Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Cretin Hop

November 1st, 2010

Towards the end of September, author Donna Moore issued a flash fiction challenge to the blog-o-sphere. The theme this time – use a Ramones song title as the title of your story. The story doesn’t need to be based on the song, it just needs to use the title.

Kind of hard to resist writing something for a Ramones Flash Fiction Challenge.

To see a list of stories by people that responded to the call, you can go here.

And here’s what I came up with:

CRETIN HOP
.

“You think those are real?”

“Don’t be crude.”

“Not her tits. Her diamonds.”

Billy Weston and Waylon Preston were walking east on Maine Street, headed toward the Washington Theater. They both slowed their steps. A petite woman dressed to the nines was coming towards them; black dress, white gloves, high heels, hair in a swanky hairdo and – a diamond necklace. Not a gold chain with a little diamond charm, but an elegant diamond necklace like you would see in a movie with Grace Kelly.

She looked outlandish in her dingy downtown surroundings.

“That’s Tiffany Monroe,” Billy said.

“What’s wrong with her?”

“What do you mean?”

“She’s all short. Is she a midget?”

“I don’t think she’s that short.”

“A dwarf?”

“She’s just small. Something with her thyroid. Her Mom didn’t get enough iodine when she was pregnant or something. Her younger brother was in our class.”

“Who’s that?”

“Bruce. Bruce Monroe.”

Waylon thought for a moment, lowering his eye-brows and staring at the sidewalk. “I don’t know that I remember him,” he said. “She looks like a freak. That weird dress, the gloves, those diamonds.”

Billy wanted to deny Waylon’s harsh observation but, looking at Tiffany, he wasn’t able to. “That’s not nice,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s nice, it’s true.”

“Come on,” Billy said. “We’ll miss the movie.” A couple blocks away a car screeched to a stop.

Waylon wouldn’t move. “You think those are real?” he asked again.

Billy’s shoulders started to tighten. He hated being late for a movie, he had to be in his seat and settled in five minutes before the previews, the commercials, the no-noise public service announcement – everything. If he wasn’t five minutes early for all of it, he was late. “I doubt it,” he said. “If they were real, why would she be wearing them out here, walking down the street?”

“I wonder.” Waylon thought some more. “If they were real, we wouldn’t have to work another day in our lives.”

Billy doubted Waylon knew anything about fencing diamonds, real or not. “We’ve got to go.”

“Cover me,” Waylon said. “I’m gonna take her for a whirl.”

Billy didn’t like this, because it was stupid but also because they only had a few more minutes to get to the theater. He took a deep breath and tried not to get angry. “Let’s just keep…” he started.

But it was too late. Waylon walked ahead, trying to look nonchalant and failing miserably. When he reached Tiffany Monroe, his hand darted out and grabbed the diamond necklace, pulling it from around her throat. Then he moved like his feet wouldn’t stop. He ran to the corner, turned left and disappeared from sight. Tiffany looked after him in shock.

Billy shook his head and walked up to her. “I’m sorry,” he said when he reached Waylon’s dumbfounded victim.

“Do you know him?” Tiffany asked.

“Unfortunately.”

“Your friend’s a cretin.”

Billy wanted to deny that Waylon was his friend, but he knew he couldn’t. “I know.”

“Those aren’t even real.”

“I figured. How much did you pay for them?”

“Sixteen dollars.”

Billy took out his wallet and gave Tiffany a twenty dollar bill, the only money he had. “Keep it,” he said. “For the trouble.” He swore he could smell the popcorn he wasn’t going to be able to enjoy.

“I was on my way to a dress-up party. Dinner. Dancing. Elegance! I must look ridiculous now.”

No more than before, Billy thought. “You’ll still look okay for your costume party.”

“Not a costume party,” Tiffany said. “A dress-up party!”

Billy didn’t know the difference and didn’t care enough to ask.

Tiffany continued down the sidewalk, a slight huff to each step. Over her shoulder, she said, “You should try to associate with a better class of people.”

Billy couldn’t deny that either.

He still had a couple more minutes to get to the theater, but without any money to get in, there wasn’t much point.
.
-the end-

2 Responses to “Cretin Hop”

  1. Donna

    Ha! Great stuff – thanks John. I’ll link to it straight away.

  2. Paul D. Brazill

    Cretin, indeed! Fine work!

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