The IndieInk Writing Challenge rolls on. It's a pretty simple idea; one writer throws a conceptual gauntlet at the feet of another, and it's on, as they say. THUNDAHDOME.
This week, Jules - she runs the Mean Girl Garage, AAA-approved and rightfully so - gave me a cryptic line as my challenge. It was
“I’m not a solution to your problem. I’m another problem.”
The line went dead.
Fuckity fuck fuck.
She checks her watch. 0430. Smart. That time of night/morning when human reaction times are at their slowest. It didn't help that she'd had a couple rounds of cheap Scotch before turning in. Stupid. Stupider still: realizing only now, with an invisible icepick digging its way into her temple just above her left eye, that they'd known she'd been drinking. Blinds drawn, the only light the death throes of a flickering florescent bulb, and
She's lying on her bed, on her back. If she stands she'll be in front of the window. Would she hear the soft snap of glass, the whisper of the bullet? Lying down, maybe they can't tell where she is. She'd had the sense to turn off the light before drifting into sleep. The dreamless sleep of the dead and the professional. And sometimes the dead professional, she thinks. She realizes that if the shot was going to come through the window, she wouldn't be having this conversation with herself. She reaches under her pillow and slowly
It's a Magnum Desert Eagle, a massive thing, and the .50 caliber round in the chamber will slice through the hotel room door and a human heart with equal ease.
She rolls over on to her side, her back towards the window. Pretends to be in the grip of a dream, erotic, or terrifying, enough to cause her to kick the sheets off, in fear, or passion. If she has to move the sheets will envelope her and they'll become her burial shroud. She lies in something like a fetal position, her fingers entwined around the pistol's grip, the business end pointed at a spot on the door about five feet up. The bullet will go through the wood and into a throat, or, better yet, a skull. She
Once, when she was a teen, she went scuba diving. What dazzled her was not the vast forest of brown kelp, undulating in the currents, or the garibaldi fish, orange and haughty, nipping at her gloves. No, it was the muted voice of the ocean. Silent, but not - the sounds of being adrift in a weightless echo chamber, hearing nothing, hearing everything. She's so quiet now as to be underwater - she hears a heart beating, as steady as that of a resting Olympian. She hears lungs processing air. She hears