On a Roll

06/03/24

Benny loved a good Singles’ Night, perhaps more than any of the actual singles there. He’d wear a colourful tee, something that complemented his eyes; then he’d artfully tousle his hair until it looked stylish but still in need of a woman’s guiding touch. He was going for competent partner vibes rather than sorry sap. He’d check himself out in a mirror and then he and his wife would remove their wedding rings and head over — a few minutes apart, naturally.

Their February target was their local Bowl and Roll. For the duration of a song, he’d skate lap after lap with some lonely woman looking for a husband. The conversation would move fast before they were forced to change up partners. That was just the way he liked it. Now he had his eyes on a plump blonde whose haircut screamed money.

“Susie Anderson.” In lieu of a handshake, they bumped fists as they roller-skated.

“Like the actress!” He gave her an admiring glance. “Is your mother’s name Pamela?”

She blushed. “Annie, actually.”

“Annie Anderson’s a great name.”

Susie nodded. “Much better than Buttel. She couldn’t wait to get married.”

He grinned at that. Mother’s maiden name in record time. As his wife skated by making doe eyes at some reedy man, Benny could hear her ask a similar question.

He smiled again at Susie. Women always told him he was such a great listener. “And where were you born? Any pets?”

~ fin ~

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Arendse Lund is an international award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Mystery Magazine, The Fabulist, and The Asahi Shimbun, among others. She is currently a Writer-in-Residence at the Seattle Public Library.