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Flash Fiction Contest #2 - Winner

Blow Some My Way

by Rona Altrows

“Austin! What are you doing here?”

“Asked the doc for an evening pass.”

“Well, I’m glad she sprung you.”

“She didn’t. But miss this Christmas party? No way. Waited for opportune moment,
ripped out IV, took off. Simple.”        

“You can’t run around pulling needles out of your arm.”        

“You exaggerate, dear Patty. I just did it once.”

“Oh Austin, I shouldn’t say it, but you look so handsome in your tux.”

“Thanks muchly, hon. Why shouldn’t you say it?”

“I want you to get proper care. I shouldn’t give you a mixed message.”

“Forget about social work. It’s a party.”

“I’m no social worker.”

“All AIDS org volunteers are half-social worker. But from you, somehow I can take it.”

She debates telling him she has recently quit volunteering because of the emotional toll.
Decides against.
   
“How do you feel? Are you okay?”
   
“I know what’s going on, so I’m okay.”
   
Austin’s red cummerbund is faded; the white ruffled shirt has yellowed. The waxed
handlebar moustache stands in high relief against his emaciated face.  He carries
himself tall.
   
The event is dry so they toast each other at dinner with ginger ale.
   
Later, as they stand on the deck of the building, Austin lights up a Sobranie Black
Russian.
   
“Blow some my way,” Patty says.
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