Day 142 – Wilted Flowers – Part 1

Plot devised by me and Xavier.

 

Word count: 765

 

Alice scored out the scratchcard with a one pence piece as she dialed her favourite takeout with the phone clutched between her ear and her shoulder. Two thirds matched but not enough to win.

It was a familiar situation. The nightly commute home from work dragged as if part of a daily déjà-vu that would end. The drive took only twenty minutes, but it felt long enough. For three long years her days had been on repeat. She had not had a holiday in years, save for the annual Christmas trip to her parents. Even they had stopped asking her when she was going to get find a man and get married. At least she could escape that particular avenue of painful conversation from now.

At forty six, she had pretty much missed out on any opportunities she might have had. There were no children, there was no man in her life. There had been, at one point, but that was years ago. She didn’t like to think about Frank, but there were some nights that she couldn’t help but dwell over a glass of heavy red wine and a huge bar of chocolate.

“Hi, it’s me again,” she breathed down the phone to the take out man, “ The usual please… Oh – ah – I’ve also got this discount card…. Fifty per cent off… Brilliant. Thank you.”

Alice usually ordered the banquet for two on a Wednesday evening. There was no point in cooking for one and this meant that she could spread the meal over two nights. Though sometimes her friend Irene would come over, but not often. Irene was like Alice, unmarried, teetering on the edge of menopause and without any direction in life. Irene had one advantage over Alice, however, in that she had one teenage son. An accident though he was, Alice was never granted that miracle…

Alice replaced the dried dishes from the drying rack back into the cupboard and stuck on some reality television show.  It was already dark outside – the season was descending into the dreary days of December.

Her phone went off – a text from Irene.

Hey, what’s up?

Alice put the phone back in her pocket. She couldn’t be bothered being social today. It was stressful most of the time – some days it was much easier to just sit by the T.V of an evening and submerge herself in some ridiculous show about celebrities or meaningless soap plots.

A noise from her bedroom – something smashing. She sat frozen in her armchair. Alice did not exactly live in the dodgy part of town, but she never thought there would ever be a break in… The t.v droned on – it was comforting against the otherwise icy silence.

The takeout would be another half an hour. There was no way that she could wait that long for back up. There was no one to call. She was not even sure that there was someone else in the flat.

Another noise. It sounded like the creaky floorboard just by her wardrobe. There was someone there.

Alice was horrified. She felt invaded. She felt as if she were being stripped in public. Slowly she raised her numb behind off the armchair and grabbed a rather heavy candle stick that her Aunt Mary had given to her for fortieth birthday.

She crept towards her bedroom door, trying hard not to breathe. Laughter from the television show reverberated down the hall. Her bedroom light was off, just as she’d left it. There was no way of knowing where this bastard might be.

She felt sick. What if he was strong, what if he knew she was coming, what if he was prepared – had a knife? Gulping down the acidy sick that was shooting up her esophagus, she nudged the door open gently. A flash of a man trying to dive down behind her bed.

He was dressed in black. Thin, perhaps a girl. She threw herself into her room like a charging rhino on heat. The figure was crouching down the other side of the bed when she clobbered them over the head with the candle stick. The figure fell flat to the floor.

“Oh my god, I’ve killed him,” she gasped, turning on the bedside light quickly.

The figure had a balaclava pulled over their face. They looked really young, tiny. He wasn’t appearing to move at all – maybe she had knocked him out. Slowly and carefully she reached out a hand to pull the balaclava from his head…..

“Oh my god  -”

She knew him. It was Irene’s teenage son, Aiden.

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~ by S.G. Mark on February 26, 2012.

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