Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Parts 1) and 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #42.
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.
This one-line contribution by John Howell.
“I understand you are confused but you need to take me to your leader anyway.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here is my own contribution.
Melinda was jolted awake by someone pounding on the front door. “What the …!” She stumbled out of bed, grabbed her robe from the floor and hurried out to the hallway. The movement detectors had lit the front porch and Melinda stepped back in surprise as she recognized the man standing outside. She opened the door on the latch, “This had better be good, Tony! What the hell do you want?” She glanced at the ornate clock on the mantle, “You do realize it’s just after 4.00 am on Sunday morning!”
“Melinda, please let me in! I need your help!”
“Keep your voice down! You’ll wake the neighbors. I have nothing here for you Tony. I’ve moved on with my life in the past four years. Go home to your new wife!”
“Please, Melinda! I’m begging you! If you ever did love me, you’ll let me in to talk to you.”
Melinda swallowed the bile that rose in her throat. She looked at the desperation on his face. She touched the clock, and checked the time again, before she opened the door. “I’ll give you exactly five minutes. Why are you here?”
“I need you to tell anyone who asks that I’ve been here with you since around eight o’clock last night.”
“I won’t lie for you, Tony.”
“Jesus! You don’t understand! You have to do this!”
“I don’t have to do anything. The days when I felt like I should because I was your wife are long gone. You’ve obviously been busted doing something illegal. I’m not going to be your alibi!”
“You don’t get it! There’s been an … an accident. They’ll arrest me for sure if I don’t have an alibi.”
“Accident? Did you leave the scene of an accident? Was someone hurt? Were you driving?”
“It wasn’t a car accident. It happened in my apartment.”
“You’ve already said enough. I want no part of whatever this is.”
“She’s dead! She hit her head on the edge of the bookcase! There’s blood everywhere!”
Melinda gasped, “Who’s dead? Did you call 911?”
“My wife! It’s my wife. We had an argument and, well … you know how I am. She aggravated me and wouldn’t shut her stupid mouth when I told her to. So, I hit her. I didn’t hit her all that hard.” He nodded to himself as if to confirm that that made hitting her justifiable.
“She aggravated you? You bastard! I’ve still got the scars to remind me of just how big a bully you are. There’s not one thing that ever justifies a man hitting a woman! Did you call 911?”
“Of course I didn’t call 911. I ran out of there and drove around for a while, then I came here.”
“You didn’t bother to confirm that there was nothing that could be done to help her?” Melinda already knew the answer to that. She stood quietly for a long moment. “You know something, I believe Karma intended you to turn to me for help.”
He looked relieved, “Can we sit down and talk about it now?”
“Oh, I think you may come to regret what you’ve already said.” Melinda walked across to the light switch and illuminated the living room.
Tony looked around and his face began to pale as he took in the empty bottles on the coffee tables and every available surface, there were still platters of half-eaten party fodder scattered throughout the room. “You had a party here last night!”
Melinda looked at his face, “Oh, hell yes! It was quite a big celebration.”
“Is it your birthday?”
“No. It was my engagement party. I think the police would find it very odd if you tried to tell them that you were here, they’ll never believe you!”
“You could tell them that we are still friends and I was here to add my congratulations.”
Melinda shook her head.“Nope, that wouldn’t work.”
“Yes, it would. You just need to be convincing.”
Melinda heard the bedroom door open behind them. She watched on with pleasure as her fiancé Karl entered the room. He pulled her into a hug and looked at her ex-husband with distaste. “I’m Karl Hammond.”
“No, big deal. I’ll just go now. I was never here.”
“No, you won’t be leaving. Let me finish introducing myself. “I’m Senior Homicide Detective, Karl Hammond. I updated the security here a year ago. Your exact time of arrival is clearly noted on the CCTV footage. Your entire conversation with Melinda was recorded and filmed from when Melinda activated the device in the alarm clock. I’ve already dispatched the rapid response team to the apartment location.”
Melinda savored the look of desperation on Tony’s face as she whispered. “Are you aggravated now, Tony?”
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