Fruit Punch-FictionFriday2

[Fiction] Friday Challenge #180 for Nov 5th, 2010

Your Main Character picks a sliver of glass from their sleeve and gravely inspects it……..( now keep writing)


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Fruit Punch

Monica picked out a sliver of glass from the linen mesh of her sleeve and inspected it gravely. It was thin, sharp and jagged. She was lucky it hadn’t cut her arm. The front of her white boho shirt was all spoiled with fruit punch.
A few people around them had stopped in the middle of their dancing to know what the commotion was about.
“I’m so, so, sorry,” the light-eyed man was apologizing endlessly, “I just slipped. I swear I’ve got to get some new shoes. Here, are you okay?” He extended a hand.
She could have got up on her own, but he was grinning so sheepishly, like he wouldn’t think she had accepted his apologies if she didn’t take his hand, so she did. It was a muscular and firm grip, but also warm and soft and… was that a paper brushing against her palm? He let go as soon as she was on her feet and then turned to apologize to the waiter.
“Look I’ll pay for the glasses I broke, I just slipped, okay?”
She turned away, curious to read the note. It was a paper napkin. She unfolded it and read:

Saw a man fiddling with that drink. Be careful. - Said the untidy, looping scrawl.

She shivered and gave a quick glance around the room. There were fewer girls in the club tonight, several men slouched alone in semi-dark corners of the dance floor, a few loitered carelessly with drinks in hand- many of them looked like they could turn dangerous at a moment’s notice. The big, powerfully built man in the grey polo at the bar-counter especially looked sinister. It was risky for a girl to be alone at a club these days. Monica felt her throat growing dry as technicolour fluorescent beams poured over the shining, polished tiled floor. She checked the time. Perhaps she should wait a little? She settled on one of the plush, black-leathered sofas and continued watching the half-hidden faces whirling to the frenzied music amidst the eerie flashing lights. She jumped as her phone rang and pressed the set against her ear.

“What? You mean you’re not coming back to pick me up? I’ve to go home alone? You gotta be kidding, right?” The last sentence rose to a shrill, high pitch over the heavy metal.

“Is there a problem?” It was the man who had warned her about the drink.

“I…yes,” Monica faltered, embarrassed at her outburst, “well, not really. It’s just that I was waiting for a friend, but now he has just called me to say he’s stuck and can’t come to pick me up.”

“Oh, that’s bad.” Concern flickered into those light brown eyes. “But I suppose you can go home- it’s not too late, is it? You’ll still catch the last train if you hurry.”

“I suppose so.” She replied distractedly. “Anyway, thanks for the tip about the drinks.”

“Oh that was nothing.” He waved his hand, “I could’ve been mistaken, you know. The guy may’ve been just adding something to his own drink. I just panicked and acted like an idiot. I’m really sorry about your shirt too.”

“Nevertheless, you tried to help. Thank you.”

“If you insist-” He was grinning sheepishly again, “I thought I looked quite foolish myself, walking into the poor waiter. He almost got me thrown out. Hey, listen; which way will you be going? I could give you a lift if you wished.”

Monica smiled brightly, looking immensely relieved. “That’ll be great.”

***

“So is he your boyfriend, the guy who called?” He asked, his eyes on the windshield before him.

“Boyfriend? Hell, no –he’s a colleague, actually. We’re into television production, he was supposed to bring a new actor to the club today, but it didn’t work out. What about you? Won’t your girlfriend mind you left her alone at the club?”

He turned to look at her, leaning over slightly towards her seat, his eyes the shade of chocolate in the shadowy darkness inside the car.

“I wasn’t with anyone. I wouldn’t ever leave a girl I liked alone at the club.” He grinned sheepishly again- as the heat from the engine warmed her face.

The car gave a sudden ugly jerk causing them to almost fall into each other. The engine stopped. The man swore loudly and then glanced apologetically towards her.

“This car is getting old. Will you wait here for a few minutes? I’ll get her running again in no time.”

Monica nodded. He got down and then disappeared behind the raised bonnet cover.

Seconds stretched into minutes. She could hear sounds of his tinkering into the engine. Then it was silent. After five minutes, she opened her door.

The bonnet cover was open, but there was no one around. Where did he go? She walked back towards her door, lost in thought.

***
Silently, the man watched her from behind. As she looked around for him, calling his name, he rose slowly behind her, carefully taking out a chloroformed handkerchief. Everybody knew about the murders, of course. The papers were calling him the Jack the Ripper of the Night Clubs. But nobody knew him. He would have to take care of the napkin with his handwriting before he disposed of this one.

WHAM!

As the man reeled from the punch, he saw her taking out a gun.

“Bloody scoundrel! We’ve got you at last.” Sirens pierced the night as the black jeep hurtled to halt behind the motionless car. Men who could have just been wandering alone at Night Clubs hurtled out of the car, led by someone in a grey polo shirt.

“Well done, Officer!” he said, grinning broadly at Monica.
“Waste of a good shirt.” Said the girl.

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©Ruchira Mandal
Unrealistic? I don't know. I'm not supposed to edit anyway. And although I've now done two serial killers on 2 consecutive Fridays- I swear I'm a very sweet person and not psychopathic at all.:)

Comments

  1. Welcome to Fiction Friday! it is hard isn't it? not to go and edit? but when the story starts flowing - what great ideas you can come up with! thanks for playing with us this week

    I agree with you - with a few edits - this has the potential for being a great little crime story.

    My first draft flash fiction this week can be found here
    http://annieevett.blogspot.com/2010/11/sliver.html

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  2. I really like this one. There were so many red flags for this girl. I was terrified for her. You kept me on the edge of my seat and then bam! with the surprise ending. I'm so glad she's okay.

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  3. Welcome!
    Don't worry about editing. None of us do. It's all okay.

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  4. I was beginning to shake my head at the girl. What a fool! I thought, imagine getting into a car with a strange man. So pleased she wasn't a naive as I had her pegged. Nice surprise twist. And I know where you're coming from with the no correction, I find it impossible not to edit as I go. Cheers.

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  5. Great story. Very well written and intriguing. Kept me guessing till the end. Nice work!

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  6. Mmm....nice one...d ending was quite a surprise...gud suspense throughout..

    Decades since I hav read Crime stories...lollzzzz...

    Regs. Forum Bunny :p

    ReplyDelete

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