I’ve decided to start doing a weekly writing prompt, called Flash Fiction Friday. F3 is a community where prompts are posted every Friday and you have until the next Wednesday to respond. In’s not a contest, just a way for writers to get some inspiration and write a short based on it.
This week’s prompt is in honor of NaNo. Because November recognizes words, specifically 50,000 of them that we write in a new story, F3 decided that this week’s prompt was going to words. We have to use the words: gunshot, train, mime, balcony, monkey, & rain, in the story or title with a 900 word count maximum. My story comes right in at 898, excluding the title.
Without further ado, I give you:
Nicolai looked out the train window, watching the rain blanket the earth in a wet haze. Lightning flashed in the sky and one…two…three seconds later thunder rumbled in his ears. He lifted his cigarette to his lips and took a drag, a thin trail of smoke curling out of his mouth. Sweet ambrosia, he thought as the nicotine swirled through his lungs, lessening the tension in his shoulders. Oh, he knew it would kill him, slowly but surely. A silent killer waiting in the shadows until he succumbed. But on this day, he didn’t care about the future. There was only here and now.
He lifted his hand to take another drag when a soft rustling sound made him glance toward the seat across from him. He hoped that it was just Eva moving in her sleep, trying to get comfortable on the too-small train seats. She had sprawled out across three of them last night. Nicolai had spent a few amusing hours watching her toss and turn, arms flailing around and making soft grunting noises that made her sound like a monkey. He rolled his eyes. Eva was only amusing in sleep. He didn’t want to deal with her right now.
But alas, first one eye then another opened, blinking slowly in the harsh light before their owner sat up. Her stringy brown hair was smashed flat against her face and her makeup was half smeared on her right side. His lip curled; she looked disgusting.
His eyes returned to the dreary scene out the window, watching the raindrops trickle down the windowpane on some slow decent to death.
“It’s cold,” she said, wrapping her shawl around her shoulders. “Where are we going?”
Nicolai flicked the ash from the cigarette out the window, ignoring her question. She’d know soon enough.
The speakers crackled to life. ‘Kosva, next stop.’
Apparently, sooner than he thought. He snubbed out his cigarette and stood up. “Come,” he said and walked down the aisle to the exit. He could hear her stumbling behind him, bumping into him as the trained started to brake.
“Sorry,” she murmured as she moved to stand a few feet away.
He grimaced and had to stop the immediate urge to wipe his coat where she had touched him. He shouldn’t bother; the rain would wash her away anyway. The train slowed to a stop and the doors hissed open.
He stepped onto the platform and gazed around, a hand covering his face from the rain. They needed covering. “There.” He pointed off to his left to a building barely discernible through the downpour. “The building with the balcony and red overhang.”
They started across the station, thankfully spared a large crowd because of the weather. He smiled slightly as anticipation rushed through him. The rain was the only reason he stopped at Kosva. No one came out in this weather.
They reached the building in no time, taking the stairs two at a time to reach the landing. Nicolai shouldered the door open just as another flash of lighting crossed the sky. She rushed past him and into the warm dry room. Nicolai closed the door and slowly clicked the lock shut. Finally.
Reaching behind him, he pulled out the gun from the small of his back and pointed it at her.
“Are there any towels?” she asked, flitting around the room like a soggy butterfly. “We need to—” She turned to face him, eyes flicking down to the gun and back up to his face, her eyes wide. “Nicolai…what are you doing?”
Nicolai smiled at her, the gun pointed steadily at her heart. He walked forward, forcing her backwards out on the balcony, the rain washing away the last of her makeup. Lightning rent the air. “What does it look like?” Thunder started to rumble as he cocked the gun and fired a warning shot, lightly grazing her cheek. The heat in his belly grew as he saw the blood trickle down her face. He wanted to lick it.
She flinched as she backed into the railing, trembling like a leaf. “Nicolai, please.”
The desperation in her voice was so delicious he had a moment of doubt. Maybe I should keep her. His mind toyed with the idea for a few moments, wondering how she would dance and sing for him. It would be better than this pathetic whimpering she was doing now. But no, he shook his head slowly, not taking his eyes off her. He was done with this toy. It was time for a new one.
“Wh-why?” A flash of lightning brightened the sky.
“Because I can.”
He pulled the trigger as the thunder rumbled and watched her body arch back before falling slowly to the ground. Ecstasy.
Nicolai walked closer to the body, toeing it slightly to make sure she was actually dead. Her head lolled to the side, eyes wide open, mouth parted in an expression of surprise. All she needed was some white face-paint and rosy red cheeks and she could have passed for a mime. She might even have been pretty then, though the rain washed away all traces of her blood. Her most beautiful asset.
“Goodbye, Eva.” His hunger satiated, he turned around and left the room. Whistling slightly, he exited the building and walked down the street enjoying the flashes of lightning and thunder.