Explain Quickly

This little scene was inspired by a prompt from Tomi Adeyemi’s site.  This one… is a bit silly.

**

Ruby knew something was wrong the moment she got near her car that morning.  She frowned at the gulls that were perched near the car.  One was even on her car.  “Adam,” she called, her voice shrill.  An instant later, he boyfriend appeared at her elbow.  Waving at the gulls, she said, “Explain this to me.”

“They’re probably after the fish in your trunk,” he said.  He gave her an innocent smile when she looked at him in horror.

Tensing, Ruby strode over to the car, scaring the gulls away for the moment.  She lifted the hood of the trunk, bracing herself for the horror that would come.  Her face turned white as the hoarse voice whispered, “Just let me explain.”

Turning to her boyfriend, she glared.  “You can explain why the trunk of my car is filled with dead fish?” she said, his voice strained.  He gave her a sheepish grin.  Crossing her arms over her chest, Ruby said, “You better explain quickly, Adam.  I’ve about had it with your practical jokes.”

“Well…” he said, fidgeting with his fingers and looking at the fish, “I had this idea of putting them in the trunk of my friend’s car, but I needed someplace to store them until I could snatch his keys.”  He shrugged.  “I had them all in a cooler, but it broke.”

“So you put them into my trunk?” she asked, her voice cracking.  She threw up her hands when he shrugged.  “I’m so done with this, Adam.  Do something with these fish before I begin attracting gulls!”  She snatched his car keys from his hand and said, “Meanwhile, I’m taking your car!”

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The Third Choice

This little scene was inspired by a prompt from Tomi Adeyemi’s site.  It’s just a vignette, unconnected from any other story… someday, maybe, I’ll write the rest of it.

**

Her chances were slim, but she couldn’t let that stop her.  It was escape or death and she wasn’t ready to die.  She raised the chair over her head as the door opened.  As a familiar head peered around the edge of the door, into the room, she nearly screamed.  She did drop the chair.

“Henry,” she breathed.  “What are you doing here?”

He looked at her as if she’d just asked a supremely foolish question.  Perhaps she had.  In any case, he said, “I’m rescuing you, of course.”  Then, he beckoned to her and slipped back into the corridor.  “Come on,” he called back, his voice hardly louder than a whisper.

Releasing a shaky sigh, she fell into step behind him.  When he reached back to hand her a sidearm, she relaxed even more.  Why was it that she only ever saw two choices in every situation?  She should know by now that there was always a third choice.  In this case, her choices had been: escape, death… or wait for help.  Her chances of succeeding had gone up dramatically, now that she wasn’t doing it alone and she wasn’t unarmed.  “Thanks, Henry,” she breathed.

“Any time,” he replied, giving her a lopsided grin.  Then, he beckoned to her and they slipped down a side corridor.  Together, they could face whatever life might throw at them.

Sometimes

This little vignette was inspired by a prompt from Tomi Adeyemi’s site.

**

Ruby groaned in frustration as they headed back to their office.  She always felt this way after they had to explain something magical or supernatural to their superiors.  “Why can’t they just… accept it?” she groused.  “We go through this every time!”

“Try not to let it get to you,” Henry said.

She gave him a sidelong glance and then frowned.  Shaking her head, she asked, “How does it not drive you crazy?  What’s your secret?”

“I don’t know.”  He shrugged.  “Sometimes I pray for patience.  Sometimes I just pray for a gun.”  He smiled at her and then gave her a playful wink.  “Haven’t had that second prayer answered… yet.”

As Ruby chuckled, she nodded.  “So,” she said, “you basically push your frustration to the background by make jokes.”

“Laughter is the best medicine, right?” Henry said, nodding.  He looked thoughtful for a moment and added, “In this case, it’s the best defense.”

“I’ll have to remember that trick next time they start to get under my skin,” Ruby said, smiling at last.  “Thanks, Boss.”

Henry patted her shoulder and nodded.  “No problem,” he said.

Here Comes Trouble

I’m going to be doing the Genre Stretch again this year.  I might be using the same characters for them all… I might not.  January’s challenge was Bizzaro Fiction.  I’m not sure how successful I was, but I enjoyed writing the story and I’m pretty happy with it.

**

“According to the reports we’ve been receiving, livestock started going missing about a month ago,” Ruby said, as they drove into the campground.  “Then, just this week, three campers went missing.”

“Hence, why we’re stopping here, rather than one of the local farms,” Konrad said, his voice soft.  He heaved a sigh and shook his head.  “So, you’re thinking, what?  A dragon?”

“Maybe,” Ruby said, grinning brightly.  She shoved Konrad playfully when he heaved another sigh.  “Come on, Konrad!  Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“Must have left it in my other suit,” he replied.  He shook his head as she pulled the car to a stop.  “Seriously, Agent Montgomery, this is all fun and games for you, but I’ve got four younger siblings that depend on me.  I can’t just get eaten by a dragon.  You know?”

“It shouldn’t surprise you but I’m none to keen about being dragon food either,” Ruby said, chuckling.  She bounced out of the car and grabbed her bag out of the trunk.  She frowned when she noticed that Konrad was staring at his cellular phone.  “You aren’t going to chicken out on me.  Are you?”

“No,” he said, rolling his eyes.  He heaved a sigh and held up the cell phone that she could see it.  “No signal,” he told her.  “We’re in the middle of nowhere, Agent Montgomery!  What if we get into trouble?  What if we need backup?  What if my sister tries to call me?  What if my brother has a flare up?”

“Stop already,” Ruby said, rolling her eyes.  She tossed Konrad his bag and then headed towards the cabin they would be sharing.  “There’s a landline from the cabin.  We can use that for emergencies.”  Glancing back at her partner, she added, “If it makes you feel better, call the house and give Markus the number for the cabin.”

“I may do that,” Konrad said, as he shouldered his bag and followed her towards the cabin.

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