365 Ficlets – Day #38 ~ “Shooting Nerves”

Amy held her breath, trying to ignore the cold, rough floor against her shoulders and her buttocks. When she had seen the location she knew that the photos were going to be striking, but her heart had sunk a little when the impending discomfort had dawned on her in the next moment. Still she had sat in icy streams, even posed in the snow; these were not the most extreme conditions that she had endured. Her thoughts were interrupted by Darius;

“That’s fantastic, Amy, thanks so much. Why don’t you get up and get warm for five to ten? John’s got a brew for you, and I’ll get the lights set up for the next shot.”

She had never worked with Darius before, but she liked the work he had sent her and the general buzz amongst the other models she knew was that he was respectful and yet a fun guy. She shrugged on the robe that John brought over to her, with a mug of tea, and quickly flashed a look at Jo; she was smiling at her, and that felt good. She was glad to have brought her; her support in this meant the world.

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365 Ficlets – Day #37 ~ “Dead Bang”

Tom steadied himself again and went back to thinking about his breathing. In is down, out is up. In is down, out is up. On the third cycle, as the sight was in place he held his breath and gently began to squeeze the trigger. Bang! Immediately afterwards he heard the clang of the plate target; another good hit. Time to move.

The searching group were only ten metres to his left as he slid away into the longer grass towards the third hide point he had scouted on the walkthrough before. All of the aspirant snipers had to find their own hides and their own routes between them before the test. It was as important a part of their skillset as actually being able to make the shot, if not more important. A good scout sniper can enter a forward position, kill the enemy and then leave, unmolested, ready to do so again the next day, and the next.

They never even saw him, and now he was in position again. He checked the wind, using the pennants on the radio antennae, adjusted his scope, in and out and hold and squeeze.

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365 Ficlets – Day #36 ~ “The Blame Game”

I looked down at her in that bed, connected to machines that beep and breathe and tell the doctors what they call ‘her vitals’; “I put her there” is all that I could think.

If only I had been more careful, if only I had been paying more attention, if…

I felt Louise’s arm around my shoulder and she squeezed me in that way that says “it’s ok, I’m here”. I let my head fall onto her shoulder and closed my eyes, hoping that I would wake from this horrible nightmare when I opened them again.

She led me out into the corridor and sat me down on one of those moulded plastic chairs designed for ease of storage and economy of production as the important driving forces; comfort being almost ignored. A hot, black coffee appeared in my hands, and then she sat beside me and locked her eyes onto my face.

“My daughter would never blame you for this, and I don’t either, so please stop blaming yourself. It was an accident; no blame.”

I wanted to believe her, but my Sara was almost dead, and I was not, and I was driving.

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365 Ficlets – Day #35 ~ “The Bargain”

Robin licked his lips and then ran the tip of his tongue along his teeth, enjoying the sensation of their slight sharpness. He turned to his guest;

“So you would like me to help you with this… problem? I am amused that you would come to me for assistance in this Rodrigo; surely our blood has been in conflict too long for your pride to stand it.”

Rodrigo showed no weakness in his face, but Robin could see the indecision behind his eyes; the desire to simply get up and leave rather than dance with him.

“You know that there is no way my family can deal with this slight; your brother has long been protected by those even more powerful than you.”

Robin nodded and decided that his old rival was probably prepared to offer almost anything to get his daughter back. Besides, Robin had no love for his brother and to see the Queen’s champion brought low would amuse him no end, as well as settle an old, old score.

“You know what I desire, my old enemy. Pay that and I will bring Persephone to you within one week.”

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365 Ficlets – Day #34 ~ “B.A.S.E.”

Leland paused on the edge, enjoying the suspense that he was prompting in the people behind the fence. He knew that there were some people who would never understand why he was about to throw himself off a cliff, but he also believed that a lot of those ‘safe’ behind the fence would want to jump as much as he did, if they could.

He looked down, checking that he had remembered the launch point correctly; that the landing was in the same state as when he had visited in advance. All was as he remembered it. He took three large strides back and looked around; people were starting to pull out cell phones. He needed to get on and jump before the Police showed.

He took a deep breath and launched into a run, and then he was free. For just a second he was flying, his forward momentum carrying him away from the cliff and staving off gravity. He tucked up as he began to fall, turned a triple, and then opened up, arms and legs outstretched, as he pulled his chute. Hanging there he was at peace, surrounded by silence.

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365 Ficlets – Day #33 ~ “Anticipation”

Nicola smiled a private little smile as she re-read the last sentence of the email;

“When I see you, I am going to kiss you; you can stop me if you want to, but if you don’t I will keep kissing you until we have to stop for food, sleep or both.”

He was very sure of himself, she thought. Still she knew that he had every reason to be; every time she read that sentence she could feel her whole body answering him. She found herself not only imagining the kiss, but what would come after if she had her way. She would lean back against the wall and push his head down between her legs. If that was the kind of thing that he liked then she was not going to deny him anything else; he could ask her for anything and she would be glad to give it to him. She already knew that she wanted him. She already knew that in a relatively short period of time that she could love him. Now she needed to be reassured that there was no selfishness in him as a lover and then the spell would be complete. It promised to be a good weekend.

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365 Ficlets – Day #32 ~ “Southbound on the Bakerloo”

Serena looked at him again out of the corner of her eye. He was looking straight ahead, lost in his music, now that he’d said hello. She turned her head and looked at him. She had felt his eyes upon her, day in, day out, until he had noticed her ring and then he had not really looked again. It was rare in her experience for a man to be so respectful of her status.

He was nothing special to look at. Overweight, scruffy looking, long hair and a beard that were clearly personal choices, rather than the best use of his features. She was intrigued by his reasons for standing to her left every morning, and always acknowledging her, rather than treating her like a ghost as most passengers did. She made an announcement and then resolved to watch him for a clue.

As the train came to a stop she realised that there was a door that was almost always just a person’s width to her left; she always stood on the same mark. He did not look back, just boarded the train; he was saying ‘morning’ to be polite, nothing more.

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365 Ficlets – Day #31 ~ “Last Stop”

Walter stared at the simple metal table in front of him. He had wondered when he first came into the room why they would have a table made of metal in there, but then he saw that it was bolted to the floor, and then they shackeld him to it with the handcuffs and it all became clear. Wooden tables are easier to smash than metal ones.

He flipped through the typed statement that had been left in front of him; they had been smart enough to secure his left hand, leaving him his right hand to write with. Stupid pigs – they never even asked if he was right-handed. Still he was not going to sign this fiction, so it really did not matter. They had left him some smokes and a coffee, so he lit one up and settled back to try and enjoy his alone time; it would not be long now. He drew in a large lungful of smoke and gave the customary, defiant eye-fuck to the one-way glass mirror that the detectives were hiding behind.

He heard the commotion start as he was dimping out the cigarette; clearly James was here. Time to die.

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365 Ficlets – Day #30 ~ “No Ordinary Night Shift”

Jacob looked out across the forecourt of the filling station, trying not to be bored. He was searching for anything even remotely out of the ordinary to take his interest for even a moment. He was sick to death of midnight to eight shifts. Keeping the door locked for security purposes meant that he never got to talk to any of the tiny number of customers. They did not tend to like being locked out either.

The person filling up a motorbike on pump five was annoying him. They had not taken their helmet off despite the signs. Through the drizzle and the bad sodium light he couldn’t see whether or not the car parked at three was even planning to take on fuel. The driver was still inside after five minutes – what was that about? He glanced back down at the till sheet that he was getting ready for the shift change, but when he looked up again there was a shotgun pointed at his head through the glass he knew to be less than shot resistant, despite the brave stickers claiming that it was. Of course it was the biker.

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365 Ficlets – Day #29 ~ “Crossroads”

I keep going back to that moment, trying every time to work out exactly what happened. We were driving home, Sara was in the passenger seat next to me, her hand nestling in the back of my neck idly stroking the hair at my nape. We were talking about the wedding; who we would invite, what the food should be. We even had a silly argument about who should DJ the party and then we were laughing about how we would need ten hours to get all of our friends a decent set.

I have driven that road so many times. I have driven it since; there should have been no surprises. We were happy, and then the car was sliding. I still don’t know what happened, but I must have lost the back wheels on some oil or perhaps some black ice – it was a cold night. Time slowed to a crawl. As I threw all of the right-hand lock on to try and get the tail back I saw the fear in her eyes. I locked her eyes with mine and tried to tell her that it would be okay. I couldn’t recover the slide, and in the moment that I knew it we hit the wall.

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