Leaving Sorrento behind, I brought my moll on a day trip to Capri, and she thought the funicular was the cat’s pyjamas. We reached the piazzetta, got out and took in the view – blue skies, turquoise sea and ice-cream shops painted virgin white.
“Isn’t this something else,” she said, dragging me over to buy two gelati.
We found a bench so I could rest my busted leg. Our ice-creams dripped down our hands. It should have been the bees’ knees, being here at high noon under the blazing sun, but I would have preferred the cool and soothing ambiance of the juice joint back home.
Don’t get me wrong – being in her company was swell. She was a Sheba alright, a stunner in those dropped-waist dresses and beaded headbands she liked to wear going out at night. She’d turned heads in Sorrento, could give a man palpitations with one flick of her long-stemmed cigarette holder. Dainty wrists and dainty ankles, designed to drive any cake-eater crazy.
“Joey, you’re such a wet blanket,” she said, “you seem miles away.”
“Let’s take a walk,” I said.
We didn’t get very far, with her angling to visit the rag stores, and me eyeing up the broads.
But dames weren’t the real issue. A stint in the big house was looming. Some ugly business with bent cars. Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies. I’d have to get on the blower to Tommy again, see what was cooking back home.
She pointed in a window. “Joey, I simply have to have that dress. And look at those feathers!”
“Sweetie, you break my heart.” I gave her some dough all the same.
One last night of glad rags and giggle juice. It could be a long winter in the can.
That evening we caught the ferry to the mainland, and then a hack to Sorrento. We were staying in a high-class joint, all patios and panoramic views. I said I’d hang around outside while the doll freshened up. My leg started to ache again, so I sat and lit a butt.
From around the corner, Tommy appeared.
He was dressed in shorts and a snow white shirt. Took me a second to realise he was carrying a bean-shooter. My pump pounded like it was going to explode.
“Sorry, Joey, it ain’t nothing personal,” he said, aiming at my chest.
Before it all went dark, I saw a vision of my moll in her flapper and feathers. We were getting blotto in a juice joint back home. Her lips were ruby red, her cheeks crimson, and her baby blues sparkled like the sea around Capri.
Geraldine McCarthy lives in Ireland. She writes short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in Incubator, Scarlet Leaf Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Fifty Word Stories, Foxglove, Comhar, Ó Bhéal – Five Words (Volume XII), Books Ireland Magazine, Channel Magazine, FewerThan500 and Splonk.