Photo Challenge: Fiction – “A Better Life” #fiction #amwriting #writing #vegas


This past week’s photo challenge was hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Credit: Nekneeraj

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The lights assault my eyes, as they blur past me. Vegas is a beautiful city at night. I had had a table with my friends at the club with bottle service. Slowly, I remember us drinking the vodka shot by shot until the girls had enough.  

 “Were done, I’m already too drunk. I want to be able to shop tomorrow afternoon,” Megan said and her friend Kelly nodded in agreement. 

The other guys and I laughed and jeered, egging the girls on to do one more shot. They refused and went off to dance. After an hour or so passed, I saw them leave the club, removing their heels on the way. 

I noticed my good friend Ryan had passed-out on the cushioned bench around the table, parallel to me. I continued drinking, sipping my vodka shots, determined to finish the little vodka left in the bottom of the bottle. It was expensive after all to get bottle service. 

A concerned bouncer who had been watching me with deep dark eyes, set two glasses of water down in front of me. “Sir, you need to drink both these glasses,” he said. 

“Umm, no. I want more vodka. I’ll pay for another bottle,” I slurred. 

The bouncer shook his head, “You need to drink these glasses now sir. I don’t want you to get alcohol poisoning and die in my club.” 

I sighed grabbing both glasses, I downed them one at a time.”Gees, I was thirsty,” I told the bouncer.

 “I’m calling you and your friend a cab at the back door entrance,” he said nodding at Ryan. ” I don’t have to, I could just throw you out. But, I get this feeling you’re running from something, trying to drink it away. So tonight, I’ll be nice,” the bouncer said. “I get it man, but you’re a grown-up and even in Vegas, you have to have limits.” 

Another bouncer came to aid the first bouncer, guide us out to the cab. I leaned on the first bouncer’s shoulder and the other guy half-carried Ryan out the door. 

The cab driver looked nervous, “I don’t want anyone throwing-up in here,” he announced. But the bouncers ignored him. 

“Where is your hotel?” The first bouncer asked me.

I had to think a moment, everything was such a blur and it was difficult to think. I was so tired and mad at her. Why’d she cheat on me after ten-years marriage? Why’d she leave me for him?

“Um, we’re at Caesars,” I stammered, then reached into my pocket, pulling out a wad of bills; I tried my best to count out $100.00 exactly. I gave it the cab driver. He nodded, “okay where too?” The bouncers shut the cab doors and the driver took off down the Las Vegas strip.

The lights of Las Vegas were beautiful, brilliant, and blurred. But they also made me nauseous. I closed my heavy lids, and opened them as I tried not to sleep. But I couldn’t stop myself and I fell asleep quickly. 

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Ryan was shaking me. “Come on Blaine, wake up. You’re 6’4″ and two-hundred-some pounds, I can’t lift you alone. You need to help me.” 

I blinked in the bright lights at the entrance to Caesars guest reception. It would take us forever to find our rooms because the hotel was so huge and neither of us were well enough to remember where our room was specifically. 

Ryan’s hands shook and his face was pale white. He ran and threw-up in a garbage can. He apologized five-minutes later to a man near by helping guests at the front entrance and gave him a twenty, and thinking this man would have to clean the garbage can up. 

I was slowly, stepping out of the car, but my legs nearly collapsed and I groaned in frustration. I reached into my wallet and pulled out eighty-dollars. I could count money now at least, though my head felt like someone was hammering my temples. 

“Here,” I said to a couple of men upfront working for Caesars. I gave them my cash and asked,”Help us back to my room, please.” 

Two silent men grabbed the cash splitting it and they smiled at me now. “Of course sir, do you have your keycard?” I nodded, pulling it out of my pocket. I gave it to the men and they called for two other men, one whom I leaned heavily against as we made an endless journey to my room. Sometime in there, I fell asleep. 

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It was 3:00 pm when I awoke in my hotel room. Immediately, I went and threw-up in the bathroom several times before I felt better. I took a shower and washed away the smoke and putrid smell of vodka and vomit. I called room service to put some food in my stomach and help me recover. I ordered some French toast, coffee, and orange juice –two orders –one for Ryan as well, when he awoke. 

I saw him lying on the bed and I tried to shake him awake. I thought he only needed more sleep. He wasn’t a big guy, so perhaps the vodka hit him harder than me. 

A day later, Ryan still wasn’t up and I asked my friends what we should do.

“Well, sometimes you really need to sleep it off. We’re not so young anymore, hangovers can last two-days. He’s breathing so he must be fine,” Kyle reasoned and my other friend Maison seemed to agree. We went down to the casino to play poker. 

 On the third day we asked reception to call a doctor for us. It was expensive but my friends and I were worried about Ryan. He was cold and his chest barely moved, his breathing was so shallow. 

The Doctor was tense upon inspecting Ryan three-hours later. “I’m sorry gentlemen, your friend died earlier this morning, about the time I was called to your room. If only you’d called sooner and emphasized how badly he was doing,” the Doctor chided. 

“Ryan had alcohol poisoning so badly he went into a coma. He has no heart beat and isn’t breathing as you indicated earlier. It’s tragic but I guess you’ll understand me now when I say, watch your alcoholic intake; in Vegas especially.” 

I started to cry in front of the Doctor and my friends. I didn’t know how I could tell Ryan’s family he’d passed on. He’d been the one who said we needed a boys trip to help me get out the funk of my wife cheating and divorcing me. 

I remember him saying, “Blaine you need to get out and have some fun. Come to Las Vegas with me and the guys. Forget about your problems for a while. I’ll forget about mine too,” he said. He never told me what his problems were and I never asked, I thought regretfully. 

Now my good friend Ryan was gone. I closed my eyes imagining lights blurring past me. It wasn’t only how I felt when I was drunk. It was how I felt all the time these days. As if I had no control as all the pretty lights rushed by. 

When I did have time, I made the wrong choices. The lights were my escape, but I needed to pay attention now, to move on in my life as Ryan would have wanted. I couldn’t drink the pain away. 

I vowed for Ryan, I would live my life better. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

 

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Sunday Photo Fiction: The Secret Ingredient #amwriting #flashfiction


Thank you to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. Feel free to join us! 

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A Mixed Bag

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There were two labourers Jim and Mario, who were assigned to dig ditches for new highways, in the sweltering heat of the August sun. 

Near by, was a coffee shop which served a different kind of pie each day. The coffee shop was known for having the most delicious pie in the city because it contained a secret ingredient no one could identify.

One day, the two labourers went into the coffee shop at lunch. There was only one slice of pie left and it was the favourite kind of pie of both men: melt in your mouth peach pie.

When Jim tried to order the pie, Mario interrupted him with lies:” Can I please have the last piece of peach pie? It would brighten up my wretched day. My back is out and my wife lost her job.”

The coffee shop owner, Laura, was about to let Mario have the piece of pie when Jim interrupted with his own fake story: “Mario’s wife is a nurse and can easily find a new job. I have student loans to pay and a wife who recently lost our baby. I would feel more cheerful about my situation if you’d let me buy the pie.”

Laura didn’t know what to do until Jim and Mario started pushing each other. She had had enough of their lying, their pushing, and their shoving.

 ” Here’s what we are going to do,” Laura said to the men,” I will make peach pie on Monday and I will set aside a large piece of pie for each of you on the house.”

Neither Jim or Mario were entirely happy with the situation.”So what happens with today’s piece of pie?” Jim asked.

Laura smiled at both men and removed her apron. She grabbed a Perrier and the piece of pie and asked a girl to replace her on the cash register.

“Today, I get to eat the last piece. I bake it, I’m the manager, and peach is my favourite kind of pie.” Laura said with finality. 

Despite Jim and Mario both receiving a giant free piece of peach pie on Monday, they both swore there was something missing from the pie they ate.

Deciding to further teach both men a lesson, Laura left out the secret ingredient she used in all her pies — and no one but Laura knows what that secret ingredient is.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Day 6: Kelly the Wonder Dog


Her hair blew back in the wind
A smile reached her eyes
For she was Kelly the wonder dog
She pants as she flies

No dog ever went so high
And loved floating up beneath the sky
She gave a bark, then half a woof
And held her paws out with a sigh

Her tale was burnished copper
In-between her spots were white
She was brave and she was mighty
Oh she was out of sight

She laughed the way that doggies do
And howled at the moon
She sailed the treetops in a hot air balloon
And she always felt time passed much to soon

Kelly, the wonder dog
She floated beneath the sky
The bravest dog you ever met
Oh, she’ll fly and fly, and never die

Kelly, the wonder dog
In her balloon
At the zoo
Oh, she’ll fly and fly, and never die.

IMG_1315

en.wikipedia.org