The Friday's flash fiction was prompted by a line from Simon and Garfunkel's song, April, Come She Will.
The line in question, regarding June, is "in restless walks she'll prowl the night".
"-- and I just slammed the door and got out."
"Hey," I said. "I get it. You can only put up with so much, people in your face."
She nodded. I could see right into her head. She'd been playing that story ever since she'd left.
"Same thing happened to me," I said.
I shrugged, tough guy. "Yeah. Old man, thought he was a hard-ass."
She was hanging on every word, eyes wide, still innocent.
"Wasn't so tough after I took his belt away."
"What did you do?" she asked, her voice breathless.
"Left him there in the dirt."
"Wow," she said. Like maybe she was starting to think she didn't have it so hard.
"Look," I said, "you got a place to stay?"
That snapped her right back. Got a real nervous look in those cute, brown eyes.
"I'm --". She stopped, then started again. "I'll be OK, really."
I raised a hand. Damn! She flinched. I flashed a smile.
"Hey. No worries. I wasn't offering. It's cool."
"It's OK," she said. "I knew you weren't."
I smiled again and brushed my hand across hers.
"I know a couple girls, looking for a roommate, that's all."
Her head came up, hopeful. She brushed her hair away from her face. Coffee-colored skin. Pretty, in a just-scrubbed way.
"They do? They need a roommate?"
"Sure," I said. "How you fixed for money?"
Her face fell. She looked away.
"It's OK". I reached out and pulled her face back to mine. Soft skin too.
"Hey," I said. "I know how it is. You've been on the road, what? A week?"
She nodded, her eyes looking around, away from my face. I could see the whole thing. She'd left with some money. It didn't last. Maybe hitched a ride. Maybe got to eat sometimes. Had to pay - the usual rate.
"Don't worry," I said. "My girls'll take care of you. You'll be OK."
She brightened a little. "I'll pay them, honest I will."
I patted her hand. "Of course you will, baby."
I left my hand on hers. She didn't it move away.
"How old are you anyway?"
Bullshit. Fifteen, at most.
"Let's go," I said. "We can check out the girls' place. Hit a party later. I'll introduce you to some people I know. OK?"
I slipped a tab into her hand. She looked down, uncertain.
"Hey. It's OK. For later, get into the party mood."
I flashed a smile again and stood up, pulling her up by her hand.
"Let's go, June."
We left, walked right into the arms of two really big guys. They'd been waiting.
"Hey," she said. "Let me introduce you to some people I know."
I looked at her. Could've been the light. She didn't look fifteen. Didn't look eighteen either.
She turned to them. "He's all yours, boys. Says he knows people."
She looked back at me.
"For your sake, I hope you do."