fiction

Still Counts

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Carmen’s hair was spread out on the concrete next to the pool.

It was Tuesday morning, very early, and they were at Kelsey’s parents’ house in the Catskills.

Carmen laughed as she had been doing.

Emma sat next to her wearing only Carmen’s thick cardigan; her naked legs were in the pool.

“I can’t believe that shit about Candice,” said Carmen. “I still can’t. I won’t.” Carmen pointed up towards the sky.

“I’m getting in the pool,” said Trevor. “One of you ladies should join me.”

Trevor was tall and looked too young to drink.

“Quiet,” said Carmen. “Go put on that song I like.”

“What song?” asked Trevor.

Carmen looked at Emma. “Fine,” she said, “more vodka. How did you get here anyway?”

Trevor laughed. “You’re drunk! I came here with…”

“Vodka!” shouted Carmen. To Emma she said, “Who is that guy?”

Emma smiled and looked out over the pool. If she leaned back just right, she could see the moon in the water.

There was a thud against the glass patio door. Carmen turned her head to look. She could see nothing.

And then a heavy chair crashed through the glass and landed on the concrete. There was some yelling and then there was a loud, obnoxious laugh.

Emma’s entire body spun. She felt her heart against her bones.

Tara stepped through the broken door holding a bottle of Tito’s. She was wearing a beautiful green evening dress with matching gloves that stretched to her elbows. Tara picked up the chair from the concrete and threw it into the pool.

The water splashed over Carmen and Emma.

“Come on!” said Tara. She took a swig from the bottle. “Where’s Kelsey?”

“Easy!” said a man behind Tara. He was older and wearing an expensive tie.

“Give me your keys,” said Tara. “You’re wasted.”

“You’re wasted,” said the man.

“You shut up,” said Carmen, standing up. She walked over and hugged Tara. “It’s so good to see you.”

“Tell me everything,” said Tara. “Who is that asshole in the kitchen?”

“We all hate him,” said Carmen. “Right, Emma?”

“Emma!” said Tara.

Emma and Tara hugged and then the two of them and Carmen went inside.

Kelsey was asleep on the gray purple couch in the sitting room.

Brett was rubbing her feet.

Tara shooed Brett away. “Get out of here, creep.”

Tara took a blanket from the recliner and put it over Kelsey. “Sorry about the window,” she whispered and kissed Kelsey’s head.

Carmen took the vodka from Tara and drank.

Emma said, “Who’s that guy you brought?”

Tara said, “Come! Outside!” Before they left the room Tara pointed at Brett. “You!”

“Huh?” asked Brett.

“Stop being creepy!”

“Ok,” said Brett.

“Right!” said Tara. “Come on!” She led the two others, jogging drunk towards the front door.

In the driveway was a red convertible Chevelle.

Tara took the bottle back from Carmen and said, “Emma’s driving!”

“Who’s car?” asked Emma.

Tara reached inside her bra and pulled a small bag full of what looked like pieces of glass. She pulled a shard out and, her face within inches of Emma’s, rubbed it around Emma’s lips.

Emma closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue.

Tara put a shard on Emma’s tongue, and then she did the same for Carmen.

Then Tara said, “And the blood of the holy ghost,” and put one on her own tongue. She put the bag back in her  dress and then gave Emma the keys to the car.

“Where are we even going?” asked Emma. She laughed at the stupidity of her own question.

They got into the car without opening the doors.

Emma started the car and revved the engine.

Carmen shouted.

Tara slapped Carmen across the face and kissed her mouth.

Carmen pushed her over the front seat into the back.

The man in the expensive tie came outside.

Emma waved and smiled. The car jolted forward into Mr. and Mrs. Kelsey’s expensive front lawn.

Dirt went into the air and into the car and everywhere.

Tara, laying on the floor in the back, tried to light the bottle of vodka on fire with a black Zippo.

Carmen tried to stop her.

Emma found the pavement and off they went into the dark.

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9 thoughts on “Still Counts

  1. I love that Tara turns up in eveningwear like an elegant superhero whereas Emma (who seems to be a bit of a doormat) is shrouded only in an old cardi. Is Brett the one that they all hate? What did he do wrong? Just cos a guy has a foot fetish doesn’t make him an asshole. Maybe kersey asked for a foot rub! There must be more to the story. What exactly WAS that glass-like Christian drug they took? We need answers Mr flanders!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. these crazy bitches live inside my head. i take them out and wring their necks. then they yap yap yap and i’m like, if you don’t shut up i’ll make Flanders write a story about you! … love the story and the ending!

    Liked by 1 person

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