This 300-word short story is, well a very short story! It is my July instalment for the 12 Short Stories in 12 Months website. For the genre, I chose Adult Fiction. I really enjoyed the challenge of word economy, and experimenting with a genre that is not my usual ‘go-to’.
Image by Pixabay
From where I am lying I can see the Alsatian’s antenna-like ears navigate the periphery of the high bed. I smell the damp earthiness of his fur. He licks something in the direction of Jim’s body. I don’t want to look.
I can’t talk to the dog. I’m parched and voiceless from shouting. This is my second day without water.
The back door is slamming from the wind that has picked up in the valley. Normally the repetitive sound would annoy me, put me on edge. But not now. I’m too exhausted. And cold.
“Hallooo. Anyone home?” A woman’s voice. Foreign.
The dog starts barking.
“Oh my God!”
She is standing at the bedroom door. I’d forgotten about my nakedness. Her eyes scan my body. I remember suddenly that it’s Martha the cleaner. Jim had mentioned that she would come during my stay.
“What happened? Where is Mister Jim?”
I point with my head to the floor on the other side of the bed, the handcuffs preventing me from any other movement.
Martha walks slowly round, sees the still body on the carpet. Then screams.
A young policeman chewing gum picks the lock of the handcuffs above my head. He is close to my face, looking away from me. His cigarette smell makes me want to retch, I am so hungry. I sit up on the bed, shaking, rubbing my wrists where the handcuffs were.
I think of my pure white cat, Angel, back at my apartment in the city, as I am led to the awaiting vehicle. She’s purring, curled up in my lap at the bay window, both of us bathed in Spring sunlight.