Short-term Effect | A Work in Progress

{ 452 words began in 2006 }

I come back to consciousness with a mouth full of blood and a busted lip the size of Texas. I can’t remember how I got this way. I got a few scrapes and bruises on my face, a knot on my head that’s throbbing. They say ignorance is bliss, and for a few minutes as I sit here in this dark, quiet alley, I think: yeah, short-term memory loss does have its charm. Then I remember: she’s not next to me anymore.


She’s unforgettable. It doesn’t matter that I’ve taken a few bumps to the head, the face. Dames have a knack for leaving long lasting impressions on a fella.

Roxy Star was what she told me to call her. I called her Foxy Roxy not just ‘cause she’s sexy as hell, but because she was sly like one. I’d never known anyone, let alone a little street rogue, who could pick a pocket or pull a short con like Foxy Roxy. She’s the best, at least for an amateur.

In just two nights and a day we’d gotten to know each other pretty good. That’s after she tried to lift my wallet in Moe’s bar. Funny way for a girl to introduce herself to a fella, especially a guy she would end up spending the night with in a motel, the next morning telling him she loved him and that they were long-lost soul mates. Usually that kind of movie ends with me waking up the next morning alone, the only trace left behind is a lingering sent jam-packed with memories of yet another dame gone goodbye.

Love, man.

It sounds crazy now, but it’s the way she said it with that passion in her voice, that conviction in her eyes . . . I believed her. At first I thought, yeah, right, she’s just like all the other skirts-in-heels that have come and gone before her. Difference is none of those previous dames have been anywhere near as convincing in triple the time me and Roxy have spent together. I remember that second night being especially intense. I’d scrounged up enough leftover cash to really splurge and treat her like a lady ought to be, y’know? She seemed real impressed with it all, last night. I can’t help but believe she meant the words that came from her lovely mouth.

But she’s gone and I can’t remember how that’s come to be. I could blame it on the drugs and liquor all I want—and I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, either, but there’s gotta be something else at play here.

Way my luck runs, man, it’s probably for my own damn good that I can’t remember.

Written at different points from 2004 to 2010.

Copyright © 2004-2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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