Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: Must Contain…

This weeks Terriblminds Flash Fiction Challenge, had to contain two elements, chosen from two separate columns; each containing ten things.

The Random number generator gave me:

3 – A mysterious – perhaps even magical – photograph


6 – An escaped prisoner

And this is what I did with it


Polaroid from the Past

Kris opened the door, the bright sun outside silhouetted the two men standing on the threshold. She stared at them quizzically, wondering what a pair of suits were doing this far from civilisation. The taller, blue suited man spoke
‘Miss Kristina Hendrix?’
‘Yes’ she replied
The blue suited man, and his stocky brown suited colleague withdrew wallets from their inner pockets, and displayed them, showing brass badges
‘I’m Detective Truman, this’ he indicated to the brown suit ‘is Detective Marsh, can we please have a moment of your time ma’am?’
Kris studied them both; she looked from blue to brown, trying to see past the Ray-Bans and the professional smiles. A minute later she stepped back from the door, offering them entry. They returned the badges to their pockets, and with a polite nod, walked in. Kris showed them through to the lounge, and offered them a seat
‘Can I get either of you a drink?’ she asked
‘No, thank you, we’re fine’ again it was Truman who spoke, Marsh remained stoic and silent. Kris sat on the sofa opposite, the wicker coffee table between them
‘So, what is this all in aid of officers?’ she asked
‘Detectives’ said Truman, though his tone was polite, he resented the demotion ‘We’re hear about someone from your past’
Kris nodded, she had a theory it was not a courtesy call, just to inform her that the department is making a wider community reach
‘Abel Sanders’ he said
A cold chill ran up through her, and she took a sharp breath, like a sudden pain had emerged
‘I know it’s not an easy subject for you, but we need to discuss the matter’
Kris nodded, though her body language screamed tension, and she could not meet their gaze
‘Has he been in contact with you at all?’
She looked up sudden, like he had spoken another language, her eyes seemed bewildered by the question
‘No, no why would I, I mean, why would he try to contact me?’ she asked, her voice had taken on a nervous quaver. Detective Truman studied her, looking for tell tale signs of deceit
‘Have any other officers been out here?’ he asked
‘No’ she said
‘Have you been contacted at all, by anyone from the Police Department?’
‘No’ she replied, shaking her head
Truman looked to his silent partner, not a word was exchanged, before Truman said
‘Miss Hendrix, I’m afraid I have some disturbing news’
Kris’ eyes widened, she felt her stomach shrink suddenly, like falling backward off a chair, her heart rate began to quicken, and the ground seemed to move beneath her
‘You mean?’
Truman nodded ‘Abel Sanders has escaped’
Tears began to roll down her cheeks, she was unprepared for this, she could never have prepared for it, she felt like the life she had woven back together, as brittle, and fragile as it was, had begun to have some meaning, but now, that name had taken shears to it, and her reality was unravelling, she felt numb.

Truman reached in to his interior pocket
‘This was the only thing found in his cell’ he said, as he placed a picture on the wicker table. Kris picked it up and looked at it; the picture was black and white, a wash of grey for the light colours, and a deep black for the darker ones. It was of a man, the interior of his prison cell could be made out in the background. Kris studied his face; his eyes seemed to glow, even though the picture had no colour, his face held a stern look, and his cheeks and chin were rife with stubble, it was face she knew, she saw it every night when she closed her eyes. Unable to look at it any longer, Kris placed the Polaroid back on the table.
‘How did he escape?’ she asked
Truman shook his head ‘he just’ he shrugged as he said ‘vanished’
She gazed down at the photo; her heart rate began to slow down, the numbness seemed to subside, and she could feel again, the floor sturdy and immobile beneath her feet.
Detective Truman got up from the sofa and Detective Marsh followed his lead. Kris followed them to the door. Truman stopped on the threshold, and turned to Kris, as he did so he put his Ray-Bans back on, and said
‘We’ll send somebody out to keep watch over the house, make you feel safe’
Kris nodded in response. Truman smiled; it was the professional sort, all duty, no feeling. He began to leave, but two steps from the door he stopped and turned, he reached in to his inner pocket again, and took the two steps back toward her
‘If there’s any contact, or you feel unsafe at all, give us a call’ he offered her a card. Kris took it and assured him she would. She walked back in to the lounge, and looked out of the window; the blue ford saloon kicked up a cloud of dust as it motored away from the house. Kris turned away from the window. Her breath left her like a punch to the solar plexus. Standing by the wicker table was a man. His eyes seemed to glow, her body became numb, the floor seemed to slither beneath her again, twisting and turning. Though the room was spiralling, both she and he remained still, as though only they were outside of reality. Tears began to stream down her cheeks, no sound came out, and she felt choked for breath. He walked toward her slowly, his black rubber soled boots squelching against the wooden floor. His stern face came toward her, without urgency, but all the more ominous for it, like a python on the hunt. He stopped in front of her. Tears cascading down her cheeks, and still, she made no sound. She collapsed onto him, burying her face in his chest. He wrapped his arms round her, holding her tight, and she began to bawl uncontrollably.

Abel sat across from her at the kitchen table, a mug of steaming black coffee before him, and between them both was the Polaroid left behind by Detective Truman, but now it was a picture of a vacant prison cell.
‘I’m sorry’ she said to him
Abel shook his head ‘It’s okay, you did what you were supposed to’
‘But, you were in prison, and you did’ she hesitated, searching her mind, wrestling with conflicting ideals that had plagued her for some time, finally she settled on the words ‘nothing wrong’
‘In their eyes, I killed a man’ he said ‘your boyfriend’
She stared down at her coffee ‘but he’ she shook her head ‘it was no longer David’
Abel nodded ‘but they would never have believed it, and neither of us could have convinced them otherwise’
Silence hung between them for a time; he stared at her, while she stared down at her coffee. It was Abel who spoke first
‘I could’ve got out any time’ he said gesturing to the photo on the table
‘Why now?’ she asked
‘You know why’
She nodded, and her eyes began to well with water
‘I told you I’d protect you’
‘That doesn’t make it any easier’ she snapped. Kris sat brooding; again silence filled the gap between them, while Abel waited for her to calm down
‘I’m sorry’ she said
Abel shook his head ‘it’s fine’
‘What are they after?’ she asked
Abel stared at her across the table, his face remained stern as ever, and his eyes shined as usual, he gave nothing away, which told her everything she needed to know
‘No’ she exasperated
‘Where’s the child?’


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2 Responses to Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: Must Contain…

  1. Very nice little take on the challenge. I enjoyed the subtle twists and turns, and the characters had some interesting exchanges. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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