Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Flash Fiction Interlude: New Year's Resolution

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This Three Word Wednesday story features Vince Mott, a character from Diana's Diary, which is part of my Will and Diana series. You can read more about Vince by following the tag at the bottom of the post.

Fausto fiddled with the radio antenna, but all anyone could hear was a faint voice overlaid with the crackle of static.

"Give it up, man." Peru leaned back against the duffel bag he was using as a cushion and reached for his beer.

"It's supposed to be an important broadcast," Fausto reminded him.

Ozone reached for his own beer - a new brand out of Chicago they had stolen in a recent train robbery. He took a sip and winced at the taste. "Me and Gitana will go to the plaza later and get the transcripts."

"Like hell I will," Gitana shouted from the other side of the room where she was playing with a dirty black kitten and pretending to ignore them.

The men looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Gitana didn't do anything she didn't want to unless their gang leader Vince specifically asked her to.

Ozone picked at the label on his beer bottle. "So since we can't listen to the radio, let's share New Year's Resolutions."

Peru frowned in confusion.

"It's a custom from before the resource wars," Ozone reminded him. "You're supposed to think of what you'll do different in the new year."

With a snicker, Peru glanced at Gitana. "I resolve to get rid of that damn cat next time Beauty Queen isn't looking."

"I heard that!"

"I've got allergies," he reminded her.

She shrugged in unconcern. "Vince said I could keep it, so bitch at him if you've got a problem with it."

Ozone, ever the peacekeeper, tried to defuse the situation. "What's your resolution, Gitana?"

"Her resolution is to finally get Vince in bed," Fausto muttered. He took another sip of his beer.

If Gitana heard his remark, she gave no sign.

"Okay, then. What's yours?" Ozone set his bottle aside, too disgusted with the Chicago beer to drink any more.

Fausto turned back to the radio. "To get this thing to work."

Ozone threw up his hands. "New Year's is supposed to be a time of new beginnings, self-improvement and things like that, not fixing radios." At the sight of Speedball returning from guard duty, he called out to him. "Got a New Year's resolution yet?"

Speedball sneered. "Same as every year: demolish our enemies and stay drunk or high as much as I can."

Ozone shook his head. "We're supposed to be seeking personal transformation, not staying in the same old rut."

"What's your resolution, then?"

Caught off guard, Ozone stammered for an answer, but before he could think of something, Vince came out of his office, saw Ozone sitting near the radio and frowned. "What do you think you're doing?"

"He's thinking up a New Year's resolution," Peru said.

Vince raised an eyebrow. "How about you resolve to do a better job remembering when you're on guard duty?"

With a start, Ozone jumped to his feet and fumbled for his weapons. The others chuckled, but from across the room, Gitana gave Vince a soulful look and asked what his New Year's resolution was.

Seeing all eyes upon him, Vince grinned. "If I had a resolution, you bunch of sorry bastards are the last ones I'd ever tell."

His gang members watched him disappear into his office, then gave each other knowing nods. "He's got one," Fausto said.

"Something big, I bet," Peru added.

"I hope it involves drugs and money," Speedball muttered.

Gitana looked away. Everyone knew what she hoped Vince would do different in the new year.

"I wonder if he's resolved to—" Ozone began, but the others cut him off.

"You heard the man," Fausto reminded him. "You're on guard duty."

With a small sigh of frustration, Ozone headed toward the vestibule at the back of the warehouse. If their leader had any big plans for the new year, they would learn them as they happened. Come to think of it, wasn't that always the way? People could talk all they wanted, but it was what they did day-to-day that really mattered.

Ozone took his spot by the rusted steel door and settled in to wait. "Happy New Year to us all," he muttered.


brenda w said...

I love the post apocalyptic setting, the character names, story development, and that you leave us hanging at the end. This was a highly engaging read. thanks.

Grandma's Goulash said...

I was immediately drawn into the story and would enjoy reading more.

Old Egg said...

There is something almost comforting that in this frightening world they are living they can contemplate New Year resolutions. It allows us to see that even despite the tightrope of existence they are walking they haven't lost their humanity.

Sheilagh Lee said...

This is such a well written character driven story.I always want to knw what will happen next

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I love that only Vince gets the concept. I'm curious to know what he's up to, however... with Vince, it's always good.

Pilar Touchard said...

This little vignette has left me wanting to read more!

Jae Rose said...

I like this alternate New Year message - kind of read..thank you for your continued support..and Happy New Year..Jae x

Alice Audrey said...

Now I want to know what his resolution is. He played it well. Very rebel-leaderly.