Flash Fiction: It didn’t happen in the Florida Keys

Credit: Le Café de nuit by Van Gogh

by LJ Frank 


The sun appeared to rise out of the watery deep. I peered out the window toward the boulder strewn sandy beach then sat down on a squeaky chair next to a desk and typed words on my laptop wrestling with thoughts about the previous days and weeks. I keep what I call Yesterday’s Journal. The journal is for pleasure and work.

“It didn’t happen in the Florida Keys. I wonder if it should have?” I asked myself. Cost? Intent?

 The only reason for staying at this hotel was money.  I received a room in payment for services rendered in lieu of cash from one of my clients. Interestingly, the translation of the resort’s name appeared effortless at first compared to its pronunciation.

I heard a swishing sound and looked towards the hotel door. I saw a piece of paper being slipped under it. I walked over and picked it up. The note written in a calligraphic style simply read, “It’s your move.”  I opened the door. No one was in the hallway.

“It’s your move?” I asked aloud and shook my head placing the note on the desk.

Getting dressed I decided to venture down to the hotel restaurant and have a light breakfast. My mind was still pondering the three words.

Later in the day I decided to walk on the roadside next to the beach. Waves crashed ashore. Two partially clothed natives chatted and laughed with each other as they passed by. The seaside town was a poetic metaphor for a causal lifestyle.

I needed a cup of dark coffee with a defined roasted flavor and spotted an outdoor café across the street and situated next to a brick and stone paved alley.  

A small group of older people sat at a nearby table and were sharing their tales about aches and operations with the fragrance of flavored rum floating in the air. One of them talked about past loves and misplaced opportunities. 

A rather striking looking woman walking on the narrow street approached  pointing to the chair across from me. I started to stand up for the sake of politeness but she motioned with her hand to indicate it was okay and sat down. I recognized her from the previous night’s social gathering talking with the hotel guests. She introduced herself as a professional mingler hired by the hotel.

How did you become a professional mingler?” I asked.

“Bored of my previous incarnation. I prefer to witness the sunrise each morning with sense of intrigue and lust.”

“And watch the steamy waters awaken?” I asked.

“May I ask you something?“ Her large dark brown eyes were piercing and seductive.

“Of course.”

“Are you sitting on the wrong chessboard?”

“Sitting on the wrong chessboard? What do you mean?”

“What if I told you…that you are here for a reason?”

I thought of my client’s payment. “What do you know that I should know?”

“Do you know the translation of this seaside resort?”

“Orphic?” I asked.

An enigmatic smile spread across her mouth. “Didn’t you receive the note that was slipped under your door this morning?”