Flash Fiction: Agnostic clichés & indiscreet metaphors

by LJ Frank

It was past the eleventh hour. The late, late shows were reruns. 

I was housesitting for a friend in his subdued Neo-art deco apartment several blocks from the downtown business district near a body of water referred to as a Great Lake. A singular tree branch tapped the living room window as a wind swept in from the west. Tap…tap…tap, the branch rhythmically knocked on the partially opened window as if the tree’s spirit was warning me.   

My thoughts and a glass of an older vintage port in my hand, a legal pad and pen laying on a scratched hardwood desk were my companions. The whirling blades of a ceiling fan cast a moving shadow reflected in an oversized mirror on the wall. The lights began to flicker.

I lit three large candles that were a top of an oak sideboard as a storm was in the forecast.

There was no rain, only the echo of thunder.

The city street was punctuated with lights from surrounding buildings. It’s never totally dark in a city at night.  

A lonely jazz song of a singular tenor saxophone reverberated through the room. It was the kind of song that one hears in a city on a street corner, from someone wanting a few extra coins for a meal.

I was clearing my head of ambiguous thoughts from a blind date that never materialized a few nights ago. My friend said she might be a religious experience for me. I shook my head. Each word I wrote was a seductive struggle. I decided to explain what precisely happened the evening the blind date stood me up. I wanted to write it down to get the entire episode out of my head and move on.

Waves of jazz entered the art deco place. The shadows haunted me. I thought I heard a light knock on the apartment door. I got up, walked to the door. Looked through the peep hole but a hand covered it “Jesus!” I said out loud.

I heard a woman’s laugh, “No I’m not him but you’re close.”

I opened the door with a feeling of uncertainty.

“Are you going to let me in?” She asked.

“Do we know each other?”

“Not yet.” She was wearing a nun’s habit.

“I don’t know you.”

“I’m the sister.”

“I can see you’re a sister but?”

“You had a blind date that never showed.”

“You were my blind date?”

“No, I’m her sister. The sister of the woman you had a blind date with. I dress up for fun. It makes me feel safe at night along with the mace I carry underneath my habit. May I come in?”

“Well…yeah. Of course. Would you like something to…drink. Coffee or?”

“Whatever you’re drinking.”

“I was sipping some port.”

“Sounds delicious. It’ll fit with my religious leaning.”

“And that is?”

She benevolently smiled as I filled a small glass of port and we sat on a couch.

I restarted the conversation. “So you’re a sister of the woman I had a blind date with?”

“Yeah, kind of…I came here as an offering.”

“An offering?”

“Well to be honest I really am a nun but I like to get out now and then…to talk… and about the other night…I…”

“Wait. What? Listen, I should tell you that my father’s Jewish and my mother’s an atheist.”

“Congratulations. I’m a sapiosexual. The brain is the most emotive of organs. I figured since you’re a writer I could spend the night and give you some inspirational thoughts for your work.” Her voice was just above a whisper.

“Say what?”

“Little did you know,” she said with a wide grin.