Week Three of the April Challenge has began, and that means a fresh batch of stories from Yours Truly! Today’s prompt comes again from Sakina, and her word is “OVERCOMPENSATE”. Now, I think you’ll agree that this is a right good ‘un, and I had fun working with it!
Here’s what I was able to come up with. I hope you enjoy it.
By Adam Dixon
“Oi, Gaz! Over ‘ere, mate!” The stocky, bald man called from one side of the road to the other, waving his arms eagerly. A tall, muscular man in a tight red vest and shorts turned round and frowned from behind his sunglasses. The first man waved again and the second’s face broke into a grin.
“Bazza! ‘Ow are you, my son?” the second man shouted back. Neither of them showed any intention of crossing the road.
“I’m all good, mate, cheers!” Bazza declared, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his tracksuit. “Just popped out to the bookies. I reckon my luck’s turnin’ today! ‘Ow about you?”
“Yeah, I’m alright, mate!” Gaz replied, shrugging. “Same old same old, innit?”
“Too right, mate!” Bazza nodded sagely. He gestured towards the gleaming silver car parked a few feet from Gaz.
“That ain’t your motor, is it, Gaz?” he asked hopefully, shouting over the noise of the mid-morning traffic. “I ‘eard through the grapevine that you’d got another one.” Gaz’s grin widened and he switched to a causal pose, cocking his head nonchalantly.
“Oh, that? Yeah, mate, I bought ‘er last month! She’s a beauty, ain’t she?” Bazza’s eyes widened and he whistled in appreciation.
“Fuck me, mate, she’s gorgeous! Second-‘and?”
“Nah, brand-spankin’-new, mate!” Gaz was almost bursting with pride. “Fresh outta the factory, almost! Set me back a fair bit, but I thought ‘fuck it, why not?’! You only live once!”
“True, Gaz, true!” Bazza laughed, unconsciously raising himself to his full height. “Convertible too! I bet your bird loves it! What’s ‘er name again? Sally? Sandy?”
“Suzie,” Gaz’s smile fled and with it his cock-sure composure deflated. “Me an’ Suzie ain’t together no more…things didn’t work out.” Their conversation was cut short as a freight lorry thundered past them, blocking their view of one another.
“Oh. Sorry to ‘ear that, mate,” Bazza said, as quietly as his shouting would permit. Gaz cleared his throat and puffed out his chest, shrugging one shoulder and curling his lip before he spoke.
“Ah, it’s alright,” he replied loudly, waving his hand. “She was draggin’ me down anyway! Too much baggage on ‘er, I’m well shot of all that now!”
“Glad to ‘ear it!” Bazza shouted. He fumbled for something else to say as the traffic continued past them.
“Well, you’re lookin’ pretty trim these days, anyway!” He exclaimed. “You’ve gotten well hench since I last saw you! What’s your secret?”
“Oh, well I’ve been ‘ittin’ the gym, ain’t I?” Gaz brightened, flexing his arms and sounding pleased. “Yeah, I’ve got some spare time now that me an’ Sooz are finished, so I figured I’d get pumpin’!”
“Yeah, gotcha, mate!” Bazza replied enthusiastically, rubbing his own arms sheepishly. “Been meanin’ to get goin’ with that myself, but I can’t seem to find the time.”
“You should, mate, it’ll sort you right out!” Gaz insisted. “You should use them protein shakes an’ all! They taste like shit but they really ‘elp you bulk up quick! I’ve been ‘avin’ to beat the birds off with a stick since I’ve been goin’!”
“Yeah, I bet you ‘ave, mate!” Bazza joined in with Gaz’s laughter, despite knowing that it wasn’t true.
“Anyway, I’d better get goin’, mate,” Gaz shouted, raising an arm in farewell. “I’ve gotta see a bloke about a dog an’ then I’m off to the gym. Nice seein’ you again, let’s ‘ave a drink some time!”
“Sounds good!” Bazza called after him, smiling and waving. “Nice to see you too, mate! Take care of yourself!” Bazza lowered his arm and took a final glance at Gaz’s new car. He sighed and shook his head before walking off down the street.
Two young women seated outside a nearby café watched Bazza as he shuffled past them, muttering to himself about the cost of gym memberships. They looked at each other with bemused expressions.
“Well, they obviously wanted everyone on the street to hear them!” the brown haired lady laughed and fiddled with the spoon on her tray. Her blond friend grinned and lifted her steaming decaf latte to her lips.
“I know, right?” she replied, blowing on her drink. “What d’you make of those two, anyway?”
“Oh, they seem harmless enough,” the brown haired lady shrugged, lifting her own coffee. A mischievous smile crept across her face.
“Although they’re definitely overcompensating for something!” Their laughter pealed out into the morning, unheard by Bazza or Gaz as they went about their days. Perhaps that was for the best.