: Voices by CD Richards
"Found" Flash Fiction Contest contest entry
Please read author notes first
"What is she doing here?"
"You know very well what I meant."
"She's just visiting, mother."
"You call it visiting, do you? That's the third time this week she's visited you. Did you two spend the whole night visiting? I would think she should be all visited out by now. Trash, that's what she is. A dirty, filthy, sl—"
"Cheetum & Howe called today. We take possession of the Motel on the 17th. Let's see how you get along without your little girly friend when we're six hundred miles from here!"
"Well the joke is on you, mother, because I asked Charlotte to come with us, to help with the cleaning and room service, and she's agreed. Now, I'm fixing pancakes, do you want some?"
* * * * *
Charlotte screamed and spun as the breakfast tray clattered to the floor. Oneida knives and forks danced a jig on the wooden floorboards as the silver napkin holder rolled under the dresser in front of which she was standing. Pancake remains soaked up some of the escaping tea as maple syrup made a sticky mess of Norman's shoes.
"You startled me." The preceding scream made Charlotte's comment superfluous.
"What are you doing in here?"
"Well, I've been here three times now and I still haven't met your mother. When I woke up, I thought I'd see if I could find this mystery woman." Now that her heart had almost descended back into her chest cavity, Charlotte managed a smile.
Norman looked past Charlotte, into the mirror on top of the dresser. He noticed the way her smooth, tanned skin contrasted with the stark white of the bra strap. His eyes refocused and he saw a beautiful woman standing in nothing but her underwear and his mother's pearl inlaid gold necklace. He took two steps forward.
Norman's features softened. "I'm sorry for frightening you. Do you like this?" he asked, taking the fine golden chain between his fingers.
"Then why don't you wear it for our trip into town? Mother's gone to visit her sister for the weekend, she won't be needing it. I'm sure she won't mind."
"It's beautiful, thank you."
"Well, I have to clean up this mess, and then sort out the kitchen before we can be underway. In the meantime, why don't you take a shower?"
* * * * *
In the cellar, the rats paid no heed to the semi-decomposed figure in the rocking chair. With her grey hair tied up in a neat bun, and the hem of her white petticoat just showing at the bottom of her black, full length dress and her neatly laced boots, she looked quite a picture. Of course, it helped if one ignored the larvae making their way nonchalantly from her vacant eye sockets.
The rats had far fresher and tastier fare demanding their attention...
Home-made apple Charlotte.
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