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Red Light Special

Time for a Friday Flash, prompt courtesy of the 500 Club. If you want to play, the prompts are here. Here’s my contributory flash for this week.


The last thing Flynn wanted to do that day was another love spell. It was cheap work, he thought, flavored with desperation. And the thing about love spells- if you needed one that badly, they wouldn’t really take, which meant repeat business with irate customers.

He eyed the man standing in his workshop, hat literally in hand. Flynn didn’t mind the ugly ones- that made sense to him. It was when they were lookers, that was when the bells started to ring. This guy, with his slicked black hair and brick-smashing jawline was the sort his secretary Eunice called a “three-hole punch.” Vulgar little fairy, that Eunice. Made him laugh, though.

“You the tincturist? Thought you’d be a woman,” he said, his hair glistening in the light. Nice.


Brylcreem  offered to shake. “I’m-”

Flynn gave his hand a pump and dropped it like a greasy banana peel. “Don’t tell me.”


Flynn waved it away. “Here’s the deal. Sometimes it lasts a lifetime. Sometimes a night. Depends on whether the recipient is subconciously willing to love in the first place.”

“Either way, it’s fine by me.”

“So you know. No refunds. Now, I need to ask a few questions. So. Man or woman?”

Bryllcream sneered. “Woman.”

“Approximate weight?”

“One-ten, maybe.”





“I need to know what she’s around, so we don’t get a bad reaction. Industrial chemicals, stuff like that.”

“Oh. I don’t know. She goes to school.”

“Trent U?”

“Something like that.” He shifted from one foot to the other.


Brylcreem’s eyelids flickered. “Eighteen.”

“You sure? This is not for minors.”

Another flicker. “Yeah, I’m sure.”

Shit, thought Flynn, one of these. No good reporting the guy- cops don’t care, they think it’s all bullshit. And if he refused service, Brylcreem would just go score off some other tincturist.  So, a Red Light Special it was.

Flynn pulled two vials off his back shelf and slapped them on the counter.

“The blue is for her. The red one, that’s for you.”

“Me?” he licked his lips. “I thought-”

“For you. Right here. Right now.”

Brylcreem looked at Flynn.

“Hey man, you want her or not?”

“Cheers.” Brylcreem drained the red in one gulp. “Tastes like raspberries.” He tried to put on his hat and collapsed. His eyelids fluttered and sweat beaded on his forehead as Flynn crouched next to him, the blue vial in his hand.

“What was that?” he croaked.

“I call it, In Morte, Veritas. So, how old is she?”


“You snake.”

“I’m sorry. I won’t do it.” Foam frothed at his lips.

“No, you won’t.”

“Please,” he said, reaching for the blue bottle. His heels began to kick the floor, rat-a-tat-tat.

Flynn stood and pressed the RECEPTION button on his phone.

“Yeah boss?”

“Get me Rusty. Bulk trash pickup.”

“Jesus, Flynn. That’s the third this week.”

Behind him the drumming stilled. Flynn sat on the edge of the counter and lit a cigarette. “I know, sweetwings. But I’m a bad, bad man.”

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  1. I guess red light means stop. Great story!

    Friday, October 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Kari Fay wrote:

    Really good story! I liked it a lot.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink
  3. Steve Green wrote:

    A brilliant piece of writing on a very touchy subject, and yeah, ‘trash pick up’ is very apt.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink
  4. Aidan Fritz wrote:

    You’ve taken this in a very nice direction. I enjoyed the misdirection with the comment about him going to the other tincturists and then the truth serum & poisoning worked nicely.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  5. S. C. Green wrote:

    You’re a good, good writer, Amy. I love reading your stuff.

    Monday, October 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  6. Kath wrote:

    Great switch there! You think Flynn is resigning himself to doing the man’s bidding, making up a love potion, despite suspecting the “target love interest” is a minor and the police will do nothing about it, and then he slips the guy some “In Morte, Veritas”. Nicely done!

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  7. myearthgirl wrote:

    Damn, girl. That’s good stuff. We’re sister debuts this week. Glad to be in good company.

    Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

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