I have decided to finish both parts of The Fantome Queen before posting any more as I want it to be the best it can be. I will still be posting other flash fics in the meantime.
This flash fiction was inspired by a prompt in a Daily Flash Fiction Group on Facebook. Thanks to my awesome friends Tanner Childs and SGD Singh for betaing for me Enjoy!
9/20/16: Potpourri Prompt: Take these words and make a story out of them. Try to spread them through out a flash piece of at least 300 words (Give or take)
As the chime of the doorbell rippled through the house, Maria jerked her head and yanked the curling iron through a section of her hair. “Ow! Crap!” she yelped around her toothbrush.
Crash! She blinked and looked down. The burning iron had slipped from her hand and clattered to the floor.
Great. Maria bent to pick it up. As she stood, she glanced toward the mirror. Only half of her thick, stick-straight hair had been exposed to the searing heat of the iron. She brought her hand up to stroke one of the tips, but snatched it away the moment they touched the steaming, wiry strands.
Wonderful. Not only did she have a half-finished hair-do, but she’d worked and re-worked it so many times, it felt like it had been flambéed by a torch.
Maria’s frown deepened when she flicked part of her hair behind her shoulder. An angry, red welt began to rise on her neck. She reached across to touch the pads of her fingers to it; it hissed when they made contact. She wrenched her hand away and bit down on the flesh of her lip, swallowing a stream of curses.
The chime of the bell reverberated in her ears again.
“Shit!” She yanked the toothbrush from her mouth, flinging it to the countertop. It slid into the sink and left a gooey trail of white paste along the once gleaming marble.
Maria spat into the sink before she dashed into her room and ripped the plastic wrap off of the shimmering purple dress she had worked for months to afford. There was no time to marvel at the way the thin spaghetti straps settled perfectly over her tanned shoulders, or how the V-shaped top accentuated her every curve before flowing down into the three layers of diaphanous fabric in various shades of violet. She unzipped the back and pulled the dress over her.
“Ree, why are you letting Sam stand out in the cold like that? Get the door; you two are going to be late.”
“Ib’m a wittle buzy ‘ere, Isabel.” Maria shouted through a mouthful of fabric. She maneuvered the dress down around her waist and smoothed out the creases. Then she sprinted back toward the bathroom, throwing a fleeting glance toward the ticking clock on the wall.
6:28 P.M. What the hell?
”Really, Sam?” she growled. “Don’t you know me well enough to not show up thirty minutes early by now?”
She skidded to a stop in front of the vanity and began flinging the contents out of the drawers until the bathroom tile was no longer visible. “Ugh! Izzy, what did you do with the burn cream?”
“What?” Her older sister’s voice echoed through the hallway as the soft creak of her chair wheels made their way to the Jack-and-Jill bathroom. “Ree, what are you talking about? I didn’t…. Whoa.”
Maria’s head snapped up as her sister stifled a snicker. “Not. A. Word,” she hissed through gritted teeth.
“What did you do to your hair? It looks like a crustacean crawled in it.”
Maria huffed and rolled her eyes. “Just get in here and help me, will you?”
Isabel laughed. “I’m coming, I’m coming.” She wheeled into the bathroom and positioned herself behind her sister.
Maria watched her calmly open another drawer and pull out a handful of hair clips and bobby pins before setting to work on her hair. She flinched when her sister’s fingers grazed the pulsing burn on her neck.
“Dang, Ree, how hot was that curling iron?”
“Too hot,” Maria mumbled as she tossed yet another unidentifiable item to the floor. “Argh!” She slammed her palms on the counter. “Damn it! How am I supposed to enjoy the night with this thing on my neck?”
“You really should run some water on that, Ree. It will feel loads better.”
“No!” Marie shreked, wrapping her arms around the waistline of her dress. “If my dress gets wet, it’ll be ruined!”
Isabel frowned at her sister in the mirror. “But, Ree–”
“No, Isabel,” Maria’s eyes flashed as she glared at the older girl’s reflection. “It took me three month’s paychecks to afford this dress and I’m not–” Isabel’s hand brushed against the welt as she twisted Maria’s hair. “Jeez, that hurts!– I’m not going to destroy it before Sam sees.”
“All right, all right!” Isabel held up her hands in surrender before returning to finish her sister’s hair. “Don’t worry, I’ll find you some cream and a bandage when we’re done here.”
Ten minutes later, Isabel snapped the final scrunchie in place. Maria marveled at how quickly her long black hair had been transformed from a disheveled, hopeless disaster into a simple but elegant bun. She reached up to run her fingers over the top of the shiny surface, gasping at its soft texture.
“H-How did you do that?” she asked, beaming at her sister’s reflection.
Isabel smirked and patted Maria’s shoulder. “Magic.”
Maria smiled and rolled her eyes before turning and wrapping her arms around the older girl. “Well, whatever it was, thank you.”
Her sister pecked her forehead. “Anytime, Ree,” she hummed before pulling away. “Now, why don’t I go find that medicine while you finish getting dressed?”
Maria scrunched her brow. “What? But … I am dressed.” She frowned when her sister’s only response was an arched eyebrow and an amused twitch of her lips.
“Are you sure about that?” Maria followed her sister’s hand as she gestured to her legs. “Because, the last time I checked, you were headed to prom, not the carnival.” With a devilish wink, she disappeared from the room.
Maria’s cheeks flamed and her face contorted in wide-eyed horror. The bottoms of her pajama pants peeked out from beneath her dress. “Oh, my, God!” She scrambled out of them.
Her sister reappeared with the necessary supplies just as the doorbell sounded again. Maria barely gave Isabel time to pat a smooth coat of cream on her burn and loosen just enough of her hair to cover the bandage before flying toward the stairs that led to the foyer.
“Thanks, Izzy,” she called, “You’re the best!”
“I know!” Her sister laughed. “Just don’t slide down the banister to get to the door on time. Samantha isn’t going anywhere and the last thing Mom needs to come home to is you with another broken leg.”