This is my second time taking part in the NYC Midnight (NYCM) Flash Fiction writing challenge – and I’m thrilled to be back!
I attempted the Short Story Challenge earlier this year but for whatever reason (mainly I liked the tight deadline of 48 hours for the Flash) I didn’t enjoy the experience as much. So here I am, back to doing what I love.
The challenge – as always – is to write one 1,000 word story, within 48 hours, based on a selection of prompts. I was given group 34:
It felt like a really uneventful round if I’m honest. It may be because I was also taking part in the Yeah Write Super Challenge during the same weekend so I felt as if I had to rush a bit more than usual. I was cool with suspense, I thought a parking garage was a bit obvious for the genre, and the fortune cookie was actually quite cool.
You can read the final result below. I don’t think it’s a particularly original idea but I hope you will like the twist at the end.
As always, feedback is welcomed. Also I apologise now for any typos – it’s always fun writing a story from scratch, with specific prompts, in just 48 hours!
My Own Hands
Synopsis: When Melody meets Charlie, the connection between them is insatiable. What will happen when they come together again in an old parking garage?
It has been three days.
For the past 72 hours, I have been sitting here in this place, cold and damp from the miserable British weather. I occasionally hear a noise outside, the rev of an engine, the opening of a door, but nothing unusual.
I don’t know how much longer I will have to wait. I had hoped he would return soon. I want this to be over. The waiting game; never did meet a player who enjoyed it.
There are six things in this garage and I keep counting them over and over just to pass the time. One. A rusty nail on the floor bleeding brown liquid into the water beneath it. Two. A poster of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita taped to the brick wall. Three. Standing at attention, to the side of the door, there’s a pair of black work boots. Four. The poorly up-cycled dining-room chair I am sitting on, which is behind object number five, an unloved Mini from the seventies that looks as bad as the rusty nail. Finally, object six. An unopened fortune cookie abandoned behind the car’s front wheel. I wonder what he’s holding onto that for.
There’s a slither of light beginning to shine through the bottom of the door. That means it’s the start of day four. All I can do is sit and wait.
* * *
“Did it hurt?”
“Did it hurt? You know, when you fell from the sky…”
“Oh right, because I’m an angel, yeah? Nice one. Haven’t heard that one before.”
“Yes, but now that I’ve got your attention, I just wanted to say you are spectacularly beautiful.”
“Thanks. I’ve heard that one too.”
“I’m sure you have, but I bet no one has ever told you that I will be fucking your brains out in approximately two hours.”
The neat whiskey from Melody’s glass sloshed out of the top, staining her satin dress as she spun around to face the man.
She didn’t know whether to slap his cheek, which was suitably lined with stubble, walk away like a prude, or share the ice cube from her glass with him using her mouth. He raised an eyebrow.
“I’m Charlie by the way.”
She watched, mesmerised as he used his fingernail to scoop up a stray droplet of whiskey from the skin at the top of her breast. He moved his hand to his mouth and licked it off.
Two hours later the pair fucked in the elevator of a nearby hotel, too impatient and too drunk to make it to the room.
* * *
I was nearly asleep.
Something must have woken me up. I can’t hear anything though. My mouth is so dry. Feels like forever since I had any type of sustenance.
I wish I was in my bed right now. Back inside my home, living the life I had before I met him. I want it all back the way it was.
Shit. I can hear something. Footsteps? Yes, on the gravel outside. That must have been what woke me up. Is it him? I wish he would fucking hurry up. I’ve worn a hole through the material of this chair because I’ve been playing with it for so long. Yes, it’s him alright. I can hear the key in the door now. It’s dark outside again but I can easily recognise his frame – muscular, tall. He’s locked the door behind him and is holding the key inside his first – his strong fist.
I take a gulp of air before holding my breath.
* * *
“You know I didn’t mean it. Just sometimes you get me so riled up Melody. Is it any wonder I lash out?”
“You hurt me.”
“Look, I’m sorry sweetheart. I’ll make it up to you, I promise. Don’t I always buy you nice things? What do you want this time?”
“You hurt me badly this time Charlie.”
“Listen, it won’t happen again. I’ll get help, yeah? Some of that anger management shit you mentioned before.”
She moved her hands between her legs. She felt raw and empty.
“I’m not losing you to some arsehole Melody! Some prick who thinks he’s a big man. You hear me? You’re fucking mine.”
She couldn’t remember when the intensity of what they had turned into something so vile. She looked up at his face.
“If you ever leave me Melody, I will kill you.”
* * *
I lied when I said there were six things in this garage. The gun in my hand makes it seven.
Charlie is looking straight at me and I can see a dark patch forming on his jeans. He’s pissed himself. Who knew pointing a gun at him would turn him into such a pussy. I should have done it sooner.
The night he raped me I waited for him to fall asleep so I could steal the spare key to the garage. He kept it hidden in his bedside drawer because he thought burglars would want to steal his heap-of-shit car.
I was doing okay for a while, hiding out in a safe house for women like me, but then I heard he’d found himself another girlfriend. I had to do something. Can’t trust the justice system, right?
He’s never looked as scared as he does right now. It’s nice to finally give him a taste of his own medicine. Shit, he’s crying. He’s fucking crying! It’s amazing what a loaded gun pointed at the face does to someone.
I tell him to bend down and pick the fortune cookie up from the floor. I really don’t want to look at his face when I do this.
“What’s it say, Charlie?”
He continues to stare at the ground and eventually mumbles, reading from the slip of paper, “Something wonderful is about to happen to you”.
I smile as I pull the trigger.