FuirCategories Flash Fiction Contest Winner
reckless // true
Fuir Anderson. Swore he washed his hands clean after the whole ordeal in Macau. He made the Daily that day back in ‘18, was a news story to be followed for weeks. Anderson was compelling meat for reporters and readers: a young, terribly attractive mastermind with a troubled past, who managed to successfully steal $60 million worth of gambling chips from the glossiest Cotai casinos until police made him face the music. Someone who aestheticized crime, made it an art. He was living out a Hong Kong noir film and the media loved it. They chronicled him right up to the arrest, at a penthouse in Tokyo. The cops found Fuir among duffel bags of cash, countless bottles of champagne, and a multitude of small shiny things. The last words he allegedly spoke before his wrists were placed in handcuffs made international headlines. “All I am is a product of my desires. The only offense I could be guilty of is that of honesty.”
the familiar high // the relief of relapse
The Rolex is just lying there on the counter, in plain fucking sight. Fuir looks away, motions at the bartender for another drink. He knows that it’s been exactly twenty-six minutes since the douchebag Fortune 500 CEO unclasped his watch (an older Sky-Dweller model, not his favorite, but a high-end item nonetheless) and placed his black coat (tailored Yamamoto, fairly new by the look of it) on an adjacent barstool, but Fuir takes the shot quickly, trying to distract himself from the thought that the coat looks like it would fit him well. His hand positively itches.
Anyone can be a thief, but Fuir had a physical thirst for heist that made him invincible. Still, his handsome visage had been on the front cover of every newspaper at one point in time; shit, he could still read about his Macau fiasco online if he Googled his name. It was too dangerous, too tempting. If stealing had taught him anything, it was that every opportunity of theft had an optimal execution. Every event, an ideal outcome. Fuir thinks of his lawyer for the casino trial, how she had helped prevent a potential life sentence. How he had promised to stop. But the face of the Rolex sparkles beguilingly under the bar lights, a lovely gold luster paired with what Fuir knows is elegant steel. What is the ideal outcome in this situation? To exist, or to live.
Fuck it. In under ten minutes, Fuir is wearing the Yamamoto and swinging out the restroom window. The Rolex is heavy in his new coat’s left pocket.
artless and spontaneous // unbridled kleptomania
Fuir is stepping a near 90 on I-295 when he almost kills Dawn. He slams on the breaks as soon as he registers a presence, heart pounding erratically in his chest. “Fuck,” he gasps. There is a boy in the middle of the fucking highway in the middle of the fucking night for some fucking reason. The boy stands up, illuminated in the dark by Fuir’s headlights. Fuir scans him quickly, sees no major injuries. The kid is tiny, emaciated, with a strange look in the eyes. Fuir finds himself holding the boy’s gaze, unable to look away. Every vein in Fuir’s body sings with the instinct to flee. Theft, drunk driving, the near homicide of someone who looks like he couldn’t even legally drink yet–Fuir was stacking up sins like gambling chips. For a second, Fuir thinks he sees the same sentiment–the need to leave–reflected in the boy’s eyes. And maybe it’s just a burst of alcohol-kindled bravery, maybe it’s something else, but when Fuir gestures with his head at the seat next to him, the boy climbs in without a word, and neither runaway is surprised.
volitional self-destruction // it’s a new art form
They’re halfway to New York when Fuir asks the boy what his name is. He responds with a surprisingly steady voice for someone who was meandering around on a highway at two in the morning. “Dawn.”
Fuir notices that Dawn smiles faintly. “What?” demands Fuir.
“Hmm?” Dawn looks at him.
“Why did you smile?”
“No reason. I’ve just never met anyone with the name Fewer.”
Dawn’s not exactly common either. Fuir bites the comment back. “Why were you there?”
Hesitation, but only briefly. “I wanted to die.”
Fuir can sense the boy tense, anticipating a response. He switches lanes, slows down for the exit. “Understandable.”
fuir : (verbe) échapper à [ qch ]
Nearly a year. The car has changed (Fuir stole the first BMW he could) and the clothes have changed (Dawn decked out in Gucci now), but not much else. They’re still heading somewhere new every night, conversation their fuel.
“Maybe we should settle one day. I think I may like Los Angeles enough to stay for good.”
Dawn snorts, flipping the mirror down to admire his new watch. “You’re Fewer. You run away from things.”
“No, Dawn. I was always running toward something.”
“Oh yeah? To what?”
“Smooth,” Dawn mutters, shaking his head. Fuir laughs. He swears he reels from vertigo for a second. Not the usual high of taking something that’s not his; no, the emotion stirring in his chest is something else entirely, foreign and giddying. Something possibly even sweeter than stolen opulence. Maybe it’s always been you , he muses. Cautious hope blossoms in him like a flower.
“Why is your name Fewer?”
“It means ‘to run away’ in French.”
“Huh?” Dawn looks at him quizzically.
“I mean, obviously it’s pronounced differently in French, but–”
“No, no, stop. What?”
Fuir sighs. “F-U-I-R. It means to run–”
“What the fuck? I always thought it was Fewer. Like F-E-W–”
“Get out of my car.”
Jennifer Yang was born in Los Angeles and currently resides in northern Virginia. Her photography has been published in Underscore Review.