Contemporary Romance Flash Fiction
These are fun flash fictions of exactly 500 words that I was posting with friends on Instagram for a while.
“He’s a dick,” I told Emily, my happily-married BFF.
“He’s a little prickly,” she said. “But his inside is a gooey middle. Like a sea urchin! Like uni! You love uni!”
I choked on my wine. “Emily, uni is gonads. You’re saying Kyle is sea urchin gonads and I’m not going to disagree with you.”
She frowned. “Okay, maybe he’s like when the spines of a sea urchin fall off and they’re all delicate.”
“That’s when they’re dead. You’ve now killed off Kyle.”
“Fine.” She slammed back her martini. “It’s a terrible metaphor. But you’re prickly too. Be prickly together.”
This day is shit. Everyone bailed on the work hiking trip except for Darren, my nemesis. At the trailhead, he asked if I still wanted to go. Stupidly, I said yes.
Now I’m staring at this waterfall after a three-hour hike. It’s too small for the refreshing swim I had envisioned.
Darren starts stripping.
“Um, what are you doing?”
He does that move pulling the teeshirt off from behind him.
“I’m going under the waterfall.”
I don’t actually hear anything he says; I’m too busy staring. The nerdy programmer that constantly catches bugs in my software has a rocking body.
We stumbled out of the bar and collided, frantic kisses and clutching hands. No progress was made towards a bed and it couldn’t wait.
I tugged him towards me, blindingly leading us down an alley. I didn’t care which one, as long as it was dark and secretive and we could take the edge off this need that was overwhelming.
My back hit the bricks just as I got my fingers under his waistband. I quested, gripping, so insistent I didn’t notice he’d frozen.
The opposite wall came into focus just as my hair caught. Shit, shit, shit. Bubblegum Alley.
Heath and I both look at the sculpture. We cock our heads. He literally scratches his.
“Tentacle porn?” I ask.
“What?” Heath bursts out laughing.
“You know…” It’s obvious he doesn’t.
“What is tentacle porn?” he asks. I explain it to him, beet-red and stammering.
He loops an arm around my shoulder. “You’re into tentacle porn?” he teases me.
“Hey, don’t yuk my yum.”
His arm slips from my shoulder to my waist and suddenly an outing to the gardens with a friend feels different…it feels like more.
“So…how exactly does tentacle porn play out in the bedroom?”
“Your rose-bud lips remind me of cupid’s bow.” He says. Aamir looks up from between my legs and we both snort and giggle.
“You should look deeply into my love-lights.”
He traces a finger gently over me and my head tips back. “Remind me where that is again?”
I shudder. “You know exactly where it is.”
He hums and drops his mouth down. I feel his breath ghost over my skin.
“Now, I have a very important question. You only get your reward if you give me the right answer.” He’s all breathy. “Are you a Listerated Pepsin Gum girl?”
“This is your grandmother?” Devon asks me.
I look over at my brother’s roommate as he’s picking up the frame from the mantle. I’ve hopelessly been crushing on him since Ricky brought him home for Thanksgiving two years ago.
“She was beautiful, yeah?” I grin. “I wish I had a bather like that.”
His eyes snap to my torso and lose focus for a moment. His lips part on a soft inhale.
I blink and it’s gone. He clears his throat, wrapping the frame up carefully before putting it in the box.
But a flush is creeping up his neck.
I never expected to find the woman of my dreams at my parents’ BBQ in my podunk hometown. She’s flirting, tossing her hair, batting her eyes, our fingers touch, her warmth spreads over me: she’s driving me mad.
Brushing my nose against hers, I see hot anticipation in her eyes. When I lean in, her lips curl up.
And her knee hits me directly in the balls.
“You don’t remember me,” she says. “But I remember you. You made middle school hell for me. Don’t ever forget that this ‘ugly duckling’ kicked your ass.”
I still want to kiss her.
Blindfolded, with giggles all around me, I swing the bat at the llama piñata. I whiff once, twice, and then I make contact. Hard.
There is a moment of complete silence, followed by a choked gasp.
I peel the blindfold off to find my husband clutching his privates, eyes brimming with tears and tumbling to the grass.
Later, in a comfy chair and an ice pack, he jokes “I might be infertile now.”
I take a deep breath. “I have some news… I’m pregnant.”
His eyes fill again, and ice pack forgotten, he raises a trembling hand to my belly.
“Meet me at our hero’s memorial.”
An easy scavenger hunt clue. I walk through Castro, past penis-shaped cookies and boys with leather harnesses.
We talked about Harvey on our first date. He was an inspiration to two closeted teenagers, a man we looked up to in private. It took decades for me to be out and proud.
Now in our sixties, we’re finally living the life we want.
I turn the corner and see the flag pole and my man under it. Suddenly I’m surrounded; my kids, my sister, everyone near and dear to me.
He drops to one knee.
I lean back against the rail at the end of the pier and watch Nathan with his camera. He’s focused, careful and determined while setting up the time-lapse shot. When he’s done, he looks up and offers me that shy grin of his.
“How many sunsets is this?”
We watch the clouds unfurl and the colors bloom. I remember that first sunset, and his nervousness. Tonight, we lean against each other in comfortable silence, kissing, holding hands.
“Was this the perfect one?” I ask.
He takes a deep breath. “Yes.” He drops to one knee. “Will you marry me?”
“They look like k-pop stars,” Josie drunkenly whispers to me.
I agree. These young men who invited us to their karaoke room look so young, so clean.
We whoop and holler as Hiro finishes impersonating Camila Cabelo and slides in next to me.
He’s been catching my eye all night long. This time he smiles slyly at me, making my stomach flip.
In a moment of clarity, Josie grips my shoulders. “Hattie, you’re beautiful, newly divorced, and in Tokyo!”
Hiro doesn’t politely pretend to not hear. Instead, he twists a lock of my hair and tugs gently.
“You are beautiful.”
I grunt, brace my feet, and pull harder.
“Do you need some help?” A man behind me asks.
“No, thank you.” If I’m ever going to get this boat off the dock, I need to be self-sufficient. And stubborn.
It doesn’t budge.
I stop, gasping.
Looking over my shoulder, I find this gorgeous, golden man behind me, a surfer in loafers standing next to my boat.
I wish sweat wasn’t rolling down my body and the grease stains splotching my skin were gone.
But his eyes roam over me appreciatively. He grins and my stomach flips.
“Try it again, love.”
“I swear to god, if you’ve oversold her, our friendship is over. I will never trust you again.”
“You’ll like her, I promise. Nora is everything you want: ambitious, clever, and she won’t put up with your shit. Amber calls her when she wants the brutal truth.”
“What does she look like?”
“I thought you didn’t want to date models anymore?”
Chris rolled his eyes. “For god’s sake, how the hell am I going to find her in the coffee shop?”
“She knows what you look like.”
Chris hung up, closing his eyes. Please don’t let her be vapid.
Nora eyed the couple in the corner of the coffeehouse. They sat close, one of his hands way up her thigh, the other threaded through her hair.
In the picture Amber had shown her, Chris was a nine. Not having gotten laid in eleven months and twelve days (who was counting?) Nora was feeling desperate, and Amber wouldn’t set her up with a jerk.
If he’s half as good-looking in real life as in the picture, Nora thought, a solid five, I’ll take him home.
The man tugged his partner’s hair gently, the woman’s eyes rolling back.
I’ll round down.
Chris swung the door of the coffeehouse open and his eyes landed on a beautiful blonde woman. She made eye contact and stood up.
“You must be Chris,” she said, extending a hand.
“That’s me.” Nora looked him over, her smile widening.
“Let’s cut to the chase. What do you do? Dean wouldn’t tell me.”
She narrowed her eyes. “I’m an interior designer.”
Chris sighed. “Dean told me you were ambitious.”
Nora’s jaw clenched. “Amber said you were smart. I own a design firm with a staff of two hundred. What the hell do you do?”