Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Writing On the Fly #8: A Half Plus Seven ( #amwriting )

The night air blew away the party heat, the vapors of booze, and the indulgences of one too many hors d’oeuvres from my face.  I could still hear the thrum of music, the cackles of too loud conversation, and inebriated laughter, so I moved further along down the steps to the rear gate facing the lake.  The sun had long set, but the moon was high and white.    Not more than ten minutes had passed before he came looking for me.   I put a hand to my stomach to quell the rush that not even the ample undergarment scaffolding required of my silver dress could hold in check.    I smoothed the glittering hem back to my knees as far as it would go to dry my palms.   As he came up to stand beside me, I held my breath and found myself twirling an escaped curl in my fingers.

“I’ve spent many late parties out here,” he said, “hiding.”

“I’m not hiding.”

“Didn’t say you were.   It’s quiet here and I like to look at the lights from the houses.”

“I like the moon on the water.”

He shifted his body and turned to me and I shivered taking a half step to the side.   He looked hurt for a moment, but put his hands up palms out.  He spoke gently, “What happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“What happened to the woman who flirted with me?  The one who smiled whenever she saw me?  Now, I breathe near you and you avoid me.”

“I was pretending to be someone else.  It was a mistake.  I shouldn’t have encouraged anything.”


“You know why.”

“That doesn’t matter to me.”

How could it not matter, I thought.   How can you feel both exhilarated and ashamed of yourself in the same moment?   I still didn’t know what it was about him that first caught my eye, but I do know how young I felt.  It was like the beta version of myself that lived inside of my mind suddenly was on the outside laughing and confident.   I had never been either even as a teenager.   Suddenly, though, everyday was a good day.   I didn’t just get up in the morning, I wanted to get up in the morning.  Flirting had felt new and forbidden.  So out of character for me that I began to crave it.  Finally, the empty void in my life had a purpose and emptiness became unbearable.   It wasn’t even that he was particularly handsome.   An average guy with an average smile, but the smile was for me.

“It has to matter.   I’ve got too many creases.   You can try to smooth them over hoping to iron them out, but the marks will always be there like a crumpled up Polaroid.”

He looked me in the eye, but made no move to touch me.  He wouldn’t.  Not unless I told him to; he never assumed or pressed.   I’d yet to meet another man other than my uncle Tony who understood both respect and restraint.   I certainly didn’t expect it in one who still had all his hair and didn’t grow up in a world where a sliding door was a novelty — science fiction come alive.

“The lines are what make you interesting,” he said.  “You like that I’m exciting–with stamina.”

I held back the smile, but my eyes may have betrayed me, “You should have quit while you were ahead.”

“Look, Olivia, I mean it when I say the talk doesn’t bother me.   It’s none of anyone’s business.   Don’t let them get to you.  I miss you.”

“Doesn’t it concern you even a little that I’m old enough to–”

“No. ”

“I don’t understand how you can accept it so easily.”

He was quiet for what seemed like a long time and I could hear the party still in full swing.

“My first girlfriend died our second year in high school.  Here one day and dead the next.”  He snapped his fingers.   “Youth doesn’t protect you from death.  I’m not a guy who wastes time.  I know I’m not guaranteed any more of it.”

How did our positions manage to reverse with me becoming the student?  Did I just get schooled?  Am I even using that phrase right?

“I’m going back to the party.  I want to kiss you.” He placed his hands deep into his pockets.  “Join me when you want to be.”

I watched him go.  I liked the view and I knew what I wanted.


Author Note:
(Dammit…I missed the YeahWrite.Me deadline by an hour again!)




20 comments on “Writing On the Fly #8: A Half Plus Seven ( #amwriting )

  1. wheremabelgo
    December 17, 2015

    I like this! Was this short story a product of a writing challenge?
    “Science fiction come alive” I like that phrase.


    • Laissez Faire
      December 17, 2015

      Yes, it was. The writing prompt was the line about creases. Glad you liked it. I rarely write with a first person narrative.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Polysyllabic Profundities
    December 17, 2015

    I love this story….well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      December 17, 2015

      Nice to see you 🙂 Thanks for stopping by again. This was the first microstory I’ve written that I didn’t have to struggle with word count! Hah!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Polysyllabic Profundities
    December 17, 2015

    You did a great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Phil
    December 19, 2015

    Uncle Tony is the elephant in the living room… 😉


    • Laissez Faire
      December 19, 2015

      Uncle Tony was a mild mannered engineer and true gentleman 🙂


  5. Mamarific
    December 24, 2015

    I like how you interpreted the prompt. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      December 24, 2015

      Thanks for the comment! It walls a thought provoking prompt…the story kept me up quite late with it 😊


  6. tunisiajolyn84
    December 30, 2015

    So I was innocently looking up some new blogs on An Opinionated Man and found your blog and I thought the description was interesting so I clicked on it and this is the first post I read. I got so caught up in the story and now I’m like what happens next!? I must know! lol I look forward to reading much more from you.


    • Laissez Faire
      December 30, 2015

      Hello and welcome! Thank you! I am glad you liked the story. I’m afraid that for now, though, that’s all I have written. It was part of a writing prompt. The good news that it is part of a story that was already floating in my head and there is more in there. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • tunisiajolyn84
        December 30, 2015

        Yay! That means more may come and I’ll anticipate! If nothing comes fruition, then that’s fine too. Sometimes the best short stories are the ones that leave you wanting more. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laissez Faire
        December 30, 2015


        Liked by 1 person

  7. Celeste
    January 14, 2016

    Oh pooh! I hate word limits sometimes. So many story tantalising tendrils here teasing my curious mind and too short to forfeit details.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      January 14, 2016

      Well it’s nice to know you like it that much! A few bits of more are still in my brain, I may expand on it one day.


  8. The Real Cie
    January 31, 2016

    Very well written. You have created interesting characters that I enjoyed getting to know through this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      January 31, 2016

      Thank you for commenting and saying so! It is nice to know when something I’ve written has struck someone.


  9. Pingback: Yeah Write #44: Dine Now Die Later (Revised) (#flashfiction) | Laissez Faire

  10. Pingback: Yeah Write #41: Dine Now Die Later (#flashfiction) | Laissez Faire

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