Far from the usual sci-fi flash fiction, here is a slice-of-life inspired by immigrant culture. Hard getting all I want in just 350 words.
The two men walked across the empty lot on War Avenue toward the rundown house. Their shift at the mill had ended at 4.30, but the flames from the stacks behind them would burn around the clock.
“There going to be anything to drink here?” asked Walter.
“Probably some home brewed root beer, but nothing stronger,” said Stanley.
The smell inside the house was rich with food: sausage, sauerkraut, stuffed cabbages. It was a sharp contrast to the acrid smell outside. Walter looked around. There were four guys in the open area. Two of them were talking with Katrina, a pretty blond with high cheekbones. She wore a simple, but somehow alluring, dress, and her only makeup was a stunning red lip gloss. She walked towards Walter and Stanley.
“Come. Eat.” She waved at a counter where the food sat in tin dishes.
“Is there any booze?” asked Walter.
Stanley punched him in the arm. “Idiot!”
“It’s OK. What’s that on your lip, Walter? You’ve grown up on me overnight.” Walter raised his hand to his tentative moustache and blushed. “Maybe later you can have something.”
“Let’s dance,” she said to the men. “The best among you can have the rest of my alcohol.”
One-by-one, they danced with her. It was stumbling swaying at best.
When it was done, Katy put her leg on a chair and pulled her skirt up revealing a flask strapped to her fleshy thigh. She took the flask and handed it to Stanley. “Here you go. I’m done for the night. See you boys later. Walter, come with me.”
Walter looked to Stanley. Stanley grinned and waved at Walter to go up the stairs.
Walter took Katy’s hand, and she led him up the stairs.
The men heard footfalls as they walked down the hall, and then a heavy door shutting.
Stanley open the flask, sniffed the contents, and took a slug. He smacked his lips and said, “Well, for one thing, it’s warm as piss.” He took another deep swallow. “And for another, it tastes likes piss.”
Stanley shrugged and finished the flask.