Angel Fallen

I hustled her with a game of nine-ball.

It was easy. She’d been drinking when I proposed making the game “more interesting” with small wagers. So we played for several hours, and I let her win more than a few of the games to build her confidence up. When she felt certain that she could beat me, she offered a wager that was—indiscreet.

In my motel room that evening, we thoroughly enjoyed collection of payment as she worked off the debt.

I guess that might seem pretty despicable, right? But I’m fairly certain that she really didn’t mind, as she smiled cheerfully enough in the morning.

She gathered her clothing and said, “Sorry, I’ve really got to run to make it to work on time.”

“Really?” I asked, a little sleepily, “Where do you work?”

“Ponte Sant Angelo.”

That jolted me upright in the bed. I knew I’d seen her somewhere before.

“Not on the bridge?”

But she was already out the door and gone.

Later that afternoon, I stopped on the Bridge of Hadrian and admired Ferrata’s Angel with a Cross. She didn’t look like a gambler with a drinking problem.

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Couple of inspirations for this one. Sunday Photo Fiction

and Ferrata’s sculpture:

Published

Now bear in mind, this was only a week or so back.

We went to our annual Christmas party, at Club Medic*. The same one we’ve been attending since at least…god, the kids were little ‘uns. Now this is just your normal dinner party kind of deal, with a gathering of pretty much my normal crew of college buds. I’ve known most of these folks for thirty years now. Bruce was my best man, you get the picture.

(My Egg McMuffin is getting cold, pause one moment for nomnoms.)

This year, I had a new book to show off. But Annie got there first and some spoilage happened… Wasn’t quite as much fun to sneak in my surprise. But anybody that bothered with Facebook wasn’t gonna be surprised anyway…so forgiven!

It was…kind of surreal, embarrassing even. These are all pretty literate folks, but most importantly I’ve been sharing awful jokes with them for decades. And I’ve just got this tiny little thing to show off, not the Great American Novel or anything…

If you’re holding back a little announcement to spring on somebody, ‘family’ is probably the hardest. And this group is basically family.

But that was just one tiny little part of the party, oh by the way, I’m published…ooh, ahh…time for another drink. Life continued, as usual, and things (blessedly) got back to normal. Food and bad jokes, presents and dishes to clean up.

Maybe next year I’ll have more book(s) to wave around. But whatev, what’s for dinner?

Next morning I wrote that “hell is paved with the hubris of writers” story. Cause we’re just awful people, and need to (often!) be reminded “it’s not all about you, hoser.”

 

*a.k.a. “Bruce and Jody’s Place”

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Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

Bad Fiction Spoken Here