“Easy as a Spring Dress” – a Pinky Black prequel!

So I’ve been sitting on this one for several months. Submitted it to a flash fiction zine, but it didn’t get picked up. Since I have since taken the character I invented here and fleshed him into the noble savage that is Pinky Black, I thought some of you might like to see the very first aspect of our hard hitting friend of Jimmy the Gent.

Here’s “Easy as a Spring Dress.”

It was a quarter past one, and the heat of the sun beat down from a brilliant, clear sky with only slightly less fury then what my fists had just finished delivering to the poor sap on the ground in front of me. I nudged him with my foot. He groaned. Good.

Wasn’t dead.

Yet.

I bent down and looked at the bloody, broken mess that fifteen minutes before had been an asshole named Danny. He thought he was a tough one, I guess. Dressed like it. Walked like it. Talked like it. But when it came time to throw down, he’d merely gone down, like a sack full of cinder blocks and questionable evidence in a deep bay. I kicked him a bit harder, for good measure. He coughed up a bit of blood, and sobbed. I probably should have felt bad for that. I didn’t.

“Last chance, Danny,” I said, slightly louder than a whisper, but no more. He deserved having to strain to hear me. “I told you once before, if you ever touched her, I’d hurt you.”

I took a breath, looked over my shoulder at the girl cowering against the alley wall. Her face wore hurt and terror like a spring dress, loose and comfortable. That did make me feel bad. I hated that she’d run out here to see this, but you know? Maybe that was good, too.

“Believe it or not, Danny, I don’t like violence. I’m just good at it, see? I tried, I tried real hard, to let you off easy last time, but you didn’t listen. So you bought this, Danny.”

He groaned again. I sighed.

I didn’t make it a habit of being a hero. Wasn’t my gig. I was much better at being a low man, a hard man. And men like me, well, we don’t make good heroes. But there are some things I can’t abide, and one of them is beating on someone who couldn’t defend themselves. I guess I had a little streak of soft in me. Marbling in the meat, if you will.

“This is my last talk with you, Danny. I’ll be watching. I see another bruise on that girl, and you will never lay a hand on another living soul again. She so much as trips and skins her knee, and I’m going to assume it was you. No more warnings, no more beatings.”

I paused, leaned real close.

“No more Danny. You have my word,” I whispered.

He shook, and the sharp smell of piss confirmed that he’d gotten the message. I stood up, picked his jacket up from where he’d dropped it before the fight, and used it to wipe his blood off my fists. The girl stared at me the whole time, as I brushed off the dirt from my knees and cleaned his gore from my boot.

That’s when I saw it.

In her eyes, I saw a glimmer. The blossoming of something wicked, dark. I saw her picking a fight, saw him walking away. Saw her remembering my words, and acting on them. He didn’t have to hit her. She could bruise herself just as easy. But I’m a man of my word, if nothing more. Danny better hope he sees that glimmer too. Better hope he recognizes it, and doesn’t piss her off. Or else he’ll find out just how easily that sack full of cinder blocks goes down, with him as the questionable evidence.

I left him there. Her too. As I walked out of the alley, I saw her smile.

And that hurt, that terror? It fell off her, easy as a spring dress.

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32 comments

  1. “Marbling in the meat”… You have such a way with words! I feel like a broken record, but I loved it. I really like this character… a lot! :)

      1. Yes I have! At least, I think I’ve read them all. :) Do you have them all in one place?

        I’m not sure why you feel like you don’t do this “right”. You are an amazing writer. I look forward to your posts and you never disappoint.

        1. I don’t yet, but I think I’ll go back and label them in the Flash Fiction page when I get a chance. :)

          As for the latter, that’s all old tapes, my dear. Still working on overcoming more than a decade of being told that my writing was worthless and useless and a waste of time. I’m getting better, but it’s still hard to accept sometimes.

          1. The labels would be great! ;)

            I hear you on that one. I guess that’s why this community is so great. We can all support each other and help in that thing we could all use a little more of – self confidence.

            Just remember what you once said to me… I don’t know you so I have nothing to gain by lying to you. Your writing is amazing and you should keep at it and do a lot more. :)

  2. Seems I will have to be searching for the rest of the stories on Pinky Black. My favorite part was that he saw the glimmer in her eyes and knew that she was capable of bringing hell down on that scum’s head. Not many men would catch that. Bravo, friend.

    1. Thanks man! Commas are a tough one. I wrote this to a limited word count, and it’s hard to avoid them. But on rereading I do see some places a full stop would give it a grittier feel.

            1. Jump in on some of the ones I’m doing! Chuck Wendig at terribleminds.com has a weekly challenge, Thain in Vain has an awesome weekly challenge, and I run one myself – the Turn-A-Trope Tuesday challenge found in my On Writing section. All will tell you that weeks theme and word limit. Check it out! :)

  3. As comfortable as a spring dress too! I’m sorry that this didn’t get picked up, it’s their loss. You know I’m already a sucker for Pinky Black, so I’m glad to see you moving forward with this. I really, really like the voice it reminds me of the narrative that goes with Casino. Is this going to be a collection of shorts? This is great work – keep it up! :)

    1. I’m seriously contemplating that :) Maybe once I get a bunch under my belt, I’ll compile them into a single volume, pop it up on Amazon, and see if it has wings. ;)

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