It’s time for another flash of fiction. This week’s offering is for Inspiration Monday IX at Be Kind Rewrite. The prompts were:
- The exits of the world
- You don’t think of it as murder
- Postcard from hell
- In a better place
- Life in a box
Can you guess which one(s) I used? 😀
Postcards from Hell
“Steve! Mom’s gonna…” The girl fell silent. “Yeah, I know.”
“Tripped over the stupid game. Why you always leaving stuff out?”
“You break it?” The girl dropped to the floor. Scrambled around for the game pieces. Held a small car with tiny pink and blue pegs stuck in it on a trembling hand. “You coulda broken my kids!”
“Shut up.” She put the game pieces back in their box. Replaced the cover. “Life. Remember when we used to play it with Mom and Dad? And…”
He sighed. “Stacy.”
Deanna nodded, rubbing her eyes furiously, then froze.
Steve tensed. Cocked his head. Motioned to Deanna.
The girl dropped low. Crept to the window. Peeked over the sill. “It’s him.”
Deanna looked back, eyebrows raised.
Steve reached for the crossbow laying on the bed. “Scoot some. You’re in my way.”
Deanna stuck out her tongue. Moved over.
Steve knelt before the window. Looked out.
A figure shuffled past the mailbox. Turned. Shuffled back again. Bald head covered with scratches and splotches. Clothing soiled beyond recognition except for a clean spot high on the chest around the blue and white eagle patch. A small rectangle of paper dangled from ruined fingers.
Steve licked his lips. Gripped the crossbow.
“He’s got it still.” Deanna nudged Steve. “You think it’s for us?”
Steve blew a soft raspberry. “How should I know? You always ask that.”
“I’m sorry, Dee.”
“Whatever. Just…just do it.”
Steve rested the crossbow on the windowsill. Squinted. Took aim.
“Wait.” Deanna put her hand on Steve’s arm. “It’s…it’s Buck. He’s been delivering the mail since…like…before we were born.”
“Can’t we just wait a little longer. He…doesn’t act like the others.”
“We haven’t seen any others in weeks. Maybe they’re all like this now.”
“He keeps coming back here, Steve…trying to deliver that postcard. Maybe…”
“Dee, he’s not Buck anymore. It’s not murder.”
Deanna screwed up her face. “You don’t think of it as murder.”
“I’m sorry, Dee. He’s not…him…any more than Stace…” Steve sighed. Pulled the girl to him.
Deanna buried her face in Steve’s shoulder. “Don’t. Please.”
Steve nodded and held Deanna for a few minutes, his eyes on the figure that used to be Buck standing by the mailbox.
Deanna straightened. “Alright. I’m okay now.” Wiped her face on her sleeve.
Deanna nodded. “He’ll be in a better place. Right?” She shut her eyes.
“A better place.” Steve aimed. Pulled the trigger. Didn’t watch the bolt find its mark but heard it thunk home.
Deanna cracked one eye open. “You get him?”
“Yep.” Steve looked at the rectangle of paper laying on the sidewalk. “Maybe we can go get that postcard…see if it’s for us.”
Just a reminder: There’s a still a few days to join in my April Writing Challenge. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll give it a shot!