Flash Fiction Blast from the Past

A comment earlier this week (from my friend Bluenail, who used to run an awesome CyberPunk PbP back at my gaming site), had my wheels clicking a bit, since she specifically mentioned the character I used to play there.

I honestly hadn’t given the game or the character much thought in a while (this was back in 2007!), but I looked up the original intro chunk I had written for her and you know what? It’s actually kind of good.

Oddly enough, it’s in 1st person present. Again. WTF is up with me and flash in that sort of PoV? (And yes, I have comma issues – I’m very much aware of that. LOL)

So here is Sakura Ookochi’s intro, in all it’s unedited glory (and one of the renders I’d done for her as well):


The waitress is being a total bitch, but I don’t let it bother me, ignoring the puff of smoke she nearly blows in my face as she takes my order. Instead, I let my annoyance recede deep inside, allowing myself to focus on the pounding thump, thump, thump of the base as it thrums throughout the club, swirling in a pungent miasma of sweat, hash, sex, laughter and something that tastes vaguely like opium.

The Midnight Tea-House is in full swing this evening and I find myself sitting at the teakwood bar, sipping a drink that resembles tea, but surely isn’t. I don’t want to look too closely at it, though. It’s wet and that’s good enough for me. For now.

There’s a handsome Chinese couple grinding away on the dance floor in a groping fog of fingers and lips, caught up in an oblivious sexual haze of their own making. I turn away, my eyes flicking towards the door, impatient.

The waitress comes back with a bowl of noodles and fried prawns, her beetle-black eyes painted thick with a rainbow explosion of magenta and green. It’s overdone, but it seems to work for her. I eye the prawns dubiously, but tip her anyway, shrugging as I split the bamboo chopsticks with a careless thumb. She gives me a sneer in return and then disappears behind the bar, with a studied flounce that suggested she’s more than a little pissed.

I can’t say I blame her. If I had to work here I’d be in a shitty mood too. The noodles taste like cardboard crap, but the prawns are heavenly in their own Japanese-slum sort of way. I eat them quickly, still keeping an eye on the back entrance, a small ping of relief sweeping through me as I see the gaijin owner push his way through the curtains. His face scans the crowd, his eyes resting on me a few seconds longer than they should.

Any other night, I’d cut my losses immediately at that point and make for the exit, but in this case I smile at him. Enter my parlor, you shit-eating fly…

He meets my gaze for another heartbeat and then tips his head slowly towards the stairs towards his office. My smile grows wider and I nod, all innocence and awe. I slip off the shiny black lacquered barstool, working my way through the receding wave of bodies. A hand brushes its way intrusively across my ass, lightly slipping under my skirt to give the flesh a soft pinch. I pause as though confused, and then turn and stomp as hard as I can, my thick black heels making a satisfying crunch as they bite into his toes.

“Bitch.” The rest of his words are swept away in the pulse of the crowd as he slumps back into his seat. I bow to him contritely, my fist meeting my open palm. “Gomen nasai,” I murmur, walking away before he can answer.I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, really. I’m working the Lolita-Goth angle tonight, mixed with school-girl chic. It’s not my usual thing, and I stop to hitch up my stockings a little. Damn things are itchy as hell and the skirt is way too fucking short for my taste.

I manage to get to the back of the club without further incident, reaching the shadowy stairway with an inward sneer of my own. The balding blond gaijin stares at me, his skuzzy mustache nearly wet with anticipation and I suppress a shudder of revulsion. The rumors of his baby-diddling were obviously true and I’d been counting on that. Still. Now that I was here, things were wrapping up a little too neatly for my comfort.

He takes my arm and leads me up the stairs, sweat beading on his forehead. Keeping my eyes turned down, I look at him sideways, my heart starting to beat a little faster. He ushers me into his office, closing the door so that the music below is muffled. Coming up behind me, he fists his hands into my hair and yanks hard. “What’s your name, little girl?”

Giving a staged gasp of fear, I whisper my name so that he has to lean down close to my face to hear it. His breath stinks and I nearly gag at it. “Cherry? Well, Cherry, you and I are going to-“

But he never gets a chance to tell me what we’re going to do because I use the moment to twist away from him, my elbow cracking into his jaw. He stumbles towards me and I aim a low side-kick into his knee, hoping to crush it. He crumples in a sweaty mass of moaning pain. Fuck him.

I rifle through his clothing until I come across the data chip I need. Yanking it off the chain around his waist, I kick him in the balls for good measure. “Mr. Wu sends his regards,” I tell him coldly.

And then I am running down the stairs, past his body guards, crying and visibly upset. The body guards don’t even blink. Apparently crying girls are a common sight in this part of the club. Nice. I don’t look back as I slip out the door and into the night, fading away in the shadows…

Guess, there’s a bit of a cliche factor going on there, but I’ve often found that writing up a little blurb like that helped me quite a bit when it came to writing up new game characters – and I still use that technique today when I’ve got a new character in a book that I can’t wrap my head around. Usually it’s not a passage that would appear anywhere in the story, just some little bit of that character’s essence that allows me to figure out who they are. 
It’s helpful and sometimes a lot of fun, even if the writing isn’t always the best.
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