Each week, we will spend ten minutes writing and attempting to complete a flash story. We hope that the exercise will allow us to grow as writers, as well as provide a small amount of entertainment for you. Further, we hope to inspire you to do the same.
(full disclosure: I took an extra 30 seconds to finish my ending, technically this is a Tuesday 10 and a half story)
He knew what it was going to say. He could feel it in the pit of his stomach, could sense it in that sick feeling spreading across his body. He checked anyway. The computer was slow to respond, prolonging his pain. When the web browser finally displayed his bank balance he wasn’t sure if he should cuss or cry. It was worse than he thought. She needed $360. He had $6.23.
He slammed the laptop shut, hard enough that he heard something crack inside of it. There was no time to worry about it. It was so far past midnight that it was more morning than night now. She wouldn’t make it until morning.
He rushed outside, flinging the door to his apartment shut behind him. His car sputtered and hesitated as he turned the key.
“Not now. Don’t you dare do this to me now.”
It started, a single stroke of good luck in a night of nothing but bad. He slammed it into gear and stomped on the accelerator. If he knew someone he’d turn to them for help. He tried to think of anyone, anyone at all who might be willing to hear him out and consider loaning him the money. There was an old co-worker from that sandwich shop three years ago, they’d been sort of friendly. But the name escaped him, and without even a first name to go on it was a lost cause. There were no family members nearby, and the few he could call wouldn’t answer the phone, not once they saw it was him calling.
All he had was her. And tonight, all she had was him.
He held his breath as he took a corner driving double the speed limit. His car threatened to skid off the road, but the tires held. He knew he needed to go further from his house, somewhere they didn’t know him, but there was no time. When he saw the convenience store he jerked the car into the parking lot, slamming on the brakes and barely coming to a stop before crashing through the front of it.
Throwing off his seatbelt, the man rushed inside. At this hour there was no one inside but the bleary eyed worker.
“Empty the register!”
He didn’t have a gun, didn’t pretend to have a gun. But there was something in his voice, something in his eyes, that told the worker not to argue. The scared man threw open the register and emptied it on the counter. It was just over $400.
The man gathered it up and turned to run for the car. He came face to face with a man in a mask, gun in his hand.
“I’ll take that,” the robber said.
The man wasn’t going to give it up. He couldn’t. He tried to run, but the robber shot him in the chest and took the money out of his hand.
The man laid on the ground, his blood pouring from him. He could hear sirens, and it reminded him of her. He stood and stumbled to his car, unsure if he was dying or not. He didn’t have the money, which means she wasn’t going to have the money. But if his life could hold just a little longer, if his heart could keep pumping, she’d at least have him.