2011 Flash Fiction – Story 5

This story was first published on the Apocrypha & Abstractions website on September 22, 2011. It’s a condensed version of a short story I wrote in college about a woman who ends up dead one night after leaving a bar and getting hit by a train. The story is made up of different opinions of the town folk who knew her on how they think she died. Being from the south, it was fun to come up with the voices and names for each character.

THE TOWN GOSSIP

Penelope Winters died last night. The train got her.

At least that’s what Bubba Jenkins said. Bubba tends bar at Beedie’s Tavern on the weekends. Bubba is missing four of his fingers, and about three times as many teeth. He says Penelope stumbled out of the bar after four longnecks and a shot or two of whiskey.

“Must have passed out on the tracks while walking home.”

But that’s not what Laurel Tutwiler said.

Laurel knows Penelope don’t shoot whiskey. She prefers them fruity drinks with pieces of fruit and brightly colored liquor mixed in. And last night Penelope was shooting peach schnapps. He bought her a round or two before escorting her back to his room at the Motel 6 across the street by DoLittle’s Truck Stop. It only took ten minutes, and he don’t know where she went after that.

“Maybe she tripped and fell on the tracks and hit her head.”

But that’s not what Dulsey Clark saw.

Dulsey only has one boob, but that don’t keep her from flirting with the men who frequent Beedie’s. They buy her drinks and give her cigarettes in exchange for copping a feel in the toilet. Dulsey had left the bar late that night with Raynard Dickins. Raynard had won seventy-five bucks on a scratchers and cashed it in for a room at the Motel 6 and a bottle of Mogen David.

“I ain’t one to talk, but that whore left the bar with Bubba and Laurel last night after Bubba locked up. Did you know Laurel only has one nut? Don’t matter. That bitch had it coming to her.”

Penelope Winters died last night. The train got her.

At least that’s what they say.

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