Friday, October 22, 2010

FFF3-Deadly Coincidences

 Joining in with the other fine folks at Flash Fiction Friday.  This week was a themed word list with a suggested genre of suspense or horror.  I got the words, but I'm not so sure on genre.  I do know I'm not feeling the current title.  Here's my piece anyway.

Deadly Coincidences
A Bo Fexler Story
by Clair Dickson

The death of my car battery turned out to be an omen of the disruption death was going to cause in my life the next few days.  I had to cancel a meeting with my client and get a battery delivered from an auto parts place to the grocery store parking lot where I was stranded.  Canceling the next meeting with my client only bothered me in that my client was hiring me to find her missing niece, who she cared about greatly.  

As soon as the delivery hit showed up, it started to rain.  And the rain was predicted to continental for the next several days.  Regardless, I still had work to do, and to do it, I needed my car back from the dead.  I lost my umbrella in the hasty move to the new apartment, so I just stood in the rain while I installed the battery.

A couple people stopped and stared.  It’s rare enough to see a woman working on a car, let alone one who is tall, attractive, and standing in the rain.  To my surprise, the only comment was from a matronly woman who told me that I was going to catch my death of pneumonia out there.  I wondered what Louis Pasteur would think of such an enlightened comment.   

When I went inside, I found a shallow puddle of water on my bed.  It took a moment for the implication of that to set in.  My bed is fairly absorbent, so for there to be a puddle, there would have to have been an unfortunately large quantity of water.  A deluge. 

With a sigh, I went down to the land lord's unit and knocked.  And knocked.  The nosy old lady across the hall poked her head out.  “He's gone,” she snapped.

“Clearly.”

She glared at me. 

“I'll try later then.  Maybe he’ll be home tonight.  He likes to watch the Late Shows.” 

Her eyes narrowed and nearly disappeared in the wrinkles around them.  “He's gonna be gone all weekend.  Death in the family.”  She slammed the door on my incredulous response.

I debated between spending money on a hotel room or just sleeping on the couch.  The couch-- or rather my spendthrift ways-- won out.  I did flip the mattress up against the wall and put the bedding in the wash.  I was centering a bucket under the continuing drip when my cell phone rang. 

“This is Bo,” I answered. 

“Bo.  It's Raquel.   I'm gonna-- I mean-- I guess I don't need you any more.”

“Okay.  Why not?”

“They-- the police were just here.  They found McKayla.  Her car went off the road into a swamp.  The think it happened two weeks ago.”  She cried as she spoke, her voice wavering every few syllables.

“I'm so sorry for your loss,” I replied, the words automatic because my feelings were still sorting themselves out.

I was fired because the young woman I'd been hired to find was found already, and found dead.

After I hung up the phone, I sat on the couch a moment.  Then I grabbed my coat and went down two blocks.

The church was old, styled in a Gothic sort of way with narrow arches and tall stained glass windows depicting scenes from Jesus's life.  I hadn't been to church since I was a child and I couldn't articulate what I thought my visit would do or get.

But it seemed like a good idea.

END

4 comments:

Ron Earl Phillips said...

Nice use of the words. Clamped onto Death a bit. Bo was definitely having a bad day. Look forward to more stories and how you might weave Bo into them.

Joyce said...

Great use of the prompts. I enjoy Bo's stories, and this one was no exception. Talk about 'if it wasn't for bad luck...' The last death was definitely one too many for her and it's revealing how she attempted to deal with it at the end. Look forward to more.

MRMacrum said...

Not the classic tale I expected. A pleasant surprise. Nice use of the prompts.

Paul D. Brazill said...

A day in the life. Nicely well done!