A Questionable Vegetable (Flash Fiction)

(This one is funny to me. I wrote it, got to the end, and literally said out loud, “This is the stupidest story ever. It’s not even worth reading.” Then I laughed, edited it, and hit publish. /shrug)

Bob came in quickly from the rain and shook his coat. Droplets of water flung from the garment and made small spots on the hardwood floor. Brian did his best to not be bothered by it. Bob hung the coat and rushed into the living room. “Hey, Brian,” he said with a big smile. “So sorry I’m late. Man!” he said with a laugh. “How about this rain?”

“Yeah,” Brian said, eyeing the spots on the floor. “It sure does fall from the sky, doesn’t it?”

Bob laughed. “It sure does!” His hand swooped out and clutched Brian’s in a death grip handshake. “How ya been, pal? It’s been so long since I’ve seen ya!”

Brian feigned a smile and did is best to keep his hand from breaking. “Oh sure, but it feels like it was just yesterday.”

Bob laughed again, released Brian’s hand, and gave him a hard slap on the shoulder. “Isn’t it great? That’s how you know you’ve got a great friendship. Say, where are the girls?”

Brian shrugged and found himself staring at the drops on the floor again. A small pool was beginning to form under Bob’s jacket as well. “Can I help you clean that up? I’d hate to see your floor get ruined.”

Bob turned to look. “Oh that? Nah. I put that flooring in last fall. Holds up like a champ.”

“Oh,” said Brian.

“Oh!” shouted Bob, startling Brian from his small trance. “Where are my manners? Let me pour you a drink.” Bob rushed out of the dining room and grabbed some glasses from the kitchen.

“No, Bob, it’s okay. We’ll probably have a few drinks at dinner.” Brian cringed when he saw the vodka bottle come out of the freezer.

“Yeah, but those places always charge so much, ya know?” Bob said with a smile. “Gotta get warmed up on our own before we head out. That reminds me, where did you say the girls went?”

“Oh,” Brian said. He watched the two glasses clink with two ice cubes each, ice cubes that were promptly drowned in a clear liquid. “I think Catherine took Susanne down to show her your new vegetable garden.”

Bob came around the counter and handed over the glass. Brian took it in his hand and was forced into an obligatory cheers. “What?” asked Bob. He took a large swallow and nearly finished half of his drink.

“Something about a vegetable garden,” Brian said.

“We don’t have a vegetable garden,” said Bob.

“Oh,” said Brian. He sipped at the vodka and felt his eyes begin to water a bit. “Well something about some vegetable. A new vegetable.”

Bob took another swallow and finished his drink. The ice cubes left abandoned in the glass looked as though they never had a chance to melt. “Why would she take Susanne down to see a vegetable?”

“I don’t know,” said Brian. “They left in a hurry and I didn’t really understand.”

Just then, the door opened and the two wives entered. Hugs were exchanged, again, and Bob was quick to seek resolution. “Where did you dames get off to?”

“Oh,” Susanne said. “I took her downstairs to the lobby to see the new art gallery.”

“Oh,” said Bob. “Oooohhhh! Down in the lobby. Down to the vestibule.” A shit eating grin spread across Bob’s face, and Brian suddenly found the strength to try more of the vodka.

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