Flash Fiction: The Alternative?

Source. Pexels. Daria Shelkovich, Photographer

by LJ Frank

Late morning. On a hillside. My place is a comfortable nostalgic mess. Books piled on shelves, the floor, and the kitchen table with enough space for utensils, plate, cup, and glass. A manual typewriter’s located on my ancient hardwood desk. Medieval tapestries and abstract paintings hung from the walls. My basic electronic gadget was an android phone. I manually ground some beans, brewed some coffee, then opened the living room window shutters. A clear, cobalt sky, sunshine blinding vista greeted me looking east over the flat terrain. The sonar on my phone sounded. It was from a colleague in Washington DC.


Did you receive my message?

Yeah. I was about to call you. Sounded urgent. Where are you?

Emotionally or physically?


Emotionally somewhere between…what if and almost.

And physically?

A hotel in Las Vegas. 

Las Vegas?



Not completely sure. Yesterday I was in Des Moines

From DC to Des Moines? Like in Iowa. 


What were you doing there?

CBD. Collaborative Blind Date. Business and personal. Separate pieces in one package.

Oh? Hm. I thought you were…

I was…but we grew uncomfortable with each other’s political and digital needs and wants in and out of the office. And now this in Las Vegas.


I woke up alone this morning in the Waldorf Astoria, formerly the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. In the closet next to my clothes was an empty suit bag, an expensive pair of four-inch-high heels on the floor, and a high end woman’s pinstripe business suit and blouse on hangars…they weren’t mine…

Didn’t know you…

Hah. I don’t. Except…




There was a lipstick message in small letters on the bathroom mirror.

Oh please. you’re joking. Sounds like…

Yeah, I know…

What’d the message say?

What’s the Alternative? Item of value in the desk drawer, should you decide? This afternoon or flee?