Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #17.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 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.
Entry 1) This one-line contribution by John Howell.
“Just ignore it, Karen. Looks like junk mail to me.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Entry 2) My Own Contribution.
Carmel arrived at the beach house just before dawn. The long flight had taken its toll. But her husband Derek would be joining her in a few hours, and she knew that he would insist they do their traditional walk on the beach followed by a hearty breakfast before resting. She had much to prepare before then. She opened up the house and allowed the fresh sea air into the rooms.
He gave her a perfunctory kiss on the cheek when he arrived, murmured something disparaging about flight attendants, and they headed outside onto the black sand. They walked in silence for a while. Derek spoke but Carmel was distracted, “Sorry, did you say something, darling?”
“What are you thinking about?”
“I was just trying to recall how many years we’ve been coming here now. It’s close to twenty I think?”
“I guess so. I never really think about it.”
Carmel’s iPhone rang and Derek caste her an annoyed frown. “Can’t you ever turn that damned thing off? We’re on vacation for God’s sake!”
“I’ll take this, then no more calls I promise.”
He shrugged, “Yeah, whatever.” He turned away.
Carmel took the call. She then focused her attention back on her husband. She made a show of switching off her cell. “There. All organized.”
He gave a grunt and they walked a little further. Derek stopped, “What the hell?” He hurried down a few feet to the shoreline and picked up the bottle that lay there, “There’s a message in this thing!”
“Probably just some kids getting their boredom reliever for today. Just wait a second while I get this on video, so we can laugh about it later.”
Carmel began filming. Derek took a brief look at the bottle and attempted to pry the cork loose with his fingers, then gave pulling it out with his teeth a try. It made a satisfactory pop, and he eased out the rolled paper inside it.
Carmel prompted him from behind the recorder, “So, what does it say? Read it out loud!”
Derek’s face rapidly drained of color as he read the typed message.
“Go ahead, darling. Read it!”
He looked at his wife and took a step backward as he noted the weapon she now held in her hand. She aimed the Glock at his head, “I said read it out loud!”
The man’s voice shook, “Jesus, Carmel what the hell are you doing?”
She walked across and placed the gun under his quivering chin, “I said, read!”
He put his free hand up in defense. “Okay! Okay! It says …” He cleared his dry throat, “It says … ‘Did you really think your affair with Monica was a secret?’”
The woman shoved the camera in his face … “Well, did you? You damned fool. I’m head of a crime scene investigation team! You honestly think I’d miss anything so utterly obvious?”
Derek made placating noises. “It means nothing! Just sex, that’s all it is. You know I love you.”
“Love? You don’t know the meaning of the word. I mean it should really have meant something special to you. At the very least Monica should be the one true love of your life. You’re pathetic.”
“What the hell are you planning? You’ll never get away with it, Carmel!”
“Oh, my sweet. I’ve already gotten away with it.” She smiled and continued, “Tell me, how are you feeling?”
The man looked surprised by the question, “What?”
Carmel looked at her watch. “In another minute or so you’ll start feeling sick to your stomach. Closely followed by cramps and muscle spasms as your nervous system shuts down. You are such a creature of habit, Derek. I’ve spent twenty years watching you reopen previously uncorked bottles with your teeth. That cork was heavily laced with poison, as is the paper the message is written on. It absorbs rapidly into the bloodstream. My contacts tell me death will be extremely painful. They are so good at what they do.”
“NO! Carmel, please? I’m sorry! … You have to stop this from happening!”
“How sad. It will appear that you went swimming alone in the shark infested waters. A tragic mistake. So very fitting I think.”
“Please? I beg of you, no!”
“The process can’t be reversed.” She looked beyond his shoulder, “Ah, here’s Monica now. Right on time. You walked right into our little honey-trap, Derek. Predictable as always. The boat will arrive to take you out for your final swim shortly.”
The last sound Derek ever heard was their laughter.
Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.
I may be reached here …