Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Favor

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge is "clean:"

As she sat down, he was suddenly aware that he hadn’t showered in days. She was immaculate, and just as stunning as he remembered. She didn’t say a word. It was a trick he used himself: say nothing, and the mark fills in all the blanks. Yes, he was the mark. He’d known it almost from the beginning, but knowing hadn’t made him stop. Even now, the only rational part of him that remained was begging him to just get up, but his hand was moving to his breast pocket.

He laid the tiny box gently on the table and pushed it across. He saw his fingers were trembling and snatched them back before she could touch him, but she hadn’t moved. He wiped his palm on his pant leg. He hoped she hadn’t noticed, but her eyes were locked on the box. It didn’t look like much, just a gray pressboard cube a few inches high. They were in a corner booth in the back, near the kitchen. No one was looking. There was nothing to see. Still it felt like a spotlight was heating the skin of his face and neck. He fought the urge to drag the back of his hand across his forehead, a nervous gesture, a sure sign of weakness. He’d already given too much away.

“That’s it. I’m done.” His voice was steadier than his hands. She lifted her eyes to his and smoothly made the innocuous little package disappear. She carried no purse. Her tight white blouse and knee-length charcoal skirt held no hiding places to secret it. It was gone, though, and for that he was grateful. He slid awkwardly from the booth and stood, steadying himself for a moment before leaning close. The familiar smell of her made him dizzy. “And remember: if things fall apart, I had nothing to do with this. As far as anyone knows, I’m clean.”

She smiled. He turned quickly, willing his legs to step, and step, and step.

11 comments:

barbara said...

dun, dun, dun . . . oooh a mystery exchange. Love it!

booguloo said...

Yes very mysterious. I admit you left me hanging here.. smiles..

Sandra said...

This sure leaves a lot to the imagination of readers! I like how you described his jitters. Great take on the prompt.

karen said...

Wow, sublime. What really caught me is how she made the box disappear, without a place to put it. Oooooh ... now what the #$&*#$& was in that box?!

Ruby's said...

Left open to our imaginations ... Nice work.

jannatwrites said...

I like the mystery and intrigue! Of course, I'm still curious about what exactly their relationship is, why he is so nervous, and what in the world is in that box.

columbibueno said...

Suspenseful!

The Mommy Patient said...

I like the characters and the relationship that you've alluded to between them. But then, I am a sucker for a strong female protagonist. Great story.

I, Rodius said...

Thanks, everybody!

jesterqueen said...

I loved your use of the word mark! It gave the scene a very cops and robbers feel from the outset.

Trifecta said...

Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. I re-read this piece about five times, looking for more clues each time. I didn't get too many more with the additional readings, but I did like it more each time I read it. The word "mark" threw me for a second, but I love it. You definitely set the scene here. Nice job.

Related Posts with Thumbnails