Flash (Free Fiction)

Flash

By A.J. Brown

The world ended in a flash.

Robbie and Sarah were making out at the drive in when it happened. Armageddon played on the movie screen they paid little attention to. For Robbie, his attention span turned solely to Sarah when she nipped his ear with her teeth. When he turned to her, she was smiling, and her upper teeth pinched at her bottom lip in a mischievous manner. He leaned in. One kiss lead to another and another …

One car over, Dale and Delaney Smith sat, not making out, not even talking. They stared at the screen, he actually enjoying the action, she wondering if there was ever love after twenty-six years of marriage. She glanced at Dale. His beard was rough and in need of a trim. Images from the screen reflected in his glasses. He didn’t seem to notice.

Her eyes caught sight of the couple next to them …

Robbie’s hand managed to make it onto one of Sarah’s breasts. It was heavenly and soft and something he had wanted to do since he first asked her out. Deep in the back of his mind, he saw her jaw drop open and her eyes widen. Then he saw her pull away, a hand went forward, and his head jerked away.

“What type of girl do you think I am?” Mind-Sarah asked.

That didn’t happen. In fact, Real-Sarah leaned in, pressing her breast into his hand. She let out a soft moan and slid a hand behind his head. She pushed her lips harder against his. He couldn’t believe it was finally happening. They were kissing and he was actually copping a feel and she let him.

Delaney couldn’t help what she saw. It brought back memories of when they were younger, maybe even the same age as the couple in the car next to them. She had pushed many of Dale’s advances away as teenagers, but now … now she would give anything for one look, one touch … one kiss that brought the magic to her lips and heart.

Robbie’s hand slid down to Sarah’s stomach. He pulled her top free of her skirt and touched bare skin—BARE SKIN!—for crying out loud.

From the corner of her eyes, Delaney saw the girl’s shirt come up. She wore a light blue bra with flower prints—something sexy the boys would like. She wondered if the panties matched, then thought of her own under garments: a cream-colored bra and light pink underwear, nothing she would consider sexy by any stretch of the imagination. Still, she wasn’t in bad shape. She still had good curves, only adding maybe twenty pounds to her frame since their dating days. Okay, twenty-five, but not more than that. 

And maybe that’s where things had gone wrong. The extra weight, the slight chubbiness in her fingers, the pooch in her stomach, the extra padding in her hips. Delaney’s heart sank and her shoulders sagged. She let out a deep sigh and tears tugged at her eyes. 

One car over, Sarah’s shirt hadn’t quite come off yet. It was pushed up over her breasts, but she hadn’t slid her arms out of it. Robbie didn’t try to force it off—that would ruin the moment and he didn’t want to do that. Not if he could help it. His right hand traced the middle of her back until it reached her bra. The fingers lingered there for a moment as Robbie wondered if it would be safe to try and unclasp it—something he had never done before with any girl. Instead, he slid his hand back down along her spine. 

Sarah’s breath hitched and she pulled her lips from his. 

Robbie opened his eyes to see her head thrown back. Then they came toward him. Instead of her lips finding his, they found his jaw, then his neck and then her teeth nipped skin there.

Delaney saw the young man’s hand on the back of the girl’s bra strap. His fingers then fell along her back. Her mouth dropped open for a moment. As much as she didn’t want to look at the young couple making out, she couldn’t help it. She bit the top of her lip with her bottom teeth. When the girl moved in on the boy’s neck, Delaney’s breath caught in her throat. 

She looked away from the scene that played out to Dale’s left. She couldn’t believe he didn’t notice the couple next to them, less than twenty feet away. On the screen, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck were talking, or were they arguing? She didn’t know. She didn’t care. 

When she looked back to the car next to them, the girl raised her arms and her shirt came off. She wanted that type of passion again, but didn’t think it would happen, not after Dale had tried so often and been rejected more than accepted by her.

Robbie pressed his hand to Sarah’s back. He wanted so bad to rip her clothes off and take her right there in the drive thru theater. He didn’t care if anyone saw them. He just wanted her more than he ever had before. 

She bit down on his neck again, this time a little harder. He didn’t flinch away from the pain. Instead, he leaned into it.

Then she stopped. It was so sudden it startled Robbie. He started to speak. She put a finger to his lips, shook her head from side to side. Her arms went above her head, one hand taking the hem of her shirt and pulling it off. It landed on the dashboard. 

It’s really going to happen, he thought. 

Sarah scooted over and patted the center of the bench seat. For the first time since getting the old clunker of a hand me down from his parents, Robbie was happy there was no console in the center and that the seats weren’t buckets. He slid over and seconds later, she straddled him. 

Delaney saw the girl crawl on top of the guy. She saw the guy’s lips go to her neck—it was his turn to be a Hoover. 

“What are you looking at?” Dale asked, bringing her fully from the show. Heat filled her face and if she would have looked in the mirror she would have seen patches of red on her cheeks. 

“Ummm … you.”

He let out a small laugh. “Really? Me?”

“Yeah.”

It was now or never, she thought. If he looks at the car next to them, he’ll know she wasn’t looking at him. She put one hand on his shoulder, then the other one on his face. She leaned in to give him a kiss.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

In the car next to them …

Robbie worked the clasp on Sarah’s bra, but couldn’t quite unhook it.

“Let me help,” she said breathlessly.

I just want a kiss,” Delaney said.

“Okay.” He leaned to the side and gave her a quick peck.

She frowned, shook her head. “No. I want a real kiss.”

“That was a real kiss.”

“No. I want one like this,” she said and pulled him as close to her as she could get him. 

flash-275423_1920The bra fell away. Though Robbie couldn’t quite see them, he could almost feel how perfect Sarah’s breasts were. He kissed her again, pressing his lips hard to her. Her hands slid down to the front of his pants and the world began to rumble. 

It really is like fireworks going off, he thought as she unbuckled his belt.

Delaney planted her lips firmly on Dale’s and hoped he wouldn’t pull away. The ground rumbled beneath them, sending a shiver of excitement through her. It could have been an earthquake or maybe she just made the world shake with her boldness, with her determination.

Dale didn’t pull away, even as the asteroid in the movie hurdled toward Earth and Bruce Willis offered to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the world. His tongue went between her lips and the world shook harder. She pulled away, looked at him. His eyes seemed to shine, something she hadn’t seen in quite a while. 

She pulled him to her and kissed him hard.

Sarah fumbled with Robbie’s belt, their lips still locked. The car vibrated, the doors shook. 

The windows shattered as they kissed.

Robbie and Sarah took a deep breath just as the world lit up in an orange glow.

Delaney kissed Dale harder as heat filled the car. Neither of them blinked as the world vanished around them. 

As the world ended, Robbie and Delaney, one who always wanted the girl and the other who had wondered if love existed after a quarter century of marriage, both thought of fireworks. 

__________

This is one of those rare stories where there is mild sexual content, something I rarely ever use in my writing. However, this was not a piece about sex. It’s about the desire to be wanted by the one you love.

Robbie wanted Sarah. He’s the typical teenager who is somewhat horny and if he has a chance to make it with a young lady, then he would do his best to make it happen. Delaney, on the other hand, had been where Sarah was once upon a time. However, she had spurned many of Dale’s advances. Interesting enough, she regretted that, feeling as if she had pushed him away. Now, all she wanted was a little passion, to be noticed by her husband of over 26 years. 

I guess that’s the way love and sex can be. Sometimes, you just want to be noticed by the one you love. Other times you want to be touched and you want to feel that passion you once had. It also has the occasional fireworks that take your breath away and leaves you in awe and wanting more. 

I hope you enjoyed Flash. It was a fun and difficult story to write. If you have an extra minute, will you please share this post on your social media pages, like and comment. Let me know what you think of the stories I have posted so far. Thanks, y’all. Have a great day.

A.J.

 

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The Suckage Called Excuses

Recently, I had to ask myself a few questions. Before I get to those questions (and the subsequent answers), let me state a couple of things.

First, I suck at promoting myself. Second, I suck at promoting my books. Third, I suck.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the question and the why behind it. So, let’s start again:

Recently, I had to ask myself a few questions. The first question is: Have I done everything in my power to get my work into the hands of readers? The answer is NO. Question number two: Have I done everything I can to promote my books? The answer, again, is NO. Question number three: Why the heck not? I’ll answer this one later.

CiPvrIyWEAAv-gJGoing into 2018, these are questions I had to ask myself. Up until recently, I chose not to answer them. It’s like that thing you ignore in hopes that it will go away. Instead of going away, it gets bigger or worse or it learns how to talk and you can’t ignore it anymore. It is at that point where you have to face your fears (and the thing you have been ignoring). You brace yourself, hoping you can handle the situation. Then you find out there was no reason to worry and the issue is easily resolved. If you would have just faced the thing you were hoping would go away, you wouldn’t have had sleepless nights, and you wouldn’t have worried yourself into a corner with your thumb stuck in your mouth.

Being stuck in a corner, I decided to answer the questions and face the music. I hoped it was punk music I would hear in return. So, I asked myself the first question and sat back and thought about it. Have I done everything in my power to get my work in the hands of readers? I scratched my head and rubbed my chin. I even had a few false starts, telling myself excuses as reasons to why I can’t do everything in my power to get my work in the hands of readers. Not all readers will want to read your work. You don’t have enough books (or money to purchase those books) to put them in everyone’s hands.

“Fair enough,” I said and moved onto the second question: Have I done everything I can to promote my books? Again, I responded, Come on, A.J., you don’t have the money to market your books. You don’t have the network to market your books. You don’t know how to market your books. You don’t know how to use social media to promote your books as well as you would like. You don’t have the time to market your books the way they need to be marketed in order to do it right.

“Fair enough,” I repeated. The two questions I needed to answer had been answered and I was satisfied with them.

Here is TRUTH #1: All of that is bogus. They are excuses I told myself so I could sleep at night. They are excuses I told myself so I would be satisfied with where I’m at. They are excuses I told myself so I could say, hey, you’ve done everything you can. The problem is I wasn’t sleeping at night and I wasn’t satisfied with where I am as an author, and I certainly haven’t done everything I can.

Here is TRUTH #2: If I truly (and I mean truly) want to get my books in front of people, then I will do it. If I truly want my books to sell and do well, then I will do it. I’ve said similar things to other folks in the past: if you want it, you will do everything you can to achieve it.

This led to three more questions: Have I worked for it? Well, yes, I have. But have I worked hard for it? Umm … yes. Have I worked as hard as I can for it? Umm … not really?

This leads me back to my original third question; WHY THE HECK NOT? There are two answers to this question. The first being confidence. The second is quite simply, fear. Both of those things lead to self-doubt, and self-doubt can be crippling.

Let’s break down the excuses I told myself. Have I done everything in my power to get my work in the hands of readers? Excuse #1: Not all readers will want to read your work. To this I say, “So what?” Does it really matter if everyone wants to read my work? Of course not. Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz. Excuse #2: You don’t have enough books (or money to purchase those books) to put them in everyone’s hands. This is really not an excuse. I don’t have enough money to purchase enough books to put them in everyone’s hands. But should that stop me from getting as many Brown Bag Stories into the readers hands? No. The more of those I can get in readers hands, the better. They are like business cards, with all the proper information in them, and a story to boot.

[[Side Note: In case you don’t know what The Brown Bag Stories are, they are booklets I put together each month. Each booklet contains a story, author’s notes on what inspired the story, and information about some of my books you can purchase. This year there is a little something extra in them. Do you want to know what that is? Well, I guess you’ll just have to subscribe to the newsletter to find out. You can do that by going here: http://eepurl.com/cDEh9v. End Side Note.]]

On to the next question and its excuses: Have I done everything I can to promote my books? Excuse #1: You don’t have the money to market your books. So? You don’t always need a lot of money to market. You just have to have a cost effective plan. Excuse #2: You don’t have the network to market your books. Maybe not, but you will never have the network if you don’t try to build it. Excuse #3: You don’t know how to market your books. That is somewhat true, but still, you have to learn. Research is your friend. Excuse #4: You don’t know how to use social media to promote your books as well as you would like. Hey, Self, see the answer to Excuse #3 above. Excuse #5 (and this one is a doozie): You don’t have the time to market your books the way they need to be marketed in order to do it right. Really? You have time to watch a basketball game, right? How about do some marketing during commercials and at half time? What about Facecrack? You have time to be on it, right? If you’re not using it to market yourself, then hop off and, I don’t know, market yourself.

Lack of confidence and fear often lead to excuses. I’ll be honest here and say it isn’t so much a lack of confidence—I have plenty of that when it involves my ability to tell a story. That is one area I do not lack in.

Fear, on the other hand … I think we all have a touch of fear in us. I was once told the definition of fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real. Our minds conjure up false evidence and then tells us it is real. Kind of like our media outlets and their news reports.

Fact: if I stick a knife into a live electrical socket, it will shock me. There is no fear of doing it. There is only knowledge and that knowledge is enough to keep me from being an idiot and sticking a knife into a live electrical socket. So, I need not to fear doing it. I just need to be smart.

Fear: I’m not going to be any good at this. I can’t do this. I don’t know where to start, so why try?

Again, let’s pick this apart. Fear #1: I’m not going to be any good at this. Really? You never know until you actually try. Fear #2: I can’t do this. See Fear #1, and with that mentality, of course you can’t do it. Fear #3: I don’t know where to start, so why try? Why not try? There is always some place to start.

Here is the point to all of this: In order to do anything you have to believe you can, you have to be willing to have a dream and then chase it. In order to chase the dream, you have to put a LOT of effort into it (and not some half-hearted try, either). In order to catch that dream, you have to work harder than you ever have before. In order to live that dream, you have to want it. And anything worth wanting is worth working hard for.

I’ve been bad about keeping up my blog (a form of marketing) and my website (another form of marketing) and posting on social media (yet, another form of marketing). I know, I suck. I make no excuses—I think I’ve made enough of those already. What I do want to say is stick around. There is news on the horizon and there is effort …. lots and lots of effort.

Until we meet again my friends, be kind to one another.

A.J.