Friday, 20 June 2014

Flash Fiction Friday By Christopher Alexandrov

    Camera Shy By Christopher Alexandrov
As Charlie Roman looked up and down the busy Midway of the Benjamin Brothers Amazing Show his mind was focused on one thing as his two eyes scanned the crowd – Where could he find the beautiful redhead who had refused to have him take her photo this morning?

No one had ever turned down Charlie’s offer of a free photo sitting before, especially not a pretty girl. In his experience, if the enticement of a no-cost portrait was not enough then his own charms could be counted on to seal the deal. But this girl had been different.

With less interest than if he had offered her a free worm salad, the girl had turned on her heel and walked out of the photographer’s booth just as soon as she saw the camera pointed her way. Her blonde friend had wanted to stay and sit for the photo. What had she called after her? "Junie, wait for me!" So her name was Junie, but where had she disappeared to?

Normally he would not have concerned himself terribly much. Travelling the South selling camera equipment and supplies to itinerant and small town photographers was a lonely job only if you wanted it to be. Charlie could count a dozen hamlets in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee where he knew girls who thought of him as their sweetheart. He thought of them as convenient company.

But again, this girl was different. There was something knowing in her eyes as she looked over her shoulder at him. As if she had understood his whole sly nature with just a glance.

He wished he could find her.
Charlie walked up and down the Midway, past the freak tent with the Indian sword swallower and the lady contortionist, hearing the calling of the barkers at every turn:
"Five cents for five throws! Just five cents and if you knock down these bottles you are a winner of this lucky silver dollar!"
"For one thin dime I will guess your weight, your birth date, and your place of birth. If I am wrong on any account you will double your money instantly!"
One man’s call stood out for its form, if not its content.
"What ith your hearth’s dethire? Lotht love? Knowledge of your enemieth? The thecret to happineth? Madame Juneau knowth all and thees all with a turn of the card, jutht a dime to thee the untheen and known the unknown."
Charlie stopped at the last tent, a gauzy white affair with red, tasseled ropes and colorful flags. It looked like a schoolgirl’s image of a Bedouin encampment. The barker outside was a huge hulk of a man with shaggy eyebrows and a large, snaggled tooth jutting between his chapped lips.
"Does Madame Juneau really find lost loves and know the unknown?" Charlie asked.
"Thtep inthide and all will be revealed tchraveler," said the man, his slightly nasal lisp an odd contrast to his bulk. The barker parted the flap and Charlie entered the tent. The light inside had a muted glow that came from sunshine peeking through vents in the sidewalls that did not quite reach the arched roof. An empty camp chair sat in front of a table covered in red felt and a hooded figure sat opposite.
"Sit down truth seeker," said a bright voice from beneath the filmy white hood that covered all except two female hands holding a deck of tarot cards. As Charlie sat, Madame Juneau said, "Place your offering on the table and tell me what you would like to learn."
"I’d like to find a girl," he said.
"Just any girl or someone specific," asked the reader as she fingered the cards.
"Oh yes, a very specific girl. Someone who has captivated me," he said.
Madame Juneau turned the first card, "The girl you seek is far away. She was lost to you many years ago."
"No that can’t be. We just met. Actually we haven’t truly met. I mean I just saw her for the first time today," Charlie said.
"I can only reveal what the cards reveal," she said as she turned two more. "This woman, she is not who you think she is. Her heart will betray you. Your life will be a tumult if you pursue her," she said as she turned another card.
Charlie looked down at his feet with a puzzled look. He started to rise then sat down and said, "Can I ask another question?"
"Place your offering and ask," Madame Juneau replied.

Charlie fished a dime out of his pocket and placed it on the table with a smile
"Why are you camera shy Junie?"
Madame Juneau threw back her hood, revealing her red hair and a fierce scowl. "How did you know?"

"Well, I have an eye for detail and you’re wearing the same shoes you had on this morning. How about you let me buy you some dinner and you can tell my real fortune?" Charlie said, laughing. 
"Oh I did Mr. Photographer. The cards don’t lie," she said. She stood and walked to the tent flap, opening it as an invitation to leave. "Good day sir."

Welcome Christopher! Thank you for participating in Flash Fiction Friday. This is an intriguing way to begin your novel. I like how Junie and the fortune teller are one person. I think she might become central to the story but then there is a lost love to consider. What is her role? Let us know once it is published and released!

Tell us three things about yourself Christopher.
  1. I write because I have a thousand stories inside me just bursting to get out.
  2. If I was a character in a book I would be the jocular best friend of the seedy, drunken detective.
  3. My super human power would be the ability to make up to 10 random things appear each day in my pocket, backpack, closet or garage.

To connect with Christopher and learn more here are some links.

We encourage readers to comment on this Flash Fiction Friday piece. What are your thoughts? 

1 comment:

  1. This was an intriguing snippet of what could be a great story about star-crossed lovers, manipulation, a cat-and-mouse chase... It would be interesting to see where the story could go!