Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) John Howell 2) My own Contribution.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt.
- This one-line contribution by John Howell.
“We prefer to describe it to clients as cozy rather than Lilliputian, Smithe.”
John can be reached here:
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
My Own Contribution:
Tina pulled the RV into the secure parking bay, checked her paperwork, and presented it to the guard. He took his time looking at her and matching her I.D, then he handed it back with a smile. “I don’t envy you. Your latest client is on every major hit list in the country.”
“That just makes the work more interesting.” She rolled her brown eyes and laughed.
“I’ll have him escorted through.”
Frank Donelli could be heard complaining before he even entered the area. “What’s with the handcuffs?”
The woman replied, “They’ll be removed when we reach the safe house.”
“And just where is this safe house?”
“You have no need to know the exact location. The Witsec program doesn’t allow for you to have a choice in the matter. We’ll select whichever source gives us maximum cover.”
“No buts. You’ve just turned States Evidence on Vitorrio Trimboli. You’re a very popular target right now, Frank.” She opened the passenger door. “Climb in. There’s no time for arguments.”
Three hours later the RV pulled to a stop. The woman used the two-way radio and spoke clearly, “On approach. Do you have visual?”
“We have you on Drone image. The perimeter is clear, the location is secure. Proceed.”
Frank Bonello had been asleep in the passenger seat for a few hours, He woke up with a start as the woman poked his arm. “Wake up. We’ve arrived.”
The man looked out and then turned back to the FBI agent. “A Treehouse? A Fucking treehouse! You’re shitting me, right?”
“No, Frank, I’m not. Pull up the hoodie and put on these sunglasses.” She handed them across. “Stay behind me. Keep your mouth shut till we’re inside. Nod if you understand!”
The man turned red in the face and seemed about to explode, but he took a closer look at his companion’s eyes and nodded.
They crossed the heavily treed ground and climbed the stairs to access the swaying bridge that led them to the open front door of the treehouse. She entered alone and swept the room, satisfied herself that they were clear, and shoved her guest ahead of her. “Sit there on that bunk.” She swung her duffle bag onto the small kitchen bench and took a long slow look around. She extracted a bottle and a paper-cup from the bag.
“You need to settle those nerves, Frank.” The woman held up the bottle. “My research says this is your favorite.”
“Yeah, a twelve-year-old malt whiskey would be good right now.”
The woman filled his cup.
“What, you’re not joining me in a drink?”
“I never indulge when I’m working. Besides my nerves are just fine. But, you need to chill out. I aim to get you to trial in one piece.”
“You can take care of me right?”
“Oh, yes. I’ll take good care of you, Frank.”
The man nodded his head vigorously and raised his cup. “So, what do I call you?”
“For now you can call me Tina.” She said as she poured him another good measure of whiskey. “This close proximity doesn’t make for too much formality. But don’t cross the line. Understood?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll behave myself.” He finished his drink in one gulp and reached for the bottle.
“Can you hold your liquor, Frank?”
The man laughed, “I’ve got an iron-clad gut, or so I’ve been told.”
Tina smiled at him. “Glad to hear it. I’ll fix us something to eat shortly, bring your drink with you and I’ll show you around.”
It had only taken a minute to cover the inside and Tina led them out onto the small deck. She looked around at the surroundings and gave a sigh of satisfaction. “It’s almost perfect here.”
“Depends on your definition of perfect. For me, I like my mansion and my infinity pool.”
He held out his cup.
“I’ll fix you another drink back inside. It’s a little chilly out here.”
One hour later Frank attempted to rise from his bunk and fell to his knees moaning and clutching at his stomach. “Jesus. What is this? I can’t feel my legs? I can’t stand up!” He threw up as he spoke. “Tina, help me, somethings wrong! My eyesight … my eyesight has gone, Fuck! What’s happening? Help me!”
Tina leaned down and grabbed him by the throat. “Poison is so appropriate for a rat. My name is Christina Trimboli. My Godfather sends you his wishes for a long, slow, and excruciatingly painful death.”
Christina watched the man die in agony.When satisfied that no sign of life remained, she signaled the others, “Message delivered. Let’s move out.” She kicked the corpse and removed a dead rodent from the duffle bag. She fashioned a twine noose around its neck and hung it in the doorway. No one could mistake the motive for Frank’s murder… or the message.
Tina exited the property with her team. Somedays coming to work was pure pleasure. She whistled happily as they left the vicinity.
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Thanks so much for stopping by!
Tomorrow I’ll be featuring entry 3) by Gerry McCullough.