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Triplets at the Bowling Alley Bar

To whom shall we listen?

Casper swirls the lime in his gin and tonic. More. I’m running low and my neck hurts.

Sestina eats popcorn from the bowl, the only things she’ll look gaze at. It is not a sibling of hers. Shouldn’t have left Roger with the kids.

Maudette eats and drinks nothing. No calories for her today. I was her favorite. I don’t want her.

“Well, nice to see you all out of black,” says Casper. Not as nice as not seeing them at all. The tonic tingles his nose as he lets the drink flow. I hurt. I need more. He raises his finger and orders a straight gin and lime from the server.

“Yeah, been a while. Too long. We should have met. Maybe not here. Somewhere,” says Sestina. Fuck them all. She doesn’t have time. They could have come to her, maybe. The kids wouldn’t be alone. Fuck them. The popcorn bowl is empty. Sestina rubs the grains of salt between her greasy fingers.

“If you come to visit me, we can camp on the beach. It’s so perfect,” says Maudette. Mi casa es su casa. I’ll have my own place. I’ll get it. Lose some, land a gig. She eats some ice.

“So.” Casper breathes deep, twitching. “So. Things are going well for me. A mile a minute. I wonder if the coffee is good here. Still got pains. Pains. Not slowing me down. No, no. Doing fine at the firm.” He pulls his cap lower to cover the distract from the twitch under his eye. Fucking car wreck. No one came to visit after. Fuckem.

“Good to hear that the wreck didn’t ruin you for life. Awfully lucky. So,” says Sestina. He should have died. I only have so much pity. I am low on fucks. Sestina checks her phone. Alicia promised to call, a call Sestina expects any moment. Men. Fucking men.

“So. What about Mom?” asks Maudette. God, let’s get this done. I’m tired. I could miss my chance. She crunches more ice. Her gums sting from whitening. The price of beauty. She said I’d make it someday.

“God. I’ll chip in. Lord knows I can do that, chip in. I don’t have time so she couldn’t live with me,” says Casper. She never liked me. Couldn’t wear bows, share dresses, paint nails. He finishes his drink and waits for the ice to melt so he can squeeze the lime in and shoot.

“I have a full house. Roger and the kids. They need me already all day. Can’t leave them alone. Cannot, will not,” says Sestina. She looks over the menu. Nice to eat something new. She adjusts her too-tight blouse.

“I’m the lesbian black sheep, and we know how that went,” says Maudette. First to leave the house. Trendsetter. She swirls the cool drops forming on her glass. I miss her. Maybe she’s right.

“Shit. Let’s look around here then. Maybe full time, in-house. Might be more comfortable for her,” says Casper. He squirms in his chair, a wood chair that’s hard and his legs are constantly getting pins and needles. I can pay for it. Shit, I’ll have to pay for most of it. These dumbass girls.

“Do you think she wants to stay in that house now? Does she even know he’s gone?” asks Sestina. Roger knows how long I’ll be gone. I should get up and fly home now. After I eat, maybe. Alice if Alice would eat more, maybe she’d be fine. She orders a cheeseburger with cheese fries and a shake.

“Shit, Sestina,” Maudette says. “The house still needs to be cleaned properly. Maybe we can’t sell the house. Who’d buy? Do we have to disclose if it’s not a murder?” I’d live in a murder house. A house is a house. Not that house, though. Can’t be in the middle of nowhere. Won’t get a job here. 

“I sort of miss him,” says Casper. He sees the others nod in the corners of his twitching eye. He liked me well enough. Not as much as she didn’t. Orders another drink, gin straight. This pain. More. I should get more.

“Yeah. You knew what he wanted, and you could give it to him. Make him happy,” says Sestina. She orders a whiskey. He deserved it. Men. Fucking men. Coward. Afraid of her. Comes to me.

“He only did what we’ve all thought about doing. Don’t if that makes us the cowards or him,” says Maudette. She lowers her head, eyes closing in and out.

“We should pool our resources, find a home. Somewhere that specializes in Alzheimer’s,” says Casper. He holds a mouthful of gin, then swooshes it like mouthwash. I have no money left. Only if I had a little more.

“I say we find her a live in. Someone to be with her at all times. Someone we can trust, to let no harm come,” says Sestina. Her mouth is full of over seasoned fries that make her tongue sting. Roger could be in her room. Doing her harm.

“Let’s just leave the bitch,” says Maudette. Her head is on the table. Light like a balloon, still too heavy to lift. I’m hangry, sure. I look pretty like she said, so where’s the job?

“Fuck. We can’t do that,” says Casper. He jiggles the pill bottle in his pocket. One pill calls to him. More.

“Well. Maybe. Can’t we?” asks Sestina. She shivers and keeps her legs tight. Abuse. She did nothing, so why should I?

“Let’s do it,” says Maudette. Her eyes are drifting close. I’m tired. I’m hungry. No fucks. No fucks. No fucks.




Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Flash Fiction, LGBTQ+