Friday Flash, Flash, Flash
by Tony Noland
"I can't help but feel like God must have made them just to be pretty, you know?" Mary Jean's breath smelled of Pepsi and peppermint schnapps. It didn't mix too well with the aroma of Jack and Coke that came from Tommy (or Thomas, as he had already begun to think of himself), but that didn't matter.
"Well," he said, "it isn't really just for show." He propped himself up on one elbow, feeling the lumps in the turf under the scratchy wool blanket. The heat of the day was gone and the nighttime dew would have been cold, if not for the drinks. He pointed up into the flashing, blinking darkness over the wheat stubble. "You know what it's for?"
"Sex." Mary Jean's eyes opened wide in an exaggerated expression of shock. For anyone who'd given as many blowjobs as she had, it was more than disingenuous, but Tommy (Thomas) wasn't about to call her on it.
"Oh, you're funnin' me! How could that be? Now, Tommy Jenkins, you stop that, you're just trying to get me to blush!"
Fat chance, he thought.
"Seriously. Fireflies flash their tails to attract mates." he said. "The females flash in one pattern to say, here I am, here I am. The males flash to say, check me out, check me out. Once they've settled the preliminaries, the female changes her flash to one that says, OK, come get me. The male's flash switches to, OK, baby, here I come."
"Now where did you learn that?"
In the senior biology class you slept through. "I dunno, just reading."
She giggled. "Tommy, you're always reading. It ain't natural for a young man to be so caught up in books all the time." Her tone turned serious. "When do you go off to the University?"
For Christ's sake, don't cry again. "A week from Sunday. I get settled in and learn the ropes for a couple of days, then classes start the next Wednesday."
Mary Jean sipped her drink. "Are you gonna forget me?"
"Forget you?" he said. "Now how could I do that? You're my girl, Mary Jean. You always have been." Leave you behind, maybe, but never forget you.
Her eyes misted over, then turned wicked. She sat up on the blanket and smoothly pulled her T-shirt off. Her pink lace bra was a bit undersized, the freckled tops of her breasts spilling out. She pulled down her right cup, exposing the nipple, then covered up again. She did the same with the left, then alternated in triangular flashes of pale skin.
"Hey, Tommy, here I am, here I am, come get me, come get me!"
Tommy (Thomas) arranged his face into a grin. He thought about that other kind of firefly, the kind that flashed signals to lure males in, not to have sex, but to entrap and devour them.
Just one more week, and I am SO out of this town.
"OK, baby, here I come, here I come!"
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