WHAT GOES UP…

stilettos1Greg opened the car door. “Get out.”

Kiki stepped out with a head full of excuses, but he drove away before she could speak.

She watched the Mercedes disappear over a hill. No one had ever dumped her before. That had always been her job.

An icy wind blew her pink hair in her eyes. Great. I just got my hair done. She reached in her back pocket for her phone—the one that she’d left in the Mercedes. Along with her jacket. “Crap!” She stomped her feet and her green leather stilettos sank into slushy mud. She stepped back onto the asphalt, cursing the new scratches on her spiky metal heels.

She scanned the horizon and saw nothing but thick forest. Greg had said they were going to his cabin in the woods, with “No neighbors, boutiques or spas for a hundred miles.”

She hugged her bare arms for warmth, annoyed. Hurry up already, somebody. Damsel in distress here.

She figured she’d flag down the next car that came by. But… who to call next? She inventoried her Kiki worshippers, and came up with a dozen love sick boys with big houses and credit cards. Whatever. As long as they have heating, ‘cause its freaking cold!

A fox popped his head out of the brush, sniffing.

Kiki screamed, “Seriously? Wild animals too? Shoo!”

He inspected her face, then took a cautious step towards her green shoes with the shiny heels.

Burning mad, Kiki yelled, “You want my shoe? Stupid little creature! I’ll give you my shoe!” She pulled off a shoe and hurled it hard at the animal, who scampered into the forest.

“And… now my foot’s freezing.” She hopped towards her shoe at the edge of the forest, but sank into the slush. “Damn it!”

The fox stole back through the brush just long enough to nab the shoe and vanish into a thicket.

Kiki cursed and scowled, hopping on one heel.

A flake of snow settled on her bare shoulder. “Are you kidding? I’m wearing a halter top, for god’s sake!” She flicked it off and shouted to the sky at the top of her lungs, “Somebody get their sorry ass over here and rescue me!”

The sky responded with a dump of stinging snow.

Kiki’s blood boiled. “Oh no you don’t!” She pulled off her other shoe and flung it straight up at the sky through the blinding white.

 

Officer Lee shivered and shined a flashlight on the pink haired lady in the snow. “Cause of death?”

The coroner knelt over her. “Looks like the perpetrator used a dull thin object, maybe the width of a pencil, which penetrated the left eye and continued on into the brain. Wound approximately five inches deep. Have you found the weapon?”

Officer Lee shook his head. “No sir. But we have a suspect in custody. Her boyfriend, Greg Barnes. He called us from his cabin a few miles up the road. He said they were fighting in the car so he dropped her off here an hour ago, alive and well.”

“And barefoot—in the snow? Nice guy.”

“Greg claims she was wearing shoes when he left.”

“So we need to find her shoes and the murder weapon.”

“So far we’ve found neither.”

The coroner saw a whirl of fur and jumped up, startled. “What was that?”

Officer Lee chuckled. “Scared of a little fox? I think he likes the smell of your feet!”

Unfazed, the fox scampered back to his hole under the briar to chew on his green prizes. He liked the feel of the leather on his sharp teeth, and licked a bloody heel clean.

Like A Rug

First: An explanation. Everyone tells me the way to begin the agent/publisher search is to start with contests. So I researched and Writer’s Digest is a well reputed source. I found a contest where I had to write a story in 700 words, starting with “The difference is, I lie for a reason.” I came up with the following fiction. Its not Hemingway, but I’m getting my feet wet with my first contest. Okay, I lied, its my second.

LIKE A RUG

The difference is, I lie for a reason. Susan lies compulsively and James lies because he’s an ass. It all started with a mailbox—the one that Dad made, with the words Air Mail painted on the side. It sat on a clear glass pole that was supposed to look invisible. Dad thought it was really funny. Until he found it broken on the lawn.

Dad came stomping in. “James, if you broke my mailbox, it’s off to boarding school for you!”

James was always running over things with the car. First a bicycle, then Dad’s favorite lawn chair. Each time Dad threatened to send him off to boarding school. This time he looked like he meant it.
Susan, our little sister, compulsively blurted out to Dad, “Irene did it.”

Of course I didn’t do it, but I didn’t want James to get kicked out. So I decided to take the blame. I shrugged and nodded unconvincingly.

James looked surprised.

Dad was sure it was James, and Susan always lied—she couldn’t help it, so Dad turned to me with eyes that could drill an oil well. “Irene?”

I was cornered. I took the high road. I lied.

The high road left me feeling a little guilty, and Dad wasn’t buying it. Dad planted his hands on his waist. “Outside, all of you. When you want to tell me the truth, you can come back in.”

We sat on the front porch in silence, six legs dangling over the edge.

Finally Susan said, “Did you see the three-legged dog this morning?”

James smirked. “The one chasing the two legged cat?”

I glared at him. “The doctor said no teasing her, James.”

James pointed to the broken mailbox. “Maybe we could fix it… do you have any money?”

Susan said, “I have fifty dollars.”

James tugged her blond braid. “We need real money.”

I shook my head. “I’m broke. What do we do now?”

James shrugged. “We go back inside.”

I frowned uncomfortably. “So we stick to our story.”

James raised an eyebrow. “What story?”

What an ass. “The story where I save your butt, by taking the blame for your sucky driving.”

“Hey…”

Susan hopped up and skipped across the porch. “Irene did it. Irene did it.”

James shrugged. “See?”

Okay, now I was pissed off. “Or I just tell the truth and you get shipped off to boarding school.”

“What the hell are you talking about? You already confessed!”

“Irene did it, Irene did it!” Susan hopscotched in a circle.

James turned towards the door mimicking, “Irene did it, Irene did it.”

Burning mad, I grabbed James by the shoulder. “Fine then, I’ll just let you get shipped off to boarding school!”

A car pulled up. Mom! She had a way of calming Dad down. Maybe Dad was exaggerating. Perhaps it was time to tell the truth.

But…what if they did send James to boarding school? As much as he made me mad, he was still my brother. I slunk down onto the porch to think. I knew James wouldn’t confess. And Susan…well, no one was going to listen to Susan. It was up to me. My brother’s fate rested in my hands. I took a deep breath and stepped into the house. “Dad…I’m sorry. I broke the mailbox.”

He didn’t hear me. He was talking to Mom. He said to her, “Did you have a nice day, Reney?”

She laughed. “I had an absurd day. First, I was late for work. I backed out of the driveway and Susan came running out, right in front of the car! She was chasing some dog. To avoid her I had to drive across the lawn. I’m sorry dear, I hit your mailbox.”

Dad squeezed her shoulder. “That’s alright Irene, it’s just a mailbox.”

“But that’s not all. Susan kept right on chasing that dog. What a sight, I was running after Susan and she was running after a three-legged dog! When she caught it, the owner was so grateful he rewarded her with a fifty dollar bill!”

“It was a million dollars,” said Susan, jumping across the living room.

“Now, Susan…” said Mom, frowning, “No more lying; Doctor’s orders.”