42 Flash Challenge – January 2nd, 2016 Day 2

The year is still young and a the month just begun – what wonder, what fun does the new year promise?

Saturday – Named for Saturn, giving us today’s prompt:  Rings


Author: mtdecker

Just your average writer- which is to say, I have a full-time job developing and testing software.

6 thoughts on “42 Flash Challenge – January 2nd, 2016 Day 2”

    (611 words)

    Whoever said not all that glitters is gold was probably hinting at diamond.

    Kelvin had to set it down on the table, the stone’s refulgence hurting his eyes under the light he had held it up to.

    “Exquisite, innit?” said the jeweler whose generous smile above an overgenerous neckline left him a little confused as to which she would have him pay attention to, bosom or business. Unsure which would not give off how distracted he was, Kelvin gave both a grunt and a plastic smile.

    “That’d set you back by twelve thousand bucks.”

    Kelvin grimaced. He budgeted only eight. He slid it back to her.

    “Pricey, but best in town,” said some customer two feet away. Sporting heavy sunshades, his attention fully on the ring he was checking out. “Plus,” he added, still not looking Kelvin’s way, “if you think she’s worth it, she probably is.”

    Feeling intruded upon, Kelvin wanted to call the fellow’s bluff. An immature reaction that’d be, chided himself. After all, the dude only made an honest, harmless remark. It could not have been any more rightly said. Four years running, and countless dates but he had been jittery about popping the question.

    “True that bro. True.”
    “Thought so too,” the guy smiled.
    “I’m Kelvin, by the way.”
    “Hi, Chris. Here for a proposal ring too.”
    “Yep. Gotta give her this thirty-five grand rock soonest”
    “Sounds like she must be very special.”
    “You have no idea.”
    “I once lost my chance with her, but now that that her boyfriend doesn’t seem to be thinking of marriage her lights are beginning to turn green to me. This is my shot.”
    “Oh, quite a story.”
    “And that’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to put that ring on your lady’s finger, Kelvin, ‘fore some other brother does.”
    “Roger that, man. Thanks.”

    Kelvin exhaled for the umpteenth time in four minutes. She’d be out of the graduation hall in a bit. He convinced himself again this wasn’t just the thing to do, but also how best to do it. From a hot air balloon high up while the sun was retiring for the day, to hunkering down on one knee at a traffic light till she said yes—okay, now if that’s not risky in at least two ways: being crushed by some amber-gambler, what if she was too frightened by the setting to give a sensible response?—he had dreamed up a few, well, dreamy ideas of making this special, for them both. He settled for this occasion to heighten the excitement for her, make the day all about her.

    He flicked a fly off his lapel, straightened his sleeves that were already perfect; he felt for his suit’s inner pocket. It lay there quietly, the ring, although his heart’s throbbing kept hitting it like it would kick it out any moment.

    The din of the graduands and their families emerging from the hall did not aid his anxiety. He waited. He would spot her soon. And then man up. And walk up to her. And say, “Linda, will you marry me?” Uh, that’s artless, he thought. He’d have to use some panache, say… She appeared. Flustered, he turned his back. Where was all the confidence he had mustered. No, Kelvin, you can do this.
    Then he heard screaming, ‘Yes, yes. I will. Yes!” That was her voice! Everybody’s attention was turning to something behind him.

    Turning around slowly, his knees wobbled beneath him, his gaze freezing at the sight. The crowd had created a ring around his Linda, whose left hand was outstretched toward a fellow on a bent knee.
    Wait! And is that the Chris guy?

    Bunmi Oke

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Crossed Wires
    M.T. Decker

    The plan was simple, his path perfectly clear—then why did he always seem to end up on the wrong side of the airlock?

    As Wayne pondered that thought he tried to remain calm and take stock of his situation. There were controls and overrides inside the lock—designed for just this sort of situation, but somehow the controls had been locked out.

    The suit locker was empty…
    His comms were being jammed…

    As near as he could tell, the security cams were down and the only loose thing in the compartment was him… and the towel. He had just stepped out of the shower when he hand suddenly dematerialized, only to be deposited here.

    At least he had his towel.

    He wanted to know why. He wanted to know who, although he had a pretty good idea who had done this to him, he had caught a whiff of her perfume as he’d been in transit, and that meant she was somewhere nearby, in either close proximity or he had missed her by minutes.

    “Elaina!” he cried, hoping she’d been planning on giving him half a chance.

    When she replied, there was something downright glacial in her tone. “Now you get it right.”

    He thought for a moment and suddenly understood the why… and for once, it wasn’t even his fault. “The engraver got them wrong.”


    This day just kept getting ‘better.’ If it got any better he’d be on the ‘other’ other side of the airlock. “I got it right. I always get it right…”

    He paused, fighting back the thought, ‘except for that one time on Antares Prime… when you were three sheets to the wind on Synthian Brany…’ It was the last thing he wanted to remind her of.

    “And you ‘fixed’ it yourself?”

    “Hell no,” he answered. ‘Not when I have a girlfriend who’s suspicious enough that she’d use an acid bath to reveal the original inscription.’

    The truth of the matter was, he was waiting till their return trip to get it fixed or replaced by the original engraver, but something told him that Cryosleep was going to be a lot colder on the next leg of the journey.

    “Is there anything I can say that will convince you to let me back in?”

    “Two words,” she answered coolly. “And I’ll know if you’re bluffing.”

    Without a pause, he smiled and asked. “Will you?”

    To his relief, the green light lit and air cycled back into the lock, but even as it did he began to wonder if this
    really was a good thing.

    431 words

    Liked by 1 person

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