Patti Abbott's Spring Flash Fiction Challenge: Sweet Dreams

It was early April and I was reading my usual blogs, when I came upon an interesting challenge. This was to be a 1,000 word story that began in a food/drink establishment where Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics) is playing when a red-headed woman wearing an electric blue dress walks through the door.

Sounds like fun, right? I thought so, and it was. My result follows.
If you like it, you've got Patti Abbottt to thank (check her out here).
If not, the blame falls solely on yours truly.

Read on, and do check out Patti's blog for links to other stories, and plenty of other good stuff.


                I waited in a crowded cafĂ©, as per her orders. Sweet Dreams was on the jukebox. This was all me, my homage to a scene where she screws her male co-star after she kills his wife. Some of them want to use you
                An electric blue dress hugged her tightly. If I wasn't mistaken, she'd worn it to the premiere of Midnight Shadow Dance, the first film we worked on together. Her hair was red, most likely for a part.
                Our eyes met and she zipped to my table. “Are you any good at stalking?”
                She was a get-to-the-point kind of gal.
                I shrugged as she sat. “Never gave it much thought. Why?”
                Her smile was snow white and her eyes sparkled. “I want you to stalk me. Nothing creepy. Just send letters, emails. Break into my condo, raid my panty drawer, that kind of thing.”
                “Isn’t that illegal?”
                She tilted her head, gave me her Ain’t you cute? look. “I won’t press charges.” She stood. “Hold on.”
                She ordered a coffee while I sat, my mind racing. Yes, this was a golden opportunity, but it was not the way I had imagined it coming to me.
                She sat again, sipping from a steaming mug. “What do you think?”
                “Why do you want me to do this?”
                She scoffed. “Do you remember how much my last movie grossed?”
                “I don’t even remember its title.”
                “Exactly,” she exclaimed. “That needs to change. Fast. My publicist came up with this idea. It’s harmless, and it’ll have everyone talking about me. And my next movie will be a blockbuster. Besides, it’s a lot less trouble than getting arrested or going into rehab.”
                I nodded along. “So what’s in it for me?”
                “What else?” she smiled. “Money. You know that screenplay you’ve been shopping around for, like, forever? Distance? Dispences?”
                “Right. Well, you do your thing, and I’ll get it made. Heck, I’ll have enough coin to make three films!”
                She reached out and took my hand in hers, gave me a reassuring smile.
                “Alright. I’ll do it.”
                * * *
                There is no Stalking for Dummies guide (I checked). So I pretty much winged it. And, I must admit, did a darn good job of it, too. For a newbie, you know.
                For six months, I flooded her inbox with admiring emails, saying how beautiful she was, how much I loved her, and all that. In my apartment, one wall was entirely covered with pictures of her (some of them my own). I even showed up at a couple of her public appearances, making a scene. The worst that happened was that I got thrown out of a screening for a new vampire film.
                One of the big gossip rags picked up the story from the beginning and ran exclusives until it got bigger and all the others joined in. We were the talk of the town. It helped that she went on the morning show on one of the major networks and cried a river, claiming she was terrified, she’d gotten a new security system (which she did, but conveniently left it unarmed so I could let myself in) and was considering hiring bodyguards.
                Now, don’t get me wrong: nobody was ever going to mistake her for Greta Garbo. But that particular morning, she made it work. She was so believable, Spielberg would've hired her on the spot.
She was the flavor of the moment. She had everyone’s attention. And she milked it for all its worth.
                “The movie is being released early,” she proudly told me when we held an ultra-secret meeting in an ultra-secret location. “Got a call from some editor who wants to publish my autobiography. He’s already got a writer lined up.”
                She stopped to catch her breath, looked up at me with stars in her eyes.
                “I couldn’t have done this without you,” she whispered, moving in with her open arms to embrace me.
                “No problem,” I blurted out. “It was fun.” I had a feeling I was grinning like a ten-year old who finds his father's Playboy.
                “Don’t think you’re off the hook, buster,” she laughed. “This is far from finished. Ever been to St-Barts?”
                * * *
                And that’s how I ended up in the French West Indies that week-end.
                It was sunny and excessively warm. There were a bunch of celebrities on the island. I tried not to be too star-struck. If any of them recognized me, they didn’t let it show. But from the way they were all fighting for her attention, I had the feeling they knew nothing about our arrangement. Fine with me.
                My week-end was to be devoted to R&R, soaking up some rays and nailing back cocktails.  I was instructed to give the stalking bit a break.
                I saw her on Sunday, sitting down for brunch. She didn’t look like she’d spent anytime under the sun. And the reason for that was obvious.
                Obvious in the way a 6-foot, olive-skinned, long-black-hair-slicked-back, linen suit wearing hunk can be.
                He was making her laugh. Touching her. Over and over and over again.
                I went back to my room to pack.
                * * *
                Turns out he was a 26-year old actor who’d left his native Morocco four years earlier with dreams of fame and fortune.  He’d gotten minor parts in a few miniseries, as well as some voice-over work in commercials and documentaries. He was not married and had no children.
                So said his obituary.
                Killing him had been simple, but oh so satisfying. That I was able to do it with such ease surprised me. My legs barely shook as I walked up behind him and slit his throat with a steady hand.
                She didn’t return my calls and ignored my emails. I never saw her in the crowd during my brief trial.
                She hasn’t come to visit me in jail yet, though it has been only four months. She’s still got a lot of time to drop in, so I’m keeping my hopes up.
                We've got a movie to make.

                The end


  1. Lots of clever lines in here, Deegan. I really enjoyed reading it. I'll be waiting for the movie.

  2. Nice, and just like the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, "Nobody knows anything."

  3. Stalking for Dummies. I love it.

  4. Nice twist. I loved the Stalking for Dummies, too