An Arresting Sunset

Charming loaded everything she’d need into her arm, stuck a banana into her skirt pocket, grabbed her smoothie with her free hand, and climbed to the roof. Once she’d arranged her things and unstrapped and unfolded her chair she stayed standing and waved outward to Old Johnny.

“Where’s Young Johnny…and New Johnny?” she yelled.

“NJ’s with his momma,” Old Johnny answered back. Young Johnny and Rancy hadn’t worked out well together, but they got along fine apart. “Don’t know what a holding up Johnny though. He a missing a beaut though.”

Charming turned to the west to admire the pink and orange confetti clouds peppering a line of high white thunder clouds not yet turned to rain in the distance. Luminous yellow rays blossomed outward showing where the sun hid behind the clouds for a little bit longer.

“That he is.”


“I said, ‘That he is!'” Old Johnny nodded back over the distance. He returned to his pad.

“Charma!” Charming turned upward to the sound of her name. Nadia was working her way across rooftops to the closest she could reach to Charming’s roof. Charming did the same back to her. They got within a couple redi-mades of each other.

“I’d get closer, but I don’t want to cross Phûn’s,” called Nadia. She pointed off to her left.

“I know. I heard,” said Charming. “Have you seen him yet? Is he adorable?”

“I popped in long enough yesterday to drop off a bit of food and see that he had her black hair and his blue eyes.”

“Uh, oh. That’s not gonna be good around here.” They both laughed.

“We’ve got a few years before that’s a problem. Hey, I wanted to thank you for sending that touri by my place today. You working tomorrow?”

“Sunday. I’m in the Pit all day.” Charming made her best theatrical frown, and Nadia smiled back.

“I want to give you part of the tip she left.”

Charming threw up her hands like a wall. “No-no. I’m fine. You’ve sent folks my way too. It’s what we do.”

“Charma, I know that, but I also know that she tipped well.” Nadia’s voice sunk into a deeper register on the last word like she might describe how her latest boyfriend was hung. “I’m serious. I’m coming by.”

Charming shrugged. “Come by. We’ll talk.”

“Looks like we found Young Johnny.” Nadia chinned back over Charming’s shoulder. Charming noted an odd feeling about the direction since it wasn’t over to Old Johnny’s place it was back to hers. That odd feeling would linger then turn sour soon.

431 words on day 718