Flash Fiction Challenge #3 – Precious Time

While at a party, two adult siblings find themselves attracted to the same person.


“Erin, you look wonderful.  Who’s doing your hair these days?”

“Jean-Claude.  He’s the best thing to happen to my tresses.”

“More like distresses.”

” Celeste …  Will you excuse us, Julie, I have to kill Celeste.   I won’t be a moment.”

“Do not get any blood on the carpet, Erin, or you will be joining your sister, buried under my roses,”  drawled Julie as she swished in her Dior towards the bar.

Erin pulled Celeste by one of her dangling earrings, out to the nearby portico.  Celeste was trying to hold onto her cocktail, while with the other hand, pry her earlobe from Erin’s death grip.  Erin let go of Celeste as soon as she got a promise from her to stay put.

“What is wrong with you, Cece?”

“Me?  You may have damaged my earlobe, you nutcase!   You try to strong arm me again and Daddy will have to pay for extra orthodontia on you, you mule!”

“Cece, keep your tawdry, orange nail-polished hands off Gordon.  I saw him first and he’s interested.  You are NOT going to have my prize!”

“Who’s Gordon?”

“What DO you mean?   He’s that very tall and very good looking gentleman you were flirting with, over by the piano.  It was an embarrassing display, I might add.”

“Pleazz… shut up, Erin.  I didn’t ask his name, prissy.  And, what’s wrong with orange nail polish?  Men expect women to flirt.  It’s all part of the birds and bees.  I tease, he sniffs, he follows.”   Celeste leaned against the portico column, trying to spear her maraschino cherry at the bottom of her glass with a straw.

“Gentlemen  do not…  SNIFF ladies!  Whatever are  you learning at that Yankee college?   For heaven’s sake, fish it out with your pinky, and be done with that cherry, Cece!”

“And what are you learning at that antebellum college for cracked Southern Bells?   Erin, it’s 1957.   You’re behind the times!  Live for more than just finding  a handsome husband with a pedigree!”

Celeste began walking toward the open parlor doors, “I need another Manhattan and several cherries.”

“We are not finished, Celeste.  I want you to stay away from him the rest of the evening.  Don’t even look at  him.  Understand?”

Celeste looked at her sister and sighed, “why should I?”

“Because if you don’t I will tell Daddy what you did when you went to Paris with Louisa.”

“He must be a real find if you’re willing to use your best blackmail, Miss Priss.  You couldn’t have talked with Old Gordy that long.”

“I mean it.  I will tell Daddy.  Then see if you return to that…  YANKEE school.”

Celeste was standing at the parlor doors when her eyes wandered to Julie’s new, white couch by the fireplace and the couple sitting there.  A smile spread across her face.

“Erin, this is too good.  Come over here.  Look over there at your pal, Gordy.  See that divine redhead in his arms?  You wasted precious time, Old Girl.  Have any blackmail on her?”


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