Category Archives: Short Story

Deal.

She counted the money slowly. Not missing one single dirt-stained note.

Looking up at the nervous man in front of her, she could see the sweat forming from his every pore. He was in her world now, performing in her circus ring. She was the Ringmaster of this business deal.

Humid.

Acrid air suspended over the room. Her tailored shirt clung to her delicately sculpted form. The atmosphere left her feeling uncomfortable, but to those around her she denoted the epitome of cool, calm and collected.

The balding dishevelled man continued to twitch, only provoking her to prolong the processions. She knew the possibilities and probabilities of the whole situation, because that of course was her job. Nobody gets this far in the game without knowing the order of all the cards before their even dealt.

“You’re a hundred short.” Spoken with ease and calmness, yet she knew the man understood that mistakes were never tolerated, no matter how minor.

His thrumming fingers on the hard laminate table, amplified around the room, onlooking eyes watched pensively as he mopped his brow once more. Another sign of nervousness. Her eyes narrowed and his fingers moved to loosen his tie.

“Please. Can’t we make some sort of deal?”

He uttered almost involuntary. Immediately he pulled back knowing it wasn’t his place to make orders or compromises.

She tipped her head back, with a muffled, strained click. Staring at the tall alcoved ceilings, she caressed her bottom lip with her finger as if in a deep concentration. But she knew exactly what she wanted; she was just relishing in the tension. As the most powerful person on the board meant he had no choice; pay up or you’re done.

Rolling her head upright, her eyes levelled his anxiety with a steady stare.

“A deal?”

She gave him one last blink before flicking her eyes to his merchandise, seemingly weighing up her options. He looked as if he was about to collapse. She rose slowly, arching across the table, planting both hands firmly on the table and with a raised fist she slammed it down;

“Give me Mayfair and your ‘Get out jail free’ card and we have a deal!”

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Demons

It was early hours of the morning when a stir of movement finally occurred. A creeping draft pricked her skin; recoiling under her flimsy shawl made no difference to the cool feeling of unease teasing her senses.

The sun laid heavy on the horizon, fighting against the thick haze that still owned the streets, casting a blue hued light through her windows. Distant barking and ambulance sirens broke the eerie silence of her room, magnifying the stark reality of her isolated shell.

Her breath faltered as a melodic memory of her childhood chimed from her phone. Glancing at the screen she subdued it to silence. Her past was supposed to protect her from this moment; her subconscious mocked her by looping the rhythmic reminder in her mind.

Looking down, she could see the evidence of her suffering scattered at her feet, clear for all to see. Moistening her dry lips, she closed her eyes and for a moment tried to escape the truth but she couldn’t breathe, her lungs tightened.

In panic she inhaled deeply through her mouth, pain reverberating down her throat and across her face, enveloping her senses, taunting her weakness.

Suddenly tears laced her tired eyes, as the breaths came quicker, causing her heart to race.

When would this end?

When would she be free of this demon consuming her soul?

The radiators clinked. Her heart stopped. Inhaling sharply, she closed her eyes, waiting for the moment. Her hands lifted, reaching into the darkness to the soft ethereal whiteness that lay before her.

Clasping tightly, not letting go, pulling another klennex from the carton, she sneezed, sniffed and grumbled as she shifted back under her blanket –

“I bloomin’ hate colds.”

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