This post is a piece of flash fiction for terribleminds.com
1000 words, no planning, just ficiton using the random phrase generator.
She didn’t taste like herself anymore. Well, that’s not entirely true. She normally had that sweet salty sweat vibe on the tongue. As a matter of fact, he had been craving it every step of the fifth of a mile he had walked, no raced, to be with her. But he wasn’t lying when he thought, “This woman doesn’t taste like she’s supposed to taste.” Something was…off.
He laughed, thinking, I’ve never actually had that thought about a person. Oh well, there are worse things to have to think about.
She pushed off of him slightly and their kiss ended. Lips closing. Tongues sheathed. Heart pumping like a five year old thinking about candy.
Twelve O Three was a small apartment in a big building. One of the corner units that got built instead of another walk in closet for the Imperial Suite next door. There were two rooms. No sense calling them anything specific. Since there was a socket on every wall and a sink in the bathroom, you could call them whatever you wanted.
They stood in what had been crafted into a bedroom, which was basically a wonder work of shelving. Shelves climbed the walls, floor to ceiling. The bed was a mattress and box spring laid across shelves on their sides. Each square in the room was stuffed with books and notebooks, paper and coffee mugs with the occasional lamp bookending a leaning tower of magazines.
It was temporary. He had signed the lease for her two months ago basically because the structural facade was all window. Several were open, letting the sounds of the city and a slight summer breeze wrap around them.
From where he stood, the lights were uncomfortably dimmed. Her idea of romantic, he guessed. The bedroom…there was more black than there had ever been. It was like a little Goth baby had been born and she was just starting to decorate the nursery.
Something was up. If he had spider sense, that shit would be tingling right about now.
She took a few steps from him and turned her face away. This wasn’t going down like he imagined, like they had planned.
There was music on: Symphony. If he knew anything about classical, he would have guessed that it was Handel, but he didn’t know anything about classical. It could have been Cole Porter. Was he classical? Was he a ‘he’? What kind of name is Cole?
An iPhone glowed from the dock of a Bose speaker in one of the shelves. It was so expensive and so worth it. In the whole apartment, it was easily the item of the most value.
Unless you counted the cascading pile of cut diamonds on the coffee table as having “value.” Then, it was them. Several dozen teardrops sparkled atop the velvet pouch that had been so easily acquired; if you call thirteen months of planning “easy.”
When they met a little over five years ago, she was in a girl band, a rock band and he was a gem appraiser working for a small firm downtown. She knew when something sounded good and he knew when something looked fine.
Shortly after they started dating, he moved to small independent evaluator; mainly private clients, large houses, lots of travel.
They never really got around to talking about getting married and all that. He brought it up once, but it seemed to scare her, shut her down, so he figured she could bring it up when and if she wanted to. He was already getting the better end of the deal, he thought. The two of them, he often joked, were like a fry cook and a super model. Guess which one was the greasemonkey?
It had been so easy for her to get him to do it. He even planned it. He knew the way in, the way out, when they would be in the safe, the fence. He had all the connections. You didn’t have to be Mission Impossible to pull off a jewel theft. You just had to be smart, patient and meticulously well prepared, and they were.
He was about to say something about how well the whole thing had gone. How the future could be anything that they wanted it to be. That he loved her and wanted to…he noticed a sweaty bottle of champagne, uncorked, half-empty.
Krug Brut Vintage ’88. No glasses.
“I killed a man,” he said, turning to square himself.
“I know. Not everything goes according to plan,” she purred as she brushed past him.
Goose flesh! Shit was going south and she could still make the hair on his body stand up straight just by walking by.
“You did real good,” she affirmed. “In all honesty,” she said raking her fingers through the diamonds, “you were amazing.”
“Thanks, I guess…so what happens now?” he asked as the orchestra began to swell to a crescendo (whatever the hell that is).
She stood and walked up to him. She was quiet for a long moment. Pressing into him, she finally whispered, “Now is a beginning and an end.”
He didn’t see the bathroom door open behind him, so he obviously didn’t see the dark figure that emerged. As she backed away, he hit the floor and everything went black.
As he regained consciousness, he understood why the windows had been open. He understood why she just had to have the corner window closet apartment.
He couldn’t think about that anymore, though. Right now, he had to think about falling.
The sounds of the city and the warm summer breeze no longer wrapped around him, they hammered him like a tornado.
The price of stupidity can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
He was so angry. Rage brewed inside him like a force five hurricane. He couldn’t shake the morbid irony that her face would be the last thing he would ever see. Actually, a stormier truism was that the last thing he would ever see was the quarter on the pavement about three feet from his face.