The Crazy Mixed Up Day of Bob and Tony

Tony stared at his friend in total disbelief.

“So, what your saying is, you bought a pan flute at a store called ‘Pete’s Pan Flute N Things’ which just so happens to have had its grand opening this morning, right as you passed by on your way home from work.”

“Yup,” said Bob. “Cool, huh?”

Bob began to blow on his newly acquired pan flute.

Toodlie, doodlie, doodlie-doo.

Tony winced as Bob kept blowing across the pipes of his new musical instrument.

“Seriously, dude. What the hell?” said Tony when Bob’s bad blowing of the pipes finally ended.

“Come on Tone, you know I’ve always wanted to be like Sam Fear, Master of the Pan Flute,” replied Bob. “And when I saw that store, I figured why not. Lots of guys like the flute.”

“It’s Zamphir, you frickin’ moron” said Tony as he cuffed his friend in the back of the head. “And no, I had no idea that your life long dream was to play the pan flute as well as a guy, whose name you don’t even know, to a room full of screaming grannies and their emasculated husbands.”

Bob ignored his friend’s tirade and piped his way into his room. He practiced blowing his new pipes throughout the night finally falling asleep around 4:00 in the morning. Tony on the other hand was unable to fall asleep. He crept into Bob’s room and found his friend sound asleep, grinning ear to ear and clutching his damned pan flute. Tony was able to carefully pry the cursed musical instrument from Bobby’s clutches. His plan was simple, return the flute and tell Bob something stupid like space monkeys had broken into the apartment and stolen it. Bob would be pissed, but he’d get over it.

Tony returned several hours later, flute in hand and confronted his friend.

“Uh, hey Bob, I thought you said you bought your flute at ‘Pete’s Pan Flute N Things.”

“Yeah, that’s right. Why?”

“Well, when I went there, there was just a store called ‘Ronnie’s Roommate Finders’”

“What are you talking about?”

“The store were you bought this stupid flute doesn’t exist.”

“No, I mean why were you trying to find ‘Pete’s Pan Flute N Things’?”

“Doesn’t matter, the point is the place doesn’t exist.”

“That’s crap. Come on, I needed to stop there to pick up some pan flute music books and a swanky new carrying case anyway.”

They pulled up to the storefront and watched in disbelief as the sign that said ‘Ronnie’s Roommate Finders’ erased itself and became a blank piece of wood.

“I say we go in there and see what the hell is going on here,” said Bob.

“Word up,” said Tony as he did his best to get into a B-boy stance. It was Bob’s turn to do some cuffing.

They walked inside and approached the counter. The store was empty except for a small bell and a sign that said “Ring me”. Tony rang the bell and they waited for someone to appear.

“Can I help you?” said a creepy old man. He looked very cliché.

“What is this place?” asked Tony

“Well,” said the old man, “It’s whatever you want it to be.” He pointed to Bob. “You desperately wanted to play the pan flute, so it became a pan flute store, and you,” he pointed to Tony, “wanted a new roommate, so it became a roommate locating service.”

“Holy crap!” said Tony. He grabbed Bob by the arm. “Don’t you see what this means?!”

“Yes!” said Bob as he grabbed Tony’s other arm. “You want another damn roommate, but you ain’t getting my CD’s.”

“No you imbecile, we can finally get whatever we want.”

They were wearing mile wide smiles as they ran out of the store and across the street. They turned to face each other.

“OK, Tone, you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“I think so, Bob. Ready? ”

They both closed their eyes and began concentrating really hard on what they wanted. A few seconds later words began forming on the store’s sign. “Petunia’s Peanut Butter Sandwich Shoppe”

Bob laughed hysterically. Tony slapped him across the face.

“This is serious you dink, now stop screwing around.” Tony’s face was stern. “We have a shot at riches beyond our wildest dreams, or a bevy of hotties just waiting for us and you want to piss it away on fluffernutters?”

“OK, OK, for real this time. Ready? Go.”

The sign blanked out then began to rewrite itself again. “Nancy’s Nudes”. Tony noticed a small sign in the window that read: “1500 Gold Bars Free With Every Nude”. Directly underneath a faded sign read: “Buy one nude person get two free”. The two friends, giddy with anticipation, burst through the doors of the shop. This time the creepy old man was replaced with fifty completely naked men.

Tony closed his eyes and shook his head. As he opened his eyes he slowly turned to look at Bob.

“Seriously, Dude?”

Bob just smirked and arched an eyebrow.

“Fine,” said Tony. “But after this we’re going back out there and this time you better think ‘New roommate’. And I get the CD’s.”

Author’s Note: OK this one was a departure for me. The story was inspired by the prompt: On the way home from work your character stops into a music store and purchases an unusual musical instrument that they’ve always wanted to learn to learn to play. Why today? I hope you enjoy this little tale. Please leave me a comment and let me know.

The Dance

“No, No, NO! Cara, how many times must I show you? Watch me.”

Cara watched as her mother moved her arms with practiced grace. She paid close attention to how her mother placed her slippered feet confidently upon the worn floorboards. She knew this dance far better than she let on. Her missteps and clumsy movements were Cara’s way of rebelling. As much as she hated to admit it, her mother’s dancing ability was something Cara always coveted. Some of Cara’s fondest childhood memories were of dancing alongside her mother. She would watch as the local men spent their hard earned cash to see her mother’s dances and forget about their wives.

When Cara was seventeen she thought herself old enough to start earning money with her dancing too. She danced for some local boys behind the general store. Unfortunately they weren’t interested in spending money; they were interested in kisses and more. Cara was worried about what her mother would say or do when she found out what happened. Her mother didn’t scold or berate her. She hugged Cara until Cara stopped crying. The next day Cara began learning a new dance. Every bit as seductive as the others, but concentrating on new steps and movements and rhythms helped Cara forget the events of the previous day.

Cara’s mind snapped back to the present as her mother’s dance ended.

“Sorry mother, I’m just a little tired,” said Cara

“Well, you better get un-tired and get it right. I spoke with Mr. Johnson today and he agreed to let you dance on stage this weekend,” Said Cara’s mother.

Cara’s face blanched. “I – I don’t know if I’m ready mom,” said Cara. She couldn’t look her mother in the eyes. “I don’t want to be a whore.”

Cara flinched as her mother’s hand flew toward her face. It stopped just before making contact.

“I am not a whore!” Her mother grabbed Cara’s chin and lifted her head, forcing Cara to make eye contact. “Cara, I don’t take those men into my bed. There was only one man in my life, your father, and he was murdered when you were young.”

“I know,” said Cara sullenly.

Her mother let out a large sigh. She was a strong woman and Cara knew her mother was anything but a whore.

“One more time, Cara, then we’ll go downstairs and get some food.”

Cara watched as her mother walked across the floor of their small room above the saloon. She had no desire to hurt her mother and knew exactly how she would make it up to her. Her mother placed the needle at the beginning of the record and cranked the phonograph.

The music started. Cara danced. Perfectly. Every step perfectly placed. Every movement of her arms perfectly timed. Her lithe body curved provocatively left, right, left, down. Her back arched. Her chest heaved. The music quickened. Her movements were hypnotic. Her silk skirt slid down her long leg as it kicked up past her head. The music became part of her. The room and her mother disappeared. All that was left was the dance. A perfect melding. A perfect dance.

Cara’s mother stood in stunned silence as the needle bounced back and forth against the label of the record. She smiled as she realized that Cara had been holding back for years. She ran across the room to hug her daughter.

“I know we aren’t whores mom,” said Cara. She pulled back from her mother to see her face. “You said something about food?”

The next few days passed quickly as Cara and her mother practiced their steps during the day and worked for the saloon at night. Cara was a serving girl and spent most of her nights in the smoke filled saloon trying to keep her bottom from being slapped by the men playing faro. But tonight was different. Tonight she was in the dressing room getting ready. Cara smiled as she looked at herself in the mirror. She wore a black, high-cut dress. The bodice was cut low and revealed an obscene amount of cleavage. Cara walked to the side stage to watch her mother dance.

There was a large group of men Cara had never seen before in the saloon tonight and they were rowdy. That was good though. It meant her first night would be a lucrative one. Cara watched her dance until two of the men rushed the stage.

Cara ran out to help her mother but was quickly captured by two more men and pinned against the wall.

The men stunk of whisky and their stubble scratched her skin as they began to have their way with her. She screamed for her mother. One of the men holding her grabbed her by the hair and held her head still.

“You might wanna watch this sweetheart.” The man said breathily into her ear. “Your momma pissed off the wrong man some years ago and Jack don’t take shit from no whore.”

Her mother, held by two men struggled to get free, while another man, presumably Jack, advanced slowly.

“Remember me bitch?” said Jack. “I’m the hombre who killed your husband.” Jack backhanded Cara’s mother across the face, splitting her lip. “Did you think you could hide from me forever?

“I’ll kill you!” Screamed Cara’s mother, as she struggled against her assailants.

“When I’m done with you I’m gonna let my crew loose on your daughter.”

Cara’s mother turned her head to look at Cara. “Cara, I want you to run from here and don’t come back, no matter what.”

Jack laughed openly. “She ain’t going nowhere, bitch”

Cara watched as her mother jerked one wrist free and then drove her elbow into the nose of one of the men behind her. Cara recognized her mother’s powerful movements. It was the new dance. Cara realized that for years her mother was teaching her far more than how to make a living; she was teaching her how to survive, how to fight and how to kill. Cara saw her mother reach into her tall black boots and retrieve two silver daggers. She hurled each one in Cara’s direction.

Each dagger plunged into the chests of the men restraining Cara. Cara instinctively pulled them free from their chests. They felt as though they were made to fit her hands. Cara, in the midst of this horror couldn’t help notice every little detail of the daggers. They were perfectly balanced. The handles were fashioned from silver and inlayed with wooden crosses. She held them ready. Her mother’s final gift.

“Run” shouted Cara’s mother. “Don’t look back. I love you.”

Cara started towards her mother.

“NO Cara! Run! Now!” Her mother fixed her gaze on Cara for a second and Cara knew she had to run.

Cara ran. And as her mother continued her dance, Cara swore vengeance.

Author’s Note: I hoped you enjoyed this story. It was composed for Write Anything’s Fiction Friday challenge. This week’s prompt: Write about a misunderstanding between three people. Astute readers will notice that this story is slightly more than 1000 words. Please don’t hold it against Cara and her mother, they had a lot to say. Hopefully Cara and Gabe (see last week’s story) will be meeting up in the near future. Thank you for reading and commenting.