Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friday Flash: A Match Made in Heaven

This week's Wendig Challenge sent us to this marvelous website, which gives you a pair of unlikely partners in crime fighting. Chuck said we could make them do anything, not just fight crime, so I made a few changes, and got...

A Match Made in Heaven

Domestic bliss wasn't what they got, but Anita and Olga did well enough. That is, if you take 'well enough' to mean they hadn't killed each other. Mixed marriages have their own special challenges, and even the happy couple had to admit that theirs was about as mixed as they came. Still, neither one would have given up.

They'd met in a bar, as though it was the start of a joke. "A vagrant matador and a belly-dancing day-care provider walk into a bar... " Only it wasn't a joke. It was love at first sight, and a whole lot more than met the eye.

Anita entered the bar in Pamplona with nothing on her mind but a drink. Bullfighting was dry work, and she'd had a tough evening. The last bull had ripped her best jacket from shoulder to tail, which was how close he'd come to removing her kidneys with a horn. Anita was no hand at sewing, and she didn't have another, so she'd put it back together with safety pins before heading for the bar.

She stepped into the smoky room, let her eyes adjust to the dimness, and found herself a little too close to the most voluptuous woman she'd ever seen.

"Oh, excuse me!" Anita took a step back, her face reddening, but the woman just laughed.

"Don't worry about that."

Her voice was as lovely as her body, so Anita took a closer look. Large, blonde, buxom, and dressed in the costume of an Egyptian belly dancer. A costume with, Anita couldn't help noticing, a few small handprints around the hem.

"I'm Olga," the beauty said. "Let me buy you a drink to apologize for nearly running you down."

Anita was a little confused by this, since she thought she'd been the one doing the running down, but it was true that in a collision she would come off much the worse, being so much smaller. She stammered an acceptance, then belatedly remembered to add, "Anita. I'm a matador."

Olga laughed again. "I guessed."

The drinks were procured and consumed mostly in silence. They were nearly gone, and Anita was studying Olga and trying to figure out how to prolong the encounter, when the blonde caught her at it. She glanced down at her costume and blushed. Anita thought it was on account of being in costume when she wasn't performing.

"Oh, dear," Olga said, looking at her hem. "Those kids! I wish I'd seen that, but really, no one notices what I have on anyway." Seeing Anita still looked confused, she added, "I have a little day-care business."

"Where?" Anita was trying to make conversation.

"Um, around." Olga waved vaguely. "Oh, look! Your poor jacket! Don't you have needle and thread?"

Anita blushed. Really, the women of this space-time were hard to keep up with. "I, ah, I never learned to sew. And the bull got a little close this morning."

"You poor thing!" Olga said. "I say, I've a marvelous idea. Why don't you come on over to my place and I'll mend it for you?"

That was how Anita found herself following Olga through the dark streets of Pamplona, hoping the question of her own home wouldn't come up.

"So Anita," Olga asked while she sewed, "how did you manage to become a matador? I thought they only let men do that."

"Oh, women do it where I come from. I just put my hair up and let them think I'm a man."

"Well, there's a solution I couldn't manage!" Olga threw her head back and laughed. Anita laughed too, but it wasn't easy, because her visceral reaction to that laugh and the truth of the statement distracted her from everything else.

Anita was the first to wake the next morning. The sun was well up the sky. "Oh, no! You'll be late to your day care!"

"I can fix that," Olga muttered, only half awake. Then she sat up, her hand over her mouth (that being the only part of her that was covered, Anita was temporarily distracted from what she had said).

Only temporarily. Anita backed off, and met Olga's eyes. "You time-travel."

Olga, equally surprised, said, "You aren't freaked out by that. And what is your home, where women fight bulls with swords, which they don't allow here anymore."

Anita glanced at the weapon she had carefully laid aside when she tossed the matador's costume to the floor. "Um, elsewhere."

"As in *really* elsewhere." Olga didn't ask it.

"Yeah." Anita sucked in a deep breath. "Another dimension. Not sure how I ended up here."

Olga gradually began to smile. "Well, good. Thanks to that, you may actually believe me when I tell you that I'm a Valkyrie."

"A time-traveling Valkyrie who runs a day care?"

Olga nodded. "I do a little belly dancing on the side when the children get a bit much."

Anita eyed her, surprisingly unnerved for someone who had managed to adjust to inter-dimensional travel. "And just where is this day care?"

"Um, Valhalla?" Olga's own nervousness showed in the way her smile flickered.


"Please, Anita! Don't run away. I'm not scary, really, I'm not, but no one--no one from this dimension, anyway," she corrected herself, "is willing to stay with me. And I hate all those big gods." She shuddered.

"We're in Valhalla now, aren't we?"

"Well, Toto, it isn't Pamplona," Olga allowed herself a small joke, since Anita was making no move to leave.

Anita thought some more, glanced out the window, looked back at Olga. "The weather's nice here, and so's the scenery," she said not at all irrelevantly. "I can't get back to my own dimension, you know."

"I can't think why you'd need to," Olga said.

Their first fight caused a weather system to dump hail a foot deep on Cleveland, but Olga and Anita emerged from it happier than ever. The second time they set off a volcano. They did better when Anita went back to bull fighting. Olga could always make sure she got out of the way in time, and Anita could get even Thor's kids to behave, so they made a good team.


©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2018
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!


  1. I love it! I skimmed through the options on that website, remembering it was where I got the start of my whole Erebor thing from, but, you know, I'd rather stick with the Erebor thing at present.

    1. Yeah, you're on a roll with that one! But I needed a story, so I picked and chose some characters, and then I just had to play with the genders :)


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