So I mentioned yesterday about the short stories I had dug out from a competition I had participated in a few years ago. Yesterday was one based on a suggested title, today’s one had to feature three suggested objects: a snowflake, a digital camera and an envelope. It’s since become part of a bigger story which I may or may not post here someday. Anyway, this is what I came up with:
He just sat there; eyes closed, embracing the darkness and the silence. He slowly opened his eyes and checked his watch, two thirty am, and still nothing. His joints were aching and his back had stiffened up hours ago. The file of papers on his lap felt like a dead weight, his legs going numb underneath. He sighed, rotated his neck to try and loosen up, looked back down at the file and opened it up.
He had taken the photo three days previously. She was beautiful, a petite redhead with curves in all the right places. She had the kind of smile that instantly made you feel good, the genuine kind that comes from somewhere deep inside. A genuine smile that showed that here was somebody who really cared.
“What could’ve she have ever done to deserve this” He asked himself out loud. “What on earth, could a woman like that ever do to deserve someone like me, coming into her life?”
He sighed again and picked up the digital camera from the passenger seat. The light from the LCD was harsh and intrusive in the dark cabin of his old car; it took a moment for his eyes to adjust. He scrolled through the other photo’s he had taken of her. He was intoxicated by her. The way she walked, the way she sat, even the way that she searched the corner of her lip for stray crumbs with the tip of her tongue when she ate a sandwich. He cursed out loud and threw the camera back on the seat.
Why him? Why this way? Sure he had done this kind of job, thousands of times to thousands of different people, but it was different this time. The rest of them, they had deserved it. They were the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth. Junkies, gangbangers or pimps, people nobody would miss.
This was different though. She wasn’t any of those things. She was just a nurse. She was in the business of helping people, not hurting them. But she had made one little mistake and now it was going to cost her everything.
Then there was the message. His employer was insistent that the first thing he did, when he met her, was give her that message. It was a really nasty one too. One that would make sure she knew why he was there and who had sent him. It wasn’t necessary, it was just there to hurt and it was going to hurt a lot. He was going to do it though. He had to; it was just too much money to pass up, wasn’t it? At that moment he was shook from his reverie by the sound of an approaching car. It was her. It was time.
As she got out of her car, he reached into the glove box and took out the package containing the message. He also took the revolver that was lying underneath it. He got out of the car and hurried across the street, reaching her just as she unlocked the door. He tapped her on the shoulder and said her name out loud for the first time.
“Alison” The word sounded cold and strange on his lips, it seemed to him like she turned round in slow motion. She looked up at him with a vague look of recognition in her eyes.
“This is for you” he said coldly and handed her the package.
Her hands shook as she took it from him. She already knows what it is he thought to himself and he had to stifle his heavy breath from becoming a gasp.
She opened the end of the package and shook the contents out into her other hand. As the small snowflake decoration fell into her palm she let out a gasp of her own, but it was a gasp of terror, not anticipation.
She slowly moved her head up to look at him again, as her eyes met his all she could see were his cold empty pupils staring back. And that’s when she started screaming.
There you go. As ever, let me know what you think through the usual channels. Thanks for reading.
Til next time…