Wednesday 11 September 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 124

This week's picture prompt is by Silena Lambertini, an Italian photographer. She has some wonderful pictures on her page on 500px. She calls this one Good bye 2015. 

Took a while to feel what I wanted for this, but once I got that opening line it appeared. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

No Regrets

Jackson revved the engine once he got back into the car, no longer caring if anyone heard him. He didn’t care about anything, not anymore. His rage burned as the tyres screeched. What did he care if he left tire marks, he was out of here – gone, forever. That bitch had made sure of that.

He glanced in the rearview mirror, the light refracting through the gaps in the covered bridge shedding a kind of ethereal light within it. Was there a figure there? Did she climb back up? He screeched to a halt and reversed at full speed, but when he reached where he thought he’d seen her, there was nothing. He paused, letting the engine tick over and his anger simmer. Waiting.

Nope, nothing, it was his imagination. He pulled away again, enjoying the tyre squeal this time, letting it speak for him. He kept glancing in the mirror though, just to be sure. Still nothing.

The roads were empty at this early hour, no one would see him, or know he was here, no one would know where he went to or where he had been. It’s how he wanted it. They would never know what had taken place or if there had been anyone else involved. He could feel his body start to relax, the rage dissipate and as his mind drifted into thoughts of where he would go from here, a smile started to form on his lips.

An island somewhere hot, somewhere remote, somewhere he didn’t have to think or worry about his past coming after him like she had. Somewhere he could live an honest life and let it all go. Somewhere he could start being true to himself.

A movement in the mirror made him glance over his shoulder into the back, causing him to shift the steering wheel slightly to the left, where at that precise point a fallen tree branch stuck out into the road. The tyre blew, making the car swerve violently left and right.

Jackson grappled with the steering wheel, trying to keep the car on the road, but he couldn’t; it veered off to the left, lurching down an embankment full of scrub, picking up speed until it hit a large tree trunk. The force of the collision sent him through the windscreen and he bounced off the tree, lying sprawled on the bonnet.
He could feel life draining from him, the last moments of it filtering through his consciousness. How he’d fought with her and pushed her off the bridge, watching her body fall and crash into the rocks far below, lying pretty much as he was now.

Then he heard her calling him, and her face appeared, hovering over his. “Jackson? Jackson? No regrets, huh, honey? You sure, darling?” And then she laughed, that awful high pitched shriek she called a laugh. And in that moment he knew she’d never leave him, he’d be stuck with her for eternity.


  1. Trapped, by Terry Brewer, @stories2121. 718 Words.

    Who would care? That’s what I thought: Who. Would. Care.

    Turned out that someone did care and two of his goons were walking, slowly and deliberately, to where I had trapped myself.

    It sounds crazy, I know, because it is crazy. It began the summer before my senior year at a fancy Ivy League college in Massachusetts. No names, but you can figure it out. Math major with a good handle on computers. I was working that summer for a cousin’s accounting firm in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Little stores, some law firms, five or six apartment buildings off Kings Highway. The normal mix for a solo CPA in Brooklyn.

    I got friendly with the owner of a pizzeria on Bay Parkway. His grandfather opened the place after coming to New York after the war. I didn’t know it at the time, but the family came from Naples. In my last week before heading back to the unnamed university in Massachusetts, my cousin asks me to stop by to get some bank statements and so I go there on the way home and pick them up. You know, stop there and hop a bus to my parents’ place in Bay Ridge, where I’m staying for the summer, and I’ll give them to my cousin in the morning.

    So I get there, get the statements, and leave. As I’m about a block away I see a black SUV at the curb. Guy in a suit opens the door.

    “Are you Thomas?”

    “Who wants to know?” Yeah I’ve seen plenty of movies, so I’m going to be Mr. Tough Guy.

    He laughs. “You’ve seen too many movies kid” and he opens the door. Flashes some kind of badge. “I’m Special Agent Anderson and I was wondering whether I might have a word. Hop in.”

    It looked safe enough, but I’m at an unnamed Ivy League college in Massachusetts so I’m not dummy and I’m not getting into the back of a black SUV with Special Agent Anderson.

    “No, let’s walk.”

    “Suit yourself.”

    So we walk. His partner joins us. He explains that he’s “concerned” about the pizzeria and whether it’s laundering money for unsavory characters.

    He says, “Tom. May I call you Tom?” I nod. “All we’d like you to do is take a look at the numbers from this and a few other establishments every month or so. Just to make sure things look like they’re on the up-and-up. You know these businesses. I cleared it with your cousin.”

    My cousin confirms that he’s OK with it. “If those guys are cooking the books I don’t need to get involved.”

    So early each month, I got an email from “Special Agent Anderson” with financial statements from the pizzeria and a few other places. I detect a pattern. I report this to him and he puts me in touch with some of their forensic accountants and we go through the documents and by Christmas I’ve pretty well figured out how they’re doing it. Millions of dollars. Uzbekistan.

    In retrospect there might have been cars following me when I was home for Christmas. I don’t know. I’d gotten my job at Goldman set up, becoming one of its quants, and things are looking pretty good thank you very much. So I wasn’t paying much attention beyond telling buddies about my job at Goldman.

    When I get back on campus, though, I know someone’s following me. I call Special Agent Anderson and he tells me to lay low for a few days, that he’d have someone from the Boston office contact me. So I lay low and wait to be contacted.

    Before that happens, though, I decide to go for a run along the Charles River. Nice day, no snow or ice on the path, and as I’m maybe a half-mile from my dorm, I see a car pull up beside me. I take a sharp right. I’ve seen plenty of movies and had I given it a moment’s thought I wouldn’t have done that. I was racing down what amounted to a long hallway with light streaming in from one side. Then I realize that it is a dead end. I turn and see two silhouettes at the opening. Just waiting. Till they started walking. Slowly and deliberately. To where I was trapped.

  2. Thats a fantastically emotional story and a terrifying end. Well done, Miranda.

  3. Great story Miranda!! Here's my offering for this week Paradox Syndrome Hope you like it!