A morose cocktail of peer pressure and loneliness had built his profile and pointed him to Julia. That sweet smile framed by chocolate locks, framed by the infinte blue sky behind her somewhere out in the wild, at least provoked his curiousity. In their initial conversations, her melodic voice stirred warmth in his chest, but also betrayed her flightiness.
So the first time this happened, he’d been frustrated, but accepting. Online dating was a crapshoot, and he’d never done it before. So getting stood up by a random stranger due to a ‘sudden migraine’ didn’t completely surprise him.
The second time it happened had given him even less resolution. His carefully planned date around her schedule was met with only one text an hour past their agreed upon rendezvous, “Sorry, raincheck?”
So now, on the third attempt at the first encounter, Charlie found himself once again staring at his phone for a reply that wasn’t going to come. Absently, he drained the final half of his Merlot glass in one gulp, coming to the conclusion that he still didn’t like red wine at all. But the rush of increased inebriation finally gave him the push to delete the dating app from his phone entirely. “Screw this…I coulda bought that new briefcase I needed instead of this waste.” he muttered to himself as he tossed down several bills to cover yet another wasted evening.
Charlie was still grumbling over the avoidance as he picked up his coat from the coat-check booth. The checker had wished him a pleasant evening, but the sting of the frigid November night served to wash away such nicities. Almost growling, Charlie threw on his coat, and began his fast paced walk back home, six blocks away.
At first, he hadn’t noticed the extra weight in the breast pocket of the coat, but after the third ‘thump’ of a bulge against his chest, Charlie dove his hand into the inner pocket, not slowing his gait.
The cold stickiness that greated him made him scowl at first, but that quickly morphed into ice cold fear when his hand came out coated in blood. Stopping mid-stride, he reached down deeper to where his fingers encountered cloth and out emerged a fine silken handkerchief wrapped to a 9mm handgun. Stuck to the side of the firearm was a badly wrinkled photo of Julia, the same one on her dating profile. Now darwn pale by the terrified confusion, he turned the picture around to find a single word scawled in hastily-written letters.
A new series of writing challenges from the amazing Team Writer FB page has arisen! And the simple prompt of “hidden inside the jacket pocket” spawned all this so very quickly.
I hope you all enjoy.