*on my way in to work one morning, I was asked a rather unusual question by a stranger – which provides the inspiration behind this little piece..
“Yeah, pink shirt. Go!” Freddie nudged him forward. His prey drew closer, weaving through the crowd without breaking her pace.
He stood frozen in place, heart pounding in his chest as he watched her walk past, close enough for him to smell her perfume. Taking a deep breath, he moved towards her, jogging lightly to catch up.
“Excuse me.” She was only a few steps ahead now. “Excuse me, Miss.”
She turned to look at him, hand raised, ready to swat away his sales pitch. “No thanks. I’m in a hur..” She stopped when she saw that he wasn’t selling anything, and he jumped in for the kill. “I was wondering if I could…could I smell your feet?” She stared at him, synapses struggling to stack the words into order.
“Could I smell your feet?” She glanced down, feeling exposed in a pair of flip-flops.
“No. um.. No.” Before she said any more, he turned and disappeared into the crowd, heading back towards his friend.
Ben! Over there! Freddie was on the move, signaling towards a woman in a green dress who was walking towards Town Square. He pulled out his notebook and etched another line on the page. Five.
“So I killed him. So what, he was dying anyway.” He had diabetes. “Yeah well that’s a disease isn’t it?” She tapped tiny embers into the night, the shiny things on her fingers glinting in the darkness. “You know, on average at least one person dies on every cruise? There are a lot of sad people out there, looking for a painless exit.” Or just a lot of cold hearted murderers. “Anyway, what do you care.” She flicked her hair like she did just before a point was about to made, and stretched her arms across the rails. “All that is in the past, now we can ride on the oceans forever on the Sea Princess.” She laughed into her cigarette, drawing on it one more time before flicking the dying butt over the rail. She bent down to pick up her shoes. Black water churned beneath them. Let’s go back in, it’s freezing out here. A soft nudge and she tipped over. “Oh shit. Help me up!” She fell laughing onto the smooth deck. I pulled her up and brought her close, inhaling that familiar scent of wine and nicotine, barely masking the headache inducing perfume. She looked up at me, reaching her hands up towards the back of my neck. I gave her a smile and hoisted her over the rail. Farewell my love. I won’t miss you.
Sometimes our writing is inspired by the least expected things, isn’t it?
I hear you creature. Thudding around up there, clawing at dark crevices in your desperate attempts to flee. Why do you run now, when your invasion was a success? Is it because your plunder is now your prison. Although your prison is in fact your refuge. From me. Because I don’t appreciate my home being invaded, my possessions defiled, my comfort ruffled. Your arrival may have been at your choice, however your departure is very much at mine. And don’t think that you can leave before I have your head for a crumb of cheese.