Flash Fiction | A Woman Scorned

On August 30, 2009 by Aimee


A Woman Scorned
Her father always said nothing good happened after midnight. He’d been right, of course.

It had been a momentary lapse. Poor judgment, she’d been told. A teenager, but an adult they’d called her. She glanced from the floor to her only point of escape.

Her view unobscured, she stared through the doors left wide open each evening in anticipation. She let a sigh free as she waited for the final moments of the day, watched as shadows lengthened their strides. In time, he would step from within them.

She reviewed her actions of that day. The sky had turned a deep shade of blue as the sun disappeared beyond the horizon. She’d been young, naive, easily influenced. Today she was older, wiser and prepared.

The tick-tock grew louder, blurred and blended with the sounds of her own movements. Toes beat to an unheard rhythm shifted from foot to foot. Fingers drummed.

The arms of the clock leaned from evening to morning. Hands clasped together, she fidgeted no more, sat entranced by the figured that paced its march in her direction.

Excitement built to a burn. Her eyes began to water. Tears threatened to escape though she would not let him see. Only one emotion was allowed on this day.

“Hello.” He said as he stood at the threshold.

“Come in.” Her invitation necessary to proceed.

“Are you ready?” He asked.

“I am.” She responded with a nod.

She watched as he withdrew a key, hidden deep within the wells of his coat — one he wore always. Her breath hitched as he approached her carefully, like one might a rabid animal. The edges of his coat lay loosely along the floor.

He knelt in front of her and looked back up into her eyes. “It’s been ten years.” One hand grasped her ankle. The click that echoed throughout the room was louder than any sound she’d heard all day.

“I know.” She itched to rub her feet together, stood carefully instead. She looked back at him, level with his eyes again.

“You’ve paid your debt.”

She took a moment, fixed her eyes upon his. “Thank you for your kindness.”

“May I ask you one final question?”

“Of course.” She inclined her head slightly, her signal to go on. Their nightly discourse had become her staple of reality.

“Why me?”

From the moment she’d chosen her punishment, sentence and warden, he’d been the only one who could enforce it.

She lifted her hand to his cheek, the soft, smooth feel of it against her palm. Head tilted left, she adjusted and turned intimately to him. “I loved you more than life itself.”

“But-” he began as she quieted him with one finger to his lips.

“Shhhh.” She added. “I know. It’s ok. Now, its my turn to return the favor.”

She leaned into him, laid her lips gently upon his and vanished.

He turned his head back and forth at her immediate disappearance. A step forward and he felt the tug on his foot.

The bracelet, locked to his ankle and engaged, rooted him to the floor.

On the table, stood a note.

“The next ten years are mine. I shall see you when the sky is at its darkest and life is at its quietest. Never again will money, power and prestige beat truth.”