5¢ candy

Archive for the ‘flash fiction’ Category

I need you to understand something before I kill you.

It didn’t need to come to this. It didn’t. But you ignored my repeated warnings and insisted on intruding where you aren’t wanted. Waiting for me in my bedroom when I go to bed at night. Peeking at me in the shower – yes, I saw you there yesterday, even though you quickly ducked out of sight. But I watch for you now, I watch for you all the time. And I saw.

You’ve made me nervous from our earliest acquaintance, did you know that? Oh I know you claim that you were just going about your business, but I could feel your touch on my skin, a tickling itch that I couldn’t wipe off. For days afterward, I would glimpse you out of the corner of my eye but when I turned you were gone. A fever-dream of panic, or were you just that good at hiding yourself, in the early days, before you got so over-confident?

You could have listened when I told you to go. You could have left at any time – I told you what would happen. But you didn’t. You chose to stay. Now it’s too late; the poison is already working in your system. Soon your internal systems will shut down and I won’t have to worry about you watching me anymore. So knock it off, all the cute little nibbles at the watermelon, the preening of the antennae. It won’t make me feel guilty, at least not guilty enough to save you.

And the bottle says it leaves a residual spray that keeps on killing for four weeks, so don’t even think about sending your friends in. I’ll get them too.

CASES

Posted on: April 1, 2013

Twenty minutes now   they had been sitting there, alone and accusatory. No one had moved them.  In fact, unless one counted the surly bellhop who had deposited them with a crashing thump beside the large potted acacia by the entrance, no one had acknowledged them at all.

It was not, she thought, how the luggage of a valued guest should be treated.

In the old days, he would have taken them directly to her suite, and no reminders would have been needed.  She could have registered at front desk without having to keep one sharp eye peeled for thieves.  And everyone knew that establishments such as the one she found herself in this morning were the sort of place that might attract thieves.

Not that it was distinguished, oh no, not by any means. Here it was the other guests who must be watched. In better times, she would not have been seen dead in such a low-rent hotel, it just wouldn’t have done. But now, well… one must make concessions.

Even the front desk was without any charm or dignity; it was simply a wooden desk in an enclosed room, with only a little window in front through which to speak.  And the staff uniforms were awful. Who on earth had chosen such a hideous, bland shade?  What had happened to the rich blues and reds, the smart cuts and gold braids that had lent such a pleasingly opulent air?

Thirty minutes now, and her cases had yet to be attended to. She now noticed that the soft calf leather side was scuffed as well, and she suppressed a flash of rage at the carelessness of the staff.  Perhaps some intervention was needed.

“Miss, young miss?”  She caught at the sleeve of a passing maid, but the silly thing barely paused.  She was about to raise her voice and demand attention when she spotted a frumpy middle-aged woman approaching.  She wore no uniform; perhaps she was head of housekeeping or some such thing. The management should at the very least encourage their people to take pride in their appearance! It wouldn’t do. She added it to her list of things to address once she was well settled in.

The presumptuous thing sat in the well-worn chair beside her own, and with a pinched and worried expression, tried to take her hand. She snatched it back well out of reach.

“Mama, please”, the woman said softly, “I know you don’t like it here yet, but you will, I promise. The people are all very nice, and you will make lots of friends, and….” She trailed off.

“Please understand, Mama, you just can’t stay alone in that apartment of yours any longer.  I’m sorry.”

And as the person behind the desk called out a vaguely familiar name, the woman rose to finally take her cases from beside the door.