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NYC Midnight First Round entry....

Assigned Genre-- Romantic Comedy
Assigned Location-- A Hair Salon
Assigned Object-- A Box of Tissues
Word Limit-- 1000
Time Limit-- 48 hours

A night in before the night out

As Friday night routines go, ours has become quite the sacred ritual. And, here we are again, Amy, Ella, Kenneth, Bruce and me—the five hopefuls—busy performing our weekly rite, with more hope than we should probably allow ourselves.
 Sharon’z Stylez: Salon and Boutique, the name was Kenneth’s idea, mostly, only a minor tweak to his original idea. Not sure how much business a hair salon with the name, Sharon’z Stylez for Slutz and Stiffz would draw.  “What? It’s catchy!” Always Kenneth’s defense.
Five chairs, one long and well-lit mirror, five friends and a couple shared bottles of wine, the occasional bottle of hair dye and enough pheromone-laced cologne/perfume to set the local zoo into a midnight orgy—a typical Friday night. Thank God we’d had sense enough to post a strict five o’clock closing time on Fridays.
We tried the debacle of getting ready in someone’s apartment, sharing one tiny bathroom and one excruciatingly unforgiving bathroom mirror. Might have worked when we were in college. Now—
Amy sits in the chair on the far left. Thin, mousy Amy with on-again-off-again waterworks thanks to her on-again-off-again boyfriend. Tonight started another preamble to the off-again scene. “What am I going to do if Frank doesn’t show?” Her gurgled sniffs, such an expected salon sound, like roaring hairdryers or hissing curling irons.
“Oh really, Amy,” I barked. “We’ve been through this. If Frank doesn’t show, screw him! Well, no ... don’t screw him.” I jumped from my chair in the middle of the line and grabbed the new box of tissues from the vanity counter. “Here. You’re going to get puffy.” The box landed with a thunk in her lap.
“Thanks.” Amy dabbed her eyes.
“Yeah, come on Amy,” pouty, seductive Ella sat to Amy’s immediate right. “You know there are plenty of men out there.” Ella pursed her lips, working tonight’s lip shade into the perfect tint. She was positive that different colors on a woman’s lips attracted different types of men. And, she was determined to prove her theory.
Ella grabbed the tissue box from Amy’s lap. She was going with a vibrant red on the lips tonight, just one pursed blot on the tissue and then the shimmery top gloss. “Besides, just because you get stuck with a dud, doesn’t mean you have to glue yourself to him day and night.” She tossed the box of tissues onto the vanity counter.
“And, how long’s your Jeffrey away, Ella?” Sitting to my right, lethal, lusty Kenneth stretched across the arm of his salon chair, trying to focus his eyes through the wine haze.
“All weekend.” Ella grinned, her smile giving her the chance to check her teeth for lipstick.
“Pity.” Kenneth fell back.
“You know Jeffrey doesn’t bat for your team,” I said, slapping him on his bronzed arm.
“I can dream.”
“Dreaming only leads to broken hearts.” Darling, debonair Bruce, always the realist, always the voice of deadpan reason.
“Give it a rest, Bruce. You’re as bad as Amy.” I snatched the box of tissues, pulled out several fistfuls, and began arranging small wads of tissue inside my shirt. I may have been endowed with more than my fair share, but when they were handing out symmetrical shapes, I must have been absent.
The only problem with stuffing your bra after a few belts from a wine bottle, is the flushing sweat. It was bound to flatten my cushion accents.
“Gimme!” Kenneth’s wine-limp hand tugged the box of tissues away. He emptied the contents onto his lap before tossing the useless box at Bruce. “Cheer up for Christ’s sake!”
“I am cheered,” Bruce cradled the box. “It’s just the wine.”
“No more wine for Bruce,” Ella smacked her glossy lips at the mirror. “Got any Jack, Sharon? Or, Vodka?”
“I’ll take a Jack, if you’ve got one hiding back there, I’m right off Jonathan’s and Justin’s at the moment. I quite like the name Jack. Just sort of falls out of the mouth.” Bruce perched against the chair arm, a half empty bottle of wine in one hand, a totally empty box of tissues in the other.
“Sorry, fresh out.” I patted my still uneven chest. “Might have a beer back there.”
“Ugh!” Kenneth groaned. “Let him keep the wine.”
I glared into the mirror.  “Final checks.”
“I’m good,” Amy blotted her eyes one more time.
“All set here.” Ella’s wine-red cheeks matched her glossy lips.
“Too much?” I stood to model my profile.
“A bit too much. Come here.” Kenneth pulled clusters of tissue from my bra. He patted the shape of my breasts into perfectly rounded orbs. “There.”
“My turn!” Kenneth leapt from the chair, his crotch bulging out past his stomach. “Too much?”
Ella charged over, giggling, her hand pulling wads of tissue from his tightly-packed jeans.
“Careful what you might find down there, Ella honey.” Bruce tossed the empty box of tissues, hitting the mark of Kenneth’s butt without trouble.
“Let’s go ladies!” I tapped my watch. “We’re out of time and we’re out of wine.”
We stepped into the moonlight, the brisk night air stinging our wine-blazed cheeks.
“Alright, you” I pointed at Kenneth. “Stay out of trouble. And, you,” turning my poised finger to Bruce. “Keep him out of trouble.”
“Yes, mother.” They sang in unison before turning.
“Details in the morning.” Ella called over her shoulder.
“Hey, if your Jeffrey comes home early, just ship him down our way.” Kenneth called back.
“You wish.” I laughed.
“Yes, I do.” His singsong voice echoed in front of the salon.
“As soon as he decides to switch sides, he’s all yours.” Ella’s voice rang down the street.
I sucked deep the brisk air. “Come on, I’m losing my buzz. We’ve got to have details of our own to share.”


  1. I like the title of this a lot!

  2. you write amazing stories.


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