#fridayflash, wordbunches every Friday, or so. Occasionally they’re topical, mostly they’re not. This week’s prompt is “a rainy night”.
It’s Friday night. It’s dark, it’s cold. it’s raining, and I am standing at the bus stop, wearing a garish t-shirt emblazoned with the name of some society or other. I’m huddling under the umbrella of someone from halls with the rest of the group, and we’re chatting idly, swaying a little from the pre-game. Hopefully, the bus will arrive soon, take us to the centre of town, and we’ll then drink our way back up the road to the union, via a couple of bars I know and plenty I hadn’t even heard of before I read the event. Then, we’ll dance at the union night to about half one, when I know Caz will want to slink away, and be back here by two, where we’ll burn toast and wake the neighbours by talking too loudly, then eventually wind up in bed.
So, hopefully, the bus will arrive soon, so we can get started. And, hopefully, on that bus I’ll find you again.
I’ve reread the text confirming you’ll be on it a dozen times (and my muscle memory’s flicking to its place on my phone right now), but I’m not going to believe it until I see you. I can’t text you again, because that’s desperate, and I want you to think I’m cool, even though we both know I’m not. What I am, is deeply, desperately in love with you, and luckily you seem to like me too.
I know we’ve barely known each other a few weeks, but I know how I feel about you now. It came to me when I was doing my laundry yesterday, failing to operate the machines, and you came over… to point and laugh at me. I saw your smile, and I realised that I could no longer go a day without seeing it. I love your hair, I love your shoulders, I love your arms, I love your waist. I love the way you talk about biology, as if it was the most amazing thing in the universe, and the way you looked at me when I read out the poem I was studying. I love the way you dance, the way you talk, the way move amongst crowds, darting and dodging the other people as if they weren’t even there. There have been others before you, but none compare. I’d crawl through fire to get to you, without even a second thought. I love you with my entire heart, and, hopefully, you’ll love me too.
It’s Friday night. It’s dark, it’s cold. it’s raining, I’m a little bit drunk, and I couldn’t be happier.
“A Rainy Night” by Benjamin Maltz-Jones
‘Zack? Zack? Zack? Zack?’
‘Will you stop calling my name?’
‘Sorry, it’s just so fun to say. I can’t see a damn thing in this place. What the hell happened to all the electricity? This was supposed to be a nice getaway for both of us.’
‘That’s the rain’s bloody fault for flooding the basement. I told you we should have rented somewhere without a basement. Nothing good ever came from having a basement.’
‘Surely that’s not true. Something good is bound to have come from there.‘
‘Seriously, name one thing Marty.’
‘They don’t count. ‘
‘That’s where we met.’
‘Ok, so I guess they do count. For now.’
‘Ouch, that’s a little ominous. Why are you so scared of basements in the first place? We’ve played board games so many times down at Erin’s place. That space was just so good to set up in, and kinda warm, seeing as we were next to the boiler. ‘
‘I’m surprised we didn’t sweat buckets considering.’
‘I remember having to bring shorts round that one time in the middle of winter! My mum was so confused, poor thing.’
‘Ha, I remember you getting changed, and then running down to the basement fast as you could. Rest of the house wasn’t nearly as hot as it was down there. You remember when we all slept down there…’
‘…and brought the sand down with us? It felt seriously tropical, loved every minute of it.’
‘Erin’s mum wasn’t best pleased when she found us down there with an ice cooler full of beer, an old jukebox filled with Beach Boys songs, and barely anything on. Especially you Zack.’
‘I bet she thought we were having some kind of weird tropical orgy down there.’
‘God, can you imagine the look on her face if she had run down the stars and that was what was happening?’
‘She was probably mildly disappointed that all we were doing was relaxing in deckchairs. Where did we get those from again?’
‘I think we… borrowed them from a local poolside. I remember being made to take them back the next day, never been so embarrassed in all my life’
‘You loved it. Zack… do you want to go downstairs and check if the water’s started to drain out yet?’
‘…why don’t you want to do it?’
‘You’ve already forgotten?’
‘Ok, fine. But you owe me. Can’t believe I’m going to have to go down there. I bet it smells.’
‘You almost done Zack?
Hello? This isn’t funny, you can come back upstairs now.
Hey, the lights are working again! Is that what you’ve been doing all this time? Nice work!’
‘What are you doing here?’
‘Oh, hi Erin! We’re just playing a game.’
‘He just went down to the basement to turn the power back on.’
‘We had that thing filled in years ago. Fuse box is in the kitchen now.’
© Benjamin Maltz-Jones, 2013. Ben can be found @V_Ben on Twitter.
Black Hole by Charles Burns (1995-2005)
Before Sunrise, dir. Richard Linklater (1995)
Back to Basics and Victim of Geography by Billy Bragg (1983-1988)
If you want to join in with #fridayflash, great! Around 500 words is best. Either send me a link to its page on your site, or as a .doc or .rtf attachment. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header SUB: #fridayflash, and I’ll post it up. No money involved, all rights remain your own. There are no restrictions, but if you want a prompt, next week’s is “comfort”.
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