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Friday, October 8, 2021

F³ After Effects

             Two hours later, we were all miserable. Not because of a hangover, but because the bartender had had enough of us and kicked us out, and our metabolisms had taken care of what buzz we had. Storm riders burned through calories like two year-olds burned through candy.

            And after all of that drinking, we still had nothing.

“Bored!” Jack said.

We were all sitting on the low, stone wall of a nearby fountain. Kate stared at the water while Jack occasionally belted out curses like he had Tourette’s Syndrome. For that matter, Kate did, too when she yelled for Jack to “Keep your labia closed!”

I created a tiny spark between two fingers. The centimeter long white arc was as long as I could manage, and even it gave off little white pops.

Nat turned from looking at the fountain to stare at my miniscule lightning with glazed eyes.

“You’re a mean drunk, aren’t you?” Jack said.

Kate slapped Jack upside the head. “Yes.”

I started touching each finger to my thumb, transferring the lightning to each new finger in sequence. Each time it switched, there were initially more pops, but they quickly dissipated.

“Hey! No hitting without prior consent and a firm commitment to honor safewords and wear high heels.”

“Stop switching fingers,” Nat said.

I immediately stopped, holding the arc between thumb and ring finger.

“I promise to honor safewords and make you wear high heels,” Kate said.

“Switch again,” Nat said.

“Har har,” Jack said. “So, are we negotiating?”

I moved the lightning to my pinky. Big pops, followed by a steady stream and tiny pops as I held the arc.

“Think you better talk to Anna Maria, first. I don’t like poaching,” Kate said.

“Switch again,” Nat repeated.

I moved the arc to my index finger.

“We’re not exclusive,” Jack said. “She’s currently hooked up with this couple from Sweden.”

“Isn’t that a little out of her area? Thought she was covering Spain.”

“We swapped. I got tired of beer and brats. Wanted something more Mediterranean.”

“Is it hot?” Nat asked.

“The arc?” I asked.


I thought about it, concentrating on the sensation near my fingers. The Reilly Tingle—Shit! now I’m calling it that—was there, but I didn’t notice any real heat.


“Why is it white?”


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