Flash Fiction Friday… on Saturday! Enjoy!
The serrated knife edge touched the stubble on my throat, my pulse quickened under the sharp pointy edges. Putrid breath and rotten decayed teeth beside my ear, whispering how I need to be very careful. My finger frozen on the Braille text, my feet itching in their wool socks, I dared not swallow or breath. I had heard him break into my house, the window smashing and the broken glass tinkling on the hardwood floor in the kitchen. His noisy boot steps clonking their way through the halls, rough hands smashing my beloved wood sculptures and ivory figurines. The phone was too far away, and I thought maybe I was safe in my study, maybe he wouldn’t see me.
“Where is your money,” he said. He wore cheap aftershave, and too much of it. The sharp biting odor covered over the toxic sludge smell of not bathing in three weeks. His empty hand gripped my forehead, his fingers pressing into my skin, into my skull. “We can make this easy.”
I turned my head a little as if moving toward a lover before a kiss, grimacing at the potpourri of abhorrent smells. He eased up on the knife, only enough. I took my finger off of the Braille and set my hands in my lap. “My life has never been easy.”
In a brief flash of time I thought of my home here with its overabundance of junk I’ve collected – artwork, bowls, teacups, engravings, ancient pottery. My bedroom and way sunlight hit the bed just right in the morning, making a warm spot across the sheets and on the floor where I stepped into my slippers. I thought of my other home in the desert. Where the howling coyotes and slithering snakes live, where prickly cactus thrive. The scorching heat of the noon sun and the endless thirsty misery it brings to those unfortunate to out in it. The endless up and down of sand dunes where macho dudes take their screeching bikes.
The knife changed angle. “This is your last… Hey, wait a minute.”
In the one-hundred-ten degree shade heat, the robber pulled his knife away from my throat and with it his stench. His odor grew stronger, more putrid. I smelled the sweat beads dripping down the inside of his shirt like a cursed waterfall eternally falling and refreshing no one, least of all himself. There were no motorcycles today. Only the sound of sand blown across sand in nearly non-existent breeze and the burning sun killing everything but the most resilient.
“My fortune is buried here, in the desert,” I said. Sweat collected between my toes in what was now miserable, itchy socks. I was already wanting a drink of water, and nearly didn’t finish what I wanted to say because of my dry throat. “Good luck finding it.”
I teleported back to my study.
Read more flash fiction from the writers at Forward Motion! Apologies if the link doesn’t work… we are going through a number of changes at FM.