Week 15 Flash Fiction Challenge: “What the Hell?”

Tony D’Amato was a coward.

A pretty boy who liked to talk tough, Tony was scared of his own shadow. He was also scared of ‘Joey The Knife’ Benedetto, who had promised to permanently rearrange his face if he didn’t pay up on the five hundred bucks he owed Joey’s boss.

That’s why Tony was standing outside a liquor store in a rundown part of town at 2 a.m., evaluating his chances of successfully robbing the store’s owner. Tony sure as hell didn’t want to go back to prison for petty shit like this, but he was more afraid of Benedetto’s flashing knife than of a short stint in the crowbar hotel.

Taking a deep drag from his cigarette, Tony studied his surroundings. Last thing he needed was some wino witnessing the robbery. That’s when he noticed the large scarlet-painted bus sitting in a vacant lot on the corner.

As if on cue, a light suddenly appeared from within, and a woman opened the door and hung a sign on the outside. She glanced in Tony’s direction, smiled slightly, and then went back inside the bus.

Tony was confused. The woman had been wearing a nurse’s uniform. What the hell?

Thoughts of robbing the liquor store vanished. Flicking his cigarette into the street, Tony walked over to the bus. Now that he was closer, he could see it was a bloodmobile. He could also read the sign on the outside:

We Pay Good Money for Blood Donations
Remember, You Can Save Others through Your Generosity

Payment for donating blood? Briefly, Tony wondered if there was any money inside the bus. He also wondered if there might be equipment he could steal and sell on the street – and whether the nurse was the only person inside.

What the hell, he thought, and knocked on the door.

The raven-haired beauty he’d seen moments ago answered. She smiled. “Can I help you?”

“You a nurse?”

“I am… are you here to make a donation?”

“I might be. How much you payin’?”

She studied him. “How does $500 sound?”

“You shitting me? For a pint of blood?”

She looked disappointed. “I’m not authorized to go any higher… isn’t that enough?”

“Hell, yeah! I’m just surprised. So, what do I gotta do?”

“Come inside.”

He did, and sat down in the chair she pointed him toward. He looked around at the gleaming equipment. He saw a money pouch sitting near a stack of pamphlets.

“Nice set-up… you the only one here?”


She had her back to him and in that moment Tony decided to spring forward and grab her.

That’s when he noticed once more the stack of pamphlets. One pint of blood can save three vampires. Thanks for your generosity.

The nurse turned then, and Tony had time for one last thought as the overhead light gleamed against a pair of pearly fangs: What the hell?

* * * *

Note: This story is written as part of a Flash Fiction Challenge for Week Fifteen: A desperate man comes up with a unique way to make some extra cash.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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22 Responses to Week 15 Flash Fiction Challenge: “What the Hell?”

  1. Pingback: Bucket List Item #4: Publish a Book | Thain in Vain

  2. Kate Loveton says:

    Hi Diana! Thanks for reading and leaving a few comments. I am grateful for your input on ‘store owner.’ I struggle with grammar and punctuation at times – so I think I’ll take your two cents, and with appreciation. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the story. Kate xxx

  3. I will never look at blood donations the same way again. LOL. Very nice job, Kate. With the flow, descriptions that weren’t overdone, and the turn of events. I would just say store owner. The noun store becomes an adjective in this case.

    successfully robbing the store’s owner.

    Take or toss my two cents.


  4. Juan Zung says:

    Hey, nice job! I got a good laugh. Really liked Tony’s voice and mannerisms too.

  5. Even though Tony was a bit of a scoundrel, I kinda felt for him stumbling onto the blood donation bus for an unexpected surprise!

    Right up until the last few sentences, I really thought that Tony was going to make his $500 dollars and get Joey ‘The Knife’ off his back. I think poor old Tony might have preferred bumping into Joey rather than a vampire….

    Another great piece of fiction!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks, Heather! I blame my mom for these weird stories. She used to get me up in the wee hours of the morning after all the rest of the house had gone to bed… and we would watch all sorts of frightening and weird shows… like ‘Creature Feature’ for example.

      So, Mom – this one was for you! (grin)

  6. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week Fifteen Submissions | Thain in Vain

  7. Harliqueen says:

    Oh, this was awesome! 😀

  8. Lucy says:

    What the hell? Liked your story. $500 is not bad for ALL your blood. Welcome, Lucy

  9. RamisaR says:

    Oh wow, this is brilliant! I’m laughing really hard right now, even as I’m typing. What an interesting take on blood-donations… 😀 (Although, frankly, I’d still donate blood for $500.) 😉

  10. Kate Loveton says:

    Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  11. Great story! Thanks for posting it.

  12. At least he didn’t have to face Benedetto’s stabb-y knife! Love the concept of a blood mobile for vampires–what with all those silly humans donating blood to help other humans! Glad to have you on-board, Kate!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks for the welcome to the weekly Flash Fiction Challenge! Glad you liked my first offering. Yesterday, I happened to see a bloodmobile parked in a strip mall where my favorite Italian restaurant sits… and then my mind went into overdrive. 🙂

  13. Sometimes things really are too good to be true. I love this story and I’m glad to see you joining the challenge.

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