Our flash fiction challenge today from terribleminds.com is actually quite ingenious. I’ve never thought about asking a random word generator for my story ideas, but I think the concept is quite effective! So, Chuck received 5 randomly generated words for us to use in the story: “Figure”, “Dusk”, “Flirt”, “Mobile Phone”, “Wig”. It came to me almost instantly. We have 1000 words, and I managed to trim it down to 999! Yay me! Enjoy.
Wolfe in Sheep’s Tailored Suit
“Do you think she wears a wig?” she asked, fidgeting in an oversized chair in her living room, cell phone at her ear.
He offered a deep, sensual laugh. “It wouldn’t surprise me.”
“Oh, I’m sure you don’t notice; she’s out of your league. You’re way too… smart for her.” She giggled but soon stopped, worried that he would notice how obviously she was trying to flirt with him.
“Right… Listen, Samantha—”
“Call me Sam.”
“Sam… you seem like a great person and all, but… it seems like whenever I try to talk to you, all you do is gossip about other people.”
Sam’s stomach dropped. “I—I… I’m sorry you got that impression.”
She glanced out the window. Dusk had descended upon her quiet street, making silhouettes out of houses, vehicles parked on the road, and the odd maple or oak.
How could she rectify this situation?
“It’s not really an impression,” Mark Wolfe replied. “I’ve spoken to you at least a dozen times at the office and I’m always walking in on a conversation about another co-worker.”
Sam was speechless.
“Is it self-esteem?”
“Excuse me?” she demanded, standing up now to pace, appalled that this man she’d had a crush on for two years had actually turned out to be such a jerk.
“That’s usually why people talk about each other. They’re jealous, or have a low self-esteem and feel they must put others down to make themselves feel better. If it’s a low self-esteem you have, I can fix that.”
A sarcastic laugh escaped Sam’s throat before she could stop it. “Oh really, and how would you do that?”
“Look out your window.”
Sam turned away from her kitchen and peered back out the front window. While every object appeared the same colourless gray against a violet sky, one shadow stood out. The figure of a man stood on the sidewalk before her house.
Her heart sputtered in her chest before picking up speed.
“Is… is that you?” she whispered.
“Uh huh. You going to let me in?”
“I d—how did you find my house?”
“Well, you’re the only Sam Weider in the phonebook.”
She glanced behind her, saw the bottle of wine that she’d planned to crack open by herself sitting on the kitchen counter. Maybe things would progress further than she had planned. He had, after all, come all the way here to see her.
“Okay,” she said and entered the front hall. After flicking on the porch light, she opened the front door.
Mark, now standing in the glow, pulled his cell from his ear and snapped it shut. He was wearing a long overcoat, still in his work clothes. It was a good thing she had been too nervous about making the call to change out of her own.
He was as gorgeous as ever, and smiled brightly as he stepped onto the porch. “Gonna let me in?”
“Oh.” Sam opened the door wider. “Of course.” When Mark stepped into the front hallway, she shut the door and locked it. “This is my humble abode.”
As he gazed around, he nodded, as though sizing it up and finding it satisfactory. “Nice place. You live alone, right?”
“Is that wine?” Mark asked, indicating towards the kitchen.
“Nothing better. Want to help me open it?”
He nodded and meandered into the kitchen, removing his overcoat and suit jacket and tossing them onto the back of the couch. He loosened his tie and approached the kitchen.
“The opener is—”
Mark yanked open the drawer beside the fridge and pulled out the corkscrew. He held it up before her with a sideways smirk.
When they had sat down in the oversized chairs by the window, facing one another, Sam set her glass down on the side table.
“Curious?” Mark asked. He sneered.
Sam’s heart quickened pace. “Could say that.”
“Mind closing the blinds? I’m feeling a little… like a goldfish in a bowl, know what I mean?”
Sam nodded and stood up to close the blinds, simultaneously glancing about the room for blunt objects.
Before she was able to sit, Mark grabbed her by the waist and stood. He yanked her close and leaned over to smell her neck. Startled, Sam tried to push away, but his strength exceeded hers.
“What are you doing?”
“You really don’t think much of yourself, do you? You have to learn to relax. Realize how beautiful you are. Sickeningly beautiful.”
“Sickening—?” She tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but now he was kissing her neck, nibbling her ear. His left hand gripped her right biceps, bruising.
“I hate you so much,” he said.
“When I look at you, I feel like killing you.”
Dread filled every cell of her body and she did the only thing she could think of. “Help!”
Mark smacked a hand over her mouth. “Nothing you can do, Princess.”
He hit her in the jaw, causing white stars and pain to fire through her limbs. While she recovered from the blow, he pushed her into the chair. Seconds later, he had duct tape in his hands, was wrapping it around her head. She tried to claw at him, but his strength and size had been one of the things that she had been attracted to. Tears streamed down her face.
“Stop crying,” he whispered and knocked her aside the head. “You’re going to need all your strength.”
Sam shook her head in panic, tried to beg, but her words were muffled.
“And if you say anything to anyone about what happened here tonight, I’ll let the police know you’ve been embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from our company.”
The next day, Sam successfully covered the bruises and cuts with makeup. When she and Mark crossed paths in the office that morning, her lingering terror deepened.
“I’ll see you tonight, Princess. Save your energy,” Mark whispered and passed her with a sneer.
© Lindsay Mawson 2011
12 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge #6 – Five Random Words”
dark is the word that comes to mind, I am a huge fan of criminal minds and even though I wasn't surprised at the way he turned out to be. To be lonely and desperate is a sad and bad combination. Even worse is to have a crush fro two years, really sad.
I agree. I always wonder what kind of things go on behind closed doors that we don't know about, things that would shock us if we did know. Love writing about criminal minds, too. Thanks for commenting!
Awesome story, I woke up thinking about it. I voted five stars.
Wow, that's flattering! Thank you!
I may have just yelled "No Sam! You dumb girl!" at my laptop. Which is the kind of reaction I love to get from a story.
Well, I don't like to disappoint!! Sometimes I yell at the computer, too. 🙂
ooo if only she'd grabbed that corkscrew and stuck in his eye! lol! Great tension Lindsay!
Nice… there's sort of a dual tension there between seeing how you're going to incorporate the words and the story itself. Loved it.
@Julia – that's a good idea. Too bad I'd need a heck of a lot more words to get into all the gore 🙂
@Benjamin – I enjoy seeing how everyone incorporated the words or ideas, too. If I have additional tension, that's super!
Thank you both!
Woah – got hooked and couldn't stop reading, which I always do love in a story. Very quality. Props on cutting it down by a word, too :p
Thanks! I actually had to cut it down by about 40. I always have more to say than people want to hear 😉