Excerpts, Short Stories

The Next Installment

I wrote a few more pages for my short story. If you missed the first part and wanna read it, you can find it here!

Fight or Flight (cont.)

I picked up the cold hunk of metal and turned it around in my hands. The metal glistened in the sliver of moonlight peering through the curtains. I traced my thumb back and forth along the switch before turning it on. The lightbulb flickered twice and blew out. I sighed. Remembering Simeon reminded me of how I’ve never found anyone that I connected with as well as I had with him. It was as if I’d missed out on the only chance I’d ever have with the man I was meant to be with. Setting the flashlight down on the bed, I headed for the kitchen. The thought of letting Simeon slip through my fingers left me with an overwhelming feeling of regret, one that could only be cured by a smooth shot of Scotch.

I got out a bottle of Glenlivet 15 and poured myself a shot. I watched as the golden liquid settled into the glass. The Glenlivet smelled oaky, somewhat resembling the old antique shop my father would drag me to when I was younger. I closed my eyes and thought of how I would wander around the old clocks and chairs while he picked out something “new” for the house. With my eyes closed, I tilted my head back and took the shot, savoring the smooth, velvety sweetness of the 15 year-old Scotch. I’d grown to love the gingery finish of the Glenlivet over the years.

Setting the glass back on the counter , I slowly stood up. My head was spinning. I could typically handle two or three shots before feeling tipsy, but there was a piercing pain in the side of my head. The room started blurring around me: browns mixed with blues and lights turned into glowing streaks. My legs grew weak beneath me and as my knees gave out, I collapsed onto the tiled floor.

When I opened my eyes, I was standing next to a man outside of The Sandy Beach, the best bar in Sandersville. He was tan, wearing a black tank that accented his broad shoulders and chest perfectly. They made it look as if the straps were almost nonexistent.

“Valerie,” his voice was deep, sensual, “come back to my apartment with me.” He took my hand lightly in his. I was tempted to follow him, to see what he was all about. I felt like I knew him, but something inside me said I shouldn’t trust him. I couldn’t even remember his name, let alone why I was outside the bar in the first place.
“I shouldn’t.” Speaking softly, I looked away from his dark eyes. “I don’t know you well enough. If there’s one thing I was taught, it was to never go home with strangers.”

I tried to pull my hand away, but his grip tightened. His nails started to cut into my palm, drawing blood.
“Please. It would mean a great deal to me if you came with me.” His muscles rippled as he pulled me against him, grabbing my waist with both hands.

“I-I can’t. I won’t.” My whole body started shaking.

“You misunderstood.” The pressure from his hands grew on my waist as he held me even closer. “I’m not giving you a choice.”

He started pulling me towards his black Chevy. I couldn’t hear anything except the sound of his breathing and my silver stilettoes scraping against the sidewalk. Grabbing his arms, I writhed and struggled to free myself from his grasp.

“Hold still, you bitch!” He hissed and tried to hold me tighter. I kept tugging, looking down to see if there was some way I could escape.

The heel of his sneaker caught a bump in the sidewalk and he tumbled backwards, letting go of me to brace himself on impact. I landed on him, my head on his chest, and, for a brief moment, I wanted to stay there. He was warm; his heartbeat was soothing. Laying on him felt right, safe, secure… I had the strange urge to stay there forever.

But I needed to get away. I rolled off his chest and stood up, taking a deep breath while deciding which way to go.

Straight ahead is the park: there’s nowhere for me to hide there. I’d be a sitting duck. If I go left, I’ll hit the highway and be stuck.

The only choice was to head back to The Sandy Beach and run deeper into the city. I didn’t know my way around, but getting lost in the streets was my one shot at escaping.

He’s still lying on the ground…. I glanced toward the city. It’s my best bet. He’ll never find me.

I turned and ran. The bar grew and then blurred beside me as I headed for Downtown Sandersville. I’d never been this deep into the city before. The buildings all looked the same. I had no way of knowing where I’d come from and no way of finding my way back. I did, however, know where I was going: away from him.

“Valerie!” His voice cried in the distance. “You can’t escape me!” I paused and turned around. He was silhouetted on the horizon, but moving in fast.

I have to get away. I took a left, a right, and another left before the heel of my stiletto stuck in a crack and sent me plummeting to the ground. I laid there for a moment, closed my eyes, and wept silently.

I could feel the air cooling down and knew I had to keep going. I wiped the tears from my eyes and pushed myself to my feet, expecting to see him standing next to me, but he wasn’t there. All of the buildings had turned into counters and cabinets.

I’m in my kitchen…. I spun around. The bottle of Glenlivet sat on the counter next to the shotglass. I must have passed out from the drink. But the city seemed so real. It seemed like more than just a dream. It was so vivid, so lifelike… As if it had actually—

Loud footsteps were coming down the hallway. I crept over to my set of silver knives on the counter and grabbed the biggest one.

“Lance? Sweetheart? Is that you?” I braced myself against the counter, holding the knife with both hands.

“Hey, Val.” Lance walked around the corner and paused. His eyes glanced over the bottle of Scotch and the glass on the counter. “I came home to grab some tools. I’ve gotta get back to the job site. Today’s the day we start insulating. What’s with the knife?”

“Oh… I… Uh… It’s nothing.” I put the knife back in the set and leaned against the counter. What the hell’s going on with me?

“I should be home late tomorrow night.” He came over, twirled me around and pulled me against him. I looked up into his deep eyes as he lifted me off the floor, pressing his lips against mine.

“Be safe, Lance.”

“I will, don’t worry.”

He held me tight for a bit longer than a minute, kissed me on the cheek, and left.


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