Friday, September 24, 2010

[Fiction] Friday Challenge #174 for Sept 24th, 2010

The Prompt this week was:

Use this lyric from Shore Leave to flavour your story: "Hong Kong drizzle on Cuban Heels" ~ You don't need to know or even hear the song - just use that lyrical imagery.  

Henrietta took a very long pull at the 'old fashioned' she had specially made in a highball glass. She blew the smoke from the pistol tip with relish.

The glisten on her painted lips gradually faded to be replaced by a trembling half smirk of irony. Tasting the remnant tang of gun smoke imprinting itself on her memory, she began a languid descent of the grand stairway feeling a great consanguinity with Mae West. Except there was no longer a man coming up the stair to see her anytime soon.

“I'll have to get the carpet cleaned” she observed, stepping across the blood soiling the last three treads. Stepping over the crumpled figure of a man, she let the revolver fall from her fingers and drop bomb–like onto his right cheek. Without looking back, Henrietta walked out the front door, slid into the driver's seat of the '56 Lincoln convertible, and drove away.


Lewis sat up slowly feeling like he'd been hit by a bus. He's right eye wouldn't open and feeling around he realised it was caked with dried blood. Exploring further, he was amazed to find that a graze across this temple and bruising around his chest and collarbone the only damage. He tore his shirt open and released the fastening of his bullet-proof vest, amazed again at what a lousy shot she was. Luckily.

It was raining again. He hoped the convertible had filled with water. She would have no idea how to raise the top, the dizzy bitch. A pity though, it had taken months of work to restore that white leather interior panel by a panel. By now she would be halfway to Atlanta if she had any sense, though somehow he knew she would have had to stop to buy clothes, or a hat and gloves. The lure of all that cash would be too much for her and he was certain she would be caught in no time.

Stepping to the veranda Lewis looked at the long wooded driveway, imagining himself trudging through the wet afternoon. He'd be lucky to reach town by dark and he began to wish he had worn better shoes; this pair he picked up in South America were strictly for show and will be lucky to last 20 minutes soaked in the roadside slush. At least he was finally rid of her. She who had stalked him across four continents claiming to have borne his child in an attempt to weasel her way into half his old family estate.

Lewis bent carefully, feeling every battered muscle, and gathered up his Chief Petty officers cap from where it had landed on the mouldy stoop. He never seemed to escape the rain, everywhere he went it was wet. On his last tour, bearing down through the South China Sea he had thought to retire to his old place in the South, imagining the warm sunny days of his youth. But the reality of this deserted old plantation was a far cry from those halcyon days. The bubble was burst and the dream over. Some shore leave this turned out to be!

With a sigh he stepped off onto the wet moss pocked gravel, too heart-sore to care about the rain as his mind swung to plan B. “I should've stayed in Hong Kong” he mused, his feet falling into steady rhythm, the shush of gravel in time with the aching pulse in his head forming their own blues riff. In his thoughts he was already back in the grey streets of the old city, the irony not lost on him as he found himself in a Hong Kong drizzle on Cuban heels.


  1. I loved the two POVs in this. It's great on it's own, but I really want to know more about the back story.

  2. I love stories with multiple points of view.

  3. Great work. I love the imagery and the detailed descriptions.

    Writing from the two points of view gives the reader a glimpse into the motivations of both characters. I'd like to know more of what motivated the female MC. Was she just in it for the money, like he thought?

  4. You have such a lovely descriptive style that pulls us right into the scene by commanding all our senses. Great piece. Awesome May West reference with line at the end of the first paragraph. The story is told in one POV though guys. The narrator stays in third person throughout.

  5. I was so relieved to find out he wasn't dead. The female MC seemed so cavalier and smug about what she had just done. Your description painted a good picture. I felt I was a fly on the wall. Enjoyed it a lot!

  6. Ooh nice use of the prompt - I'm fascinated by what people have come up with for it. I couldn't place when exactly it was set but it's so richly done, it doesn't really matter.

  7. Like the others I'd love to know more backstory. Nice imagery too!