#FridayFlash: HI MY NAME IS Candice


by Tony Noland

More than once, Christopher told himself it was not only creepy and low class, but undignified to be so taken with this girl. No, he thought, not girl. Young woman. Aside from being less condescending a term, it was more accurate. She had to be at least late teens, maybe early twenties, what with a pair of... with a full figure like that. The mental correction of his own thoughts was automatic. He berated himself for almost objectifying and depersonalizing her based solely on her female anatomy.

If he were the sort of person who used words like "captivating", "lush" or "hypnotic", he would certainly have used them to describe Candice, one of the checkout clerks at the supermarket near his new house. However, Christopher W. Pennefield never used such words, and never read the kinds of ridiculous, time-wasting novels that contained them. Her black hair, her pale skin, her... full figure. Just as water is wet and fire can burn, it was an objective fact that she was unlike anyone else he had ever seen. She was captivating, lush and hypnotic, but he made himself think of her as merely pretty.

Besides, as attractive as Candice might be, especially when she used blue, green or black contact lenses to make her eye color match her eye shadow, Christopher reminded himself that she was just a checkout clerk. Even if he did find himself doing his shopping when he knew she'd be working, and going through her line even when others might have been faster, he knew it was ridiculous. He had an MBA from Yale and was on his way to being a rising star in his new company; he should be focusing on his own peer group for romantic opportunities. There were surely professional women he could start a relationship with; he just hadn't made the right connections yet. After all, he'd only just moved here for the job very recently, just last September.

He looked around at the supermarket decorations, changed over from Memorial Day sales to the Fourth of July sales. Nine months? Had it really been that long? His house was here, in a decent suburb. It was much bigger and nicer than he needed, but he bought it expecting to be entertaining clients and co-workers, schmoozing with the higher-ups. It hadn't really worked out that way, though. Aside from one time when a couple of guys came over to watch part of a football game, he'd had the place to himself. He hadn't even met most of his neighbors yet. That was partly because of the long hours he'd been working, right from Day One. You didn't climb the ladder by sitting down on the bottom rung. Partly, too, it was that when he was home, he was either working in his den or trying to catch up on much-needed sleep. The yard guys took care of the yard, the pool guys took care of the pool.

As he began to take items out of his cart and place them on the conveyor belt that would bring them within Candice's reach, he tried to remember the last time he'd spoken to someone outside of work. The guy at the car wash place? The barista at the Starbuck's in the food court of his building downtown? That candidate for city council who'd been canvassing before the primary elections?

His mind occupied with the task of memory, his fingers slipped, and he lost his grip on the 2-liter bottle of Coke Zero. It dropped onto the belt and the cap cracked, just at the seam. Soda pop exploded out in a wide circular spray as the bottle fell forward, bouncing off a box of Low Sodium Wheat Thins. He shouted and held up his hands to shield his face from the spray, just as Candice screamed and did the same. She caught the brunt of the assault as the bottle, propelled by the jetting fluid, bounced once, then flipped over and landed in front of her.

Horrified, Christoper grabbed at the slippery bottle, but only succeed in knocking it over into the well of the bagging area in front of Candice. When the bottle thumped down on its bottom, hard, the seal of the cap gave way completely. The cap itself rocketed upward and hit her squarely in the left eye, while the foaming contents of the bottle fountained upwards, soaking her face and chest. Candice screamed again and began clawing at her eye with both hands. Her elbows out to her sides, she threw her head back and squirmed in pain as she desperately tried to remove the contact lens that the cap had knocked to the side of her eyeball.

Her back arched, her hair flung backwards, her Coke Zero-soaked chest thrust outward, Candice was hopping and shaking, her torso waving and weaving as she tried to pluck the contact lens. She began growling and stomping her foot in animal pain and frustration as the lens dug into her eyeball. With each stomp, a shock wave rippled up and down her captivating, lush and hypnotic anatomy, every seismic nuance laid bare in soaking wet high definition. Christopher couldn't move, couldn't speak.

Finally, she hooked the edge of the errant lens with a fingernail and tugged it out from the edge of her eyelid. She doubled over forward with the instantaneous release from the searing pain. Both hands over her left eye, she sobbed involuntarily, just once. Then, with a wild, feral expression on her face that Christopher had never seen on the face of anyone, man or woman, she looked up. Among the crowd that had already gathered, she saw him standing, still struck dumb and motionless by what he had just witnessed. He cleared his throat and tried a nervous, apologetic little smile.

With a snarl, Candice leaned over the counter and grabbed Christopher by the front of his shirt. She pulled him across the counter, pulled his face down close to hers, until he was within breathing distance of her. One eye, medium-brown and already bloodshot, and the other, brilliant green and beautiful, locked onto his own as she spoke through gritted teeth.

"There. Are. Better. Ways. To. Get. My. Attention. You. ASSHOLE!"

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.

UPDATE: Read the sequel, "Candice on the Couch"


  1. I loved the voice in this one. I could really feel like this guy was some work obsessed and socially isolated pod. It worked perfectly and I loved the repetition you used.

    This was a very full and well written story.

  2. *snicker*

    I can't help feeling that, though certainly embarrassing, she probably overreacted a bit. Does he really want someone that is that much of a Drama Queen? Plus, he couldn't stand to think of objectifying her for her anatomy, but no problem looking down on her for her profession. Just... wow.

  3. I loved the last line! It made me laugh. LOL And I don't think he did that to get her attention. But I guess she knew he was interested in her. LOL

  4. Ha! Good stuff. Love his dorkiness, his unintention, the stuff of true romance. Peace...

  5. There's some sparkling detail work in here, Tony. For instance losing his grip on the 2-liter of Coke Zero - so specific that it magnifies the humor of the situation.

  6. Ha ha poor fella and all in the name of infatuation. I bet he doesn't feel the same about her now.

    Helen from helen-scribbles.com

  7. Coke Year Zero - this was a fine tale, effortlessly speeding along with a nice payoff. Good stuff

    Marc Nash

  8. It's almost as if this actually happened to you......
    Fantastic story; the few details of his work life are just enough to give him some background and just humdrum enough to explain his infatuation. Loved it.

  9. Great laugh at the end!

    I agree with Ganymeder — his status consciousness, her temper… not a good match. He may have accidentally done himself some good there.

  10. I love the fact that Candice had quite obviously noticed his infatuation and had probably recognised it as being such well before he did. Still, he seems like a bit of a socially-stunted snob so it's probably for the best he just ruined his chances with her.

  11. Laugh out loud descriptions. Nice repetition and carefully handled time-frames.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the appropriate choice of products and moods to establish lead character authenticity.

  12. Poor fella. Abused like that. Gee he was just tryin' to get him some.

  13. At first I thought she was an alien because of her extreme reaction to the Coke Zero, but the more I thought about it, I was like, yeah that probably would burn your eyes... yeowch! (I've obviously been reading too much sci-fi lately.) I really liked this one, the specific details made it feel authentic and because it had a surprising ending.

  14. @ Michael: I'm glad you liked it!

    @ ganymeder: Well, she had just been subjected to hideous pain, so I'm willing to cut her some slack. Plus, he couldn't stand to think of objectifying her for her anatomy, but no problem looking down on her for her profession. Just... wow. Yeah, he's a piece of work, isn't he?

    @ storytreasury: 8-)

    @ Linda: Believe it or not, there's a way for him to recover from this.

    @ John: Thanks, John!

    @ Helen: I wonder if this will only enhance his feelings, now that she will forever be the one that got away.

    @ Sulci: Thanks, Marc!

    @ flyingscribbler: It's almost as if this actually happened to you... I once saw a 2-liter crack its cap and spray at the checkout. The rest is fiction. Glad you liked it!

    @ FARfetched: Oh, he's certainly a prig, but not an irredeemable one.

    @ Icy: Heh, I have yet to be infatuated with anyone who didn't pick up on my infatuation, usually I was even conscious of it. Women are funny that way.

    @ ibc4: Thanks!

    @ Mike: Oh, don't feel too bad for him. The game isn't over yet.

    @ Joanie: Hmm, never thought of her as being an alien. Interesting take! Thanks for reading, Joanie!

  15. Well done on the details. Loved that it was a Coke Zero, it totally matched the guy. It also fits in with my stereotype of MBA docuhe's, so that was a nice touch, too. I very much liked the alst sentence, too. I could her almost spitting with rage after each word.

    Well done!

  16. Oh, but damn the details of the poor girl digging at her contact lens made me cringe! I hate anything getting near my eyeballs. Ick! Poor guy will never get laid now. Tee hee. Great as usual, Tony, and the twist is just hilarious!

  17. Oh the pain of a wayward contact is liable to make anyone bitchy, plus the stickness of coke all over you. I liked the MC thought process with his deliberate auto-correct vs. his true desires. Either that was his ice breaker or she is never going to talk to him again.

  18. Everyone seems to think he's blown it... I dunno, if he can get over the chronic embarrassment then maybe it'll give him a conversation opener.

    And I may be way off, but I couldn't help but feel she was waiting for him to get her attention.

    I kinda feel sorry for the guy. Too many people do what they think is expected or necessary for a successful life and instead find themselves a somewhat lost...

    A great insight into his mind, you captured his character extremely well. =)

  19. Every boy's romantic fantasy derailed by the mishandled cola products. Poor guy.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  20. Oh, how I winced as that 2-litre hit the belt. Can't wait to see how he gets himself out of this one!

  21. Ha! The detail in this is nothing short of brilliant Tony. I can't help but feel that, either despite the situation or because of it, this is a match made in Heaven.

  22. Funny, unexpected turn for the worst at the end. Despite his promising career, I suspect the check out girl is a far more interesting person.

  23. Hahaha - I do love a good twist at the end of a tale :) Love all the modern bits you've put in - the word 'lush' and the coke zero - makes it seem realistic
    Great piece

  24. @ D. Paul: The funny thing is, I drink Coke Zero all the time.

    @ Maria: Thank! I used to wear contacts - a slipped lens is hideously painful.

    @ laradunning: After this, I think he's in serious trouble if he tries to impress her with "Hi, I'm an MBA."

    @ John: I'm glad you liked it! That's quite a conversation opener he has. It would take a terrifically skillful guy to come out of this with a phone number and a promise of a date.

    @ afullnessinbrevity: Poor guy. No kidding!

    @ Sam: It's going to take a miracle.

    @ Deanna: The detailing here makes the scene - I'm glad it worked for you! this is a match made in Heaven. Well, we'll see!

    @ Pamila: Oh, she's interesting, all right. 8-)

    @ brainhaze: She's lush and he's got a crush; a match made in heaven!

  25. Ha! Just perfect - from the automatic mental corrections to the whole work scenario the guy had that didn't quite work out as expected.

    And then the disaster with the Coke Zero bottle. I also loved the fact that he was clueless and self-focused enough that he wouldn't have expected Candice to have noticed that this dork was in her aisle as often as he could be.

    Clearly she had noticed him, but how he ...um... broke the ice left a lot to be desired.

    Great interior monologue going on throughout.


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