Flash Fiction is back! Jenna Da Sie has set the challenge. I think she’s taking it easy on us as it’s been a while since we’ve done this. At least the words have a theme!
Write a flash fiction in 500 words or less that includes the words: sunscreen, camera, tourist.
If you joined me from Leslie Hachtel, welcome! Here is my contribution:
“I told you to put on sunscreen,” Michaela scolded as she slathered an after-burn cream on Laurel’s shoulders.
“I did,” Laurel said, wincing at her friend’s touch, even though she was being gentle. Her skin was radiating heat an infrared camera would be able to pick up. “But I guess I missed a few places.”
“So much for not looking like tourists,” Michaela grumbled. “We're in Rio de Janeiro. I wanted to meet some sexy South Americans, not Joe from Boise. We’ll never pass ourselves off as locals if you’re wandering around lobster-red.”
“Sorry.” Laurel could care less about meeting new men. Her heart was still mending from the blow Hollis had struck a month a go. But that didn’t mean she wanted to screw things up for Michaela. “I’ll wear a wrap when we go out tonight. No one will see.”
Later that evening, she sat in a crowded bar, watching Michaela’s bright, laughing face. She was dancing with a handsome, dark-skinned man whose Brazilian accent had been charmingly heavy when he’d invited her out onto the floor. Now he was teaching her the complicated steps to a Samba and taking every opportunity to keep his hands on her.
Laurel tried not to think of what she’d hoped for this trip when she’d booked it a couple months ago. It was supposed to be her and Hollis on that dancefloor, getting all hot and sweaty and hungry for each other. Instead, he’d broken it off. When she’d asked for a reason, for an explanation, he’d only shaken his head. “It’s not going to work out,” he’d said, looking miserable but determined. “The timing isn’t right for us.”
In a fit of mortified pique, she’d invited Michaela to take his place. She wished now she’d just stayed home to lick her wounds. The comparison between what she'd hoped for and what she was getting was a fiery pain that out-burned the one on her shoulders.
The bar where she was sitting overlooked the dancefloor. Someone slid onto the stool next to her but she didn't look over. The place was packed, and she wasn’t going to save Laurel’s seat when it didn’t look like she’d be returning anytime soon.
“Hello, Laurel,” a deep voice said.
She froze. Even over the frantic beat of the music, the conversations surrounding her conducted at screaming level, she recognized that voice.
It couldn’t be. She must have imagined it. She took a sip of her drink without turning her head.
“I need to talk to you,” the voice continued. “I need to explain.”
She closed her eyes briefly. Maybe she was going crazy. That would explain it. Carefully she peeked in the voice’s direction, more than half-hoping that no one was there. She’d rather be crazy than have her suspicions confirmed.
She wasn’t crazy. Hollis was on the stool next to her, watching her with his sea-blue eyes.
I'd love to hear what you think! Want more of Laurel and Hollis' story? Let me know in the comments. And then hop over to Dani Jace to see what she came up with!