Curse of the beer-goggles

This is a story for Sunday Photo Fiction,, which invites stories of about 200 words, inspired by a photo prompt.  After some editing I managed to hit the target exactly, but would have liked a few more words so that I could have made a smoother job of not showing the genders of the two participants.   I’m not sure why I’ve tried to do that – drink helps most of us do things we later wish we hadn’t, whatever our gender or sexual orientation.

This week’s photo is shown below:

cat head

Fighting a hangover, Charlie struggled to remember the night before.  A few drinks, then into town for more.  A gig, more drinks.  After that Charlie had seen the most beautiful face ever.

Then a cab ride, with the face.  Charlie looked up to see a magnificent golden lion beside an ivory door.  The door opened.  They stumbled inside.

Charlie thought there had been sex.  Perhaps it was mind-blowing.  Perhaps the face was unbelievably gorgeous.  Whatever, Charlie had to ensure their miraculous encounter was more than a one-night stand.

A call to Charlie’s usual cab firm confirmed the area where the star-crossed lovers had communed.  Thirty minutes of desperate running later, Charlie paused for breath and scanned the street, catching sight of a house that looked unremarkable except for an overgrown hedge. This stirred a hazy memory.  From closer to, this couldn’t be the house, could it?  Even with its impressive moustache, the mangy cat was no match for a regal lion.  And that door was clearly plastic.

Charlie peered through the letter-box.  The tired carpet, grimy walls and discarded shoes rang no bells, but the underwear dangling from the banister was definitely Charlie’s.

Charlie ran, swearing never to drink again.

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3 Responses to Curse of the beer-goggles

  1. I like the fact that you used a genderless character. I know when I was writing one of the chapters in my book, I was trying to remain genderless and it was very hard. I knew the gender, but I wanted to keep it a secret at that point. I think you did a good job of keeping it neutral.


    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you. I really appreciate your comment. Charlie was the first unisex name that came to mind. A google search revealed lots more, most of which I hadn’t heard before. Sadly there wasn’t room to use them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s one of the easiest as well. Some of the others are automatically associated with a gender – Ashley, George, Tony, Alex. Charlie is straight away a name that has you thinking “male or female?”

        Liked by 1 person

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