New Flash Fiction: Do Better

Do Better
By R. J. Sullivan

“Tommy?” Fingers dug into Tommy’s shoulder, rousing him from deep sleep. Oh, Jessica. Now I remember. Strange to wake up next to his girlfriend. Even more strange to awaken in a room of near-total darkness. He reached down and pressed against the coarse cold of concrete as he drew up into a sitting position. Jessica’s voice, full of panic, reached his. “There’s someone in here. She looks like an angel.”

“You’re dreaming. How can there be? You locked us in here hours ago.”

“Don’t be mean, Tommy.” He wanted to go on, He wanted to be mean. He bit back snide remarks that tried to push out of his lips. As he recalled what had happened, the anger at their stupidity stung all over again, no less shocking or painful than the first time.

“Lock the door, Tommy,” she had said. “Lock the door? It’s an abandoned building, sweetheart. No one’s supposed to be here. Who’s going to walk in?” He’d pressed his hand on the side of her pale, smooth face. At that time, he could still see her, drink in the sight of her delicate beauty that still melted his heart like butter. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she bit her lower lip with her intensity. Her eyes promised an incredible night he’d never forget, but only if he complied with her wishes.

“I’ll relax more, Tommy,” she begged. “It will make it better.”

How could he say no? He walked across the hard floor of the abandoned mausoleum, his footsteps echoing in the open chamber, and slammed the outer door shut. The bolt, though rusted, slid easily into the cement slot. When we’re finished, it will unlock easily enough.

Only later, he found out it wouldn’t unlock easily enough. It wouldn’t unlock at all, as if the latch had turned to stone and merged with the outer frame during their minutes of copulation. Then he discovered that several inches of concrete can thoroughly block any sort of cell phone signal.

But that was hours ago, before exhaustion forced his eyes closed, and even the thought of what might happen once their parents realized they were gone could no longer keep him awake.

Now he looked over and….indeed, he could barely make out the silhouette of another presence in the room.

Was there really an angel standing over there? The skeptical side of him screamed, “No, of course not.”  Sure, at one time this could be considered hallowed ground, but we’re not supposed to be here. If Mom and Dad ever find out you’d snuck out of the house to meet Jessica in an abandoned chapel on the grounds of an ancient graveyard, they’d more likely raise something from hell than conjure anything angelic to guide you home.

But there she stood, by the door, and even in the near-total darkness, she radiated an inner light that brought the beautiful, somber features of her face into sharp focus. She turned, took in the two of them, and shook her head.

Befuddled, Tommy could only stare as she reached out a hand toward the door. The air split with the discordant grinding of rusted metal, twisting and giving way, and the door slid open on its own

The breeze of frosty night air chilled Tommy’s body.

The apparition’s eyes met his. Did he imagine a twinkle of amusement? As they stood before her in their disheveled clothes, she wagged an index finger at them.  “If you head straight home now, it’s not too late. Go now, and do better.” With that, she vanished.

Copyright 2011 R.J. Sullivan. If you repost, please credit and link to: https://rjsullivanfiction.wordpress.com/  Thanks.

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About R.J. Sullivan

R.J. Sullivan’s latest book, Commanding the Red Lotus, is a novel-length collection of three space opera tales in the tradition of Andre Norton and Gene Roddenberry. His novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second part of Fiona’s tale. R.J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. R.J. co-hosts the Two Towers Talk Show YouTube program with John F. Allen. He resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it.
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One Response to New Flash Fiction: Do Better

  1. Steve Craig says:

    Bob,
    I don’t remember reading flash fiction before. This is great. I love it.
    I’ll leave you with a little tease. Make sure you make next month’s meeting on Oct. 8th. The writing prompt will be a picture and it will knock your eyes out.

    Steve Craig

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