Cherry Bomb

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artymon I\/
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Cherry Bomb

Post by artymon I\/ » Sun 6th May 2018

This was sort of an amalgamation of two story blurbs that had been kicking around. Not sure if I'll finish it, I had an uncharted detour, but I'll post it here if anyone would like to offer ideas or constructive criticism.

Gracias!

(Maturish rating. PG-13)

~~~

“What do you mean you haven’t told them?”
To the ordinary listener, her tone would have sounded bemused. But the eyes told the story, a glaring accusation the heat of which Roxanne’s recipient was unable to ignore.
Fidgeting, Nathan struggled to attain a suitable answer.
“Well…honestly, it just didn’t really come up.”
“Oh really?” Roxanne purred. “How does a conversation go in your family? ‘Hey, how are you?’ ‘Fine and you?’ ‘Great, thanks. So anything new?’ ‘Well, I got a hang nail, that kinda sucked. Totally impaired my ability to eat an orange this morning.’ Or was there no great sense of urgency?”
Her eyes felt like lasers, dissecting him for an answer.
Though she didn’t voice them, the pause was pregnant with silent supplications such as Are you embarrassed by me or Were you waiting to see if it’d last?
Sheepishly, Nate shrugged.
“Well…I sort of dug a hole with it. You know how they are, they’d make such a big deal of it – not that it isn’t,” he quickly added, watching her features already shift to challenge him. “Then they’d chastise me for not inviting them to the wedding, so I figured it’d seem more spur of the moment to just tell them then but then I started thinking and…”
“Hurt yourself?” Roxy jabbed. “I get it, you dug a hole now you need help getting out.”
Meandering his head from shoulder to shoulder, Nate agreed.
“Something like that, aye. They sounded weirded out enough that I’d be bringing a ‘friend’ to dinner,” he said. “Probably in their head they’re already drawing conclusions that you’ve corrupted me and stolen my virginity.”
“You mean I didn’t?” Roxy smirked.
Striving for nonchalance (and instead attaining dope playfulness), Nate shrugs.
“There might’ve been a few before you….but they all had the same problem.”
“What’s that?”
“They weren’t you.”
“Aw, how sweet,” Roxy purred, not sounding half as impressed as her comment implied. “Don’t worry, I’ll play along with you,” she assured, resting a hand on his shoulder.
“Thanks,” he said, reaching up to place his hand atop hers. “And….”
“Mmm?”
Meeting her eyes, he swears he sees a flicker, not one of emotional spurn, simply that, a flicker, akin to a flame. It makes him question the past ten years and the decisions they’d made. Not for the first, he wonders….
“Look….I’m sorry things went so….” No, that wasn’t right. “…if it makes any difference, it was never you. I’d have been happy being with you.”
The eyes flash, much like a solar flare illuminating the darkest reach of space…all without twitching a single muscle.
“And you think I wouldn’t have?!” Roxanne demands, betraying her Cheshire cat’s cool confidence. “That I wouldn’t have wanted to build a life or – ”
Stopping herself, she takes a breath and is back in control.
“I’ll be there,” she assured him.
Started, Nate opened his mouth to form another asinine apology, only to be cut off before uttering a single breadth.
“Don’t.”

At the house Nate felt odd, like he was touring a museum of his life. The scary part was it didn’t feel too long ago when this had been his home.
The wall was still cracked from where a dresser had fallen into it. The screen door to the backyard was still torn where an errantly eager dog had gleefully plodded into it in a haste to gain access to the great outdoors.
Various artifacts adorned his shelves from another time, once coveted above all else, now forgotten in a layer of dust.
The local inhabitants appeared no worse for wear, save an extra wrinkle or two.
“So where’s your girl….friend?” his dad asks, the words sounding foreign.
“Ah…she’ll be here, had a quick errand to run.”
‘Errand’ of course referred to obtaining a massive stock of wine if Roxanne were to endure a full night of Nate’s antics.
At that moment, the front door opens, prompting a perplexed expression to permeate Nate’s face.
Too early, what’s she doing….
With an aura that suggested she owned the place, Roxanne boldly strut inside, eyeing Nate and his parents for only a moment before announcing herself.
“Hello Daddy, hello Mom, I’m your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!”
Nate frowned.
“Cut!”
As easily as switching on a light, Nate’s ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ de-aged, bearing looks of relief while Nate festered an intensely inquisitive eye on Roxanne.
“What was that?”
Almost as immediately as he yelled cut, ‘Roxanne’ whipped out a metal flask with an attached cigarette case built on the back and took a swig of the flask.
“What was what?” she glowered, flicking open the cigarette case, then glancing at nearby fire alarm, narrowed her eyes accusingly at it and slipped the flask case away, withdrawing a vape pen.
Enjoying a long drag, she exhaled a plume of smoke, not for the first time reminding ‘Nate’ of a dragon. That was what his niece had said upon meeting her.
Lookit, she makes fire like a dragon lady!
Surprisingly, ‘Roxanne’ hadn’t been offended by the comment, appearing to lavish the role of a hardcore, tough Dragon Lady.
Frown intensifying, creases bent like organic origami, fearfully folding the face, ‘Nate’ could tell she knew what he was on about and simply enjoyed pissing him off.
“The script. You deviated, Tuesday.”
Unapologetically, ‘Roxanne’ aka Tuesday shrugged.
“And if I did, Nicky?”
“Well I’d like to know the reasoning at least. And please, don’t call me Nicky,” ‘Nate’ aka Nick requested.
Casually sauntering forward, Tuesday indulged another drag of her vape until she was in front of Nick, where she blew the vapor directly in his face.
Blow me could not have been more clearly inferred unless the smoke actually spelled the words before him.
Why did he think Tuesday was a good choice again? She took great pleasure in displaying her disdain for him.
The saunter, think about that saunter, she’s perfect to play Roxy –
Yet she had agreed to be in the movie when he asked her….with minimal convincing.
Remember, you’re the director, you’re in charge.
“So what happened to the stuff in the script?” he asked, placing his hands on hips, attempting to puff himself into a vision of authority.
Tuesday aggressively cocks a questioning eyebrow.
“With the car and the Ferrari? Felt a little too Full House-y. Roxanne seems the type she’d just bust down the door and tell everyone what’s up.”
Okay, maybe she had a point, Roxanne was a tenacious character who knew little boundaries…much like her actress.
“Oh?”
“I think,” Tuesday continued, “the guy who wrote this is a sappy idiot I’d punch at first sight in the jaw if our paths were ever unfortunate enough to cross.”
Now that was a tad over the line.
Protectively, Nick snakes a hand to his pocket, feeling the script papers. Obviously his had been the hand behind the typewriter that crafted the tale his lead actress so callously regarded with the same respect as a water eel in heat.
“Who says it’s a guy?” he defensively asked.
Pityingly, Tuesday looked bored.
“If it was a woman, our roles would be reversed; the chick would be introducing some over the top Mr. Cool to her Mr. and Mrs. Norman Normal parents.”
Alright…she had a point, he grudgingly admitted. Still, what gave her the right to walk onto his set and tell him how to run it? Perhaps not so much a ‘what’ as a who and that’d be you, fool.
“Alright, what would you recommend then?”
“Burn it,” she advised, puffing another hit from her electronic cigarette.
Power was a daunting line to walk. Exerting too little meant no one took you seriously and too much would cause the masses to resent the figure.
Still, a stance had to be made. Boundaries to establish. Respect was taken. Sometimes.
Gritting his teeth, he withheld an eye roll fearing such a display would make him look weak. Fine, he could dish it as well as she could serve it.
“Get real. And stop smoking in here, you could damage the camera lens.”
Rolling her eyes, Tuesday did not appear impressed by Nick’s attempt at dominance.
“It’s vapor. Not smoke. Don’t get your knickers in a knot, Nicky-wicky,” she chided.
How was it this infernal wench knew exactly which buttons to press?! It was as though she had lived centuries training to simply torment him. Nick felt his face grow red, anger and embarrassment quickly settling in.
Time to take a leaf from the Harrison Ford play book.
Raising a finger, he opened his mouth to compose a sizzling reprimand…
….when a voice sounded off behind them.
“What seems to be the issue, lad?”
Mentally, Nick groaned.
“Mr. O’Donoghue…hello, no, no problem here….weren’t you the history teacher last week?”
Equally irked with his charge, Colin O’Donoghue was superior in his ability to camouflage his emotions than Nick.
Issuing a patient sigh, Colin explained, “I’m substituting.”
Doubtfully, Nick crossed his arms.
“Uh huh. What do you even know about film production?”
Cocking his head, Colin made a half shrug.
“More than you’d suspect lad; I used to co-star in a series a few years back, perhaps you’ve heard of it – ”
“Are you two done comparing sizes?” Tuesday inquired, twirling her vape pen as though it were a baton.
“Pardon me, Ms. Blues?” Colin was enough of a gentleman to pretend to have no idea what she just said, but the eyes told a different story. They told he liked saying her name, that he liked looking at her. It wasn’t as simple as lust, there was a generous dose of respect that dwelled in those eyes as well.
Tuesday was astute enough to notice those little things and accordingly arranged a smirk to cock her lips.
“Maybe if you take me to dinner, handsome,” she suggested, flashing her eyes in a way that made them glow alluringly.
Colin bore a frown not dissimilar to the one Nick wore earlier, though the ever so slightly cocked eyebrow suggested interest at the proposal.
“….I’m not sure that would be proper, Ms. Blues,” he slowly (if possibly regretfully) informed.
“Your loss,” she lamented, inhaling a drag from her vape, then surprising both males, turned to Nick and delivered an intensely deep kiss that left him puffing out her vape smoke.
“Smokin’,” she declared, winking at both males, then sauntering off.
Neither male was fooled by her display.
“Yeah, sure great, we’ll work on our lines later,” Nick said, lips still tingling from where Tuesday kissed them.
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