Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge

Another fabulous flash fiction challenge by Chuck Wendig: Five Random Words. Here's the deal. Write a story in 1000 words or less containing the following random words: figure, dusk, flirt, mobile phone, wig.

I Guess You Were Wrong

It was dusk when Karl saw her figure emerge from the alleyway and lurch into the streetlights. She was talking on her mobile, walking in that exaggerated flirty strut she had developed. In spite of the obvious wig of long dark curls, he knew it was her. Josie. That fucking bitch. He knew he’d find her down here on low track. Was she actually hawking her pussy for small change, or a piece of rock? Certainly looked that way. Fucking bitch.

This was it. This was the last time he was coming down here and subjecting himself to this torture. He’d made up his mind. Decided what he would do if she rejected him again. This was going to be her last chance.

Karl swung his SUV around as soon as the traffic had eased enough to allow him to do a U-turn without killing anyone. He slowed down and crawled along side the curb where she stood in a tight zebra print dress and black leather fuck-me boots, under the streetlight. How cliché, he thought.

Karl lowered the window, pulled up close to her and stopped. He waited for her to peer inside and see his face. A look of surprise and then annoyance passed over her features, thick with makeup, her puffy lips a shocking red.

“Get in,” he said.

“Karl, what the hell are you doing here?” She rolled her eyes and scowled. She closed her phone and leaned her bare arms on the window frame, looking tired.

“Get in,” he repeated.

“I’m working Karl. You can’t just keep coming down here and doing this, you know?”

He tried to smile, make his eyes sad, play on her emotions. “I need you to come home.”

“Jesus Christ. What’s wrong with you?” She flipped the fake hair back from her shoulders and her eyes scanned the street. She had glitter on her cheeks.

“Didn’t I make it clear to you last time?” she said, wagging her phone at him like a chastising school teacher. “Didn’t I tell you it was over. I’m done with this shit, Karl. I told you. I don’t need this in my life.”

“Okay, okay,” he raised a hand. “I’ve got cash. What do you want? Let me buy some time.”

“Fuck sakes what is wrong with you? I don't need your money. Have you been drinking, Karl?”

He listened to her moan and complain to herself as she shuffled back and forth on the sidewalk in front of the passenger door. Yet she didn’t walk away.

“We need to talk. It’s about Dolly.” He knew he’d said the right thing as he caught the anxious flash in her eyes. She exhaled as if it was such effort and opened the door, slide onto the seat.

The scent of vanilla and stale tobacco wafted off her. She stared straight ahead, sat uneasily in the seat. Didn’t look at him as she took out her cell phone from her purse and hit a button.

“Yeah, I’m gonna’ take, it’s problem,” she said in a thick voice and then shut the phone.

“You got a place we can go?” he asked feeling a lump in his throat.

“Parking lot up the road.”

“I want you to come home, Josie,” he said trying to keep his voice calm.

“We’ve been down this road too many times.”

Karl pulled into the parking lot, parked in a spot in the shadows and killed the engine.


Josie lay on the cold asphalt, gazing up at the trees against the night sky. A cold breeze swept across her bare thighs. The temperature had taken a sudden drop. She could smell the rain that was just beginning to come down; big splats that struck her arms and face. The kind of rain that would pelt hard and fast in a matter of seconds. She could hear the rumble of thunder overhead. Then the sound of an engine starting.

She managed to turn her head in time to see the sleeping face of her little girl in the back seat. Dolly. She was wearing a plastic princess crown caught in a net of blonde curls, a soother plugged into her mouth. Josie tried to call out, to scream, but no sound emerged from her throat. The SUV pulled out, leaving her lying in the parking lot, blood gushing from her stomach and chest.

She had to do something. She had to get help. Her phone! She could call for help. Where was her cell phone? It was in her purse. Where was her purse? Pain tore through her gut as she reached beside her for her purse. Finally her fingers found the cell phone inside.

She could feel herself fading, her consciousness ebbing away. Her fingers tried to make out the numbers in the dark as she lay with her eyes closed, concentrating on taking slow, steady breaths. The welcoming sound of a her partner came on the line. She felt suddenly warm and peaceful. It was like floating, floating away on a tide where nothing mattered. She felt herself slipping away and she didn’t fight it. She was tired of fighting, of striving, of always pushing. She was tired of the consent struggle, the dull, heaviness of her body in this world.

“Officer down. Officer...down...” Josie closed her eyes as the rain crashed into her.

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  1. Fantastic. Great use of the key words.

  2. Hey! I wasn't expecting that ending! Good job!

  3. I did not see that coming. Well done.