The Last Goodbye – Fiction in Less Than 500 words

The lone light in the room is not dim exactly. It is placed at an angle that makes that makes the shadows in the tiny apartment room seem larger.

A half empty, or half-full bottle of beer (depending on one’s worldview) sits on a center table. A wooden center table stained with battle wounds of an army of coaster-less mugs, cups and bottles, simple stains and stains of more exotic origin.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt…” She murmurs.

“Well, sorry to upset you, but you did” he retorts caustically without allowing her the breath it would take to complete her sentence.

Suspense fills the seconds, stretching them into hours. Then he whines. Sarcasm replaced by desperation “You know, how I feel… I can’t put this into words exactly. Knowing you has changed me, made me better… I don’t know how to end this.”

Dramatic sigh. A sigh doubtlessly invented by Helen of Troy. “That’s why I am doing it for you. I have my path set out for me, and you have your art.”

A car horn, odd for this time of the evening, honks twice in passing. A taxicab. It’s marketing for custom becomes an uninvited participant in this dialogue.

“Screw the art! You are art, my inspiration.” He exclaims, with a spark loud enough to inflame kindling but not hearts.

“You’ve never run out of the wrong words to say,” She mumbles wryly, and then louder “I have to leave”.

“Hold on, at least… at least give me one last memory, something to remember you by. One last kiss” he stammers, clutching onto straws.

“I want that twice as much as you do, and that makes this twice as hard,” her voice catches a bit in a half sob, then hardens “This is the last goodbye”.

“I don’t know,” a second, deeper male voice bellows gently “Is it believable enough?” “I mean, William’s script is genius but Yaa could probably have sold it a bit more”.

“Sold it more my ass!” Yaa exclaims, eyes flashing, “That was a Grammy award right there Boris!”.

“Academy Award” Boris corrects gently. “Prince says it like he means it, you seem a little bit flat in comparison.”

“Maybe I do mean it” Prince grunts under his breath, piqued.

“What was that?” Yaa turns on him, looking ready to cut him a new one.

“I said maybe we need a break. Let’s take a break for fifteen minutes and rehearse that scene from the top.”

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