Flash Fiction #53 – The Room
It’s time for another photo flash fiction, and I have a feeling this one is going to be pretty short–partially because of the idea I have, and partially because of the million and twelve things I need to accomplish today because I’ll be out of town all day on Sunday when I usually start writing these. I should also mention that this story was inspired by this picture in conjunction with another photo a friend texted me yesterday morning. So, Amanda…this one’s for you.
Amanda sighed as she headed toward the last cottage on the lane. There had been rumors that someone was living there after hours, and based on what some eagle-eyed teenagers from one of the local school tours had pointed out earlier that afternoon, she had a good idea of the squatter’s identity.
She stretched her neck from side to side as she walked, trying to loosen the perpetually tight muscles. Why had she thought managing a historical reenactment village was a viable career change? More importantly, why had she thought hiring David Mulder was was a good idea?
She supposed she’d fallen prey, much like the majority of actresses in the village, to the effects of the last residual bits of stardom that clung to him no matter how much shit he rolled in. She’d been stunned when the washed up television actor had shown up for the open casting call, and of course he’d nailed everything he’d read for–Washington, Jefferson, Madison. But he’d insisted on taking the smaller part of Paine. Said he didn’t want to be a distraction. And he’d smiled that crooked grin–the one that always seemed to reach his heavy-lidded eyes, and she’d hired him on the spot. She was a moron.
Pausing outside the cottage door, she lifted her hand to knock, but thought better of it. It wasn’t like this was someone’s private residence. Shaking her head at herself, she opened the door and immediately regretted it.
David lifted a teacup in her general direction. “Hey, bosslady.”
She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. David Mulder, former star of various sci-fi shows and crime procedurals, was sitting, bare-ass naked, on the kitchen counter, holding a historical reproduction teapot and matching cup. The coordinating creamer was sitting in his lap. A half-eaten pizza was to his right, and an empty sandwich bag was next to his hip.
“I made tea,” he added unnecessarily.
“I see that.”
He blinked at her, a slow, lopsided smile lifting his lips. “Want some?”
Whatever the hell was in there would likely get rid of the tension she’d been carrying for months, but she said, “I’m thinking probably not.”
He shrugged. “Suit yourself.” Tossing back the contents of the cup, he poured himself another.
“We need to talk.”
He frowned. “Is this about Abigail Adams’ boyfriend? I didn’t even know she–”
“No,” she snapped, interrupting him. “And her name’s Brittany.”
“Right. Right. Brittany.”
She knew he wasn’t going to remember the name. “This is about the rumors that someone is living here after hours. And,” she added, her voice growing louder, “the weed growing in Benjamin Franklin’s garden.”
He frowned. “I was just going for historical accuracy.”
“Look. I gave you a chance. You’re gonna get me fired.”
“Pffft. Nobody’s gonna care about this.” He slouched against the wall and took another drink.
She sighed. “As soon as one of the parents from today’s tour group gets wind of your horticulture project, I’m jobless. And so are you.”
He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t look at her, either.
“You can’t stay here after hours,” she continued. “You can’t grow weed here. And just to remind you, this is an education center, so this entire property is smoke free.”
“I’m all over that last one. I gave up smoking.” He lifted his cup and grinned. “Makes a damn fine tea, though.”
She stalked over to him, grabbed his cup and gulped down the cooling liquid. “Put your fucking clothes on, David.”