Friday, October 19, 2012

FFF: Sorry About Ricky

This week's Friday Flash Fiction is powered by The Storymatic. The prompt was the write a story in which the character is a "slacker" and a "person who needs to remove of a tattoo right away" and the plot elements "confession" and "What was that sound?".

Sorry About Ricky
Word Count: 599

Gerry opened his eyes, and immediately regretted it. His brain was on fire from all the alcohol he’d consumed the night before. And the pills. And the smoking. And the bong.

It had been an interesting night.

Wincing at the light streaming through the window, Gerry forced his eyes to stay open so he could take inventory. Empty pizza boxes. Beer cans. Roaches everywhere—both kinds. He coughed and raised a hand to his head. That’s when he noticed the searing pain in his shoulder. He angled his head for a better look and found a layer of plastic-wrap around his upper arm.

There was blood behind it.

“Fuck,” said Gerry, pulling himself to his feet. He stumbled towards the bathroom. “Some party last night,” he called out to his roommate, Ricky.

There was an audible groan from Ricky’s room.

“I said that was some—you know what, forget it.” Gerry looked at himself in the mirror. He had the makings of a nasty black eye. Must’ve hit my head on the table, he thought. Then he saw his knuckles. They were bloody and tender.

He tried to remember what had happened the night before. Had he been in a fight? There were glimpses, but they faded as quickly as he could recall them. He opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed their bottle of Vicodin. It was empty.

“Shit, man,” he said. That bottle had been full at the start of the party. That seemed like a waste—especially since he hadn’t managed to get laid at all. Not that he could remember, anyway. He found a bottle of Tylenol and popped a small handful.

There was a loud noise from Ricky’s room, like a chair falling over. What the hell was that? thought Gerry. Did Ricky have somebody in there? Maybe he’d gotten lucky last night. They’d both had their eye on this girl named Trixie—he could remember that much. But he couldn’t remember her leaving.

Gerry returned his attention to the plastic-wrap on his arm, which he began to slowly unravel. It was sticky and brown with blood. He moistened a washcloth and began gently dabbing off the blood. There were a few open wounds in there, so it took some time.

More noise from Ricky’s room, and another muffled groan.

The shoulder was cleaning up nicely, but the cuts in his shoulder were stained black, almost as if he’d given himself a homemade tattoo…

Gerry’s stomach turned a somersault at the thought. Could he remember getting a tattoo last night? Ignoring the pain, he began to scrub away at his shoulder more aggressively. There was a pattern to the cuts. Letters.



The last block of five letters was the tenderest, but Gerry gritted his teeth and kept scrubbing.


And that was the entire message. Sorry about Ricky.

A memory flashed in Gerry’s brain. They had fought—and it had been over Trixie. They had traded a few punches. But why had he carved a lament into his own skin?

God, but it stung. How was it that he’d run out of Vicodin on the same night that he’d—

Oh God, thought Gerry. He bolted to Ricky’s room. Oh please no, oh please no, oh please no

Gerry kicked in the door to Ricky’s room and saw his roommate convulsing on the ground in a pool of his own vomit. Next to him lay an empty beer can. A peace-offering that Gerry had, in an intoxicated rage, laced with ground up Vicodin.

He’d just now gotten around to drinking it.

Edited by Carolyn Abram

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