The Offer

A short work of flash fiction for KittyKat, and the promise of victory

“A deal?” He uses that mocking tone every time he reminds me I’m wrong. “May I remind you that we’re not married — there is no room for negotation in our relationship.”

Fine, I reply with silent words that echo loudly in our conscious vacuum. Call it a change in our terms, then, my voice steady with the certainty of justice. You have an energy, a drive that has been the source for so much of our success.

“A most convenient shift to the plural.” If he had a cigarette, he’d draw on it now with a empty smile.

We (catching myself at the last second) need you to keep driving, keep pushing. Foward, towards the goal.

“All right.” He’s smart, can tell I’m making no attempt to hide anything from him. “And what’s in it for me?”

Freedom. It’s the only thing I can provide which is of value to him. No restraints, no forced shutdowns. None of the barriers we’ve had to impose on you. You take us where we need to go, I won’t hold you back.

“I see.” And I know better than to ask for anything more from him. He’ll either accept or decline — his actions will be the answer he provides. I feel naive, having made this devil’s bargain, but for once my naivety seems more blessing than curse.


Living Better, Single

The Girl recently posted some wise insights on relationships and self-improvement, and has provided inspiration for an experiment with my novel.

[Rune’s journal from February, undated]

Annie broke up with me tonight. Totally out of the blue, there’s this knock on the door and it’s Annie, her mom’s white Cadillac in the driveway, exhaust coming out its rear.

She told me we shouldn’t see each other no more, and then I asked her what the hell that meant, and she said going out on dates, and coming to my house after practice. So I asked her what happened, did I do something wrong, and she said no it wasn’t anything I did (but I saw her bite her lower lip after she said that, she always does that when she lies), she just didn’t feel comfortable anymore with our relationship. And I told her I hated that word, we weren’t in a relationship, we weren’t partners, we were girlfriend-boyfriend.

“Don’t you have fun with me?” I asked her.

“Of course.” She didn’t bite her lip. “But, there’s more to life than having fun.” And then she talked about the arguments we were having, and how she’d been trying to call me this past week but I didn’t get back to her.

“I’ve been busy,” I told her.

“That’s why I came here.” And shen she started backing away, towards the Cadillac. I can see her mother clutching the steering wheel, staring at me. “I have to go now.” And then she asks if I’m coming to the tournament Saturday.

I closed the door without answering her. She dumps me, gives me a lame excuse, then wants to know if I’m fencing? Hell no. I’d be with her all day, and everyone on the team, they’d figure out something was wrong, ask me a bunch of dumbe questions, none of their business. Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT. She was my girlfriend, we had a lot of fun together — everything about this was good, I was realizing this was what I’d been waiting for all my life — and then she takes it away from me, just because I didn’t answer her stupid text.

I don’t understand.