Monday, January 28, 2013

Flash Fiction Challenge: Choose Your Motif

More like have your motif chosen for you...

She'll Never Be Alyssa

Jana drove right past the hitchhiker, not registering the blur of humanity until the form ran into the road behind her and frantically waved in miniature in the rear view mirror. Jana knew there were risks to picking up hitchhikers, but the drive was wearing on her nerves, the road ahead reflecting the blue sky as if it would abruptly end in a cartoon cliff. And it might, if that witch Alyssa had managed to curse her as soundly as Jana knew she could. The passenger seat could use an new occupant. Maybe then it would stop missing Alyssa, who had kept or destroyed enough of Jana's things that the remainder barely spilled over from the trunk into the back seat. Besides, it looked like the tiny figure was wearing a skirt. It wouldn't hurt to turn back and get a closer look.

It was a girl. Dirty blonde dreadlocks framed a sunburned face. Layers of gypsy skirts concealed what figure she might have, but she didn't look exactly like she'd been living hard. Rough, but not broke, not starving. Not yet.

"Where're you headed?" Jana asked, yelling over the Rush cranking out of the stereo.

"West. As far west as you're going." she smiled. "I'm Rose. Are you going to turn that down?"

"No." She got in.


Jana prowled back from the bathroom. Neither of them had spoken while eating. Jana hadn't eaten since she'd driven off that morning from her old place, their old place. She couldn't blame Alyssa for the mess, not after the Bethany incident, but she wasn't going to stay.

Rose was sipping her third strawberry milkshake, the only food she'd ordered. Her peeling nose reflected in the window. It was a little too large for her face, but it suited her, something off kilter in her features advertising how different she felt she was inside. She'd be easy to seduce.

Jana smiled. So few men knew how easy it really could be to seduce a woman. It's the little things really, listening attentively to what she says, angling the conversation to sex without being explicit, a certain tentativeness in your movements that invites them to be bold in the face of your shyness. Create the gap and let her think it's her own idea to fill it...

It was always easy for Jana to find a woman and seduce her. Too easy.


"You have potential, it needs to be trained!" Alyssa said. Another late night, another argument when Jana finally stumbled home.

"It's not a gift, I'm not like you, never will be."

"Right, because you don't even know the meaning of faithful and never will. Where have you been?"

"I've got to shower," Jana said, sidestepping Alyssa and the argument.

"You think I don't know what that means? You think I'm stupid? You are going to regret cheating on me!" Alyssa slammed the door on the way out. Jana figured she'd be back the next day. And she was, coming in while Jana was at work to destroy Jana's things and smear the walls with spell-forms and animal blood.


Jana slid into the cracked booth across from Rose.

"How long were you walking before I picked you up?" Jana raised her eyebrows and smiled, giving full eye contact. Hard to tell through the burn, but she might have been blushing already.

"So you've picked me up, have you?"

"Sure looks that way." Jana leaned back, and grinned inside when Rose leaned forward sliding the parfait glass to one side.

"Three hours, give or take."

"I favor giving, myself." This time she slid a hand across the plastic coated table to come within inches of caressing Rose's arm. "I'm about done driving for the night."

"Then we should get a room. It's not safe to drive when you're tired." Rose smiled as she reached out and took Jana's hand. Yes, dear Rose, it was all your idea.


Rose took her satchel into the motel room as Jana held the door. The air inside was warm and stuffy, smelling of dust and disinfectant. No TV, just a mirror, cracked in one corner, across from the room's only bed. Rose went directly to the closet of a bathroom and began to run the sink. Jana dropped her purse on the shallow dresser and stood watching Rose's bend over to wash her face. Wide hips. Nice.

Rose sat on the bed and looked at Jana. Hope, and a little fear of rejection were quenched when Jana began to take off her clothes, going down to underwear before stepping in between Rose's legs, cupping her head for a kiss with one hand as the other slid to discover what she was hiding under that shirt.


Jana woke from a restless sleep as the room grew light. She sat up in slow stages, not wanting to disturb Rose's satisfied snores. In the mirror, Rose looked like Nadezda, like Annie, like Kendra and Susan and Bethany and even a bit like James, that one time. The Jana in the mirror looked disappointed, a new feeling for her the morning after a fresh conquest. Neither of them looked like Alyssa, with her moonstone eyes and spiky black hair.

Bloody words came into focus in the mirror. You'll always want me. Just like the ones scrawled on the wall above the bed Jana had shared with Alyssa for a record thirteen months. Damn her.


Jana stared at the road unfolding before her, the sky swallowing up the asphalt in a glimmer of blue. She glanced at the empty passenger seat, still missing Alyssa's curves in its worn leather. It would never feel them again. Jana would never feel them again.

"And I don't want to. I don't."


Motif: Mirrors
Subgenre: Erotic Fantasy
Setting: Route 66

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