Flash Fiction No. 42

#Flashfiction

A Watery Betrayal

Thunder crackled low on the horizon above a shimmying curtain of rain. The water gurgled, speeding towards the overflowing drains and spilling back onto the pavement. Her hood dripped into her vision, skewing shapes. The city smoked away on the horizon.

They’d arranged to meet an hour ago. She checked her watch. Maybe something had happened to him.

Her gaze shifted out to sea once more, absorbing the hard paddle of rain against the waves. It kicked up the stench of seaweed and brine into the otherwise fresh air. Hands twisted in her pockets. How much longer did she have to wait?

A cool voice startled her. “Marie?” Panic coursed down her spine. Her senses began to detect the blurred presence of several figures that hadn’t been there before. They had her surrounded from behind, their intentions telepathically reeking of horror and aggression.

“Marie?”

She didn’t turn around. “Adam… You said you were coming alone…”

“I did.” There was no hesitation, but she felt his wave of terror sweep through the air. How could he be afraid of her?

“Please don’t lie to me, Adam.” Guilt crushed in, but it couldn’t eradicate the throbbing sting of hatred that bled towards her. She’d told him everything in a bid to make him understand without fear. He knew what would happen if they took her.

They would break her open to study her and steal her gifts.

“Why?”

He sputtered and fell over his words, telling her he had no choice, telling her that they’d made him. It had been explained to him that she would come to no harm if she went quietly.

She stared out into the rain. Her ears burned with betrayal and dismay as something inside her chest cracked in two. He’d made her a promise. Last night, when they’d been together and made the plan to run away, he’d sworn that she would never have to live in fear again. It had meant the world to her.

Her lip stung beneath the cut of her teeth. She trained her gaze heavenwards, eyes burning. “How much did they offer you?”

“Marie–”

“How much did they offer you, Adam?!” Her voice peeled into the thunder, her long cloak swishing beneath the falling rivulets as she pivoted. Her hurt glare spilled across his once dear face. Invisible tears clamoured on her cheek, the sky still weeping and hiding her sorrow.

Adam swallowed. He couldn’t look at her. The shadowed figures, laden with guns, ignored his discomfort. Their only concern was to focus their masked gaze on their target.

“Twenty grand…”

A half-hearted gasp of laughter passed from her lips as she took that bullet to the heart. Her eyes shimmered, staring out to sea. He’d sold her for so little. But what would a human know of the price on a half faery’s life?

She pulled back her hood, letting the shower soak her fuchsia hair. The men behind her took the safety off their weapons, the stink of their terror swirling with the salty air. Bullets cut through the rain as she launched herself from the docks into the raging waters.

Adam ran to the edge, searching the sea for her with panic in his eyes. But was he afraid of losing Marie or his money?

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