* Flash fiction



*** 13 JUL 2023 ***

The blue scent of Troy's $2 Sport body wash is enough to send Dallas into silent rage. But today is Wednesday, so fighting is not allowed. The entire basement rumbles as a train passes overhead.

Last time, Obi almost gave Dallas a lifetime ban — he's not risking it. He concentrates on the shaky beer he's nursing and tries very hard not to imagine his bony knuckles connecting with Troy's stupid face.

A hand on his shoulder.
‘Troy, I got nothing to say to you.’
‘It was an accident, Dallas. Why don't I buy you one of these,’ he points at the beer, ‘and we can drink to forget.’

Dallas pretends not to see Obi intently observing from across the club how this is going to play out. He grunts.
Low. Buzzy.
Lower than Troy can go.

‘Fair enough,’ sighs Troy, ‘Look man, for what it's worth, I'm real sorry. I thought you were out to them. I should've checked. I'm sorry.’

‘Next time,’ Dallas manages, clenching the beer so hard it nearly bursts, ‘next time you want to pull a stunt like that, maybe don't do it at my fucking workplace.’

On instinct, Troy backs away a few paces. In the corner, Obi prepares to step in.

‘Now, you're lucky today's Wednesday, pal,’ Dallas says and turns. Another whiff of blue.
‘But come back tomorrow. Then we can really talk.’