Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 259

This week's picture prompt was taken by Richard of Hollins over on twitter. Taken in January this year in Lancashire, England. 

I had an image for this one in my head, but it went much darker than expected and double the word count! But if I cut it off it wouldn't make sense. It needed its end, so it's a short story instead of just a piece of flash. And TW/CW: Sexual Assault/Rape suggested. But not graphic. 

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.

An out of focus image of a snow laden path across a bridge at night. Ahead is a headlight, which is creating green circular swirling effect. Picture taken by Richard of Hollins


Trisha staggered and almost slipped on the ice. Fuck, this wasn’t good. She could barely see. She’d had a few but not that many. She could see the street lamp on the other side of the bridge, but it felt like everything was spinning; the snow on the ground moving round and round. She took a deep breath and tried opening her eyes wider, but it didn’t help.

She remembered Jamie buying her two beers in Henry’s, but when they’d moved to the Angel, she couldn’t remember how many she’d had. She’d kept pace with the girls so maybe three. At the peacock they’d only had one, because it was almost closing, but down the club she remembered someone bringing them shots. Had someone put something in one?

Trisha heard footsteps behind her. She tried to glance behind, but it unbalanced her and she thought she might fall off her heels. Then she heard voices and realised there was more than one. She tried to hurry up but it was hard walking on semi-hard snow in high heels.

‘You alright, love?’ A deep voice from behind her. She could feel panic rising from her stomach.

‘Yeah, I’m fine thanks.’ She tried to say it in her clearest voice, but knew it sounded slurred.

‘Your Nathan’s sister, aren’t you?’ A different voice. Did she know them?

She glanced back again, but her eyes couldn’t focus properly on their faces.

‘Yeah. He’s my little brother.’

‘I’m Dan. I work with him at Griggs.’

Trisha didn’t know whether this was a good thing or not. It wasn’t a name that rang a bell, but Griggs was a big factory and Nath knew a lot of people.

‘Oh right.’

‘Can we help you get home, love? You seem to be having trouble on this ice.’

‘Yeah, got the wrong shoes on for this stuff that’s for sure.’

The other guy came up on her left side and took her arm and Dan offered his arm on her right. Together they helped her get over the bridge.

She tried to relax and chat to them, but she was still on guard.

‘So who are you then?’ she said to the guy on her left.

‘I’m Craig. Just moved to the area. I work in the lasting room with Dan.’

‘Nath’s your supervisor then?’

‘Yeah, he runs our production line.’

‘So how come you know who I am then?’

‘He pointed you out to us earlier tonight, when you were in the Angel,’ Craig said.

‘Oh right. And he didn’t stay with you then?’

‘No, he said he wasn’t up to the club.’

‘No, Nath’s never been one for the nightclub. Not his scene.’ Trisha thought of how her little brother preferred goth music.

They eventually came out of the park. Trisha’s head was still spinning and she felt like she was losing moments of time, no longer being able to keep track of the conversation they’d been having, but fortunately she lived close by. They were only a few feet from her door when Craig said, ‘So you live by yourself then?’

Trisha didn’t want to answer because of where it might lead, so she lied. ‘Usually yeah, but Nath crashes on the weekends cuz I’m closer than mum and dads. I expect he’s snoring upstairs already.’

‘That’s good then. Not sure you should be left alone in your state,’ he grinned at her.

‘Oi, you cheeky bugger. I’m alright. I know what I’m doing.’

She left them on the road watching her as she walked up the path to her door and fumbled the key into the lock. She was still worried they might try and come in after her, so she opened it a tiny bit and squeezed through, trying to keep them in sight as she did it.

‘Bye then,’ she called.

They both put a hand up to wave goodbye and walked away. She closed the door behind her and put on the chain. Leaning against it, she tried to get her bearings and stop her head from spinning.

She heard movement in the lounge. Her breath caught in her throat. Who the fuck was that?

Then the hallway light was snapped on and her brother’s head appeared at the lounge doorway. He yawned and rubbed his hand in his hair.

‘You alright, Trish? Hope you don’t mind me crashing. I lost my wallet and didn’t have the money to get back home. I fell asleep on the couch.’

She let out a low breath. ‘You scared the shit out of me! Especially after that walk home with your work mates.’

‘Work mates?’

‘Yeah, Dan and Craig. They said they work in the lasting room with you.’

Nathan frowned. ‘Never heard of them. They’re not in my lasting room. You sure they work at Griggs?’

‘They said they were out with you tonight. You pointed me out to them.’

 ‘I was out with Mick. You saw me in the Angel with him.’

Trisha rubbed her head. She had a vague memory of it, but her head wasn’t very clear.

‘You alright, sis?’ Nath stepped towards her and put his hand on her shoulder.

‘I feel really out of it, but I haven’t had more than normal.’

‘You think someone spiked your drink? Maybe those blokes that claim to know me.’

Trish felt herself swoon and fall into her brother and then she blacked out.

When she woke up she was lying on the sofa and sun was coming through the window. She cracked an eye open and saw her brother standing at it, her dad standing next to him.

‘Nath? Dad? What you doing here?’

They both turned round. ‘What do you remember from last night, Trish?’ her dad asked as she approached her and sat down on the edge of the sofa next to her.

She tried to think but her head was fuzzy. ‘Not a lot. Just out with the girls. I felt rough coming home. Oh and some lads helped walked me home.’

‘And no one touched you inappropriately?’

‘What you on about dad?’

Her mum walked into the room with a cup of tea in her hand. ‘Oh good, you’re awake.’

‘Mum! What are you guys doing here?’

‘Nath called us. He was worried about you. Did something happen to you last night?’

‘Why do you all keep asking me that?’

Her mum looked down at her skirt; it was ripped and there was blood on her leg.

‘How did that happen?’

‘You sure we shouldn’t take you up to the hospital and get you checked out?’ Trisha’s dad asked.

She didn’t know. She realised she did feel sore underneath … but when and how? Tears sprang into her eyes. ‘I don’t know dad, maybe that’s a good idea.’

‘Oh Trish, darling.’ Her mum put her arm round her. ‘It’s gonna be alright.’

‘I’m just glad your brother was here,’ her dad said.

‘Me too. When I find out who those blokes are, I’m gonna batter them!’ Nathan said between clenched teeth.

‘Shh now Nath, let’s focus on Trish. Come on darling. Let’s get you up there now, then we can get back and you have a long bath. Maybe come back to ours for a few days.’

Trish had never been so grateful for the support of her family. She wasn’t sure what had happened, or when it had happened, but something had. 

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