Lately I’ve been reading a book of ‘flash fiction’, and I decided to give it a try. I’m not really sure what the flash fiction rules are, if any, but I wrote this at breakfast this morning when I woke up and realized I hadn’t yet contributed to the website. It seems like there’s been sort of a lack of fiction on here so maybe this will fill that void. Enjoy-
Country Club Croquet
I gave a guy a life sentence once for hitting me in the head with a croquette racket. Here’s how it happened. We were playing croquet one day (no sh%t, right?), and I could just tell there was something off about this guy. First off, he was choked way too low on the racket handle.
“You don’t know much about croquet, do you?” I asked him.
“What’s it to you?” he replied, spreading his arms out wide and low in a ‘come n’ get me’ stance. I stayed put. I looked closely at his attire. Flip-flops. Ripped khakis. One of those shirts that’s made to look like a full tuxedo but is really just a cotton T-shirt with a tuxedo pattern drawn on the fabric. I had thought he was trying to be ironic. Now I knew was most definitely not a paying member of this country club like myself. Must’ve slid through some hedges, or swam through one of the coy ponds, or whatever other foul things people must do to sneak by the valets and greeters at the main entrance. They added more gates and fences to this club every year. It still couldn’t keep out all the riff raff. I often wondered when they were going to put bars in the dining room windows. This guy was a joke.
“You’re not fooling anyone!” I said to him, and then raised my voice more. “You’ve never played croquet in your life. You don’t even know how to spell ‘croquet’! You couldn’t buy a croquet set with your life savings! You better just back over whatever fence you scaled to get in here and book it back to your cardboard box, buddy!” Now that I knew the guy was trash I didn’t hold back. That gin and tonic he was drinking was probably just water from the same local fountain he took his daily bath in. I didn’t want to know which poor old man he’d stolen his silver watch from, or whose car keys I heard jingling in his pocket as he ran at me, croquet racket held high above his head.
Next thing I know I’m waking up in a hospital. Next thing I know I’m in a courtroom, bandages wrapped every which was around my head except for a few well-placed slits I can see, smell, taste and hear through. One of the things I see across the courtroom is the man from the country club. He’s called to the stand as a lawyer holds up a battered croquet racket. He is wearing a suit and tie, and he nods yes when the lawyer makes a smashing motion in the air with the racket. Next thing I know I’m back at the country club and the man is nowhere to be seen. They gave him life. Life. And they’ve now installed bars on the dining room windows.