I know, I know…. more flash fiction. I’m sorry, but it’s addictive.
New challenge. Issued by Billie Jo – 500 word limit, any genre but the story must contain ‘a secret’.
This is the first story I have written that is actually a spin-off from one of my full-length works in progress. Incredibly that actually made it more difficult to write, well more difficult to stick to the word count anyway. This is the first flash fiction I have written where I have gone over the word count and had to edit it back down which I think has left it sounding a bit choppy – I just hope it makes sense!
So here is my attempt… Enjoy.
The Exasperated Novelist.
He was beaming, he knew it, but he couldn’t wipe the smile from his face. Ever since the phone call that had told him she was awake – finally awake, after four weeks in a coma – he felt lighter than air.
The hospital curtain was reefed back to reveal four lab-coat clad doctors. They bustled in and began to examine Lucy – again. They spoke in hushed tones, anxious tones. He knew why.
She was awake and the doctors couldn’t explain it. The car accident had left her unconscious, her brain haemorrhaging, the level of subsequent damage impossible to determine until she woke up – if she woke up. But now she was awake, her brain functioning normally, already up and about as if the accident had never occurred.
But it didn’t matter how long they examined her, they wouldn’t find the answer. The answer wasn’t one of skin and bone, it was ethereal.
The doctors concluded their analysis, leaving them alone again.
“I wish they would leave me alone, I just want to go home,” Lucy said.
“And you will, soon enough,” he rubbed her arm reassuringly.
“I don’t understand their problem,” she commented for the umpteenth time. “I’m awake; can’t they just be happy for me?”
“They think you’re a miracle.”
Lucy sat up, her face serious.
“You’re lying to me.” She had always been good at sensing his emotions. “You know something.”
His mind regressed, three hours ago – it felt like a lifetime.
When the Devil’s representative had offered him the deal he had jumped at it – like the Demon had said ‘What do you need with your soul anyway?’ So he took the deal, the bandage on his hand – covering the wound made by the primeval dagger – the only evidence the interaction had even occurred. Well that, and the fact that his wife was sitting up, one eyebrow raised inquisitively, waiting for a response.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he said.
He took a deep breath.
“It was a higher power, Luce. I made a deal with a celestial being to save your life.” There, that was kind of the truth. The look she offered him was like none he had seen before – she was clearly worried for his sanity.
“Visiting hours are over, sir. You will have to leave,” a perfunctory voice announced.
“I love you,” he kissed Lucy briefly. “I’ll be back first thing tomorrow.”
It wasn’t until he reached the lift that he realised the mistake he had made. The Demon’s words rang clearly in his mind. ‘If you ever tell anyone – even whisper a hint of what went on here today, I will bring all the wrath of hell down upon you.’
As he appraised the two figures that stood before him, the two largest and most terrifying individuals he had ever laid eyes on, he realised that revealing this secret would be the last thing he would ever do.
He stepped into the lift and began his decent.