Flashes spattered the interior of the Chevy, like fire and water, as Jerry sped through another red light.
“They getting any closer?” He glanced over the back of the seat where I sat crumpled against the door, Frankie moaning against my breast.
Hot wet spread like a virus over my thigh. I clutched at my husband’s ridiculous politician’s tie. The clip gleamed like an executive pen, gold.
“I can’t see,” I breathed at the ridge of upholstery against my cheek.
Our blood pooled together, making us one for real. I’d once have given all of mine to fill his heart again. Frankie was fading, and I’d live to pay for his funeral. Black or blue hearse? Would the kids want to go? How many stitches?
Frankie groaned and shifted with the sway of our Impala. It was white, like his dress shirt had been. Washing away from the fender was angry red. Handprints, where Frankie’d grabbed the car instead of me. I was already flat and left as dead.
I dropped my gaze to his blanched face. His eyes rolled in his head like spotted cue balls. Anywhere on the ceiling, to the window, and finally to focus on me.
“Is it serious?”
Frankie’s speech slurred. Mother was a nurse. He wasn’t bad. He hadn’t stood in the way when Eddie showed his pistol, either. It was down to business, his old partner had said.
Business was bad for wives like me.
I spread on a buttered smile. “Hold on, honey.”
Yesterday, those police behind us would have been in front of us. Tomorrow, we’d be famous, even if Frankie hadn’t just won the poll.
Jerry cursed and wrestled with the steering wheel through deeper waters. Maybe it’d flood. Blood and water. Better than drowning in booze. I petted Frankie like the dog he was.
His suit coat lay crumpled in the floorboard, just within grasp of my straining fingers. I dragged the expensive fabric over Frankie’s face, drawing his attention once more.
He needed a blood transfusion. The hospital lay just beyond twenty breaths. It took twelve, and Frankie couldn’t even deliver a good kick. His mouth lay open in final surprise.
I looked surprised when they pronounced him dead at the scene. The police grumbled in disappointment and took Jerry in as a consolation prize.
Blue. His hearse was blue.
The transition from twenty breaths to twelve had a surprising kick for me. Not sure why that line landed so well, but pleasant that it did. Fine story, Carrie!
That last line wrapped it all up so neatly. Bravo!
Always been a fan of your word-smithing and the following line explains it perfectly...
"I spread on a buttered smile."
Mighty fine story, Carrie. I loved the use of different colours throughout and the line John mentioned about breaths was fantastic.
Beautiful last line, too.
Adam B @revhappiness
Yes, that twenty to twelve breaths was a heart-wrencher. Excellent story Carrie!
What really did this for me was the narrative tone -- not entirely without empathy, but toughened and reconciled to the reality of the situation.
And I agree with Icy about the last line!
You are a true wordsmith.
Sad story. Good buildup to Frankie and Jerry's fates.
So much to like in this! Cool.
Excellent tension from the beginning, and the imagery is wonderful. I love the title and the way you tied it up at the end. Great story.
I learned about this fridayflash stuff through a comment you made on somebody else's blog. Hope you keep on going with this, you've got a really good narrative sense!
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