Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prompt #28: I hope you brought your hang glider. We're going to need a quick escape.

            “You’re going under cover, Gideon.”
            “You’re going to befriend a serial killer. More specifically, you’re going to engage in an intimate relationship with a serial killer.”
            “I fit the profile, do I?”
            “He’s killed six women and the only common factor appears to be his involvement with them. Any woman could fit the profile.”
            “Then why choose me?”
            “You’re a rather good actress. And I doubt you’ll grow attached.”
            “You’re resorting to flattery. No one else want the job?”
            “I’ll take it.”
            “You had no other options. You start tomorrow when you will make contact. Do not come in to work. We’ll come to you. Wear something pretty.”
            “Any tips for the long haul?”
            “Avoid rock climbing like your life depends on it.”

            “Now will you tell me why we dragged all this up here?” Nina asked, letting her backpack fall to the ground.
            Jerrod watched as she stretched, her back arching. “You haven’t guessed yet?”
            “Should I have?” She slid her hand into his.
            He shrugged. “We’re going to rock climb.”
            She froze, her lips closer to his than necessary. “Down this cliff? The one we’re standing on right now?”
            He nodded. “It’ll be fun.”
            “If you consider falling to your death fun,” her voice rose in pitch.
            “Do you think I lugged all this heavy shit up here for nothing? Harnesses weren’t built for looks you know. It’s safe.  Promise,” he rubbed his thumb across the back of her hand.
            Nina pulled her hand away, crossing her arms. “Why?”
            Jerrod crouched, unzipping his backpack. “Why what?”
            “Why did you suddenly decide to go rock climbing?”
            “Why not?” He straightened, rope in hand. “Look, if you’re scared, I’ll go first.”
            “I’m not scared. I just don’t see how this is going to be fun,” her eyes followed him as he approached a tree.
            He wrapped a runner around it and pulled, testing it. “That’s why I’m going to show you.”
            Nina pressed her lips tight and a line appeared across her brow. Jerrod threaded his body through a harness’s straps and looked up.
            “Hey,” he ran his fingers over her forehead. “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. And if I do fall to my death, you have my permission to say ‘I told you so’.”
            Jerrod smiled and touched his lips to hers. Then he turned back to the ledge.
            “Now, when you’re watching me, don’t get too close to the edge,” he lowered his legs.
            “Trust me, I won’t.”
            He shot her a thumbs up and descended.
            Nina shuffled closer, craning her neck to catch a glimpse of Jerrod. The rope swayed as he became smaller. The wind whistled in her ear.
            She pulled out her cell phone and hit redial. “He’s in the open.”
            “Roger.” The call ended.
            She peeked back down at Jerrod. He clung to the rock, resting.
            A quick scan of the sky revealed the oncoming helicopter, a black dot between the clouds. The whirring of its blades soon reached her ears.
            The phone vibrated in her hand and a message popped up on the screen. Earplugs in.
            She extracted the earplugs from her pocket and stuffed them into her ears.
            Another vibration went up her arm. I would back up if I were you.
            She took the advice.
            The helicopter opened fire.
            The noise was muffled, but the bullets and exploding chunks of rock sprayed through the air like fireworks. Nina hit the ground, her hands covering her head. A clump of dirt stung her back.
            The air grew still. The phone signaled a text message. She squinted at the screen. It’s over.
            She crawled to the edge, peering down at the ground below. Jerrod Flores, serial killer, lay splayed on the ground, far below.
            “I told you so.”


  1. I couldn't stop reading. Very tense! Love the "I told you so"!

  2. I thought they were going to set him up into nearly killing her. Looks like they didn't want to wait that long!

    You could definitely expand this piece. I'd be interested in reading more!