Flash: Full Potential

The busty blond shimmied over from the dance floor to Daniel’s minuscule table. “Hey, can you pretend to be my boyfriend?” She didn’t need to scream, since Daniel sat behind the aimed speakers.

“Problem?” he asked, waving her to sit on the stool opposite his. Daniel had been watching her, but not her exclusively, just enjoying the view between kicking up his boots. The woman was a regular and had a lowcut blouse, but not too lowcut, and a short skirt, but it didn’t raise the hem to mini. It was her friends that pushed the sensual envelope, and tonight they all seem to have hooked fishes.

The woman moved the chair closer to him, then shimmed up on the raised chair. “Not anymore, I hope,” she said, angling her body to him, while touching his arm. “Some guys don’t take no for an answer.”

Blue shirt, opposite side of the dance floor, fired his stalker stare at his prey and her camouflage. Nope, Daniel thought, that is not a guy that understands no. He turned toward her, smiling, leaning closer, he laced a tease in his voice. “How do you know I’m not worse?”

She laughed, partially for show, though nervousness laced it. “Short of you being a serial killer, we should be fine.” She dropped her eyes as she plucked at his cream-color linen sleeve. “Besides, I see you here every Saturday.” The woman angled her eyes up through her fake eyelashes and kohl cat eyeliner. “You are a great dancer by the way.”

“Thanks.” Daniel touched her cheek, turning her face back toward him. Her eyes had been drifting to dance floor and the blue shirt brute plowing his way through the crowd, his buddies chuckling from one side with several of the more risk-seeking regulars hanging out with them for the free drinks. The group that oversized asshole came in with weren’t regulars. Likely in town for the political protests raging back and forth while everyone waited for the jury to make their decision.

He pushed his drink toward her.

Distracted, she glanced down at the pale brown bubbly liquid.

“Ginger ale. Sorry I don’t have anything stronger, but you do look overheated.” he stated, drawing her hand towards it gently. “I’m going to need a name soon.”

“Jennifer.” She smiled, lifting his drink. “Usually, Jenny to friends.”

“Daniel, but never Danny to friends.” His firm lips twisted up one side, waiting for her to finishing swallowing, her shoulders relaxing at the sweet safe drink. “So how would you define a serial killer?”

Jenny still choked a little at the question. “I don’t know, maybe five?” Leaning forward, giggling a little more naturally this time, she asked, “Are you a serial killer?”

“Nah,” Daniel, never Danny answered, “but I got good potential.”

“Don’t we all?” Jenny rolled her eyes in sympathy. “Job or family.”

He took his drink back for quick sip. “Why not both?”

“Who the fuck are you?” the blue shirt psycho finally broke through the crowd. Sitting behind the speakers, and in the area furthest from the bar, bathrooms, and official entrance was a choice Daniel made to avoid too much crowding, but it did mean few witnesses to the man’s rudeness and less bouncer backup.

Putting on his game face, Daniel gave all the appearance of a suitor reluctantly pulling his eyes from the most beautiful woman in the world, a slight confused expression crossing his face. “Excuse me?”

The jilted stalker gave his perceived opponent a once-over. Even taking into account Daniel was sitting down, the goon had at least four inches and what appeared to be forty more pounds of muscles based on the way the linen didn’t stretch on the pansy’s biceps. No scars, perfectly straight nose, perfect teeth. Learning in, the blue-shirt poked Daniel with a finger, repeating each word. “Who.the.fuck.are.you?”


Jennifer’s dark eyebrows crunched at this obviously hated nickname. Her pretend boyfriend wasn’t sweating, or worried, at least as far as she could tell. She hoped he wouldn’t get into trouble. His dark brown eyes returned to hers and his lips curved in a reassuring smile, which in no way, shape or form, reached his cold eyes. Their strange sparkle of delight twisted her stomach.

“Jenny here tells me you’ve been bothering her.”

“Nah, she came on to me.” The asshole snorted a laugh. “Guess she was tired of pansies. Time to go sweetheart.” The six-two man reached with his orangutan arms to grab her, flashing very specific tattoos of his full sleeves at the seated couple.

Daniel moved faster, grabbing a wrist, and with a quick twist, the brute kneeled while Daniel smoothly rose above him. “Leave now.” Nothing had been snapped. The hold was a non-lethal measure. “Unless you want to take this outside.”

“Outside,” the other growled.

“No,” Jenny said, scared for her chosen rescuer.

“It’s okay honey,” Daniel’s smile morphed to match his eyes, freezing her in place, “it’s what I’m here for.” He dropped the wrist of the blue shirt, and motioned the larger man to a fire exit slightly ajar for the DJ and staff to sneak out for smokes.

Shivering, Jenny asked, “How many?”

“Three, soon to be four.” Daniel’s brown eyes gleamed black. “Come back next Saturday. I’ll love to have someone help me reach my full potential.”


The following week Daniel arrived to find Jenny sitting at his favorite table with two ginger ales. He slipped in the chair opposite her.

“Serial killers have a type.” The busty blond, in a lower cut blouse than her normal style, gave him a very determined look. “If that asshole was your type, I want to help you.”

“Sister?” Daniel stirred his drink with the little straw.

She shook her head, “but two friends, yes. And … well …” Jenny looked away gripping her hands together until her knuckles were white. “… but not really, well, not really really, but every woman has a me too.”

“It is never right, and a wrong is a wrong.” He assured her. “It’s not a competition.”

“Do you do it,” she made eye contact, “to make things right?”

He laughed at that, a deep belly laugh. “Nah, I just wanted a challenge. Complete psychopath here.”

(words 1,043, first published 5/24/2023)