I wrote this in Copenhagen, Denmark. Now I’m in Keflavik, Iceland as I post. The following scene is the continuation of a flash fiction piece I wrote some time ago and the response to Chris Musgrave’s prompt found here. Tell me what you think! Are the sentences too choppy?
The attack was over in seconds. I couldn’t see what happened or if anything even had. The quiet crawled up my spine, an icy chill that spread across my limbs. The skin on my arm against my cheek was rough. My pajamas rustled as I shifted my legs under neath me. I paused to listen for a sound. Nothing.
Still nothing. I steadied myself before standing, coming out from under the counter.
“Jay?” I didn’t know the first thing about this guy. I stepped into the hall. My hands trembled as I smoothed my hair back and sighed, “Goodness, I’ve been dreaming.” Still shaking but relieved, I slipped into the bedroom and shut the door, locking it behind me.
“Don’t scream.” The words hissed in my ear and my shriek was muffled by a clasping hand. I tried to grip it, pull it away. “Sh…” It was a soothing voice and I froze. “It’s all right, Stacie. Sh…” He cradled me and I felt his lips at my ear. “You have to be very quiet, all right? Everything will be okay as long as you do what I say. Can you do that?”
I wasn’t sure I had a choice. I nodded but he didn’t move. “Good,” he said. “Now you need to pack your things for a trip. Take only what you need, but don’t leave any of the magic behind.”
He let me brush his hand away from my mouth.
“What magic?” I whirled to face him. A quick roll of his eyes and his hand clapped my mouth again when I saw the blood oozing from his left temple. Both our hands were bloody.
“There isn’t any time to waste,” he said, stepping back and turning away. “Leave the lights out, be quick. I’ll be waiting outside in the car.” From the doorway to the hall, he looked back. “The magic, Stacie.”
It was the fear of being alone or the hunch that I needed to be with Jay to be safe that had me grabbing my duffle bag, stuffing it with belongings – a change of clothes, toothbrush, phone, Darium Wilke’s hundred dollar bills…
I stood in the middle of my bedroom and knew I was forgetting something. I flung the bag onto my bed and pushed the curtains from the window to see a black sedan waiting at the curb.
“You could just call the police,” I said and jerked my closet open again. I stood on a box to reach the top shelf. Holding the quilted bag safe in my hands, I jumped back down and slipped it into my duffle. My jeans were hung over my office chair and I put them over my pajamas. Rearranging the hood of my sweatshirt, I made for the front door, my bag hanging on my shoulder.
The faint hum of traffic coming from the main street almost fleeted in the gusty wind as I stepped onto the walk. The dog from the corner house was barking – not unusual – and far away sirens sang. I shoved my hands into the front pocket of my lime green hoodie and held my breath, hurrying to Jay’s car.
I shut the door but didn’t look at him. Something about my life had changed today and I knew things would never be the same again.
“Are you all right?”
I used my legs to settle my bag on the floor and reached for my seatbelt. “No,” I said, snapping the buckle. I sighed, dropping my face into my hands.
“Just drive. Just…”
Jay started the car and we rolled away. We turned right and then left before I dropped my hands and stared out the window. At times I focused on the glass and the reflection of Jay’s hands on the steering wheel. I couldn’t see his face. I still hadn’t looked at him; and for a second, I wasn’t sure it was actually him.