Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Wednesday Briefs: Bad Karma and the Family Plan #95 (20.4)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then 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.

The moment has arrived. Vinnie comes face to face with his worst nightmare. Can this end well? Will they be able to learn anything from the Florida Mangler? See what's happening in this week's chapter of Bad Karma and the Family Plan. Enjoy!

Bad Karma and the Family Plan #95 (20.4)

I bit back the witty rejoinder that surely lurked on the tip of my tongue. No sense in antagonizing him right off the bat. As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with sugar. Or is it honey? Maybe once we’d gotten all the information we needed, I could tell Chip what I really thought of him. I forced a smile I was far from feeling.

“Not long enough,” Ethan quickly countered on my behalf.

“Aw, and here I thought maybe you missed me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” Ethan said. “It doesn’t become you.”

Without missing a beat, Chip turned his attention to me. “And what do you think does become me, Vinny, my friend?”

“I am not your friend and never will be.” So much for remaining calm, cool, and collected. He was already getting under my skin. I had to force myself to take a deep breath. And hide my actual feelings. Namely, that he scared the shit out of me. Especially at closer quarters than I had anticipated. Maybe some people appreciated the up-close-and-personal with their incarcerated loved ones, but I didn’t count myself among that number.

I was grateful to be sitting. Otherwise, my shaking knees might have given me away. Assuming my quivering voice hadn’t already done so.

“Oh say it isn’t so, Vinny, my sweet!” he exclaimed with an exaggerated look of sorrow directed at me. I swear if his hands were free, he’d have clasped them together against his chest for melodramatic effect. But then again, if they had gone that route, we could have been on the safe side of plexiglass instead of the somewhat precarious position we found ourselves in.

“Knock it off!” Ethan growled, clearly annoyed. “There’s no time for this nonsense. I have a few questions for you, and I’d like you to answer them.”

Chip laughed. “Ah, my dear detective, I wish I had a lover who was as protective of me as you are of our sweet Vinny.” He glanced back and forth between us, before adding, “I hear congratulations are in order. Have you set the date yet?”

“How did you know?” I blurted out without thinking. I knew our engagement wasn’t exactly public knowledge, and we certainly hadn’t placed an announcement of it in any newspapers. I wasn’t sure if people still did that anymore. Then I glanced at my hand and spied my engagement ring, the mate to which sat on Ethan’s finger. That explained that.

As if reading my mind, Chip said,” The rings are a giveaway, I admit, but I already knew about the two of you planning to get hitched.” He gave us a lascivious wink. “I have my sources.” Could he get any more smarmy?

“Interestingly enough, that’s what I want to talk to you about,” Ethan said in a rather level tone of voice. He seemed to have shaken off his previous annoyance. I wasn’t surprised. Ethan really wasn’t the type to fly off the handle. That would be me.

 to be continued





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