April 12th, 2011
I wrote this awhile ago for a Fiction Workshop, and just discovered it again. It needs work, but that’s the thing about flash fiction: It’s a great starting point for fleshed out stories. A fire starter of sorts.
So…Today’s PROMPTuesday is:
Write a piece of flash fiction (write 1,000 words or less, don’t edit) on “the point of no return.”
The dark was at its thickest when we left. Pulling the apartment door shut behind us, I didn’t even wait for the lock to automatically click. I just wanted to get home. It was a short walk to Lisa’s car, a walk that was no longer supposed to be dangerous, but at midnight, outside with no one else on the street, my skin pebbled into gooseflesh.
“Good movie, huh?” The wind had kicked up just a bit.
“Yeah, not bad.” Lisa stared straight ahead. “Maybe we should have stayed over?”
“We both have to work tomorrow.” I looked back at the building we just left.
“I don’t get why she moved here,” Lisa complained. “Cabrini Green one block away….”
“Cabrini Green isn’t there anymore.” But I silently agreed.
We’d reached the corner, where the gentrified pocket of Division St. ended with one last rehabbed yuppie condo, and blocky tenement ruins shimmered ahead. Stark contrasts always fascinated me, the way something just stops, and another thing begins, but I didn’t stop to admire the juxtaposition.
We turned the corner into the bumper-to-bumper alley packed with old Chevys and bulky Cadillacs where Lisa had parked her Nissan.
The wind still rustled, our boot heels clacked, and up ahead, about 20 paces past the car, a group of shadows flickered.
“Are those people?” Lisa’s voice wavered, but her feet kept on.
I could make out the glow of cigarettes held low, and the willowy figures of maybe five people.
“Yes. Keep walking.”
“Do they see us?”
A few of the shadows held bats. There was laughter, a tinkle, a pause.
“Can we turn around?” Her voice was barely a whisper.
“We have nowhere to go. Keep walking. We’re almost there.”
I kept my eyes fixed ahead, to where the laughter had stopped a few seconds before at the blackest end of the alley. Lisa fumbled with her keys. The door would have to be opened the old-fashioned way.
“Are they walking over here?” The keys scraped against the door.
“Come on, come on, come on,” I didn’t answer her.
She pulled the door open, scrambled inside and reached over to unlock the passenger side.
“Where you two ladies going?” It was said casually from the dark, but still sounded like a threat.
The door clicked, and we reached for the handle at the same time.