Flash Fiction Challenge #2: Love Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Her dreams were a swirl of the night before. Starting with late night happy hour, a cute boy separated from his herd, drink shots off various body parts, which led then to some surprisingly athletic lovemaking, mixed with visions of the two gazing lovingly in each other’s eyes, finishing up with happily ever after. Sleep melted into awake, but she remained under her comforter, blissfully running through a mental list of men’s names, finally settling on the one that belonged to this new love of her life.

Her eyelids fluttered open, letting the bright morning sunshine in as it blanketed her with its warming glow. She stretched her arms, her legs, and smiled as a rat-a-tat of bass notes erupted from her bottom. A moment later, she remembered, and whispered, “oh, excuse me,” and tried to repress a giggle.

A groggy “what?” came back to her.

“Oh, ‘good morning,’ I said. It seems like a very good morning, doesn’t it?”

The naked young man lying next to her sighed a stinky breath while rubbing both his eyes with each of his hands. “I s’pose.” He turned to look at her beaming face and could not hold back a big, toothy grin. “A good morning following a grrrr-eat night,” he growled, going into a body roll and taking her with him. When their two bodies separated, they both lie gazing up to the whiteness above.

“You know,” she said finally, “I find you quite appealing, but I’m afraid it’s time for you to split. I’ve got to be at work, like, now. The big opening is tonight, and I need all of today to get ready.”


Despite the usual dose of last-minute hiccups, especially painful accompanied by the hangover, the gallery show began without a hitch. The right people, the right music, the right hors d’oeuvres, the right wines, they all came together at just the right time.

She made her way skillfully, yet artfully, through the crowd. She knew when to purse her lips and nod, and when to throw her head back in derisive laughter. All the while, she kept an eye on the works hanging about, seeking out like a missile the little colored dots signifying a purchase. In her head, she was calculating her commissions.

She was standing with a rich grayhair, listening to him drone on about his villa on some island somewhere, expertly suppressing a yawn. It was just as a wave of narcolepsy was creeping up her spine that a flash of yellow flitted in the corner of her eye. “Would you please excuse me?” she said with a delicate touch of fingers to forearm. Fully alert now, she started in the direction of the flash. Halfway across the room, a hand grabbed at her elbow. The hand belonged to her snarky co-worker.

“There’s a bunch of bananas in the next room,” he informed her. “They’re talking about the exhibition. They seem to really like it. You should go find out if they have any money to spend.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I would do it, but I’m more of a meat-eater, if you know what I mean.” He snorted a little as he laughed at his own joke.

She pulled her elbow free and made her way to the archway connecting the two galleries. Sure enough, there stood three bananas holding champagne glasses and canapés in their white-gloved hands. She paused, collected herself, then strode with dignity toward the man-fruits.

“How are you gentlemen—” she stopped short as she recognized one of their faces. “You!”“Me!” he retorted. “What a turn out! You can really attract quit a buzz. Nothing like the fruit flies that show up at our gigs.” The trio laughed and took swigs from their champagne.

She stood silent for at least a full minute, processing the scene. “Is this a joke? If it is, I really don’t find it funny.”

“I’m not sure I follow. Last night all you could talk about while peeling off your clothes, was this big opening tonight. I brought my friends out to show them how awesome you are.” He turned to both his companions in turn and they each nodded their approval. “I mean, look at you, mingling and hobnobbing with the rich. Everyone in here wearing black, but you’re in this—juicy—orange dress, just like a drop of Florida sunshine.” Again, the bananas bobbed in agreement.

She put one hand on her hip, and the other she held out toward the front door. “You need to leave now.”

They straightened up at once and sober faces appeared where their laughing ones had been. They waited for her to change her mind, but she was steadfast in her pointing. As best they could, they hung their heads as they shuffled toward the door. She was relieved that this mini ordeal was nearly over. Unfortunately, she nor the bananas saw the puddle of bubbly on the slick floor. The lead banana set heel to the wetness, and in a sort of slow motion, lost his battle with gravity. The other bananas, lacking their peripheral vision, didn’t see the impending mayhem and tumbled over their friend and fell with a splat next to him.

She didn’t hear from him again.