny,” Denver said, but his laugh sounded off and his smile looked forced.

When Lee  unexpectedly changed lanes, and it looked like he might pull onto the shoulder of the road,  Denver’s eyes widened. “Hey, c’mon,” he pleaded. “I just can’t. You gotta trust me on this one, okay?”

“What do you think?” Lee asked Marshall. Marshall was relieved to see the twinkle in Lee’s eye. He knew then he was putting Denver on, just playing with him to get him to talk about whatever it was they were hiding. Marshall suppressed a grin.

“I dunno,” he said, drawing the words out mischievously. “Sounds like trouble to me.” He gave Dustin a grin, and was glad to see he was smiling too, as if he wasn’t worried about anything at all. Then Marshall knew whatever it was couldn’t be a bad thing. “Maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt. This time.”

“Okay. But just ‘cause you asked.” Lee winked broadly, making no effort to hide the gesture from Denver.

“How about if I just tell you that you’ll find out soon?” Denver offered. “Does that help?”

“Guess it has to,” Lee said.

They made good time, and actually arrived in Burnham about a quarter till three. Denver and Dustin seemed antsier than ever, but Marshall had stopped worrying about it, focusing on being home and relaxing before they had to go back to work the next day. Vacation was nice, but they had work to do.
He was rather surprised to find, when they pulled up the driveway, that Roy was there. Damn, was something wrong? Lee looked concerned as well. Roy came up to the car once Lee parked.

“Roy, you the welcoming committee?” Lee joked as everyone exited the car.

“Something like that,” Roy said. His expression gave away nothing, but at least he didn’t seem upset. How bad could it be?

Denver and Dustin brought their bags out of the car, and then removed their luggage from the trunk to put into their own car.

“Thanks for everything, Lee, Marshall. That was a great cruise. See you real soon, okay?”

Marshall watched Denver and Roy exchange glances. Now he was even more suspicious than before. Something was definitely up, and Roy was part of it. But nothing was said, and Denver and Dustin got into their car and quickly took off.

Both Marshall and Lee turned to look at Roy.

“Don’t try to bullshit me,” Lee said, “I know you too well. What’s going on?”

“I’m not going to bullshit you, Lee,” Roy replied. “Never have before, and never will. Let’s just say I have a surprise for you two, and I need you both to get dressed and come to my house.”

“We are dressed,” Marshall said. “Aren’t we?”

“Well, I laid out other clothes for you. Let’s just say it’s a special occasion. You trust me, right?”

“Absolutely,” Lee said without hesitation.

“Then let’s go into your house and get this started.”

to be continued

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