Welcome to the two hundred and fifty-second in this daily series that is ‘5pm Fiction’. The previous two hundred and fifty stories are no longer available on the blog, but as five $0.99 / £0.77 eBook collections.
Late April 2011 I discovered StoryADay.org and the project that is to write 31 stories in 31 days. Anyone who knows me or follows this blog, knows how passionate I am about short stories so my clichéd eyes lit up at this new marvel. And just a few days later there I was, breathing life into new characters. This went on to become (with some editing of course) my 31-story collection eBook Story A Day May 2011. I have since published (as eBooks) the 2012 and 2013 collections, detailed on http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories/story-a-day-may.
I was nearing completion of the 2012 project when I decided that I didn’t want to stop at the end of May so 5PM Fiction was born. I put a load of prompts on the 5PM Fiction page and today’s was to write a story prompted by the following keywords: kidnapping, scratch, groceries, millstone, strappings. Here is my 486-worder.
The blindfold itched and she longed to remove it, if only to scratch her nose. A loose thread taunted her and she concentrated on that more than the three men with her in the back of the van.
Ted had told her often enough not to put herself in situations like this, but she’d only been shopping; the opticians then PoundCutter for their buy-one-get-one-frees. The men hadn’t even let her bring the groceries with her, the contents strewn across the pavement.
They should have been wearing balaclavas, she thought, puffing air up to her nose in an attempt to dislodge the thread. It just made her sneeze.
“Shut up!” a man to her right snapped.
She wanted to tell him that she’d not said anything but the loading of a pistol magazine, a Smith & Wesson M&P if she wasn’t mistaken, persuaded her to remain silent. They didn’t know who she was. To them she was no threat.
“Let’s dump her,” a man to her left growled. “She’s no use to no one.”
Anyone, Doris wanted to correct him.
Someone up front said, “She’s seen our faces.”
“So?” another said. “They won’t believe ’er. Just a millstone round our necks.”
Doris rolled her eyes. What a cliché! She’d been writing crime novels since giving up work, and her editor would have red penned that out straight away.
She felt the van slow, and the doors behind her open.
“Give ’er a soft landin’, Mickie,” the East London voice implored.
“You’re going soft. You do it then, kick her, shove her, whatever, just get rid.”
Doris felt someone cutting away at the strappings around her wrist.
“Leave the blindfold. Don’t want her to see all of us. And have her facing away.”
“Righ’ you are.”
Doris was eased out of the van, until her feet touched ground, soft, grass perhaps.
“Stay there. Ten minutes. No turning round. We’ll be watching.”
Doris knew they wouldn’t, they’d want to get away, so she waited until the van’s engine was a dull hum, took off her blindfold, turned, and made making a mental note of the registration plate as the van left the park, grateful for her new glasses.
Rubbing her wrists, she made her way back to the parade, collected her groceries that someone had handed into the supermarket. The Manager had offered her a lift home but she fancied the walk and said would phone the police later.
She replayed the scene in her head, capturing every detail that she would soon be typing on to her computer. They’d both been waiting for a new novel and although this was just a start, it was a pretty good one.
“Hello, Ted!” she called, then closed the door behind her. It was good to be home.
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
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