The ties that bind. Sort of. (Flash Fiction)

Found this prompt over at and just had to do it. The challenge was to use one of the randomly generated sentences in a flash fiction piece, so I used 6! I could have gotten a few more in, I think, but it would have taken another thousand words probably. In any case, this was a blast!

The shooter says goodbye to his love. A glittering gem is not enough. Not when the lives of hundreds of people depend on you, and you steal the wrong damn thing. She folds her hands together and pleads, tears creating more shimmering gems to race down her cheeks.

“Sorry, Bella. I told you, if you can’t do the job, I’ve no real need of you.” He pulls the hammer of the revolver back. It clicks into place the same second he locks away whatever feelings of love—lust more likely—he’d had for the woman.

“Nigel, I’ll do better, I promise! Please just-just remember, you said you loved me, don’t you remember?” There’s hope in her words, but that hope doesn’t reflect in her eyes. Once, he would have sworn she carried the stars in her eyes, but even they have left her. It’s as if life is already running from her, knowing what is coming.

“The memory we used to share is no longer coherent. You messed all that up when you couldn’t even perform the simplest of tasks. It’s over, Bella, go out with some dignity, for my sake.” He presses the barrel of the gun into the center of her chest. She’s shaking, and those vibrations reverberate up along the cold, unfeeling metal. He probably shouldn’t be enjoying this as much as he is. Funny how emotions like love can transform one so completely.

“You love me, Nigel.” Her hands had form a temple for his gun, clasped just under her chin as they are. She must realize something of this nature because she brings them down, slowly of course, and rests them on the extension of his body that was only about two pounds of pressure away from blowing her front out her back.

“Love is abstract, dear. Abstraction is often one floor above you.” At least, he figures she’d get into heaven, somehow. Maybe peter needed a good blow. Speaking of blowing, he’d drawn out this moment as long as possible.

“What-” she starts, but never finishes. The crack of the revolver bounces off the canyon behind him, and maybe it’s that force which pushes Bella away into her own spray of blood and splinters of bone. For a second she’s outlined against the harvest moon, a shadow surrounded by a nimbus of glistening shards.

And then she falls. Like something celestial, an angel being cast out of heaven to revel among the lowly humans. No, not an angel, a goddess. That’s what she had been to him, for what seemed like five minutes. Why couldn’t she just steal the right goddamn poison?

She hits with a splash far below, and he can see her still, for now. The river is fast moving and it begins dragging her along and under. “The river stole the gods,” he mutters, shoving his gun into the shoulder holster beneath his tuxedo jacket. It was a small gun, not his usual mammoth door-buster, but it did the job well enough.

Rock music approaches at high velocity. Nigel turns away from the river, she’s gone now anyway, and steps through the mesquite bushes. Headlights slice through the night just beyond the curve as he gains the shoulder of the road. The car takes the corner with ease, hugging it like a long-lost brother.

The lights wash over Nigel and the car’s driver slams on the brakes. The sound of peeling rubber coincides with a wail from the rock music, and Nigel smiles at the irony. The back of the car fishtails, throwing up rock and flecks of rubber from the road, before coming to a halt several feet from Nigel’s well-tailored slacks.

The kid inside flips off the radio and jams his head out the window spitting out a few choice words.

“Quiet, Jerrod.” He walks around to the passenger side and slips into the sleek sports car. The inside of the car smells like weed, and Nigel frowns. “What have I told you about smoking that shit when you’re working for me?”

Jerrod squirms and jams the car into gear, spinning more rocks off into the night. Nigel wonders if any will sink down to rest with his lost lover.

“Don’t sweat it boss, that shit’s at least a week old.”

Nigel opens the ashtray, releasing a cloud of acrid smoke.

“Damn, that’s weird,” Jerrod says.

Nigel grunts and settles back into the leather seat, eyes closing, trusting the boy not to run them off into a canyon. “Just get us there,” he says with a sigh.

“Why are you in such a hurry to get to a family reunion?” Jerrod inquires, oblivious to the fact that Nigel is trying to hard to pretend this weekend is already over.

Without that poison, there’s no way he’ll make it through the weekend sane. Damn. He wishes he could resurrect Bella and kill that dumbass all over again.

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